Saturday, November 22, 2008

Two reviews in today's blatts. In the Times, Brian Schofield is unimpressed, but says so in such a reasonable and constructive manner that I can't complain. In the Telegraph (not yet online), Sinclair McKay is full of enthusiasm, for which I thank him profusely.

In other news, I can report with great pleasure that I have accepted a modest advance from a small left-wing press to pen an unauthorised biography of Jon Gaunt.
Danny Baker's back on Saturday morning national radio, and it's fab. It's 1994 again, but in a good way. Zoe Ball's not disgracing the set up, either. He's currently reeling in the Radio 2 massive with all the greatest hits. A mate's sent me a message to ask how long before he's calling the register, and I reckon we'll be on 'How nuts is your mum?' before too long. He's not played this yet, but give it time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I've noticed that most of the comments on this blog come from people I know and with whom I have drunk, often heavily. If anybody else is chancing upon these ramblings, don't be a stranger. Come say hello.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So, John Sergeant has pulled out of Strictly Come Dancing. It was a lose-lose situation. His ongoing presence made a mockery of the dance competition, but his absence now makes a mockery of the voters' wishes. Still, let's keep a sense of proportion. It shouldn't be the lead story on every bulletin, but it will be.

If his exit is the result of a decent man deciding his own fate, fair enough, but if it was another case of the BBC shitting itself in the face of adverse newspaper coverage, the fact will emerge eventually and make matters far far worse for Auntie.

Meanwhile, TalkSport's long-overdue sacking of Jon Gaunt, the Poundland Don Imus, means that he now has more time to spend with his gorgeous wife Lisa and his beautiful daughters Rosie and Bethany. Lucky them. I well remember peeing myself laughing when I read this and present it again for your amusement.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Encouragingly, Amazon's first order of Turned Out Nice Again has sold out, despite, or perhaps because of, my decision to add the "...this book is not worth reading" bit of Shabba Hanks' Independent write-up to the product description underneath all the nice review quotes. Don't panic, more copies are on order. I suspect the power of wireless helped enormously - many authors would sell a kidney to get two hours talking to East Anglia. Anyway, if you have bought it, thank you, and if you've received a freebie from the publisher, I hope you can get a good price for it. Moreover, if you haven't bought it, we know where you live. Your honest appraisals are always welcome. To use an old phrase beloved of the profession: if you liked the show, tell your friends; but if you didn't like it, tell us. Or, either way, you can write an Amazon review.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The broadcast with Paul Barnes was terrific fun. It's always good to talk to someone who knows what they're on about. He must have enjoyed the experience too, as he gave over two of his three precious hours to blethering with me about Duke Ellington, the Coventry Hippodrome and Liberace, and playing, to use his catchphrase, "some simply spiffing music" (not Liberace, obviously). Anyone daft enough not to stay in on a Saturday night listening to the wireless can catch up on the jollity here.

No sign of it online yet, but Roger Lewis has reviewed Turned Out Nice Again in today's Mail on Sunday. He makes the fair point that variety's such an amorphous mess, it's almost impossible to make any sort of sense of it. At times, writing the bloody thing did feel like plaiting sawdust, but I felt and still feel that it was worth trying. He concludes that it was worth trying too, and recommends it as background reading for media studies students. I'll take that as a compliment...