When He Came Back to Us

Today I went to Mr Polito’s for a haircut. I favour Mr Polito’s because, although it’s a slightly pot-luck approach to hairstyles (there’s a camp man who does a really stylish cut, and a schoolteacherly middle-aged woman who just lops the whole lot off), unlike many similarly-priced barbers they always make sure that they have a good selection of broadsheets to read and freshly made coffee for you to drink while you wait.

The broadsheets are hung one of those clever wooden brackets where the paper itself is threaded through a wooden holder that sits neatly in the slots provided. As I was having my haircut I watched a clumsy looking student make a protracted attempt to unthread the newspaper from its wooden holder. When my hairdresser politely told him not to do it, he looked up in confusion, said with absolute sincerity “I’m sorry, I thought they were for reading”, and replaced the newspaper in the stand – presumably convinced that Mr Polito chooses to decorate his shop with fresh but entirely ornamental newspapers every morning.

One has to hope that he isn’t a student at Cambridge’s famous academic institution, but in this town there’s every chance that he’s somebody who’ll be running the country in twenty years’ time.

Whilst having my hair cut (and people alarmed by the photo posted with my first podcast will also be relieved to hear that the facial hair was there through laziness rather than a decision to grow a beard, and it is now gone) Jason Donovan came onto the radio and talked about his burgeoning career. And it is worth pointing out that, given the man did an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical then sank into complete obscurity fifteen years ago, he does seem to be doing pretty well for himself. He tours to one of Cambridge’s larger venues in May and – I’m told – it has already sold out.

Not that I’d have bought tickets myself… but I’ve pointed out before that the man and his work were once the obsession of a much younger James Lark, so it’s nice to see that he’s doin’ fine.

I’m especially excited to have discovered his MySpace page which is worth looking at most of all for the profile pictures of his MySpace friends, all of whom appear to be hugging Jason himself in various different places. Clearly he is generous to his fans. He comes across as an enthusiastic, happy celebrity (no less than two of his five blog entries have “wow!” in the title) and, most surprisingly, the new tracks he has put up for people to listen to are pretty good. A bit dirgy, but a cut above your average MySpace fodder.

Take That has recently led a trend for pop comebacks, with The Police and Westlife hot on their heels. Could Jason Donovan be the next faded star on the brink of a once unthinkable return to chart success?

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