The Elvis publicity rounds continue, and I’m now on first name terms with every local radio DJ in the country. Hurrah! It’s an early night for me tonight though in order to be fresh-faced and alert for Aled Jones’s Radio 2 breakfast show tomorrow morning. Who says I’m not cool? What’s that? Oh.
Off to Dublin on Monday to talk about my favourite subject – myself – in the ould country, and, horror of horrors, they’ve asked me to take the ukulele with me. Bizarre isn’t it? I’ve been trying to play the guitar for nearly twenty years now and nobody’s shown the slightest interest, beyond some Dusseldorf policemen during an ill-advised busking tour of Germany. I can play about three chords on the ukulele and suddenly, for the first time in my life, I’m in musical demand. It’s clear that the uke is the future of rock’n’roll, the key to world peace and a sure fire answer to global warming. With four strings and an agreeable ‘plinky plonk’ sound.
But the big news is that I’ve had the first real going over of what I hesitate to call my career. Which, after seven books, can’t be bad. I’ve had critical reviews before obviously, but never the filleting I got from Harry Mount in today’s Telegraph. There doesn’t appear to be a web link, but some of the highlights include, “he adds nothing new for Elvis fans. There’s not much here for sense of humour fans either”. I “also make the mistake of thinking that travel stories become funny if you describe them with heavy Latinate words or cliched circumlocutions”. I don’t; in fact I don’t think any of my books are funny, at least not intentionally, but hey ho.
Worst of all though he talks about me and my “fellow Elvis impersonators”. That was the hardest blow. I have never been, and never will be an Elvis impersonator. Good lord, no.
Still it’s nice to finally get a proper panning. I can’t even sneer, “what’s he ever written?” or anything as Harry is the author of a hugely successful book about Latin. Either way I feel that now I’ve finally been given a right going over in print, I can be considered a proper writer.
There’s a chance to win a copy of In Search Of Elvis, spattered though it is with “cliched circumlocutions”, thanks to the Biography Channel, a station that is wise enough to screen the Schmelvis movie once or twice a year. I like the way they say that I’m ‘now’ a full-time writer. Given the fact I’ve been one for nearly a decade, I can only assume they think that I’m not going to be one for much longer. Maybe they’ve seen the Telegraph review.
Traveller’s Tree seemed to go well again on Thursday, mainly because I didn’t have to say much. My showbiz wife Fi Glover was on top form, earning the programme a rave review in the Guardian this week.
Right, I’m off to prepare for the mighty Charlton’s clash with Chelsea this afternoon. Be good, play nicely.