Sound decision

jem-at-ecademy

I’ve just missed out on a speaking job for a bizarre reason.

It was to compere the end of season dinner for a well known English football club.
(Not West Ham, but not one of our rivals, so stop looking at me like that, it was a paid gig!)

They contacted me. I gave them a quote and they gave the job to someone else.

I never mind missing out because someone has undercut me on price. But that wasn’t the reason.

It turns out the chap who got the gig, has his own sound system. He turns up with microphone, amplifier and speakers.

It’s always disappointing not to get a job, but I’ve no plans to become a roadie just yet. I used to be the face of football on Channel 5 you know, till my hair fell out. So I won’t be buying a transit van just yet.

Now where’s that box set of Saxondale?

Picture courtesy of Dianna Bonner

Ski cross

My mate Dave is a big Hull City fan.  Last season he was at the Boleyn for the match which marked my return as the announcer. It was a brilliant night, I walked around shaking hands with everyone and was so happy to be  back. Especially when we won under lights to restart our season.  I think the Hull fans were a bit surprised when the West Ham announcer wandered into their end to chat to one of their own.

Yesterday, while we were beating Hull again in a vital game, Dave was nowhere to be seen. He’s so worried about Hull being relegated, he’s taken drastic action. He’s upped and moved to Canada for a year with his wife Nicola.  They set off a month ago with no jobs to go to, but lots of ideas. Amazingly Dave landed himself a job at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. From the picture on Facebook he appears to be a snow sweeper.

I haven’t thought much of the winter olympics so far. Last time we swept up in the curling. We’ve always been good at the housework related events.

But then came a win for Amy Williams from Bristol in the skeleton.  I’m a big fan of BBC drama Being Human, so I know most Bristol young folk are either vampires, werewolves or ghosts. I didn’t know there were skeletons there too. I really must visit my nephew Chris who’s at university there, to make sure he’s not in any danger.

And today it’s been the best so far at the games. What a brilliant event Ski Cross is. Four people on skis racing over a BMX style course with two going through to the next round. It reminds me of speedway a bit. Apart from it being on snow and downhill and without the motorbikes.

The ski suits they wear look like they’ve come from Fat Willys. They are the surfers of the ski world. I’m sure I heard the commentator say one skier was disqualified because his trousers were too tight. He could tuck them into his boots.  I’m not sure why that would mean disqualification. Unless Graham Poll is a ski cross referee.

Jem – London-  21 Feb 2010

Blue Peter

When I was a kid, Blue Peter was a top programme full of educational features.

This week I have seen Dick and Dom making pancakes on Blue Peter, plus a song by the young pop combo who are so poor they have to share the single name of Jedward.

I should point out that I only watched out of the corner of my eye and with the sound turned down, because I was in an edit suite at the time, putting together a cutting edge TV feature.  However, most angry letters to the Daily Mail  begin with the phrase, ‘I didn’t see it myself, but I was outraged to learn……’  (I don’t read the Mail myself, as it outrages me, but I’m led to be believe in the existence of such letters.)

What is going on in the world? Blue Peter used to be educational.  If you wanted to muck about you turned over and watched Magpie.  That was what commercial television was for.

Are really going to produce the leaders from tomorrow by teaching them how to make batter based snack products?  It was hard to tell the ingredients with the sound turned down, but these looked a bit like French pancakes to me. They were certainly a bit crepe.

When Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, he knew he needed to carb up, like marathon runners do with a pasta meal the night before a race.  That’s what pancake day is all about.  Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, call it what you want, it’s all about stocking up for the long haul ahead. It’s about getting ready to make a few sacrifices in your life, like giving up chocolates for Lent or going camping in the wilderness.

It’s not about dicking about in da bungalow and seeing how much mess you can make by battering each other. It’s certainly not about putting a Jedward wig on a Blue Peter dog while the tuneless, high-haired, halfwits leap about scaring the rest of the animals.

I remember the days when Janet Ellis was sacked from Blue Peter because she set a bad example to youngsters by giving birth to a young pop star, Sophie Ellis Bextor.  Presenters have always had to be whiter than white. Richard Bacon was sacked for having a diet coke, I seem to half remember.

I’ve still got my Blue Peter badge from the day I made a film for the programme. I got into the last three to become a presenter, having made it through the rigorous and notorious trampoline audition.  But did I get the job?  No they gave it to Anthea Turner, who after a good start spoiled everything by selling her wedding for the price of a bar of chocolate.

So that’s what this is all about. It’s not about wigs on dogs or messy cooks, it’s about not getting a job back in the early nineties, when I still had hair.  Well I never realised that’s what was going on in my subconscious.  This blog may well be turning out to be a bit dull for you the reader, but I tell you what, it’s saving me a fortune in trips to my analyst.

(I should point out in case my Mum reads this, that I don’t have an analyst and this is poetic licence. Even if it doesn’t rhyme.)

Jem    19th Feb 2010   On the couch

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