Radio Ga-Ga

I was talking to my friend Biddy on the phone earlier and I could hear her fiance banging and clumping in the background, obviously looking for something. Finally she said to him, “What is it?”

Exasperated, he replied: “I just don’t know how you can lose a f**king 4ft broadsword!”

Don’t ask.

It’s been over a week since my last blog, a surefire sign that Total Film has been on deadline. This month wasn’t as bad as last month – although I did have to sacrifice last Saturday to the office, which was annoying – so I can’t really complain.

I was also in a good mood because my friends Anny and Matt drove up from Bath to visit me last Sunday. We had a great day out (to the Natural History Museum – I really have to stop going there so much!) and Matt also informed me that his mum reads my blog. So hello, Mrs Dryell! I’ll keep the swearing down, honest. And just so you know, your son eats jelly very, very slowly… though not as slowly as I do.

I had a mini-adventure the other day. BBC Wales called me at work and asked if I’d like to do a live radio interview with them that afternoon to discuss the new Harry Potter film. Off I trotted to Broadcasting House, home of BBC Radio and one of the most lovely Art Deco buildings in central London. As elegant as it is outside, though, it’s made up of nooks, crannies and converted broom cupboards inside. The studio I had to sit in was so small I couldn’t have swung a gnat in it, let alone a cat!

The guy who showed me to my seat pointed out the microphone I had to speak into, the volume controls for my headphones and the big clock on the wall (I think he was trying to build his part, to be honest, because the clock was fairly obvious). Then he left me to it.

My interviewer was in Wales. I had 15 minutes to kill before the broadcast. I was on my own in a closet-cum-studio with permission to use only a microphone, two volume controls and a clock. There was, however, an impressive array of knobs and dials in front of me on a mixing desk so complicated that it wouldn’t have looked out of place in Mission Control at NASA. I was too chicken to try any of the buttons, but I did discover that if I made a noise, several needles swayed up and down on the dials and a line of red and green lights blinked on and off. So I spent 15 minutes tapping the microphone, watching the needles move and the lights flashing, until finally I thwacked the mike so hard that they all hit “Maximum” and I deafened myself through the headphones.

And then a voice in my ear said, “Are you all right there, Jayne?” and I realised I’d startled somebody in Wales. Oops.

Anyway, the interview went well. Afterwards I had to see myself out of the building because, when I exited the broom cupboard/studio, Broadcasting House was doing a mean impression of the Marie Celeste – the place was so deserted that for a minute I wondered if the red “On Air” light in the room with me had actually been the fire alarm. I was tempted to have a wander but it seemed a bit cheeky; besides, I did an interview for Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour a while ago and had a bit of a tour back then (as I recall, I begged the girl who was showing me around to take me to Jonathan Ross’s studio, but she refused). The only thing I did come across on this visit was a line of vending machines: two operational, three broken. That’s the BBC licence fee at work for you!

Other than deadlines and radio interviews, I don’t seem to have done very much else. I did go to Camden to do some Christmas shopping and, for the first time, wasn’t stopped in the street and offered any “skunk” or “puff” or “dope” or “weed”. I was a little insulted, to tell you the truth, because I must have looked like a goody-two-shoes that day – or, at the very least, like an undercover police officer. So much for my street cred! Not that I do use drugs, of course, but it’s nice to be offered them, y’know? Kind of like when a guy you don’t fancy asks you out. It reminds you you’ve still got “it”. I’ve obviously lost “it”. I want “it” back but I have no idea where I’ve left “it”, so I’d probably have to buy “it” from someone on the street but without “it” they won’t offer me “it”, so frankly I’m screwed. Sigh…

Amusingly, I sat opposite Darius on the train to Camden. He came third in Pop Idol a few years ago and some people hate him. Others just don’t care. All I know is that he was bewilderingly gorgeous and, when he kicked my foot as he climbed off the train, I felt all funny.

Hmmm. Maybe that was why nobody offered me any drugs…


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