One of the most satisfying contributions of Web 2.0 to modern life is the facility to instantly research people on Television and resolve common arguments such as "
are they older than me?". It adds an extra sofa-based dimension to otherwise fairly mundane programmes.
Last Friday evening I honed in on Joe Swift, the follically-challenged garden designer from Gardener's World on BBC2. This programme is but a pale imitation of the one presided over by the great Geoff Hamilton, and Swift is a relative lightweight with his semi-cockernee vowels and faux-bonhommie. It's obvious from his gurning bish-bosh luverly jubberly style to camera that he fancies his chances as the Jamie Oliver of Soil.
So from whence did he spring, this slaphead son of the sods? Pass me the iPad if you please, and gather round, this may surprise you. It certainly surprised me.
Turns our little Joe’s Mum is none other than "Dame Margaret Drabble, Lady Holroyd, DBE FRSL (born 5 June 1939) - English novelist, biographer and critic." That would make his Auntie Antonia, A.S.Byatt, who doesn't speak to his mum anymore after a fall-out over a family tea set.
And who is Joe’s Dad?
Step forward actor Clive Swift, aka Richard Bucket, the long-suffering screen husband of Hyacinth in Roy Clake’s "Keeping Up Appearances". He was married to la Drabble from 1960 to 1975.
Bish Bosh - luvverly!