THE STRICTLY XMAS
By Tina Malina, 19.12.09
Occasionally, far too occasionally for my liking, when the thermals are in the right direction, the seductive charms of the delicate odor of a KFC carry like an invisible sea fog and hover gloriously above Warrior Square, hinting at a very special St Leonards day ahead.
As you know, my time with Strictly came to an abrupt and tearful end. However, the up-side of leaving has meant more time to devote to my charity activities here at home.
The last few weeks I have largely laboured, lovingly organising sponsorship for the Kings Road Christmas Lighting Switch On event. Credit where credit is due, because without my long term house-guest Christopher Biggins I’m not sure I could have done this, or even been part of Strictly at all.
Tonight Biggins, Len, Bruno, Darcy Bussell and moi were the special guests at the annual gala dinner hosted by the Norman Road Traders’ Association to celebrate the Xmas lighting switch-on. This locally-renowned annual international event was held in the sweet WRVS prefab hall in South Street.
I must say the food was remarkable, and some of it even tasted quite nice.
Gordon Ramsay, when he stayed with me last month, had the inspired idea to have each course prepared by different St Leonards eateries.
The Starter, created by St Clements Restaurant, was a cream of liver soup to die for.
There were two main courses. The first by New Cyprus Kebap House produced very flattering miniature life-like sculptured busts of each celebrity guest, constructed from formed minced Halal lamb. These were expertly dipped in a saturated fat glaze. Absolutely everyone remarked that they had never seen or eaten anything to match it.
The second main was a Bengal Curry signature dish, a Brown Thai Curry, a secret recipe thought to be made by combining a Green Thai curry with a Red Thai curry.
Dessert was created by the kitchens of the Old England public house. A moist original sticky treacle profiterole meringue in a plum and hemp wine brulli, which left everyone speechless.
This glitzy evening was rounded off with a comedy set by the Observer’s dynamic chief reporter Richard “chuckler” Morris who quipped furiously, leaving everybody heaving with laughter and merriment at his verbal antics.
Mozzer received a double standing invasion, the last from Darcy Bussell, Biggins and Hastings mayor for life Maureen Charlesworth who all joined him on stage in a rendering of the St Leonards On Sea Anthem sung to the stirring theme tune from the Bill.
Talk about bringing the roof off, there wasn’t any dry ice in the house.
The time came for the main event and our assembled group of shop-keeping glitterati gaily minced triumphantly from the hall up London Road, past some of the main charity shops to take up our grandstand positions in the Kings Road.
The huge frenzied crowd was huge this year. Naturally, I had been asked to do the switching-on honours, but passed the glory, in my characteristically typical self-effacing way, to Bruno and Darcy.
The tears welled up in the ten thousand eyes of the five thousand assembled onlookers as Darcy and Bruno’s fingers furtively reached for the primal button. A jet flew overhead, church bells peeled pleasantly and the vast expectant crowd were expectant no longer as the fireworks displayed their display, and the lights blazed in a blazing choreographed unison.
At last the huge irridescent letters spelt out their glorious sponsor’s message across the historic Kings Road for all to see: K.F.C. WISHES YOU A FINGER LICKIN’ CHRISTMAS AND GOOD WILL AND PEACE ON EARTH TO ALL AS WELL. BONELESS BUCKET RANGE NOW ONLY £12.99. BON NOEL.