RICHARD ORD: Perfect face for radio ... but not passport control

My passport photo was rejected by HM Passport Office. Not surprising really. The UK can’t afford to lose people like me during these difficult times.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 12:00 am
Rejected.

What possible benefits could there be of having an ageing columnist lying on a beach in the Costa Brava in this time of Brexit uncertainty? 

‘No use having Ord in his underpants with a knotted hankie on his bonce licking a Fab lolly on the Costa Brava when the populace is crying out for pithy comment and wry food for thought’ (I imagine the head of passport renewal was saying as he rejected my photo.) 

Admittedly, when it comes to food for thought, conjuring up an image of me in my Y-fronts is metaphorical Marmite to most. Marmite on undercooked liver. Served on a bed of sprouts. In brine. (It’s an unpleasant thought, in case you didn’t get the metaphor).

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For those weirdos who find the image arresting (and perhaps you should be arrested) the underpants are constructed from the finest polyester in hearing aid brown with mustard yellow piping. But I digress. 

Passport photo rejected. I was smiling on it. ‘Idiot,’ I hear you say, ‘you’re not allowed to smile on passport photos.’ 

Why? We live in an age of hi-tech surveillance incorporating sophisticated scanning machines and complex facial recognition technology at every turn. Yet smiling on a passport photo causes the system to collapse? 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I go through passport control, I smile at the officials. That must make things even more difficult for them. No wonder they are such a miserable bunch.  

Anyway, the passport photo was rejected. And before you bleat on any further, it was rejected because of a shadow in the background. The smile wasn’t mentioned. I’ve often been told I have the perfect face for radio, but now it’s bad for passports.

Took another photo and sent that off to HM Passport Office. This time I was not smiling in the picture. Rejected again. For my facial expression! Crikey! They really didn’t want me to leave the country. 

I wasn’t pulling a face, honest. They didn’t go into detail. Was I too stern? Not stern enough? Too frowny? I checked the photo again. Nope, that was definitely my straight face.

Until more information is made available, there’s only one possible conclusion to be drawn: I’m clearly too handsome to allow out of the UK.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​