Thursday, 18 August 2011


Thanks to City Life for the image.

The woman opposite me has a curious way of pronouncing the word 'ask'. It isn't the traditional 'akse' you sometimes hear, but has a longer vowel sound at the beginning. Her accent in general is hard to pin down - maybe German, maybe Australian, and she is an odd one. Most of her staff are of Portuguese or South or Central American origin and once she was talking to two of them about something or other, when the subject of women came up.

"You guys..." she said "always seem to like Eastern European girls..." The men looked at her and she went on: "You always have your fingers in Polish women." Amid the hubbub, nobody but me seemed to even notice that she'd said it, and I think the lack of fluency in English meant that the two blokes didn't really grasp what had happened. Nor do I believe that this was intentional bawd on her part. She spends ages on the phone talking to various people in loping, slow sentences, and chuntering to herself as she laboriously types up emails while sipping at her mug of tea.

Last Monday, once again off to the BBC Radio Theatre for a recording of Chain Reaction. If you've never been, I would recommend it. Free tickets can be obtained by joining the mailing list on the BBC website, although there is an element of luck involved, and - despite trying every time they come up - I have never managed to bag any for the News Quiz or Just a Minute. Advice if you do go: don't go in too early. There is a bar, but it is eye-wateringly expensive. The audience is forced to wait in a narrow corridor with no more than 6 chairs, and, with around 200 people crammed in, it really isn't a pleasant experience. More advice: don't have too much to drink (if you're that rich), because getting out of your seat is not easy, especially with so many highly sensitive microphones picking up your slightest exhalation. However...

Our show the other night (one episde airs Friday 19th Aug at 6.30, the other at the same time the following week - if you're interested. Peter Hook was doing JCC in the previous one, so well worth catching on iPlayer if you hurry) featured the talents of the actor Kevin Eldon, Mark Steel and the legendary John Cooper Clarke, fortunate as we were to be there for the recording (in the wrong order, which is very broadcast media, I'm sure you'll agree. This at least allowed for some amusing context private gags to tickle our fancy) of two consecutive shows. First, Eldon interviewed Steel and then Cooper Clarke interviewed Eldon. It was all so quintessentially R4, gently disparaging remarks about Kent, self-mocking nerdish obsessions and a heartfelt and hearty dig at Richard Starkey.

JCC was on fine form (especially bearing in mind - if Wikipedia is to be believed - the way he has spent the last 10 years or so of his life) with an extended riff on a film he is thinking of making - a sequel to Snakes on a Plane - called Parrot in a Car. He held it together (with some solid support from Eldon) for around 40 minutes before flagging and needing a nudge from the producer, but we in the audience had had a great time by then. Funny that I never managed to watch the guy when he stood up before the Pistols or the Clash, but have now seen him sitting in a chair shooting the breeze with another 50ish bloke.

The official @MCFC Twitter feed was set to beam its updates to my phone, but with no signal in the theatre, they all came in a mad rush - the first half at the interval while I queued for the toilet (0-0 and a tad concerned) and the second half as we were heading up towards Oxford Circus (4-0 and what a debut for Kun - even if it was only the bloody Taffs we were hammering) for the tube ride home and a closed chippy. It's going to be a good season.

No comments: