Back in the UK and things are hotting up: my new TV show goes out next Saturday as well as the release of my new book. I was thrown from the calm tranquillity of the Ardèche into the madness of promotion. It should be really easy to talk about what you've spent the past year doing. The thing is – it isn't. Sometimes it just flows, but most of the time you realise that your answers are either unhelpful or boring and you spend a lot of time sitting in the back of cars thinking, "Why didn't I say that instead?"
It reminds me of a story that my dad always used to like telling. He was trying to cross the Promenade des Anglais in Nice with my four siblings and me. Apparently we were dawdling and it was all taking quite a long time and traffic started to back up. An irate French woman poked her head out of her car window and shouted, "Ce *'est pas pour les chèvres ici…" My dad was speechless. Two days later he sought the advice of a close French friend. The friend didn't hesitate: my dad should have shouted back, "Ni pour les vaches, madame." I swear that from then on he dawdled at French crossings, hoping to be able to use the retort.
I do get a bit annoyed when asked lazy or obvious questions by journalists and I always set them a trap. I have put two falsehoods on my Wikipedia page and wait to see which hack brings one up. I then take great delight in expanding on the falsehood considerably. I got this technique from Robert Smith, the frontman in The Cure. It does help to while away the hours.
I did Loose Ends on Radio 4 last week. I love doing that show. They always have fabulous bands. To make things really exciting, however, Seth MacFarlane, the writer-director of Family Guy and Ted, was another guest. He was there to promote his appearance at the Royal Albert Hall performing Rat-Pack style music. Anyone who watches Family Guy will know that this is a style of music often used on the show and Loose Ends is a perfect vehicle from which to promote it. He was clearly on a far more intensive publicity schedule than I was and looked rather confused as to where he was. But he soon perked up when the presenter, Nikki Bedi, hit him with some great, informed questions. It was all going well until we all started to discuss The Archers, which left him totally culturally baffled.
Personally, I think that The Archers is exactly what baby Stewie would listen to on a radio in his crib. I kept trying to think of funny things to say along the lines of, "Please, give me a part in Family Guy", but I just gibbered.
At the end of the show, it's a tradition that everyone goes for a drink and sandwiches at a nearby pub. "Are you coming to the pub Seth?" we asked hopefully. "Sure. I guess so. Yeah," he replied. We all trooped down to the pub and waited expectantly, but no Seth. He had moved on and was now doing a pre-record with Steve Wright.
Dom Joly's new TV show, 'Fool Britannia', starts on ITV1 next Saturday at 6.55pm. His book 'Scary Monsters and Super Creeps' is out on Friday