Nick Clegg, now of course the Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Sheffield Hallam, came to the Crucible in the build-up to the 2010 General Election and gave what was widely acknowledged to be a cringe-worthy speech full of weak snooker-based puns about reds, blues and yellows. There were even some boos, and that was when he still fairly popular, and before the whole reneging on the tuition fees pledge.
Clegg was, it is understood, invited once again this year but early responses indicated he would not be coming to the Sheffield theatre again before this General Election. Wicked rumour-mongers were left speculating that this might be for fear of a far rougher ride in the tiny arena with no hiding place from a public with a long memory, and Clegg not guaranteed to hold his seat. All Liberal Democrat spokespeople asked to comment on the real reasons felt unable to do so.