I went to the National Television Awards last week. I don't normally go to awards ceremonies unless I'm presenting or receiving something. This rule comes after several disastrous evenings where I've got too drunk and offended too many people.
This time, however, I was the guest of ITV as they have just commissioned my new show, Fool Britannia. It's eight half-hours of hidden camera on Saturday nights just before The X Factor – I'm back in prime time and feeling the pressure.
Arriving at the hideous O2 after a journey more arduous than my recent Congolese adventure, I was faced with the red carpet. I loathe red carpets but I had a cunning plan. Admittedly this plan had been conceived after a couple of drinks the night before and it seemed less cunning the next day. I had purchased a Zorro-style eye mask, and donned it before getting out of my car. There was an air of confusion among the "greeters" who weren't sure whether to let me down the carpet or not.
I wandered past Peter Andre who was like a rabbit caught in the perpetual glare of the camera flashes. He had mislaid his entourage and seemed very lost. I slalomed between a bevy of buxom, perma-tanned beauties, all doing that looking-back-over-their-shoulder-pout-thing that they've all seen in rubbish magazines.
A man doing interviews grabbed me and asked me why I was wearing a mask. I did have some clever answer about me starting hidden camera again so I wanted to prove that I was a master of disguise ... but I forgot this and waffled on about how I wasn't really sure, and did he know where the bar was?
Finally off the carpet, I negotiated the endless tunnels until I found the box to which I had been invited. The show was two-and-a-half hours long, and experience had taught me to pace myself. It would not be the best of career moves to start drunken trouble in the ITV box the day after my new show had been commissioned. I've never been very good in that way. On the morning of the day Trigger Happy TV was first aired on Channel 4, I was arrested for breaking into the garden of the channel's morning show The Big Breakfast while dressed as a 6ft carrot, and launching myself at the window behind the presenters while they were on air. This did not go down well with the bigwigs at Horseferry Road.
Back at the O2, the show was over, and we headed off for the party which was like wandering through a Heat magazine dreamscape – there's Tom from The Apprentice, high-five Ant and Dec, give Dermot a hug, someone from Atomic Kitten, say something unfunny to Michael McIntyre and move on, spilling Bruce Forsyth's drink as you go.
"Where's the smoking area?" I asked Peter Andre, but he had lost his entourage again and seemed to be confused and close to tears. I eventually found it; it was star-free and full of TV executives bitching about their "talent". The place went quiet as I entered and I found myself smoking alone in a corner.
Eventually it was time to go, and I started the epic feat of trying to find my car. This only took an hour, and I slumped into the back seat and breathed a sigh of relief. Usually this would be the moment that I would drunkenly Tweet something that I'd regret in the morning. I've become so responsible, however, that I've handed over control of my Twitter account. I send my tweets in, and they are filtered. It's pathetic, but I really can't be trusted to behave properly in showbusiness.