5 March 2012
Many apologies for not posting a regular blog . I have no excuse , I've tried hard to think of one but the bottom line is that I simply keep forgetting to write one . I think "I must write the blog" then I forget . It crossed my mind that I could tell you that with facebook and twitter etc I didn’t think anyone was still reading blogs these days but that doesn’t wash because I don’t engage in any social media sites either. The reason I stopped initially was that , at the time , I also had a fans forum on the website and I was receiving very occasional mean-spirited and nasty responses to the blog but once I took the forum off I should have posted far more often.
So where to start? The tour maybe – which is into its second year and which is going extremely well and getting excellent reviews I’m pleased to say . I’ve done the first six of this Spring 2012 leg with a degree of pain and discomfort after a fall on 5th Feb when I damaged my shoulder blade and cracked a couple of ribs in my back – then I got a cold so agony +++ every time I coughed and sneezed . I don’t know if you’ve ever broken ribs but I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone – it is the worst , seriously. The first gigs on the tour , a charity show in Preston then at Leicester came a bit too early really and I had to hammer the Co-codamol and Neurofen . At Leicester after a photo shoot and filming for the comedy festival website I was feeling rough so drank two Red Bulls as well and turned into Jerry “The Saint” when he added gingko bilboa and saki to his Co-codamol in the Phoenix Nights episode where his teeth itched he tried to “catch the moon” (and bring it down). I don’t remember much of the show apart from the fact that I really enjoyed it and a review afterwards said the show was brilliant and original and “Quirky” . I’ve never been called quirky before so god knows what I was up to. I don’t think I shouted “Catch Meeeee” and stage dived but I did something quirky alright.
I’m presenting the TV Book Club again which I’m enjoying more and more . I’ve always thought it would be better with fewer presenters and we have three this series plus the guest which seems perfect for a balanced in-depth discussion. Caroline Quentin’s joined the team and I’ve always been a big fan of hers so that’s a bonus and we continue to have great guests joining us with Sue Johnston , Simon Day and Charlie Boorman being highlights this series . The book selection has been the best yet and I can’t recommend highly enough “The Sister Brothers” by Patrick DeWitt which is a stunning , funny , violent and dark story following Charlie and Eli Sisters on their latest “hit” in gold rush California.
Big day tomorrow for us (Neil Fitzmaurice and I ) – Tuesday 6th March – as we’re reading our sitcom “Glitterball” for the commissioners down at the BBC in London . After quite a few re-writes they’ve asked us to cast it and perform this run-through so I’ve got everything crossed for a successful trip . Glitterball is set in the “Denmar Hotel” in Blackpool and revolves around a weekly social ballroom dance night that’s held there . We wanted to set it at grass roots level where we imagined you would still find the same rivalry , snobbishness and bitchiness amongst a varied bunch of dancers . A place where you’d find blokes who didn’t want to be there at all but had to because if they didn’t come dancing on a Tuesday they couldn’t play football on a Saturday. Add to this a frustrated hotel manager and a deadpan Ukrainian receptionist then introduce a new dance competition to up the stakes and amplify that rivalry and elitism and we think it’s a pretty fine recipe for comedy. We’ll see, I’ve been this far before and suffered disappointment but hey , that’s show business (!)
“Buzz Dish” , the short film I made for the Cofilmic Film festival won the audience vote which was a big thrill for John Lebbon and I who spent a good deal of time trimming our original scripts down specially . We’ve since rewritten Episode 1 to include a caper about the lads stealing slates recently removed from a pub ready for demolition, because we realised after seeing the film , that it needed to feel more like a sit-com rather than a comedy drama and needed bigger comedy moments . We’re thrilled with the script and have more written but I can’t get anyone interested in it at present which is disappointing because it is very , very good.