“I’m going to completely cover your eyes, nose and mouth and the whole of your face in this purple gunge. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to breathe through these two bits of rolled up paper which I’ll stick up your nostrils. Keep still, or you’ll block the airflow and remember that I won’t be able to see your face turning blue. Then I’ve got three minutes to apply strips of bandage to the paste before the whole mass hardens. After about ten minutes I should have a perfect mould of your face, which I’ll be able to use to make a latex model of your head”.
These very scary instructions were given by Alan Ward, the sculptor, who I’ve commissioned to make a life size model of Mr McGregor for my garden for the Gardening World Cup. We talked at some length about who to model Mr McGregor on. We looked at the pictures in the Peter Rabbit books and it was clear that we needed some-one who was wild and angry . But Alan knew that what we really needed was some-one daft enough to allow themselves to be encased in purple gunge. He suggested me. That was how I found myself being made into a Spitting Image latex model.
The cast was successfully made and Alan’s now going to take it to his holiday home in France, where he’s going to add white hair and a beard and dress me in a French linen nightshirt. And then, I hope, it will look a lot like Mr McGregor and not at all like me.