RICHARD ORD: My 15 seconds of fame

Coun Tom Wright is handed the petition from Sunderland Echo deputy editor Richard Ord and MP Julie Elliott.
Coun Tom Wright is handed the petition from Sunderland Echo deputy editor Richard Ord and MP Julie Elliott.
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FOR some reason, my fleeting appearance on a couple of TV news bulletins last week was viewed by just about everyone I know.

As such I was given my 15 seconds of fame (I know, Andy Warhol said in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, but this is the age of austerity...)

My youngest, Isaac, aged 11, was particularly interested.

“All my friends saw you on the TV, dad,” he told me.

My wife, tongue firmly in cheek (her’s, not mine) said: “That’s because your dad’s famous.”

“Really?” he said.

I played along, pointing out that I appear in newspapers and online every week, writing to an audience of thousands, as well as appearing on radio every day.

“Of course I’m famous,” I told him.

In truth, I’m not famous. I’m not even the most famous Richard Ord. Former Sunderland footballer Dicky Ord probably has that dubious honour, with Colmans chip shop owner Richard Ord, of South Shields, running him a close second. It may be the other way round, it depends on your leanings. I lean more towards fish and chips than Sunderland, but you may be different. The only claim to fame I make, is that I was the last person to score a goal at the Leazes End of St James’s Park … wearing glasses (it was in a friendly game, and the ‘achievement’ has yet to be ratified by the Guinness Book of Records, but I’m claiming it).

But fleeting fame came last week when I appeared on TV, handing over a petition on behalf of the Echo to save Sunderland Central Fire Station.

By chance, the station was saved that day, elevating the story and resulting in my bearded mug being plastered all over the papers and TV news.

If I’d have known, I’d have had a shave .. and maybe even smiled. I would have loved to have been in the Fire Authority meeting room in which the decision was made, but my beard was deemed a fire risk!

Isaac was still unsure about my claim to fame. He looked unsure, but couldn’t argue with the evidence of his eyes. There I was, on the Idiot Box.

“If you are famous,” he conceded. “Then of all the famous people in the world, you must be the least famous.”

Out of the mouths of babes, eh? I think I’ll have his observation carved on my tombstone. ‘Here lies Richard Ord. Britain’s least famous person.’