Jeremy Vine has been kept in a cruel and artificial state of pre-election arousal for nearly three weeks, human rights campaigners have claimed. Usually after an election like the mayoral/council one in May, Vine is brought slowly and safely to a ‘soft landing’ by sharing a thermos of tea and a chat about 80’s hits with Ken Bruce.
However, with the In/Out referendum coming hard on the heels of the May vote, the presenter’s state of excitement has been artificially extended by a team of ‘fluffers’, whose job it is to maintain Vine’s election readiness by teasing him with statistics from unusually close results and controversial exit polls.
BBC sources said it is cheaper and more effective to keep Vine aroused in this way given the short period between the two votes: ‘Powering him down with a game of scrabble then powering him up, almost immediately, using images of Edwina Currie doesn’t make sense. It puts a strain on his swingometer and could mean he peaks too early’.
The BBC has made available archive video of the exciting 1962 Orpington by election for Mr Vine’s bedroom DVD player. A source inside BBC’s Inside Politics said: ‘In an emergency we can show Jeremy a documentary about the 1886 Ashton Under Lyne election, which is almost unbearably exciting for a man of Jeremy’s taste. It’s the only case where the top two parties polled exactly the same amount. The suspense at the count was agonising. The ‘money shot’ is when the returning officer takes matters into his own hands and makes the casting vote, but we’d only show Jeremy the ending in an emergency.’
Listeners to Mr Vine’s Radio 2 show have remarked that he sounds ‘over-excited’, particularly when talking all over the intro of a Duran Duran number about ‘blue on blue action’.