Saturday, 25 February 2012
What can I say about Gregg Jevin that hasn't already been said? Nothing. Yesterday morning, Gregg Jevin, a man I had just made up sadly died and the worldwide outpouring of grief was as vast as it was unexpected. But that's Gregg all over. Even death and the fact he never existed could stop him from making a splash.
I think it's fair to say that I am the only person that was ever intimate with Gregg. Just before I tweeted the news of his death there was a brief moment, a fleeting second, where I was the only person in the world who knew him and no one on this earth knew that I knew him. For just one beautiful instant Gregg and I were alone. Together. He made me smile during that moment and I was happy having him around. That was when I knew I had to give him up. Gregg was too...beautiful to keep to myself and when the tributes started trickling in I quickly realised that other people saw the same beauty in Gregg that I did. Plus I realised that I had no idea who Gregg Jevin was at all.
If reports are to be believed, and they shouldn't be after all, Gregg had hundreds of jobs. He was a tightrope walker, a spy, a singer, a former Prime Minister, a priest...the list goes on and all this information was given to me by regular people around the UK who had been touched by Gregg's phenomenal and staggeringly brief life. Most people agreed that Gregg was a comedian despite me never once saying that he was. Even The Guardian claimed that Gregg was a comic (http://tinyurl.com/7qqb5tq) and why wouldn't The Guardian want to get involved? Thousands of other people were. Yes, tedious ordinary people loved Gregg but soon our beloved celebrities would be showing how much Gregg meant to them. Danny Baker said "Imagine the band Gregg is playing with in Heaven now!", Charlie Brooker was "Devastated by the loss of Gregg Jevin", 6Music discus jockey Lauren Laverne said "Wondering if I should play some of Gregg Jevin's band's music in his memory as well. Any suggestions?" and actor Hugh Bonneville cried "So long, Gregg Jevin. I always believed in you". Even the Radio Times itself, so wracked with grief and confusion, stopped everything to announce a change in our television schedule: "And we know you all be watching tribute programme Oh Well, Never Mind: The Gregg Jevin Story, 9:30pm, BBC2".
The list of names went on and on but not on and on and on. Danny Wallace, Dara O Briain, The Royal Albert Hall, Peter Serafinowicz, Huey Morgan, Waterstones Bookshop, Tim Burgess from The Charlatans, Rebecca Front, sport man Colin Jackson, Ian Rankin....the names were just lining up to give their thoughts on this great and fabricated man. It was overwhelming. Certainly by the time Graeme Garden posted "His performances I saw were effortless. I wish he'd tried at least a bit" I was overjoyed, so happy that Gregg meant so much to so many. I think, if you know me, you can imagine how filled with emotion I was when Colin Baker, the 6th Doctor, revealed this: "I got down to the last 2 for the double of The Ghost/Osric on tour in 1972. Gregg Jevin got it. I could have had his career".
But it was the ordinary folk who really made it all special. Although nowhere near as important as Colin Baker, they managed to make yesterday a celebration rather than a bereavement. Half an hour after I broke the news, Gregg Jevin was the 2nd most trending topic on Twitter in the UK. Within an hour Gregg was number one and number three worldwide at the same time. Message after message revealing stories of how Gregg changed people's lives. People were writing poems about him, making t-shirts with his name on it, writing songs about him. Someone even set up a Mrs Gregg Jevin Twitter account, a joke that will never stop no matter how unfunny it clearly is. And why? Because people loved Gregg and they wanted the world to know. Perhaps it was because they just realised they knew him, perhaps it was because some of us think that when someone dies it's a time for quiet relection rather than an excuse to post a sad face and retweet YouTube clips constantly? Who can tell? Whatever it was one thing was clear: Gregg inspired us all yesterday. I think that's what I like about the man most. Unlike characters like Mr Darcy or Chief Brody from Jaws, Gregg Jevin wasn't content with being fictional. Yes, I could have easily just not tweeted that Gregg Jevin had sat on his keys to death and he'd just have stayed locked in my mind but I knew that wasn't right as soon as I invented him. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.
What I'm trying to say is, thanks for yesterday. You restored some faith. There are now loads of links to Gregg. Just Google him and find out more.
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