Alastair Stewart: Diversion Ahead!

I watched the first election debate last night and suddenly remembered that Alastair Stewart exists! It’s amazing who you forget when you don’t have access to a television.

If you’re not sure who Alastair Stewart is, you’ll probably recognise him as the host of Police Camera Action! – yes, you really do need to shout “Action!” as the title suggests – and as the anchor of the ITV Lunchtime News where news doesn’t just report, it tells you seek refuge behind your sofa and await further instructions. He’s the guy you half expect to say, “Now that’s good journalism!” after every link he presents.

When he’s presenting the ITV Lunchtime News, he’s generally sat next to a nodding female co-host, whose sole purpose is to look concerned and serious at the same time. I imagine Stewart requests a new female co-host every other three days or so because they never seem to stick around for very long. Either Stewart’s difficult to work with or he’s going around London chatting up women and telling them he could get them a gig on the ITV Lunchtime News. Probably both, I imagine.

Lately, after watching some Police Camera Action! repeats, I’ve found myself becoming increasingly concerned by the amount of room he’s got in his trousers. No man should ever have that much room in their trousers, and I’m not commenting on what’s inside his trousers. No, the man’s evidently got enormous testicles if he’s able to deliver the bombastic lines only he could deliver. It’s simply the amount of space he’s got around his groin area that bothers me. It’s massive. He could fit two watermelons down there! It’s just weird.

But in a way, his inflated chino parachute pants add to the whole Stewart experience: the facial expression, the slow walk towards the camera, the over the top way he delivers completely ridiculous statistics – you know what you’re getting when you hire Alastair to present your cheaply made crime programme.

There are so many excellent Police Camera Action! moments. My favourite consists of Stewart signing off to the camera before driving away so quickly the road literally ignites with poorly rendered computerised flames. Another episode saw Alastair talking to the camera while driving, before suddenly losing control of the wheel and crashing into a barrier. The camera then panned out to reveal the crashed vehicle with Stewart next to it; now slowly walking toward the camera and commenting on dangerous driving.

Another excellent episode closed with a thought provoking piece on cars turning around set to that awful “You’ve gotta turn around!” song. I can only imagine the producer just liked the song or something: “Yeah, we’ll chuck that in, we can do a feature on turning around or somethin’… What? It’s a good song!”

Oh, and I couldn’t possibly forget the image of Stewart delivering his opening monologue suspended from a fucking crane! There he was, just swinging backwards and forwards for no real reason, informing the viewer on the dangers of wreckless driving.

Just look at that expression. That expression never leaves Alastair’s face. He’s incapable of expressing anything other than whatever it is that face is trying to express. You can bet that’s the expression he uses when he’s making love to his wife, while he’s receiving a painful root canal and when he’s releasing his bowels. The man is a rock. An over the top news rock.

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