Monday, March 28, 2011

The Teenage Cancer Trust Gigs

Roger Daltrey, originally uploaded by Dave Gorman.

Working for Absolute Radio has delivered some real joys thus far... but last Thursday was pretty special. The station are very involved with the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs and I was asked if I'd introduce Roger Daltrey. It didn't take long to come up with an answer. Yes.

You can find out more about the Teenage Cancer Trust and the great work they do at their website,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Aaaaand we're off...

I love it when there's variety in life and the last three days have certainly had that.

On Friday we recorded the second episode of the Museum of Curiosity - (I'm loving this series... it always has such genuinely interesting guests) on Saturday I hosted the first of my new nights - (Dave Gorman's Screen Guild) - and on Sunday morning I presented my show for Absolute Radio.

In a way they're all just-be-yourself gigs but I'm very aware that as I switch my attention from what's just finished to what's just around the corner there is a change of gear required as a different kind of headspace is used.

With The Museum I need to do a bit of reading around the topics on the day. With the Sunday morning show I need to do some writing in advance (mainly the new 'Five Favourite Faces' feature that has become the start of the show) but mainly it's about reacting to what happens on the day. The Screen Guild on the other hand requires a lot of work. It took about 8 hours to construct the powerpoint presentation that glued the night together. I think it was worth it.

As I said in a recent blog post, the point of the night is two-fold. It's a place for me to a) experiment with new ideas and b) showcase acts I really like.

The only way of building up a store of new material is to try it live and as I want to play with material that isn't just one-man-and-a-mic stand-up, there aren't a lot of places that can actually accommodate it. But Hoxton Hall is a perfect venue. It's small enough to maintain the feeling of intimacy and yet big enough to house what I want to put on stage. And as you can see from the picture at the top of this post... it's pretty too.

The March gig sold out pretty quickly and the April date has now sold out too. But there are still tickets available for May, June and July. It's a hard show to put on. But blimey it was worth it. I feel excited about live work in the way I did 20 years ago when I was just starting out. It's like knocking a wall down and opening up a whole new place to play.

I'm already thinking about the next one... and about ways to take the material to other places. I'll mull on that and get back to you. After we've recorded another Museum of Curiosity on Tuesday night... and I've introduced Roger Daltrey at the Teenage Cancer Trust gig at the Albert Hall on Thursday night... and whatever else I'm up to this week. Actually, there is something else... but that's for another day.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Suited, Not Booted... for Comic Relief.

This picture is here for a reason. It's not to announce that I'm pregnant although you could be forgiven for thinking it is.

It's a shot taken by the renowned photographer Richard Cannon of me wearing an Ozwald Boateng suit. The suit has been worn by lots of comics... and Richard has photographed each of us doing different things while wearing it. (At least I assume we all do different things. It would be weird if we were all jumping off a plinth in Golden Square.)

Anyway... after doing the photo shoot I was given a marker pen and I signed on the inside of the jacket and everyone else who's taken part has done the same.

Stephen Merchant, Hugh Dennis, David Baddiel, Andi Osho, Al Murray, Frank Skinner, Stephen K. Amos, Rhod Gilbert, Shappi Khorshandi, Rufus Hound, Scott Capurro and loads of others (25 in total) have all taken part.

And now the suit is up for auction on ebay. With all the proceeds going to Comic Relief. As well as the suit, the winning bid will also get a large colour print showing all the photos and a portrait session with Richard Cannon...

If you want to bid... the auction is here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just one of those days...

So... yesterday I had the good fortune to interview Michael Stipe. It's for Absolute Radio - it'll go into the show a week tomorrow (March 20). He was absolutely charming and their new album really is great... I love this:

The minute the interview was done I had to dash off to the BBC where we recorded the first episode in the new series of Radio 4's Museum of Curiosity. I'm the new curator. It's an ace job: They book some amazingly interesting guests, John Lloyd presides over things and I sit on the end being a bit of a naughty schoolboy. Lovely. There was a very, very strong panel on show one... with Natalie Haynes, David McCandless and David Crystal all bringing completely different sensibilities to the show. A bit of a 'David' overload but we managed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Libel Reform Bill

Houses of Parliament, originally uploaded by Dave Gorman.

The campaign to reform the UK's libel laws continues with the launch of a new blueprint - a document that explains clearly and concisely the changes that people think are necessary - in Parliament today. Unfortunately I'm working and won't be able to be in Committee Room 5 to lend my support in person.

There has been much discussion on twitter about it this morning... in part generated by the support of some slebtastic names... Jonathan Ross, Dara O'Briain, Shappi Khorsandi, Marcus Brigstocke and loads of others have attached their names to it.

But I worry that some people will see the names and be put off. Not because they dislike those people but because the very concept of celebrity suggests that these-people-are-different-to-the-rest-of-us.

The most read about libel cases are those that involve celebrities. I think most people think libel is largely about newspapers printing some lies about so-and-so sleeping with whojamaflip and that therefore it's nothing to do with them.

So when they see a load of glittery names attached they might be tempted to think, "Libel reform... slebs... yeah... they'll be wanting tougher laws for the newspapers and stuff... that's not really much of a priority thanks very much..."

But that's not what it's about at all. It's about making the system fairer for all. At the moment the UK libel laws allow rich people to bully poor people. If you write a blog or post on a forum you should be in support of Libel Reform.

If you want a free press that can investigate what's going on in the world you should be in support of Libel Reform. And if you want medical research to advance properly, through scientific debate and for naysayers to not be silenced by wealthy pharmaceutical companies... then, yep, you should be in support of it too.

I think that's pretty much everyone. Whether people agree with the blueprint or not I hope people realise this is an issue that seriously affects us all...