Friday, January 28, 2011

Star Stricken

Warning: This blog is essentially me being a twat. There is more gushing here than at Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park. I have gone on about my inability to be cool when meeting people I admire before on this here blog, but yesterday I had a total loser gushfest when meeting one of my comedy heroines of all times. I strolled into Pinewood studios feeling all pretty calm about the notion of warming up 100 kids for Dick and Dom's Funny Business. Far from being a tough job I just get to insult children and make them have shoe races for 3 hours. Its the most fun I could get paid for, and I get tea made for me and a driver. Ok, so the driver bit is awkward. Despite it being a merc with blacked out windows which means passers by think I'm hella famous only to then peer in and feel hugely disappointed with my beardy mug, every driver I've had has had the conversational ability of a dead vole and the hour long drive is spent in silence with me looking out the window like that overly hopeful child from the 80's promotional advert for Milton Keynes. Remember that? Do ya? Funny weren't it? Eh? Cos a kid looked out a window? Remember when kids looked out windows eh? Sorry. Excuse me. Just went all Peter Kay there. So yes, having a driver is awkward. But endless tea rocks, shoe races rock. Having my name on a door like this rocks:

Which is nice. I mean, its slightly down the hall from everyone else's because you know, they get to actually be on the telly whereas I just make children pull faces at each other. So totally fair really. But I still get excited my name's on the door and pretend I'm on the telly a bit. All the people that work on the show are bloody lovely which is another bonus, and as well as the crew, producers etc its nice to have people such as Abandoman and Chris Cox about to banter with as though we were backstage at a gig, only its a gig for mental kids and not drunk twats. Oh and Dick and Dom are properly funny which is a lovely thing to see. I've never watched kids fall about and giggle quite as hard as watching Dom tell them he hates them all and they make him want to sick down his own trouser leg, then take his trousers off and sick down his own leg. Just brilliant. So anyway, what I'm setting up here is that within a few days, I've realised I'm all quite chilled about this rather lovely job.

Until I asked who the guest was for yesterday's show, and I was told it was Jessica Hynes. I almost instantly got a tad too excited and confessed just how much I think she's hella awesome. I am, and always will be, in awe of Spaced. I think it will reign in my time as what I consider to be the best sitcom ever ever. And she was bloody well in it. And wrote it. Then acted in lots of other awesome stuff including Doctor Who. I was a small mess, and asked the producer if there'd be anyway I could meet her. He very kindly said he'd see what he can do and I instantly felt I had crossed the line from being a super cool professional warm up man to goofy idiot fanboy. I was ashamed of such a thing, and decided that in no way would I be annoying and get in the way of everything in order for a selfish snap. At the same time my head kept reminding me that I'd met Pegg, worked with Eldon and Smiley, and now only needed to meet Jessica, Frost and Heap to get the full set (yes, ok there's still Julia Deakin and Katy Carmicheal but I once got a letter from Julia about a pub's licensing issues when I worked for Camden council so it sort of counts). This would then be closely followed by my brain saying in a slightly different tone of voice that I am a huge mega loser.

I found myself in the same green room as Jessica a few times and didn't really say much as I felt like merely the warm-up dude, but she was bloody lovely and friendly. I left fairly sharpish as had to get on with controlling a lot of children to including one mad boy called Tommy who said he knew magic and could make me disappear. When I asked how he would do it, he said he'd push me off a cliff. Lovely. As the show finished I raced back to my dressing room with my name on it to get my stuff and as I walked out she was a few doors down asking Dick and Dom for their autographs for her kids. She didn't have a pen so I gladly lent her my shitty biro and asked in return for a pic. This wasn't really a fair swap. Its a piss poor biro and had I thought it through or had more time I'd have offered my black Pilot pen which is of a much higher standard. Everyone knows where they stand with a Pilot pen. I bet Obama uses a Pilot pen. She was more than happy to do this and I felt like such a buffoon for even asking, but skipped away with this:

And then awkwardly realised I would have to walk down the stairs behind here after mumbling that she was brilliant several times, so stood back a bit and hid till she had left. Such. A. Loser. Though Chris Cox said she did comment on my warm up work backstage and ask what my name was and he promised he wasn't lying. Though that doesn't mean he didn't mess with her mind to make her say that. One day this might stop happening to me. I think the problem is that there are so few people that truly influenced my comedy taste as a teenager that those that are responsible for my current career will always be a bit humbling to meet. Let's hope I never bump into Chris Morris or I will probably wee myself. To be fair, I bet he already has a Pilot pen. Monday's guest is someone I know so we should be back on super cool turf, if I'm allowed anywhere near the stars ever again.

Last note of today's blog. I finally saw 10 o'Clock Live last night and, er, it wasn't bad. That's a fairly diplomatic way of saying it. Bits were funny, but very little of it was opinionated enough to really make it feel like a political comedy show. There was a small section on Serco that Lauren Laverne presented that was excellent though (and I'm sorry to our new neighbour for saying such things) but she did read it as though it was just on the autocue in front of her. I mean, it probably was, but that's not the point. David Mitchell's interview with Alistair Campbell provided neither enough laughs or enough cutting questions to make it worthwhile and his other interview with the professor of terrorism studies, the man wrongly accused of being a terrorist and a barrister who deals with terrorism laws, was excellent. However, this was mostly to do with the heated banter between the three guests about the changing laws rather than anything Mitchell said. Don't get me wrong, I like all the presenters. Brooker's bits are great, though exactly like Newswipe. Jimmy Carr's funny but not at all political - 'there have been a lot of economics on TV haven't there?' - and Laverne is kind of left to do all the bits no one else seems to want to. Its got a very odd feel to it. So far its the best thing on telly in terms of commenting on current issues in anyway and I hope they all find their feet and give it a sharper tongue. Then again several people on Twitter were saying how the Serco bit didn't work and I can't help but feel its idiots like that that assume Carr making a joke about flying the Nimrod planes into the Middle East is political, therefore stopping any actual desire for good satire and commentary from appearing on our tellies anytime soon. Please Channel 4, please prove me wrong.

After my day of fun yesterday, tonight I'm off to Milton Keynes. No I won't be gawping out of the window like that kid in the advert - you know? You remember eh? - as I'm driving and will die. Every cloud as they say.

1 comment:

  1. *That* doesn't sound twattish - just quite sweet. Especially as she's properly one of your proper real heroes! Twattish is sitting next to lloyd woolf at a party and pretending you don't know who he is (after having memorised most of both series of cowards) because you don't want to appear like a mad fangirl when you're supposed to be being all cool and normal surrounded by comedians...then later sending him a message on facebook telling him you pretended not to know who he was because you didn't want to appear like a mad fangirl. oh dear. this happened nearly two years ago, and i am still embarrassed.

    By the way, that last paragraph confused the hell out of me. oh - i just read it aloud, and it worked much better than in my head. oh, the amazing wonders of intonation.