Here’s an illustration of how to theme your speech, as if the groom were applying to be on his favourite reality TV show
‘Ladies, Gentlemen, boys, girls… and Rob, it gives me great pleasure to be standing here today. In fact, I feel totally honoured to have the responsibility of ritually humiliating my best friend in front of those he loves.
‘Added to that, I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to talk with Rob in the room, safe in the knowledge that he can’t interrupt me. In the 15 years I’ve known him, this must be the first time that has ever happened. I think I should take complete advantage of the situation, don’t you?
‘I was thinking of how I could structure this speech. Then it struck me how much Rob loves reality TV shows like Big Brother and I’m a Has‐been, Vote to Keep Me in this Hell‐hole ‐ or whatever it’s called. So, I thought it might be fun to imagine what sort of things Rob would put on an application form for one of these shows [picks up clipboard]. Now let me see…’
‘Now, no matter what Rob does, he always maintains that he still feels like a 20‐year‐old. Sadly, the thinning hair and the paunch give him away.
‘Sex: Yes please. I don’t think I need add to that.
‘Skills: leadership, organisation and Bronze medal life‐saving.
‘I think Rob has had several important leadership roles in his life so far. He was, to all intents and purposes, the leader of our gang when we were kids. Sadly, under his leadership, we got into quite a bit of trouble. In fact, Rob was the youngest lad in our school to have a criminal record. Agadoo, by Black Lace, I believe it was.
‘Organisation is not really his strong point either. I remember at college he was president of the Real Ale Society and tasked with organising the annual Real Ale Soc Oompah Band Beer Festival. The hall was booked, the posters put up, the fliers handed out. The band turned up on time and even a few punters paid to get in. Unfortunately, the chairman ‐ our Rob ‐ had forgotten to bring the Real Ale Soc cheque book, so when the beer delivery arrived we couldn’t pay for it. Rob really couldn’t organise a piss‐up in a brewery.
‘And as for the Bronze medal life‐saving badge: Rob is very proud of it. So proud, in fact, that he appeared on holiday once with it sewn on his swimming trunks. Shame he was 23 at the time.
‘Hobbies and interests: windsurfing, chess, socialising and reading.
‘Now I know that Rob still thinks of himself as a bit of blade when it comes to windsurfing, despite not having donned his wetsuit for several years… well, he wore it on the stag weekend but that’s a different matter. He certainly knows the rules of chess but the last time I said “Check mate” to him, he replied: “I don’t owe you any money, do I?” A more accurate description of his idea of socialising would be: going to the pub ‐ any pub. And the only reading he does these days is the menu at the Taj Mahal, or the Racing Post.
‘Sum up in 50 words why you want to appear on the show: “I think I’d be a great contestant because I’m funny, intelligent, tolerant, a great leader, a fantastic team player and good with my hands.”
‘Mmm… where to start? I think I’d probably just add one word to that long list of glowing attributes and that’s “humble”.
‘So there you have it. That’s how I think Rob would fill in his application form and that’s how I think I would correct it. As for the show that Rob would most suit and do well on? Big Brother is out because he couldn’t handle life without TV. Survivor is a non‐starter because of his fear of spiders. (By the way, did you know that Rob is a closet Take the High Road fan? Didn’t miss one episode in three years of college.)
‘Ah! I’ve got it. It would have to be Pop Idol. Because Rob’s definitely one of the most popular guys I know. And he’s one of the most idle. Please be upstanding for the bride and groom. The bride and groom.’