Chipping Norton’s fame is spreading, it seems. Superstar housewife Dame Edna Everage herself almost fainted when hearing that a member of her audience came from Chipping Norton.
It happened during a performance in Sydney earlier this year, when the irrepressible Dame pointed her gladioli at an unsuspecting woman and asked her where she was from.
The Dame’s startling reaction was witnessed by audience member James Carleton, broadcaster on Australia’s RN Breakfast show.
James reminded Barry Humphries, aka Dame Edna, of the incident when he interviewed the 81-year-old raconteur for the
James: This was a Sydney show, and I know how well you know Melbourne suburbs and every cultural intricacy of them. A poor woman gets up and says: ‘I’m from Chipping Norton’. You were so shocked at the word, the look on Dame Edna’s face had the house in hysterics.
Barry: I can’t remember specifically, but Edna only has about three expressions.
James: This is the one where the top of her mouth goes one way, and the bottom of her mouth goes the other way.
Barry: Ah yes, it looks as if she’s having a slight stroke, from which she does recover. You see, I really feel that what I do is specifically addressed to Melbourne. I’ve always regarded myself as a regional comedian. We had a lot of old British comedians on the radio in my youth – we lived through the wireless, though no-one calls it that any more. Those British comedians all had regional accents and talked about where they came from. And Edna’s very much the same.”
But the fact she pretends to be a megastar, no-one takes that very seriously. The joke is, of course, that she isn’t. She’s really just a Moonee Ponds housewife giving herself airs and graces.
A Touch of Class
No-one quite knows if Edna thought the woman was from Chipping Norton in the UK or Chipping Norton in Australia, not even Barry Humphries. But the Dame’s impeccable credentials and breeding make it highly possible she’s now on first name terms with the likes of David Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks.
With Edna’s legendary need for speed, she might already have been for a spin with Jeremy in a Range Rover – thought to be one of her favourites. There was even talk in The Times, in March, that Edna might bag the top job at Top Gear following Jeremy’s removal.
Top Gear themselves have come close to revealing Edna as the Stig – Dame Edna Stigerage, in fact – noting that Edna and the Stig have never been seen in the same room at the same time.
Perhaps Dame Edna could be invited for afternoon tea in Chipping Norton on her next UK visit, and all might be revealed.
Watch this space . . .
Opening photo, of Dame Edna in shock, courtesy of Classicalite