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In Jest

England have found a new official jester. And no, it is not Ken Livingstone.

Nigel Roder has beaten six rivals by public acclaim to become England’s first official jester for more than 350 years, succeeding Muckle John who lost his job when King Charles 1 was beheaded in 1649.

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Unlike court jesters of old, Roder will be able to negotiate his salary, and his initial contract with English Heritage — to divert the public from the tedious daily grind — will run from March to October 2005.

Mr Roder apparently faced some stiff competition.

Roder – professional name Kester the Jester – juggled and diaboloed his way to victory over a diverse field that included a poetry-reading Frenchwoman in the contest near Warwick.

Needless to say, the Frenchwoman did not win. After all, the aim of a jester is to divert the public from the tedious daily grind, and not remind them of it.

And to those of you who aren’t taking this seriously:

“This is a real job. He will have to amuse and provoke — although failure to do so will no longer risk beheading,” Tracy Borman, events director of English Heritage, told Reuters on Saturday.

But who knows? Perhaps this custom will return as well.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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