Number 1 in an occasional series

People I’d like to meet – well more like people I’d like to hang out with in the pub – people who would be interesting, provide stimulating conversation, share a joke or whatever. So yes, like everyone, I might want to meet the Queen, Albert Einstein or Nelson Mandela or any of the other people who usually run high on people’s lists. But they won’t be here. I don’t want to spout of a wants list of celebrities – whatever celebrity means today – just list people I come across in the media, on the internet or even in real life that strike me as “my kind of person”. Someone who – when they are all lined up shivering across the half way line – I would pick for my team.

One day maybe I should have a massive Come Dine With Me – and invite them all – I wonder if anyone would come.

So, in true X Factor style – in no particular order – the first person I’d like to meet is Marina Hyde. Marina is first and foremost a columnist in The Guardian newspaper, blogger on the Guardian website and I’ve recently seen her pop up on TV recently too.

Marina on Simon Cowell
Picture him as Sauron in the Second Age. Not yet "wholly evil", as ¬ Tolkien pointed out, though disturbingly adept at "corrupting other minds". "He made himself a great king in the midst of the earth," ran the Lord of the Rings author’s premonition of the X Factor overlord, "and was at first well-seeming and just and his rule was of benefit to all men in their needs of the body; for he made them rich, whoso would serve him. But those who would not were driven into the waste places . . .”
Eventually, of course, Cowell will resemble Sauron well into the Third Age, possibly shedding his corporeal form and appearing simply as a vast, unblinking eye – "that horrible growing sense of a hostile will that strove with great power to pierce all shadows of cloud, and earth, and flesh, and to see you: to pin you under its deadly gaze, naked, immovable".

She tackles news and entertainment equally with a cynical twist, what they usually call cutting and incisive, often saying what we really wanted to think but didn’t dare to – and getting to the heart of popular stories, whilst maintaining a sense of humour.