If you're Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, you man up and step into the breach, that's what. When the person with the 6pm slot failed to arrive for their hour-long turn on the fourth plinth yesterday, organisers quickly called Nairne, beseeching him to fill the gap. He was only too happy to oblige, and spent his sixty minutes sketching a panorama of the view from up top. This is the first time a plinther has no-showed, but with 2,400 places during the artwork's run, it probably won't be the last. Perhaps the One & Other organisers should arrange a special pool of "emergency" back-up folk who can step in last-minute? There are hundreds of former Big Brother housemates or long-forgotten Z-listers who'd jump at the chance of reminding people who they are, even if it's only to groups of tourists and uninterested pigeons. Or if they wanted to go high class, the occupants of that palace down the other end of the Mall who might be interested — just tell them it's a 21st century version of It's A Royal Knockout.
Last Updated 09 July 2009