Residents of the United Kingdom were briefly reminded of the existence of Nick Clegg this morning, when the opening of the Liberal Democrat annual conference was mistakenly broadcast on BBC daytime news.
Clegg, who according to Wikipedia is the leader of the Liberal Democrat party and has been for a number of years, appeared momentarily on screen around 10:20am, his mouth opening and closing as it formed what would presumably have been words, had anyone been paying close enough attention.
Realising immediately that not a single member of the viewing public had any interest whatsoever in anything Mr Clegg (40s, probably) said or did, the BBC quickly cut away to a more important news story, and viewers were instead shown nine minutes of footage of some people in Hong Kong sitting on a pavement, reading quietly.
Several of those who witnessed the accidental broadcast found long-dormant memories of the Lib Dem leader surfacing briefly in their cerebral cortex. However, while they vaguely recognised his face, many were left questioning where they knew him from, with some speculating Clegg may have been an actor who had once appeared in BBC medical drama Casualty.
“I’m sure he got trapped under a digger or something in an episode of Casualty or Holby City,” insisted one viewer, who couldn’t quite place Mr Clegg. “Although he might also have been a runner-up in Masterchef a few years back. I’m really not sure.”
Although people in Scotland were reminded of Mr Clegg’s existence back in September, when he was in a newspaper or on the radio or whatever, the rest of the UK had unanimously failed to recollect the MP for somewhere-or-other since February 2012, when he appeared on television for reasons nobody can fully recollect.
“Clegg… Clegg… It rings a bell,” said another viewer who saw the name flash up for a fraction of a second on his TV screen earlier. “Wasn’t he one of the characters in Last of the Summer Wine or something?”
The Liberal Democrat conference is taking place in an unknown location somewhere in the UK, and is expected to last for an indeterminate amount of time. During the conference other members of the party – like that ginger one and the bald one who looks like the eagle from The Muppets – are expected to join Clegg in discussing things exclusively of interest to themselves.
A spokesperson for the BBC has admitted that “mistakes were made” over the broadcast, and has promised that no further footage of Mr Clegg will be broadcast by the corporation, “unless he dies or something, and even then only if it’s pretty spectacular.”
We attempted to get in touch with Mr Clegg – who is apparently the deputy Prime Minister – but no-one could remember where he lived.