Letters From London
Humorous Views on London Culture, Royals, Gossip and Politics
Alien Concepts - 21 May 2010

Official mascots, Dave and Nick:

“Mandeville or Wenlock? Which one do you want to be today, Nick?”

“Oh PM, you choose. Aren’t you worried the Miliband brothers will be out and about before us?”

“Hmmm. Perhaps I should be. But firstly. What tie are you wearing? Secondly. On what side are
you wearing your part?”

“I’m going with the blue one and parting on the left, Dave.”

“No Nick. Not the blue one two days in a row.”

“Then I’ll be Wenlock today. Not to worry; the blue one is Manville.”

“But Mandeville represents the Paralympics and seriously Nick, it suits you better than me. Drops
of steel, drops of steel. Perfect. What if we have Boris dressed as Wenlock riding circles around
Sarkozy when he comes next month. Ha ha. We wouldn’t want Nicolas to forget we won the bid
would we. Rule Britannia!”

These ‘one-eyed’ little steel drops of alien smurfdom come with an historic pedigree. No really.
Much Wenlock and Stoke Mandeville apparently have an important place in Olympic history. In
1890 the modern Olympics founder Baron Pierre de Coubertain was inspired after watching
games at Much Wenlock in Shropshire, while Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire was
the birthplace of the Paralympics founded by neuro-surgeon Sir Ludwig Guttman.

Now you know. But how much will it change the public’s negative reaction? Forty focus groups
were shown the creatures. Focus groups in Russia? Olympic organisers expects to make £15m
from these first synthetic life self-replicating species. Guards will be posted in all school to
prevent young children from going home until they have bought least a T-shirt, a tea towel or a
mug. Older children must have a tattoo.

The public has been holding its collective breath in anticipation of British cool, edgy creativity. It
has only had that uninspired/uninspiring London 2012 Olympic homage to Malevich logo to feel
proud of…unless anybody in their right mind would want to recall that double-decker bus cringe-
making mess at the last Olympics. Blank it out…quickly. Unfortunately these bouncing drops of
steel seem silly, regardless of their back story.

The Cyclops is meant to be a camera, needed to photograph all the people they are set to
annoy and that yellow light on the top of their heads is inspired by London taxis. Really.

At the final Olympic ceremony Wenlock and Mandeville will be dropped from the viewing platform
of that Anish Kapoor £19m colossal folly funded by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal for the Olympic
Park. Unfortunately without proper vision, the two drops of steel won’t be able to enjoy the view
and without mouths the two drops of steel won’t be able to squeal.

Lord Coe told children: “…we made the mascots for you because we want them to be a
friend…go on line…start talking to them….” Scary.
Where are those Telatubbies?