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Tuesday 8th September 2009

Yes I know it's been a little while - actually, yes I know it's been a BIG while. And yes I know I've now missed two weight blogs, so let's deal with that first.  Last week I dropped a pound to 21 4, this week I'm the same.  That's that out of the way.

In terms of more general where-the-hell-have-I-beens, well I know I say "I've been busy" a lot, and for what it's worth it's always true, but it's never been quite so VIVIDLY true as it is just now.  This autumn I am doing pretty much everything I've ever done in terms of writing and performance all at once, as well as a couple of things I've never done before.

Aside from the forthcoming tour (see the gigs page for dates if you haven't already) which is coming forth at an alarming pace (two and a bit weeks and counting; where the hell did THAT particular bit of time go) and finishing the accompanying album (all recorded; being mixed) there are THREE books coming out in the the next month or so, the which I've either contributed to or co-written: there's The Atheist's Guide To Christmas, for which I've written a chapter (and recorded the audiobook version, that was fun); there's The Now Show Book Of World Records, for which I've written several chapters, and there's The History Of The World Through Twitter, of which I've written about half, the rest being provided by Jon Holmes of this parish. This last one is the one I'm keenest to promote as a. it was my idea and b. it's the only one I stand to make any real money out of (hint).  In any event plans are afoot for readings, possible launches and maybe even signing tours, hopefully to be in some way co-ordinated with my tour TOUR type tour.

The other new thing I'm doing - and since the first one's "in the can" and is to be broadcast this very week I guess it's okay to plug this now - is contributing, possibly on a regularish basis, to the new series of Watchdog.  It's being relaunched and re-vamped, Nicky Campbell's left, Anne Robinson's back and it's been extended to an hour. The thinking - as far as I can tell - is that the sort of strident indignation which characterised Nicky's Watchdog would be a tad relentless over an hour, so they've been trying to come up with ways of breaking the format up a bit, hence the involvement of yours truly.

We finished shooting my first "bit" on Monday afternoon... I THINK I'm happy with what we've done although I haven't seen the final edit. Suffice to say that the "bit" went through several different forms and variations, over the course of many meetings and phone calls, before we finally agreed to make it exactly how I'd suggested we make it at our first meeting nearly two months ago. 

If nothing else this means that if I look an utter twat when it goes out (Thursday 8pm on BBC1) at least I'll have the comfort of knowing that it's entirely my own fault. Seriously; I don't mind making making a fool of myself as long as it's in the pursuit of my own dumb ideas rather than in meek acquiescence to somebody else's dumb ideas.

Anyway, like I say, it could develop into a regular feature; I guess this depends on how it's received on Thursday. One way or another my bit is going to stick out like a sore-ish thumb in the context of the rest of the show - whether the punters will view it as a breath of fresh air or a jarring and unwelcome shock remains to be seen.  I wouldn't dream of soliciting positive feedback from your good selves, but nor would I discourage it.

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