After helping to get my three-and-half-year-old son up and dressed and off to nursery, I spent the morning sorting out my tax. It sounds frightfully organised. But after Love 40 I wanted to work out where I stood. This evening, as with every Monday evening, I played badminton in a church hall in Winchester, where we live. It's a regular crowd, mostly businessmen who work in London. I find it useful to know what's happening in the rest of the world, and the language they come up with is extraordinary. One of my friends was talking about the sort of women you find down at the yacht club. "You can jostle a lot of totty," he said. I put that straight into my show.
TUESDAY: I started working on another comedy series, but I won't say any more about it in case someone else picks up the idea. In the evening I went up to London to appear on Richard Allinson's show on Radio 2. I quite like that sort of thing. It's half-an-hour of chat and you sing a bit of a song and you don't have any responsibilities apart from being, hopefully, entertaining. Just before I left there was a call for me to sit in on Fred MacAulay's BBC Scotland show first thing on Wednesday morning, which meant staying in London with friends.
WEDNESDAY: I was back at Broadcasting House to do the show at 8.30. I found myself talking to a man in America who's invented some software which is supposed to be able to tell you how to write a screenplay. Bloody awful idea. Then a chap called Harry Ritchie arrived who's written a wonderful book called The Last Pink Bits, about the end of the British Empire. The Observer columnist Sue Arnold was on and she remembered that I did shows with my wife, which I thought was rather wonderful of her. After that I went to a meeting about some corporate work I do; I do quite a lot of presentations for companies, using various voices and characters to represent what the company does.
THURSDAY: The day of the first show. I brought in loads of wine because we had friends round to mark the occasion. There wasn't enough room for them all to get into the kitchen, and people were sitting in front of the fire in the living-room shouting at me to find a radio. This was about three minutes before the show was due to go out, and I'm rushing round when I thought it was supposed to be me who was the star. Suddenly I remembered my parents' big old EKCO wireless, so I brought that down and put it on the floor. There was something very strange about it all: my parents died in the 1970s, and here we were listening to something I'd done in the 1990s on their 1950s radio. I stayed up until about 2 o'clock in the morning and got completely rat-arsed.
FRIDAY: Quite a few people faxed or phoned me about the show. One of my corporate clients rang and described it rather nicely as "a return to real radio comedy". I thought, I wish you were a reviewer, it would be nice to be able to quote that. I even had a call from a friend of mine I'd once been in a folk-rock group with and hadn't spoken to for 25 years. He invited me to his twin brother's stag night next week.
'Love 40 - New Balls Please' continues for the next five Thursdays on Radio 2 at 9.30pm. It is repeated on Saturdays at 1.30pm.Reuse content