Maybe it's a good thing Desert Island Discs has said no again. I'm not ready

If I ever did make it on to the show I would probably leave the studio kicking myself at a particular choice

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The Independent Online

On Saturday, I fulfilled one of my lifetime ambitions. I appeared on BBC radio’s Test Match Special. I write this before my appearance, so you will know better than me as to how it went. For non-cricket fans, TMS is up there with Desert Island Discs and an appearance on The Daily Show. Actually, scratch that last. Once Jon Stewart leaves The Daily Show I’m not interested. Also, if I’m honest, Desert Island Discs (who, my publicist informs me, has once again turned me down) is a problem for me. I’ve been preparing my list of songs for years and it constantly changes. If I ever did make it on to the show I would probably leave the studio kicking myself at a particular choice, and be ringing them up to see if I could change my mind.

How can you choose the eight most important songs in your life? I presume that the best way would be to block your life off into eight sections and try to pick one for each era. If I went down that route then it would be: “America” by Simon and Garfunkel; “Five Years” by David Bowie; “Horses” by Patti Smith; “Imitation of Christ” by Psychedelic Furs; “The Chauffeur” by Duran Duran; “In a Room” by House Of Love; “Holes” by Mercury Rev; “Some Riot” by Elbow… but I’m already questioning some of those. Perhaps I should opt for cover versions? That way I could incorporate two of the artists I love per track. For instance I could go with Bowie’s “Amsterdam” as written and performed by Jacques Brel. Then there’s Patti Smith’s extraordinary version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. You can see my problem.

Maybe it’s a good thing that Desert Island Discs has yet again said no. Maybe they know that I’m not ready. They’re obviously very nice people, and I respect their decision to not say yes until the moment is right. Also, it left me with time to do some homework for Test Match Special. Aggers is not always at his best with “comedians”. He had Michael McIntyre on and asked him to “do some comedy” which never goes down well with comedians who are a pretty dour bunch. I’ve done my best to ply the production team with some useful facts in an attempt to guide Aggers’s questioning. My first dog was called Boycott and was a very ill-tempered Rhodesian Ridgeback. My first Test Match was at Headingley, and just happened to be one of the most famous games ever as it was 1981 and a Mr Botham hit 149 not out and turned the Ashes round. My dad once played at Lord’s. We used to have an annual family match on a salt lake just outside poor, beleaguered Palmyra in Syria. I’ve given them some pretty good material and I can only hope that Aggers takes the bait and doesn’t demand that I tell some jokes. I don’t really do jokes – a bit of a problem for a “comedian”.

Anyway, whatever happened on Saturday, it’s over and I can now get back to thinking about Desert Island Discs. Someday my day will come….

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