For many of our 18 years we have asked and answered the question: who is the most quintessential brummie of the moment. As we celebrate the moment of our 18th birthday, it’s time once again to crown a new champion for our city.
We didn’t announce a Brummie of the year in 2020 because… Covid, I guess. Shall we say it was Covid? It was Covid. But the thing is, The Brummie of the Year, the award itself, was always there waiting patiently… much like this year’s winner. Step forward (fourth) man of the hour, Nigel Boyle, aka Ian Buckells off of the very brummie telly bollocks Line of Duty.
He was there in 2020, when you were so busy looking for toilet roll you didn’t stop to ask “who is the best of us?”.
He was there in 2019 when you thought we’d forgotten about this feature but we said it was Stephen Duffy.
You didn’t see him much between that and Kevin McCloud’s controversial crowning in 2015 but he was there somewhere,—probably playing golf. How about back in 2005 when we gave it to a Red Panda? He was around, serving beer to underage kids in The Inbetweeners.
So why Nigel Boyle? And why now?
Nigel is as brummie as they come, that’s a given, but here’s the sizzle reel for how he embodies brummie ambition and attitude as it is today in 2021:
- His signature character, Ian Buckells, never blew his own trumpet. He just quietly got on with being a bit crap until he was in charge of… well everything. The OCG. Major police investigations. All of it, and he always looked a little worried about it all and like he hoped you’d fuck off and leave him alone a bit. That’s hardcore brummie posturing.
- Buckells turned out to be the final boss in long running police procedural The Line of Duty, which is Birmingham to its core. Crimes in the first series took place on our estates and in the old Aston fire station—and the original AC12 mezzanine leans were near the escalator that goes both ways in Millennium Point.
- For extra brummie points, the show moved production for its later seasons (following the public money trail that had probably brought it here in the first place). How brummie is that?
- Despite being filmed in Belfast, the reality of the show remained in a sort of Birmingham of the imagination (you can still maps of Sutton Coldfield Constituency, where someone got merced in season 1, hanging on the investigation wall right at the end)
- Nigel, who was born in Moseley, trained at Birmingham School of Acting (now part of Birmingham Conservatoire) and is so proud of his city right now
- As far as we can tell, Nigel has buggered off to London. 100 Brummie points, our kid.
So that’s why it should be Nigel. As to why it should be now…we’ve got a book to sell, to be honest, and we needed your attention for 5 minutes.
Is this controversial? Maybe. Is it satisfying? If it’s not then you’ve not really been paying attention. Ian Buckells is the best of us, in a lot of ways, and Nigel Boyle is Ian Buckells, Fourth Man, H, and Brummie of the Year. Definately.