• Thomas Godfrey

Do you remember? When Matt Hancock tried Karaoke.

Something just feels strange about Matt Hancock. It’s as if he’s a robot who shows brief glimpses of human qualities.

In many ways, he’s like a regenerated fighter from Jean Claude Van Damme’s ‘Universal Solider’. He takes commands without question, his memory wiped of all the disparaging things he said about his boss whilst he briefly harboured his own hopes of becoming Prime Minister before realising the skills needed were broader than being “good at apps” (although even this skill is under threat from the still unreleased track and trace app). But, like a T-series soldier, Hancock sometimes lapses into his past life as a real human being - sometimes laughing at Kay Burley (we all have), or remembering his 13 year old son exists. Another one of these moments was at the Conservative party conference in 2017, when Hancock took to the stage not to speak, but to sing.

It seems when the Health Secretary isn’t setting himself targets that are then met in suspicious circumstances, or isn’t doing parkour (that’s for another time), you can find the Cambridge graduate at your local (closed) bar’s karaoke machine belting out Queen’s classic “don’t stop me now”. We really wish someone had stopped him.

With as many false notes as a Neil Ferguson paper, the then 38 year old’s performance was captured by the presumably deaf former Guido Fawkes and now Buzzfeed journalist Alex Wickham. In the process, someone shouts for “Ant Middleton” to get on stage, thankfully even Middleton - famed for ignoring Coronavirus and still hugging fans at airports - wasn’t stupid enough to associate himself with the then Culture Secretary’s cultural appropriation of genuinely talented people.

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Somehow, it feels like Hancock may not be repeating this performance. Not because he doesn’t want to sing again (no matter how much everyone else thinks it would be better if he hung up the microphone for good), but because mass gatherings are still off the table until his track and trace system is fully operational - something experts have said may not happen until late autumn.

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