Ok, I have a confession. I never used to like jelly babies. Many moons ago, back at Primary School, I'd lap up the Haribo's and the pick'n'mix chews like....well, like a hungry 8-year old boy! But when the box of jelly babies was passed around, I'd baulk and pass it on. They were too sweet and sickly for me, back then. After all, I was sweet enough (Stop laughing at the back)!
But I know that my tastes changed dramatically once I entered the bright blue doors of the TARDIS, into the crazy world of 'Doctor Who'. Watching Tom Baker munching on jelly babies, offering them to new friends, using them as weapons, automatically gave me a taste for them. Just like that, as Tommy Cooper might say. Probably.
As you seasoned Whovians will know, jelly babies were first utilised by Patrick Troughton's second incarnation of the Doctor, but it was number 4, Tom Baker, who made those edible children his own. He didn't just eat them, he used them to make friends. To show people he was on their side. To make peace with people. What a brilliant idea! And what a wonderful way to introduce yourself to someone! Hand shakes are boring and stiff. But jelly babies? They're colourful, they're tasty, and they're barmy! The perfect ice breaker.
I nearly always carry jelly babies around with me wherever I go. Bumping into charity workers in the street, meeting friends of friends, going to work or my radio station...Jelly babies always raise the mood! I even gave Frazer Hines and Colin Spaull a bag of them, after meeting the delightful chaps at a signing in a local Doctor Who shop.
So, if you're in an awkward situation with new people, and need a quick way to endear yourself to someone, rely on the tensile strength of jelly babies! It always works for me!
PS I have written a poem about jelly babies. I'll have to share it with you sometime...