Monster Raving Loony 'adds colour'
Before parliamentary candidate Jon Dixon heads down to the election count on May 7, he will slip on a dress, apply more than just a smear of lipstick and adjust his stockings.
As the Official Monster Raving Loony Party's hopeful for Hove and Portslade in East Sussex, pantomime dame Jon - known as Jolyon Dixon - is one of the election's more colourful characters.
He's honest and upfront both about his slim chances of success and the robustness of his party's policies. He admits he is running for Parliament on a platform of "undeliverable nonsense".
The party's proposals include introducing "subsidised moustache waxing" and handing out "good quality fake moustaches" for people unable to grow facial fuzz. And he plans to rename the month of June as Fred Dineage.
Dame Dixon, 42, knows he has no chance of winning a seat won with a 1,868 majority at the 2010 election by the Conservatives' Mike Weatherley.
But the actor is hoping to clinch at least a few votes by convincing the public to "Don't be lame, vote Dame" - and keep alive the traditional element of eccentricity in British politics.
Dressed in his panto dame outfit and full make-up, Dame Dixon said at his flat: "I'm standing on a ticket of fun, magic and frocks.
"The whole ethos of the Monster Raving Loony Party is undeliverable nonsense. We are the only party that can promise we're not going to deliver on any of our policies - because they are all absolute rubbish.
"We have a load of policies. My personal ones include introducing Monopoly money as legal tender for one day a year, but you have to guess which day.
"On immigration, anyone called Ronnie will only be allowed into the country in twos. And every Friday people will be able to wear a frock to work. Vince Cable will love that."
The Official Monster Raving Loony Party is fielding 16 parliamentary candidates, including Baron Von Thunderclap (Mid Sussex), Hairy Knorm Davidson (Faversham and Mid Kent) and the party's leader Howling Laud against Boris Johnson in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
Dame Dixon is refreshingly honest for a political candidate about his hopes of success next month, saying: "My chances are probably zero, verging on minus.
"You get thrown out of the party if you have your deposit returned. We are a party not looking for success, so very similar to the Lib Dems in that respect."
Dame Dixon, who will star in Beauty and the Beast at the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl later this year, said the key was to inject some colour and fun into politics.
"Everyone is bored rigid by the election," he said. " We've all had enough. We're all bored of listening to the same old things.
"Nobody answers a straight question, so what we do is raise a smile and inject some personality - and in my case some gorgeous beauty - into the proceedings."
Dame Dixon certainly raised smiles as he went canvassing on the streets near his flat. One local, Theresa Patton, said as she posed for a selfie with him: "He's great, he adds a bit of colour and a bit of fun. I'm all for that."
:: There are eight candidates standing in Hove and Portslade. They are: Jenny Barnard-Langston (Independent), Graham Cox (Conservative), Dame Jon Dixon (Official Monster Raving Loony), Christopher Hawtree (Green), Dave Hill (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition), Peter Kyle (Labour) Peter Lambell (Lib Dems), and Kevin Smith (Ukip).