Take Two with Colin Drury

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So, that’s where Stuart Holmes got to...

Sheffielders may (or, more likely, may not) have wondered what happened to the anti-smoking protester who, during the Eighties and Nineties, would arrive in the city every year to campaign against cigarette company Embassy sponsoring the Snooker World Championship.

Last week, they got their answer: he’s there, live on ITV1, having a fight.

Stuart – who, back in the day, would keep a two-week vigil outside The Crucible – was seen holding an anti-nuclear placard while political spin doctor Damian McBride was interviewed on Daybreak. That was until McBride’s publisher Iain Dale took umbrage and attempted to wrestle him out of shot, leading to the pair rolling about on the floor like a pair of schoolgirls having a spat. For comedy value, Stuart’s dog bit them both on the arse.

Still, it’s all part of the rough and tumble of protest – and Stuart should know. The Star once reported how he’d so irked Cliff Wilson, the snooker ace had thrown him over the bonnet of his car.


And talking of anti-smoking campaigns, nice to see Sheffield Wednesday are offering free match tickets to people trying to quit.

Rather a pointless initiative, though a colleague and Hillsborough regular reckons. “Forty-five minutes watching that shambles and you’ll be back on the fags by half time,” he says. “And with increased blood pressure to boot.”


And it was an appropriately smoky anniversary this weekend: 60 years since Attercliffe was declared the most polluted district in the country. Some 45 tons of soot per square mile were recorded there on September 29, 1943 – a 50 per cent increase from 1939.

The Ministry of Fuel and Power said World War Two had made the rise unavoidable, although not everyone suffered. In the city’s affluent west end, pollution actually went down during the conflict.