NORMAN Tebbit was given a guard of honour by Millwall supporters because they liked his Spitting Image puppet so much, he has revealed.
Lord Tebbit, 89, said the drunken fans at first surrounded him on a train after seeing their team lose at Liverpool.
The former Tory Party chairman said he feared trouble — but the popularity of his thuggish puppet on the satirical TV show was his saviour.
He said: “It was that combination of being willing to use violence and emerging the winner that made him appealing to the bovver boys.
“I was recognised and there were cries of ‘Where’s your bike, Norm?’ and ‘Where’s your Spitting Image?’
“At the time the government was denationalising British Rail and some of them raised the matter.
“I tried to explain that while BR needed huge investment, its demand would always be pushed out of the Government’s spending plans in favour of the NHS or defence.
“I was not winning the argument – until there was a shout of ‘You’re right, Norm! They’ve run out of beer – only a nationalised pub would run out of beer on a Saturday night’.
“I returned to my compartment with a half-bottle of BR red wine to while away the journey.
Once back in London, he said, the fans insisted on escorting him to a cab while singing a song they had made up called “In Praise of Norm”.
A new series of the satirical puppet show airs this autumn.
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