T.O.A.D (460 Words)

A hush falls over the auditorium as a nervous looking young lady with wild eyes walks to the rostrum in the middle of the stage.

She clears her throat and taps on the microphone.

"Good morning gentlemen, my name is Zara Pentonville, Doctor Zara Pentonville, and today I will try to answer the age old question. Pj and Duncan and Ant and Dec, why do two men need four names?

Pj and Duncan first burst onto the scene in the early nineties as the stars of the children's drama Byker Grove. Their cheeky personalities shone through and won over the nation. They had a chart topping hit with 'Let's get ready to rumble'  a few mediocre albums and then . . .  Nothing.

They just vanished off the face of the earth. Normally we would attribute this to the age old fifteen minutes of fame rule but then they came back and not in the quirky 'whatever happened to such and such' fashion that befalls the cast of Grange Hill."

She pauses here, expecting a laugh from her audience then spies Luke Gardener in the front row and silently curses herself for not double checking the guest list.

Clearing her throat again she ploughs on.

"Anyway, they came back only now they were known as 'Ant and Dec' the duo were still inseparable, still cheeky rapscallions but they had a slightly more serious air to them. They no longer sang or danced and soon carved a niche as irreverent game show hosts.

We have seen similar behaviour from other Byker alumni but nothing on this scale. When you dig a little deeper into children's TV a lot of the young stars burn out and fade away. T-Shirt, Edward Fidoe, Simon the young lad who befriended a witch, Melanie and Martina Grant. The list is endless and tragic.

There is however an apparent get out clause, if you ditch your 'slave name' and are willing to face the public under your so called 'birth name' you stand a glimmer of hope of recapturing the fame of your youth. Ant and Dec are the trailblazers in this field and it is still very experimental. For every Tracy Beaker / Dani Harmer there are at least four Donna Air."

A ripple of laughter spreads across the crowd and Zara allows herself a smile and a sigh.

"There is however one very worrying individual who has ignored this pattern, someone who I believe presents us with the sort of threat we haven't seen since Lisa Riley's unexplainable rise to power."

Doctor Pentonville clicks a button on her key fob and an image of an emotionless blonde is beamed onto the rear wall. A shocked gasp envelops the crowd.

"Gentlemen I give you Fearne Cotton."

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