Not so long ago, Eddie Izzard played the villain in a new adaptation of the Day of the Triffids. It was a compelling performance, with Izzard starring as Torrence, a charming sociopath who stopped at nothing to become the UK's leader.
I think we were meant to shiver, repulsed by the ruthless character. Actually, my response was - brilliant! Eddie Izzard as our unhinged PM. What's there not to like?
I drag this memory back simply because I heard Labour's shortlist today for the Gateshead seat - in the final four is leading Labour blogger and good friend Hopi Sen.
Hopi, as I think I've remarked before, is one of the good guys in politics. He served his apprenticeship up here as a staff member with Labour North, and was universally popular. His blog, a mixture of self-deprecating humour and fizzy political wonkishness, is required reading for anyone serious about UK politics. In one of his more brilliant posts, he has already anticipated how he would govern as a absolute (though dissolute and idle) ruler. Just wish I could find the link...
Hopi would certainly liven up North East politics. Alas, all is not straightforward, and his competition includes local councillor Ian Mearns and Nick Forbes, the leader of the Labour opposition on Newcastle City Council.
Nick in particular would be a fearsomely good MP - able, articulate with a strong background in policy. As a successful local councillor leading the fightback against the city's woeful LibDem administration, he can point to a strong record in representational politics. He's also one of the few Labour politicians in the North East to take the internet seriously.
I suspect more than a few hands in Gateshead Labour Party will hover over the ballot paper with candidates as strong as Nick and Hopi in the final 4.