David's bid to be carnival queen

A BOLD young lad has ruffled feathers in a sleepy Somerset town with a burning ambition to become its first male carnival queen

A BOLD young lad has ruffled feathers in a sleepy Somerset town with a burning ambition to become its first male carnival queen.Axbridge teenager David Birch challenged tradition and a line of hopeful young girls to become this autumn's Axbridge Blackberry Carnival Queen.Daring David, aged 15, disclosed his ambition at the church fete when he challenged organisers to let him take part.A cheer went up in the crowd as mayor Barry Hamblin announced he could parade the streets during the festivities as an "alternative queen". There was no jealousy among the girls at the unexpected competition and David was seen happily wandering the fete arm in arm with conventional Carnival Queen Kaylee Sweet, of West Street.But joy has turned to sadness for David, who likes to be called Darius, after individuals reportedly threatened to ruin his big day by hijacking the parade.Carnival committee member Les Stanley said: "A couple of local lads said they were going to throw fruit at him. "It's such a shame because he's so keen and he's such a character, but local people have said 'bloody hell, this is going to bring the carnival into disrepute'.""He came along to the fete and said 'equal opportunities, I want a go.' David taking part could be hugely funny and great for the carnival."He said the carnival committee is having trouble getting hold of David who may have left town. The Somerset Mercury was also unable to contact him.But the door has been left open for David, according to carnival secretary Dr Phil Wookey.Dr Wookey said: "He's a kid having a bit of fun. We thought it might be a bit of a laugh to have him take part. We wouldn't do it to detract from the queen and princesses, but we could have him as an additional theme in the carnival."The option is still open for David. We'll use him in some role, but not as carnival queen or princess. We'll look for something comic, a Barry Humphries type role."Axbridge girls Tia Webb and Libby Scott, aged eight and pupils at the first school, were chosen as Carnival Princesses.They and Kaylee will help out at various occasions in the year and take pride of place at the carnival when they will be drawn through the streets in a tractor-drawn carriage.

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