What would make 250 people turn up to an event on a lovely warm Saturday London evening in a church hall to watch a trio of three hated, far Right attention-seekers – if their profiles on the mainstream media are to be believed? Well, read on. (I was there with my grandfather, Roger Watson, who’s also a Daily Sceptic contributor.)
The Weekly Sceptic Live was on the evening of May 20th and was a live recording of the Weekly Sceptic, the regular podcast of the Daily Sceptic – with Nick Dixon, Toby Young and Will Jones – that comes out every Tuesday. (You can hear the latest episode here.) The event was sponsored by Car26 and held at the Emmanuel Centre in London, which is a fantastic venue. They booked the 250-seater auditorium and sold every seat. So it was a packed house.
There were concerns that the event might be disrupted. However, it went ahead as planned and they pulled it off. The format was similar to the podcast, with the biggest stories of the week first, followed by ‘Birdwatch’ where they talked about the latest Twitter news, and then everyone’s favourite section ‘Peak Woke’ (self-explanatory). This was followed by the biggest stories that have appeared in Daily Sceptic over the past few days, for which Will Jones took to the stage. A ‘special guest’ had been billed, but would he turn up?
Referring to Toby’s other podcast, London Calling, in which he appears with James Delingpole, Nick started the show by asking the audience which team they were on: ‘Team Nick’, ‘Team Toby’, or ‘Team James’? Surprisingly, there were a few who identified as ‘Team James’, but a lot identified as ‘Team Toby’ and, of course, everyone put their hand up for ‘Team Nick’. It was a great start and got the audience warmed up. I heard that Nick was nervous about the night, but I thought he smashed it. I was worried that some far Right or far Left people would ask questions at the end and try to spoil it, but if they were in the audience they kept quiet.
The first story the pair discussed was the latest Harry and Meghan drama, where they were apparently involved in a “near-catastrophic car chase” through Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Toby and Nick were sceptical. Toby made the point that it was impossible for the ‘chase’ to have lasted two hours, which the pair claimed. “As a man who lived in New York, I can tell you it takes 15 minutes to walk from one side of the Upper East Side to the other, let alone drive,” he said. Nick then pointed out that it was probably Harry and Meghan chasing the paparazzi, begging them to take their photograph, which was more believable.
They also discussed the recent National Conservatism conference, which Toby and Nick both attended, and talked about BBC Radio 4 losing 11% of its listeners in the past year. They blamed it on the fact that the it has been captured by evangelists for woke identity politics. Its presenters spend all their time scolding the listeners for being privileged white people, so it’s little wonder they’re switching off.
Then came ‘Birdwatch’ where they talked about Elon Musk’s latest TV interview in which he quoted the Princess Bride – or, rather, misquoted. As they were running behind schedule, they only covered one more story before moving on to ‘Peak Woke’.
Nick talked about the new Adidas advert in which a transwoman models a one-piece women’s swimsuit – an incredible marketing decision, given the recent scandal over Dylan Mulvaney endorsing Bud Light. Nick thought the only explanation is that Adidas is trying to make amends for having had such a close relationship with Kanye. He also mentioned the new Netflix Cleopatra documentary, which received a very poor ‘audience score’ on Rotten Tomatoes, something its producer, Jada Pinkett-Smith, blamed on ‘racism’. Cleopatra is played by a black actor, which led to accusations of ‘blackwashing’ by Netlfix and even to complaints from the Egyptian government because Cleopatra was, in fact, Greek.
Toby talked about obesity experts urging people to think of obesity as an illness – ‘chronic appetite dysregulation’ – which caused great hilarity. His final ‘Peak Woke’ was John Cleese being told by the actors at a run-through of the stage version of Life of Brian that the sketch in which an anti-Roman revolutionary says he wants to become a woman is too offensive to be included in the play. Toby pointed out that if the sketch doesn’t make it into the final production that will mean the woke church is now more powerful than the Christian church was in 1979 when Life of Brian was originally released.
Finally, they brought on the editor of the Daily Sceptic, Dr. Will Jones, to be interviewed for a short time, while Nick temporarily left the stage. They were running out of time, so only discussed two articles, one of which was a recent Israeli study of vaccine harms.
Then, to the great excitement of Toby, the special guest arrived. It was none other than Dr. Jordan Peterson – or, rather, Nick in a blond wig. He explained that he was only able to turn up at the last minute as he had choked on a vegetable, but had now recovered. Toby asked him some ‘complicated questions’ and Peterson was remarkably candid about his private collection of Soviet Realist art. It’s fair to say that Nick’s note perfect Peterson impression brought the house down, but he could only stay for a short time, so he left and then Nick came back on for the Q&A.
There were some good questions. One student claimed to be the youngest person in the room. I didn’t have the courage to stand up and contradict him, even though I’m pretty sure I was the youngest. He talked about how young people have been affected by the pandemic and I am glad he brought it up as I could empathise with him.
The evening was very entertaining and well-constructed. Everything went perfectly and I had the privilege of being able to have a drink with the hosts afterwards at the VIP Drinks Reception at a nearby restaurant. I have already met Toby, but I was able to meet Nick and Will. Nick was taken aback at how young I was, but Will has already heard of me as he edits my pieces such as the recent TRANSformers article. They are all nice people and I also met Josh, an occasional cartoonist for the Daily Sceptic, and Ian Dickinson who composed the excellent theme tune to the podcast, as well as all the stings.
The Weekly Sceptic Live was a huge success and they must do it again. But next time they should hire the bigger auditorium at the Emmanuel Centre which holds 900 people.
Jack Watson, who’s 14, has a Substack newsletter called Ten Foot Tigers about being a Hull City fan. You can subscribe here.
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