Speech by Mike Birchall

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Speech Type: Best man
Speech Creator: Mike Birchall
Speech Date: Jul2005
Thank you Gaz for your kind words.

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For those of you who don't know me, my name is Mike, I am Gareth's older brother, and honoured to be his best man.

I would like to start by offering my congrats to the newly wed couple. Nikki, you look extremely beautiful, and I'm sure you deserve a good husband. Luckily Gaz, you married her before she found one.

Just kidding Gaz, I'm sure you'll make a fantastic Husband. I think your looking pretty good today too, although I'm not happy you copied my outfit

If we could have a bit of a solemn moment please. Nikki, can you place your left hand on the table please? Gaz, can you place your hand on top of hers please? Thank you. Please everyone if we could witness this touching moment. This is officially the last time Gaz will ever have the upper hand for the rest of his life.

In my role as best Man, I am of course required to undertake complete character assassination of the Groom. So I spent a day or so jotting down Gaz's indiscretions. (put huge list on desk) However Nikki gave me a list of items I couldn't talk about, so this is all that's left. (Remove list except single post-it)

Gaz was born in 1964, the same year as that quality newspaper the Sun was 1st published in the UK. In fact Gaz shares many of his attributes with that newspaper – fair, balanced, articulate, and obsessed with breasts.

I've only got vague memories of the first time I met Gaz, seeing as I was just 3 years old at the time. But I do recall that he was little, didn't have much hair, was a bit dribbly, and of course was incontinent. Well, although he's got considerably bigger now, he's still not got much hair, but provided he doesn't have too much to drink, should be OK on the dribbling and incontinence fronts.

When Gaz was just 6 years old, we moved out to West Africa. We had a great childhood together there. We did get into some scrapes though. I remember one occasion where Gaz, who didn't know too much about African food, managed to eat some raw red-hot chilli peppers. I'll never forget the look on his face, or the colour he turned – somewhere between pink and purple. I don't think there's a name for it, but saw Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen paint somebody's bedroom that colour on tv the other day.

Despite that painful lesson, Gaz still doesn't know too much about foreign food. We were in a French Restaurant once, and the waitress told him the day's special was Coq au Vin. Rather unfortunately, Gaz thought she meant sex in the back of a lorry.

When we moved back to Wallasey, Gaz played for a junior football team. I spoke to his former manager yesterday, who said that he found Gaz to be useless in every position. Nikki, I hope you don't find the same tonight

After leaving school, Gaz studied horticulture. I have to say that some of the cultures he grew in the dirty coffee cups under his bed were very impressive. Nikki, this is one habit you'll have to watch out for (Hand over giant coffee cup filled with parsley plant)

Gaz joined the Pioneer Corps of the TA in about 1999. He went on to become a tv star, featuring in an Army recruitment advert. He's not the only family member who's a tv star, our Auntie Eunice, who's sitting in one of the cheap seats at the back, features in the opening credits for Look North. And my other-in-Law features regularly on Crimewatch.

Eventually Gaz was called up to serve in Iraq. Like the rest of our service men & women out there, Gaz served with distinction. He would spend his days dodging bombs, rockets and bullets, mostly fired by the Americans. In the evenings he would write to Nikki, who he had met shortly before setting out for Iraq.

Although the war may have been unpopular with many back in the UK (who presumably thought we should instead have invaded the French), I'm sure everybody here is very proud of our servicemen, and I'm very proud of my brother.

Upon his return, Gaz and Nikki were re-united, and on 16 Dec last year, were blessed with a beautiful son, Harry, brother to Michael and Jack. If I could just say I thought that Michael did a sterling job handing over his Mother today, and Jack did a great job as Lord of the Rings.

So here we are today, to celebrate Gaz & Nikki's marriage. Marriage is a splendid thing, it takes work and patience, never take it for granted. In fact my message to you Gaz is that you need to be committed. Fortunately, in my role as best man I have arranged 2 doctors outside ready to sign the forms.

I started planning this speech months ago, and you must all feel like I've been delivering it equally as long. But now it gives me immense pleasure to invite you all to stand and raise your glasses in a toast for Gareth and Nikki, Mr and Mrs Birchall no less. We wish them well for the future, and hope they enjoy a long and happy marriage. May their love be modern enough to survive the times, and old fashioned enough to last forever.

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Ladies and Gentleman, Gareth and Nichola…