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TableTalks is a national collection of conversations… born out a bunch of friends’ desire to talk and share opinion about stuff that matters and occasionally stuff that doesn’t much.

Our friends
Peter Boughton – his words
Kate Bamber – her pictures
Richard Brett – his beard
Richard Upton – immaculate Tweed
Philippa King – her panache
Sam Gregory at Wise Buddah for his nifty dance moves
The Bell Inn - for being our inspiration

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The Bell In Ticehurst
February 21st "This house believes you are kidding Mrs Merkel"
March 21st "This house believes in passing the parenting test"
April 18th "This house believes charity is a convenient crutch"

The Sir Richard Steele Belsize Park London
February 14th "This house believes we should come together"
March 14th "This house believes the kids are alright"
April 11th "This house believes in the event of the end of the World we should save no-one"

The Warrington Maida Vale London
February 13th This house believes that perfect love is rare indeed
March 13th This house believes the kids are alright
April 10th This house believes beauty is the beast


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Need To Know

None of our guests get paid
(they get £20 expenses and some dinner)
No-one pays to come and watch
None of the guests are elected party officials
There are no microphones
Nothing is recorded or broadcast
There is a host and 6 guest speakers who get 2 minutes un interrupted to respond to the motion
The floor is invited to get stuck in
The debates are an hour long with a vote at the end
The next debate is announced at the end

This house believes if you wanna keep your soul, don’t play the chords of fame

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This house believes if you wanna keep your soul, don’t play the chords of fame

  • The Grasshopper Inn – November 1st 2012

    “This house believes if you wanna keep your soul, don’t play the chords of fame”

    Eddy Temple Morris / Dean Piper / Sue Atkins / Martel Maxwell

    Motion carried
  • Imagine for a moment, a dream. It’s a dream shared by millions these days it seems – a dream about you, Yes – you walking through a sea of faces, you bathed in flashlights – impossibly beautiful –impossibly you. You glide across red carpets and slip between the pages of a million glossy magazines. You’re trending at this moment. #You. You’re sexy but untouchable, mysterious, you matter. You’ve evolved – you’re beyond human – you’re an idea, a dream – a brand. People want to walk like you do, talk like you do, think like you do – they want to be you. Fickle Fame - in the words of Morrissey – can play hideous tricks on your brain – but still it seems nowadays that many people would rather be famous, than righteous, or clever – or to continue Mozza’s line of thought – holy.

    Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. He was wrong. Through the wonders of Twitter and Facebook – everyone IS famous for fifteen seconds, fifteen times a day to their fifteen x fifteen x fifteen followers. Nothing more lonely these days than the un-‘liked’ status update or clocking the un follow counter.

    But what of the professionally ‘famous’ in this joined-up culture? What of the Katonas, Kardashians and Katie Prices of this world? We seem to reserve a special corner of our guilty consciences for them – utter contempt combined with an insatiable appetite. We might sneer in disgust as their latest drug / sex/ marriage / baby / cancer scandal is smeared across another headline – but in truth we can’t get enough of them.
  • Of course, post-Leveson enquiry, it has become more than apparent that there’s something of a hierarchy in the world of the famous. The reality stars who have taken the devil’s shilling are not the same as J.K. Rowling, Hugh Grant, Charlotte Church. These people, it seems, are entitled to their privacy. And of course, who wasn’t outraged by the litany of tales of paparazzi stalking, by the stories of men with long lenses lurking in the shadows outside school gates?
    Isn’t this just snobbery? Haven’t they all benefitted in one way or the other from the public’s curiosity? Are careers forged through the machinery of multi-billion dollar media conglomerates any less artificial than the gloriously naff performance that is The Only Way is Essex?

    Two hundred years ago, one of the world’s first reality stars fled across Europe from a scandal hungry public. It’s hard to imagine now, but he was more famous than Michael Jackson in his day. Even as he fled, tourists stopped him in the street – pointed, gawped. And even as he hid, he continued to write and publish work that was largely about himself, and largely about himself indulging in super-human promiscuity. Amongst a number of famous poems that are not so widely read these days outside of schools and Universities – Byron left us a memorable thought about fame and celebrity:

    “What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little”

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