As 2013 fades from view, and with it, one largely overlooked anniversary – that is, My First 25 Years In Showbiz – I ponder the fact that I had once considered actually marking my silver jubilee in the media with some kind of tour, or one-man show, but I seem to have settled with some determination into scriptwriting (under which umbrella I include script editing) as my chief creative outlet in recent years, and even radio seems to be fading now, so it seems more suitable to simply mark its passing with a blog entry. Writing prose for free: that sums up my current lot, too.
My quarter-century is well documented, not least in my third memoir That’s Me In The Corner, which you can now buy as an eBook for £5.42 from the evil, tax-avoiding Amazon. (I can’t. Or at least, I can, but I don’t have a Kindle to load it up onto.) So I thought I might cut the yakkin’ and sum up 25 years of indecision and happy accident in a single image. The grab above was captured from the studio webcam of what was the main 5 Live studio in Television Centre, a building now cruelly and unsentimentally condemned. I think an eagle-eyed listener grabbed it, and sent it to me. If it was you, raise your hand: it’s a superb shot. I’m dating it back to circa 2009? I am clearly waiting for the light to go green. My best guess is that I was filling in for Mark Kermode – a gig that I haven’t done since I was pushed off the subs’ bench by Simon Mayo’s producer and replaced by Nigel Floyd and Boyd Hilton because their names rhyme – and Simon was broadcasting from a sporting event, possibly the cricket, which is why the studio was otherwise empty. There I am, on my own, waiting, with my BBC canteen coffee, summing up my own career!
Actually, the very fact that it’s indistinct is perfect. Here are a few other images that either give me a Proustian rush or say something thematic about the past 25 years.
I’m rather tempted to leave them uncaptioned. Let the images speak for themselves. If they say anything, it’s that I have spent a good chunk of the past 25 years being around famous and talented people and not complaining or being self-conscious about that fact. Not always by the side of a lake in Sweden, as above, usually in front of “branding”, but in the vicinity of talent, and that’s the key.
This one needs captioning. It’s the mighty 6 Music team finally winning Digital Radio Station of the Year at the Sonys in 2012. I was not there, which is the significant part. I celebrated their win anyway.
I hope you enjoyed that visual celebration of not knowing what to do with myself for 25 years. (My home life has been, it must be said, a whole lot less chaotic.) Let’s get on with the 26th and make it so boringly focussed, there’ll be nothing to illustrate it with bar a selfie of me at my laptop.
Happy New Year!
Congrats on the silver anniversary. And for what it’s worth, you don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books — there are Kindle apps for Mac and Windows too that you can read them in. (And most tablets and smartphones, but I gather you don’t have one of those…)
Congratulations Andrew! Your photos really made me smile, especially the final Secret Dancing gig pic as I was there. Now get on with your next 25 yrs 🙂
Lovely stuff! I always thoroughly enjoy your posts.
Have a wonderful 2014 & all the best for the next 25 years in the business.
Oh shit, you’re famous! Congrats and happy new your with health, wealth and happiness etc. Must go now into the attic and check for the Beano. There’s a thought.
Congratulations Andrew – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your books/podcasts/radio shows/TV shows/blogs etc over the years.
Well done that man 35 years last year of Tinplate making for me, miss your Saturday morning shows on BBC 6 music. Do you frequent Laugharne or Festival No 6?
I’m afraid I don’t frequent any festivals really! My “mid-life crisis” Glastonbury in 2009 may well turns out to be my last …