There's been a certain amount of complaint from the Beaker Folk after yesterday's "Beakers' Got Talent", when it was announced that I've been using a stunt double or, as we call it in the trade, "body druid".
Well it's true. I mean, I like to do the preaching and the going to visit sick people (tell them they're a bit nesh and they should pull themselves together). But that ceremonial tea-lighting we do during the Night of a Thousand Tea Lights needs somebody with a stiller hand than I have. Likewise, I'm rubbish at Wild Goose-handling. Terrified of the things. And the liturgical skateboarding? My ankles ain't as robust as they once was. So I need someone lither and less breakable.
So I have a series of doubles who do the hard, dangerous, or highly skilled work. With the use of massive billows of dry ice or incense smoke, we are able to work cunning switches, and maintain the illusion.
Really, I've had no choice but to do this. Let's face it: driving motor-bikes round the Moot House like a wall of death, ventriloquist acts with glove puppets representing the Minor Prophets, playing the lead guitar on "Albatross" and cutting mistletoe from tree tops while standing in a cherry picker are all tasks that the Beaker Folk expect their druids to do. If I can't manage all that, or at least look like I can - who is going to do it? After all, Snodgrazz is a trained Wild Bird handler. If he sees me failing to do it, or Evel, our resident stuntman, sees I can't do the jump over six shopping trolleys on a Brompton (as required by our "Cycling Sunday" liturgy) they're gonna be disillusioned aren't they? I'd hate to let them down.