The unofficial Nat and Anna Parker fansite

Minister for make-believe
The Times
Patrick Kidd
31 January 2019

Gavin Williamson seems to confuse acting with real life. When he was chief whip, the defence secretary took his team to see the James Graham political drama This House and was excited to be invited backstage afterwards and meet Nathaniel Parker, who played a young Bernard Weatherill, the Tory deputy chief whip who ended up as Speaker. Parker, a lifelong Labour voter, said at the Costa Book Awards that Williamson seemed to think that because he played a Conservative whip, he must support the party.

A bit later, Parker was invited by friends in the Labour party to watch PMQs from the gallery where, to the actor’s great embarrassment, Williamson spotted him and excitedly waved from the Tory front bench like a schoolboy spotting the ice-cream man.

Parker also educated Jack, my flunkey, at the Costa awards by telling him that champagne should always be drunk from a bigger glass than a flute. A man from Dom Pérignon had told him so. “Won’t it allow the bubbles to escape quicker?” Parker had asked. He got a strange look and the rebuke: “Why would you drink it slowly enough to let the bubbles escape?”

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