It's official - Alison Perkins of Grimsby has been declared the UK's wackiest person. And nineteen-year-old Alison, currently studying drama at the University of Pointless Academia in Sheffield, was delighted when she received the news.
"Of course, I'm not really all that surprised that they chose me," Alison told us recently. "I mean, you just ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that I'm totally crazy! No, but really, I'm just mad! Some of the things I get up to would make you howl. No, but seriously, it's really good to get an award like this. It means a great deal."
Alison once went to school with a traffic cone on her head, as a dare
Each year this prestigious title is awarded to the person whose madcap antics most impress the judges. The distinguished panel of professional nutters award points for unpredictability, uncontrolled loquaciousness, and general all-round zaniness. Competition this time around was particularly tight, with the general level of lunacy at an all-time high, but Alison emerged as the clear winner.
"Actually, I can't take all the credit myself," she graciously admits. "The gang I hang out with are pretty loopy guys. There's six or seven of us and we usually get into all sorts of scrapes. Let me take this opportunity to give a big shout out to my posse. There's my best friend Gemma, who's just about as mad as I am! Then there's Helen, who is the original wild and crazy girl! There's Kirsten and Charlotte - or as we like to call them, the terrible twins! Actually, they're not really twins, and they're not all that terrible, but, well... you know... Oh, and then there's Loony Lisa! She's Helen's cousin. We don't really know her that well, she's only been out with us a couple of times. And last, but by no means least, there's Sharon, who's totally mental! Actually, she really is mental - she's got some sort of brain condition or something. Anyway, they must dread it when we all go out, 'cause we're an absolute nightmare!"
Alison once ate ten packets of Cheesy Wotsits at a Party in Norwich
So what is it about Alison that sets her above the other candidates? We asked her to tell us about some of the wacky stunts and manic mishaps that have made her Britain's number one funster.
"Oh, where do I start?" she says, rolling her eyes skyward. "I tell you, we're just mad, we are. We've done it all. And of course, being the ringleader, I get saddled with the blame for everything. People dread it when they see me coming, 'cause they never know what's going to happen next. You name it, we've done it - twice." She giggles to herself. We press her for a few examples. "Ah well," she says. "That would be telling, wouldn't it? Let's just say that I have to keep quiet about certain things to protect the innocent. But I tell you what - a couple of years ago we did this thing for Comic Relief, and it was just MAD! We did a sponsored sit in a bath full of ravioli - 'cause most people normally do it in baked beans, don't they? Well, it being us, we had to go and do something just a little bit different, didn't we? It was just mental! Obviously, I didn't actually sit in the bath of ravioli myself, because I have this sensitive skin thing, but I did help design the posters. There was supposed to be a outside broadcast crew coming round and we were going to be live on the TV, but in the end they went and covered a naked bungee jump instead. Disappointing, but it was for charity, after all, which was a really good thing."
Alison got drunk on half a bottle of scotch after her first boyfriend dumped her
This disappointment aside, Alison still has her sights set on stardom, and hopes one day to work as a professional nuisance on children's television. It's a far cry from her traditional Lincolnshire roots.
"Well yes," she says, "that's quite true. But I think I'm a natural - I've got just the right sort of bubbly personality to be a presenter, and I'm good with children, so I think I stand a really good chance. If I'm successful, I'll be the first celebrity in our family, which is something of an achievement. Actually, that's not strictly true - I did have an uncle who had his picture printed in a national newspaper, but we don't really like to talk about that. Both my parents, of course, follow very traditional careers. Mummy does a couple of hours a day in the local shop, and Daddy works in a factory. But don't get me wrong, I think what Daddy does is terribly important. Manufacturing is actually vital to the economy, you know, which is something that I think a lot of people don't fully realise. For instance, if it wasn't for the manufacturing industry, we wouldn't be able to go out and buy things like shoes, and CDs, and mobile phones. Just imagine that! Daddy's job is vital to the economy! He doesn't make shoes, though, he makes components for jet engines, but I believe that things like that are every bit as important as footwear."
When she was 12, Alison was sick on her sister's coat, then blamed the dog
Well, now that Alison has been presented with this award, she's sure to be one step closer to her goal. But will it signal a change of pace for her, or is there yet more wackiness to come?
Alison regularly drinks coffee with three sugars, even though she knows it's bad for her
"Oh, you'd better believe it!" Alison tells us with obvious relish. "Me and my girls are crazy to the bone and you can be sure that there are plenty more madcap laughs to be had. If you really want to know how out-of-control we can be, then come along to the Mega-Bowl with us. We usually go there on Tuesday evenings, because it's student night and it's half price. You should come. We have an absolutely mental time - it's a really good night out. Especially with us, because we just cause havoc. I'm surprised the management don't throw us out, we're so outrageous. Come along. Go on, it'll be a good night. There'll be loads of people there. It'll be great. Go on... please..."
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