Thursday, June 8, 2006

Vorderman and Waddell

Genius continues to be a hugely enjoyable series to make. It's remarkably unfraught. Maybe that's just how radio is. Or maybe it's to do with the particular people involved - Team Genius (four bearded men and a Dutch lady - there's a film title) are a very affable bunch. Or maybe it's the fact that every show is so different. I really like the way in which the members of the public who are pitching their ideas all get involved and of course the guests all bring their tone to the show also. So it's impossible to rehearse and the show remains a fresh and fun night out for me as much as anyone else.

We've recorded two shows since I last wrote and they've been very different affairs. I was dead chuffed that Carol Vorderman agreed to be a guest and she was a brilliant sport on the night who completely entered into the spirit of the show. Sid Waddell was as wonderfully eccentric and Waddellish as anyone could hope for and again, I had a really fun night. I'm not sure everyone there understood him, mind.

The recordings are coming thick and fast now with one tomorrow and another on Monday so there's no time to sit back after a recording and we go straight into thinking about the next one. As well as the final show on Monday, I also start a week on The Wright Stuff. I'm going to be on with Janet Ellis again which is always fun. Don't get me wrong, I once enjoyed a week on the show in the company of Anne Widdecombe but I've done the show with Janet more than anyone else (well, apart from Matthew Wright... he's always on it... I think he knows someone) and whenever I've agreed to do the show there's a part of me thinking, 'oo... I hope it's a Janet Ellis week'.

Incidentally, Janet is involved in organising a benefit gig at the Lyric in Hammersmith on Sunday night. If I wasn't so busy with the Radio 4 show I'd certainly be going to it and if you're free you should think of doing so as it's a top line-up. There are details here.

Not so long ago I wrote about the evil ITV show, The Mint after I turned up as an answer. I really do think it's a horrible show while still admiring the skill of some of the presenters who can talk about nothing for hours on end. It's like QVC only instead of selling tacky jewellery they sell hopes and dreams. I mention this because last week I found myself in a photographic studio with Mint presenter Brian Dowling. I was wearing a vaguely Miami Vice outfit and holding a toy golf club while he was licking a cornetto. Did I confront him with the fact that I think his job is evil? Of course not, I shook his hand and said, "Nice to meet you" because I've been brough up properly and he's a nice man. A nice man who gets paid to persuade people to spend money they can't afford entering stupid competitions that offer them only the tiniest chance of riches maybe, but a nice man all the same.

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