Hoo-boy, who’d a thunk that Ronnie Pickering would ever be given stiff competition in the Angry British Driver ranks when he went viral for incessantly shouting his name at a motorcyclist? Not me.
Yet here we are, looking at the postmortem of BBC producer Fergus Beeley’s road rage meltdown and thinking to ourselves, ‘… eh?’
Who could be so irate on a drizzly Saturday morning? Who could be so mad that they assault a random family and threaten them with arrest? Who could be workmates with Sir David Attenborough, the nicest guy since sliced bread, and come away from it so perplexingly angry?
Fergus Beeley, apparently.
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When video emerged of him yesterday going berserk and manhandling a fellow driver onto his own car, viewers reacted with both horror and amusement.
On one hand, what we see is alarming. It’s footage purporting to show a grown man berating a random family and their 11-year-old son, who sits in silence as Beeley screams blue murder into the ears of anyone who’ll listen.
On the other hand, it’s dead funny. Another trophy to add to the Internet’s mob of unmissable viewing.
First off, if you haven’t seen either video in full, have a gander at them side by side:
This twat assaulted me today! He works for David Attenborough! Fergus beeley find him! # citizens arrest pic.twitter.com/GZqNIqiH1Y
— Horace Beaumont (@BeaumontHorace) July 22, 2017
And now for Ronnie…
Now let’s try and answer the burning question: who’s harder?
Let’s start with off with style. Say you’re in a pub and it’s pretty late. Last orders have gone and everyone’s crippled by that niggling reality of a bedtime that’s just around the corner.
Two men, furious at the idea of going home to their wives to drink hot chocolate, square up to each other senselessly. It’s Fergus and Ronnie.
Who would you put your money on? In his own viral video, Ronnie Pickering deals in about five or six heated exchanges before offering the motorcyclist out in a bare knuckle fight.
But at the same time, he’s wearing shorts. Have you ever seen anyone who instills genuine fear wearing shorts, save maybe for Mike Tyson circa 1986?
Fergus Beeley is your standard smart casual every-man. While middle class and tidy, he’s not to be sniffed at. This could all be a front. Ric Flair used to wear a dressing gown into the ring after all.
When it comes to it, we’d probably choose Pickering cause he’s northern and full of pies.
This one is a total no-contest. Ronnie Pickering only asserted who he was, despite no-one outside of his family and friends knowing who he was.
His imagination was blinkered and his delivery nervous, whereas fewer people have so been confident of themselves in Fergus Beeley’s position – or as frank.
Pickering has the indignation of a pedestrian almost being run over on GTA; Beeley speaks like an unlockable Mortal Kombat character. ‘Get ready to die!’ Get. Ready. To. Fucking. Die. It’s a brief but beautiful glimpse into what a Tarantino film would be like if it was set on the M27 in Hampshire.
What’s more, Beeley is well into his hand gestures. Watching him wagging the finger at every Tom, Dick or Harry, it’s hard not to appreciate just how much the bloke is biting off his fork of whoop-ass.
Not one person is safe, and that includes the young lad in the back seat of the car. He’s played no part in whatever the fuck has happened but Beeley’s putting him under arrest anyway.
He’s going to Hell and he’s taking everyone with him.
Alright, so the obvious strength of Fergus Beeley is precisely just that; this is a man who can both talk the talk and walk the walk.
Ronnie Pickering’s verbal hammering of a stranger doesn’t mean jack-shit when compared to the physical daredevilry of Beeley.
He actually chokes a guy, albeit to no avail. Then he slings him onto his car. He knows he’s outnumbered. He knows he’s (probably) more than a few sheets to the wind. But it doesn’t stop him putting his own body on the line in the name of sensible driving.
Unfortunately, poor old Wonnie falls short here. Sure, he could possess the heavy hands of a prime Butterbean away from the confines of a seatbelt, but we never see it and thus cannot pit him against new kid on the block Fergus Beeley.
In terms of jobs, it’s a no-brainer. Fergus sits around a table before going out and filming stuff. Ronnie Pickering is a taxi driver. He could have Beeley on a leash.
Ronnie Pickering’s main, tragically unsolvable weakness is that he can’t roll his R’s for shit, meaning all of his threats – which just so happen to include his name – are rendered benign from the get-go.
Secondly, as mentioned before, he’s all talk and no action. Sure, he offers his enemy out for a fight over on the lawn across the street, but if he was genuine he’d get out of the car and fight the motorcyclist right there and then. For Christ sake, in his boxing days the guy was known as ‘One Punch Ronnie.’
He’s also very easily miffed when strangers can’t guess his name. Got a huge complex, old Ron.
Fergus’ weaknesses are that he definitely owns a coffee maker, has long hair (still enough to get you roasted in old age), is skinny and although aggressive, doesn’t seem very agile.
I reckon he’d be a sitting duck if you pulled up in a Subaru Impreza.
No matter how taken aback I am at Fergus Beeley’s tenacity, I just find it hard to picture him ever taking someone down as big as Ronnie Pickering.
He could get mouthy; probably throw a few big words out there, and maybe even temporarily intimidate him.
But if we’re talking about sheer, unadulterated violence, I think Fergus could run with his signature chokehold for a cool three seconds before getting laid out by ‘One Punch Ronnie’.