Screaming Lord Sutch

Screaming Lord Sutch, despite having no connection with the peerage, was known for his horror-themed stage show, dressing as Jack the Ripper pre-dating the shock rock antics of Alice Cooper. He headlined with John and Yoko and the Plastic Ono band, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Bo Diddley among others at the 1969 Rock n’ Roll Revival in Toronto but he also had a lasting impact on the British electoral system.

During the 1960s, Screaming Lord Sutch often ran as representative of the National Teenage Party. By 1983, he founded the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (we guess because he was no longer a teenager). After he polled several hundred votes in Margaret Thatcher’s riding in 1983, the deposit paid by candidates was raised from £150 to £500. Many people feel that his most significant contribution to politics came at the Bootle by-election in 1990. He gained more votes than the candidate of the Continuing Social Democratic Party (SDP) led by former Foreign Secretary David Owen. Within days after the election defeat the SDP dissolved itself. Sutch suffered from depression and committed suicide in June 1999, following the death of his mother the previous year.  Politics has been a boring, droll event in Britain ever since. Archival footage of Lord Sutch is included in the film and no doubt a long list of people still alive have colourful memories of him.