Well, I’m back from Scotland and just about recovered from my first film for the Holiday programme. It was a whole big heap of fun, but I don’t think Craig Doyle has got much to worry about to be honest.
Still, the whole thing was an absolute blast and I only nearly died once, when the little boat I was on started pitching and tossing alarmingly on a considerable swell. I’m alright, I thought, the skipper was on trawlers for forty years and he’s not bothered. It was only when the skipper shouted “oh Jesus!” that I revised my opinion of my immediate safety. Fortunately we made it back to harbour in one upright and buoyant piece. And, of course, it’s all on film. Mind you, the crew were all safely on terra firma at the time, the gits.
Talking in to a TV camera is such a bizarre thing to do. It’s weird, I can stand in front of 500 people and speak for 45 minutes and not dry up once, but telly is something completely different. I’ve done odd bits here and there, but this was the first thing with me entirely at the centre of the whole thing. The crew all had years of experience too – it was a bit like suddenly being made the front man of U2 despite having done no more than holler country songs in the corners of smoky Hackney pubs. They’re all slick professionals and you’re the hapless chancer they’re relying on to make the whole thing a pip and a dandy.
Still, I really enjoyed it, and the crew were an absolute blast, and I can assure you that in terms of directors, researchers, camera people and sound crew your licence fee is being well spent. It really didn’t feel like work. Can’t say exactly when it’ll go out, other than it’ll be part of the new series that goes out on BBC1 from October.
In other news, I’m heavily involved in plans afoot to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Admiral Fitzroy on July 5th. In fact I’m going to be part of a Radio 4 programme recorded at the graveside of the stylishly-whiskered old seadog.
More news as it happens, stay tuned to this channel.