Lot been going on. It was a friend’s birthday last week and so, what to get her? I like to tailor the gift to the person. Something that is not necessarily useful although that helps. However something that shows some thought rather than the last minute supermarket chocolates, filling station flowers or an odd shaped ornament from one of the shops called "gift" shops because they are there for people who have no idea what to get anyone.
This friend is a rather good cook and when I visit always prepares fab meals for a greedy boy like me. However she has had one massive failure which being a nasty little chap I never let her forget. She eats healthily and is always making Butternut and ginger filling wholesome soups etc. Once she tried me on Celeriac. I am sorry, but that stuff is just vile. No amount of coaxing could get more than one bite past my lips.
With that in mind, I went to a very well known West End store in bustling Regent Street here in London. These shops have "greeters" who I assume like waiters in LA are all out of work actors waiting for their big break. It must be a hell of a chore having to smile like that each day. I was in a tearing hurry: "Excuse me where do I find "Mr Potato Head"? "Second floor in the pre school section". Marched up the escalator to find the music playing rather inappropriate for the under 5's. Blue Oyster Cult - Don't fear the Reaper. Snatched up a box of the aforementioned plastic parts and legged it home. Then some time was spent with my tongue protruding from the corner of my mouth as I stuck and glued new labels on the packaging. Finished! Now down the vegetable section of the supermarket. So along with a card that proclaimed "Chocolate Slut" she is now the (proud)? owner of the latest toy to sweep the nation: "Mr Celeriac Head".
People ask me from time to time: When are you going to get "promoted" to TV? As I point out they are different disciplines perhaps a little like the difference between a Vet and a Doctor. Superficially they seem the same but in reality they are radically different. There are a few who have mastered both but not that many. The traffic goes both ways on that one. So much to my surprise I was invited to take part in "Eggheads". Hmmm not really seen the show so needed to have a quick catch up on YouTube to see how it works. Ah, specialist subjects and general knowledge. This could be tricky if I get the sport round. Worse if I get the Music round. Everyone always expects DJ's to be brilliant at music questions however it is such a huge field that the questions can often go against you. "Seattle Post Grunge" anyone? Or Gregorian Chants and Medieval Church Music? I was on the Radio 2 team captained by Paul Gambaccini. Suzi Quatro Richard Allinson, Clair Teal and bringing up the rear….me. Think it is going out in December some time. I am sworn to secrecy as to the result although it was a lot of fun and took a couple of hours to record with all the shuffling of chairs and us fooling about. They work pretty hard at it, recording 5 shows per day over two 6 day weeks to get an entire series in the can. I think it went pretty well however along with my two memorable appearances on "Call my Bluff" (what do you mean you don't remember?) co presenting the Boat Show on BBC 2 one year and also being on "Water world" , the canal boat show not the post apocalyptic movie with Kevin Costner. This is still being repeated on the Discovery channel even now about 8 years after I did it. Now to sit back and wait for the Hollywood offers to roll in.
They are taking a bit of time.