For trivia fans, I was in the last programme ever to be filmed in BBC Television Centre. This is a fact, despite reading about 10 different Tweets from other performers claiming the same thing. As far as I can make out, their claims were only factually correct in that it might have been the last thing to be filmed in the studio they were in, but mine was the very last. I literally turned the lights off as I left. This should be very exciting, but as it was a non-broadcast puppet pilot for CBBC, it's not quite as glamorous as it could have been.
Whatever, I'm pleased it happened, as my history with TVC is a chequered one. The first time I ever went there was on a blag. I wanted to get into an early recording of a Later... with Jools Holland and had simply looked at the name of the director on the credits and then turned up and announced I was their guest. The plan failed when the director actually came to the door and personally told me to bugger off.
This set a tone for the building and me. After the success of Trigger Happy TV on Channel 4, I moved to the BBC with a three-series deal. On my first day there, I drove into the multi-storey car park and smashed into a senior BBC executive's posh car. He was not best pleased and I fear that my card was marked from then on.
Working in the building was always interesting as there was invariably something going on. Ricky Gervais used to pop into my office, flop onto the sofa, and stare at me in a disconcerting manner. Once, leaving a Later... with Jools Holland (this time I had actually been invited) I had the pleasure/terror of Amy Winehouse hitting on me. "I like you. Are you married?" she slurred suggestively. I introduced her to my not-very-happy wife who was standing right beside me and Amy shrugged her slender shoulders and tottered off on her towering heels into the White City night.
Working at the BBC was a very different thing from Channel 4. When I moved in, somebody came round and asked me how I'd like my office decorated. I asked them to paint it some sort of crimson. Three days later, a tabloid newspaper splashed a story that I was "refusing to start work until everything in his office is coloured red".
It was always fun – I sang a duet with Marianne Faithfull, met David Bowie, got stuck in a lift with Dawn French, and had a ride to Notting Hill with Sir Bruce Forsyth. In the end, though, I didn't fit in and, after a crazy two years, I got one of those two-tone boxes you only ever see when you're clearing your desk. I packed up my stuff and wandered down to the stage door where I crammed everything into the boot of my car and drove away.
Now, back on the last day of the building's working life, it was like the Mary Celeste. Everything was gone. Souvenir-hunters had nicked everything that could be moved, including all the signs, so someone had been forced to scrawl the name of the studio on the corridor walls. Bye bye, TVC. You were an institution.