Barry's odd view of the name 'Chris'
Second to none in my admiration for Dame Edna Everage, I was naturally as saddened as anyone to learn of her impending retirement from the stage. Mind you, I couldn’t help wondering last week whether her alter ego Barry Humphries was beginning to show signs — how can I put this politely? — of a distorted view of the way things are.
This came from my reading of the Life glossy magazine that came with my copy (and, indeed, everyone else’s copies) of The Spectator. It featured Humphries’s appreciation — as “one to watch” of the comedian Chris Lilley.
The piece began as follows: “The first thing I like about Chris Lilley is his name. He’s not a Jimmy, or a Billy, or even a Barry. It’s not a diminutive, it’s a proper name, a grown-up name.”
Except actually that it isn’t. A diminutive is precisely what ‘Chris’ is — and I write as someone with experience in this area.
If Mr Lilley were not a Christopher, then I suppose he might conceivably have been a Christian. But he is a Christopher (“Christopher Daniel Lilley, born November 10, 1974, Sydney, Australia,” as Wikipedia tells us).
I wondered if Mr Humphries, who was a notorious practical joker in his youth, could have been playing a prank of some sort over this. If so, then his victims are the sub-editors at the Speccie who are made to look foolish for not spotting so obvious a howler.