I had last week - by which I mean the one day of the week that I work on the wireless - off because I was working in Germany covering a darts tournament. (I only spell it out like that because I love the darts and the whole covering-a-darts-tournament sentence still makes me tingle with the stupid excitement of it all.)
But yesterday I was back...only to discover that the rest of my colleagues had disappeared. Apart from Rich - who's job is as unpaid as it is ill-defined. (But trust me, one day he'll be in charge of all the world's radio because he's that smart and talented.)
Our latest signing - hotshot producer Chris - is having a holiday. Apparently the fact that he'd booked it before he got the job meant we had to let him take it. What's wrong with a bit of tough love, I ask? Employment Law comes the answer.
And my on-air chums; Danielle and Martin are both away for a while as they've got a show at the Edinburgh Festival. They've only gone and written a musical. It's called Gutted. A Revenger's Musical. I saw an early preview of it in London and it's genuinely very, very good. Go and see it if you're up at the festival. But don't hang around and heap too much praise on them because I don't want it to go to their heads. If they realise how talented they are they'll never come back to the cosy fold of Sunday morning radio with little old me. I don't want them getting ideas above their radio station.
So, anyway, as far as voices-and-button-pushing stuff goes all of a sudden I was the most senior man in the studio yesterday. Hotshot-Chris was replaced by Overqualified-Justin while Martin and Danielle were replaced by Bob Golding and Mel Giedroyc respectively. Or irrespectively... there's no rule that says it has to be a boy-for-a-boy and a girl-for-a-girl... but you somehow just know it is.
We used to have a regular interview on the show. But around new year we stopped because we always ended up tossing away e-mails and texts from listeners that we liked in order to accommodate the guests. We decided to only have guests when we really, really loved them instead of just as a matter of course. (We've had Harry Shearer and Neil Hannon since, so you can see that we meant it).
But back when we were having a weekly guest, Bob came in to talk about the one-man play, Morecambe that he was starring in, in the West End. I loved him and made a mental note to make sure we invited him back whenever the opportunity arose.
Mel's one of those people that it feels like we should have met and worked together loads of times. I can't quite work out how our paths didn't cross sooner. As it goes, I first met her a couple of months ago when she was a guest on Genius. Again, I thought she was fab and made a mental note to make sure we worked together again at the first opportunity. (The latest series of Genius is all filmed and ready to go by the way... we're just waiting for Mr & Mrs BBC2-Scheduler to tell us when.)
So while there were a lot of new people in the studio yesterday there was also a lot of loveliness bouncing around. I had an ace time with my new radio chums.
We'll be the same mix next week. I imagine it'll feel like we're all old hands who've been doing the show together forever. Oh... and it would be remiss of me to not mention that the podcast is available on itunes here.