Tuesday 4 October 2011


So to the first in a new venture for the blog: I am turning it from a lengthy weekly/bi-weekly dissertation to a daily diary. We shall try it and see if you like it.

What I have learned after 34 years in this industry on both sides of the fence - not only the BBC but also in the Commercial sector – is that change is difficult and not always welcome.

In my experience change occurs in two forms:

1) Changes are made it is a success. Senior management take the credit
2) " " " " " " failure. You take the blame.

In commercial radio I was once told by the boss:

"If it works I'll say it was my idea. If it fails it’s your fault."

Then a few years later at the BBC, the then-Boss said to me:-

"Don't like what you are doing"

Me: "What do you want me to do?"

"As soon as I hear it, I'll tell you!"

There is another side to this in that people end up being paralysed by fear of change so nothing is ever tried which leads everything to stagnate. Or there is a sudden rush to change just for the sake of it. This leads to terrible blunders and catastrophic failures. If this happens at the BBC the response is usually: "A bold experiment" and then it is quietly forgotten.

All this is a very long winded way of saying I am trying to do something a little different to that which I have been doing since 2007.

Out with some friends down the pub on Friday night, Dark Lady woke up Saturday morning and discovered that she had lost her charm bracelet. When I say it was a charm bracelet it was a tiny silver chain with a small silver star on it engraved with the letter "R". This was a clumsy attempt by me to reinforce the difference between left and right. Very early on in our relationship it became obvious that this was her one blind spot and so I thought this would help her differentiate between the two hands, particularly useful when driving.

Before I get too smug I must point out that she is a far, far better driver than myself and it was only last weekend as we drove across a mini roundabout in Hastings en route to buy pie that her cry of "STTTTOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPP!!!!" alerted me to the fact that I hadn't seen the car speeding from the right straight towards us.

Saturday and it was up to the Midlands to see my Dad who was busy digging out his compost heap. (We Lester's are just built for a good time) and up to Halfpenny Green Airfield to do a little flying. Nice headwind which meant I was airborne in about twenty feet...or so it seemed and headed south to Kidderminster. Looped round the town and headed back to the field. With the wind at my back it only seemed to take about ten minutes before I was back on the ground again with that novice pilot feeling

"Yessss I cheated death again"!

Sunday back down to the DL who had whomped up (Nerd Note: Granny in the Beverley Hillbillies regularly "Whomped up" a mess of vittles) a whole host of food. From Chilli through to a fantastic potato, bacon and cheese pie. As a result, I sat otter -like on the sofa until bedtime.

Then a new week started and arrived at the studio in time to see the remains of Strangelove.

As you have pointed out for a man who spends such a lot of time in the gym he gets a lot of colds etc. He now has a spectacular one which is pure comedy. Well, from where I was sitting it was: red-faced, eyes streaming, spectacular sneezing. It was a hoot. Although I have a suspicion that he will have the last laugh. Vanessa Feltz pops in to say good morning most days. Monday she opened the door, got halfway in, saw what was left of Strangeo and was off again. Never seen her move so fast!


The Impaler said...

Well, if StrangeKnots would quit using the hand sanitizer stuff, or, better yet, wear a mask when going to gym, he would not have caught the nasties. Why do I make a point of this? I'm extremely sensitive to the Nasties, and used the sanitizer religiously. I also caught colds religiously, mostly from people hacking away in my direction at the stop-n-rob. Once I quit the sanitizer, NO MORE COLDS. Don't know why, but that stuff is absolute murder on the immune system.

Glad to see more missives from the Lord of Nocturnia. Well posted :)

Ginny Johnson said...

Alex . Like the day blog. Read the whole thing! That's a first for me - i have the attention span of a goldfish! Keep doing this .

Martin Lower said...

It'll be nice to hear more from you, Dark Lord. Little and often; it seems to suit people who have to be awake at night!

mwhite229 said...

Like the new daily blog. I loved your comment on your dad digging out his compost heap - I have a compost heap but didn't realised you had to "dig it out" - wonder how you do that. Also, knew Vanessa was a bright girl and giving Dr S a wide berth just proved it - an can just imagine you in otter pose - its so you :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Alex,

Cool Beans! Change is good. Well, different is good. I used to be a manager but never quite understood the point of it. Surely when someone is getting paid to do a job, they just get on and do it, is what I thought? Why do they need a manager to go prodding and poking them all the time? All I learned in management is that people are quite happy to sit back and do nothing cos they know it's your neck not theirs. Funny things people. Why come and work here if you don't want to do it?!

Loving the new daily blog.


Rachel x