Afternoon Tea-vee

September 2007 is nearly over and along with millions of others I’m SAD. We’ve not even had an Indian summer to speak of. I’m afraid you find me watching telly on a Thursday afternoon as the charcoal grey clouds over the Thames threaten rain and Joseph Cotton, who also looks a little Seasonally Affected to me, chases off marauding Sioux Indians in glorious Technicolour. Watching mid week tv in the afternoon has to be one of the most depressing experiences since doing a voice-over in a damp basement in Baker Street with an engineer called Karl who’se at the end of a telephone line in Norwich.
I had the notion, earlier, to go to a tea-dance at the Waldorf Hotel but I’m expecting an old chum at 4.00 so they’ll be no waltzing for me although I shall serve up a passable cup of Silver Tip Darjeeling with a custard tart. By which time Mr.Cotton, as Mr.Custard, will have stood his last stand with the be-feathered hoards. I must admit though, that ever since I helped Beth write her Native American project 14 years ago,I cannot watch a Cowie without my blood boiling at the re-inventing of American history even if they are well shot.
Talking of which…..

….LBC is a bit like Dodge City at the moment. It’s been taken over by new management and is going through dramatic changes. I’ve only been there for 20 odd programmes but long term speech-jocks have been handed their cards whilst veteran producers have their cardboard boxes at the ready.
I don’t really know any of the people and I don’t understand the politics of Radio but sharing an office with people who are facing long term ‘lie-ins’ is deeply discombobulating – a word used on Coronation Street this week by the Polish factory worker who has a good line in Eastern European vowel sounds and has now been cast as commiserating comrade to Roy’s wife/husband, Hayley/Harold over her/his newly found son.
Some people inject drugs when life is tough I imbibe Corrie.Yeah! It could be worse. Yesterday I sat in for LBC’s Allison Bell, after which I should have gone to see ‘Bad Girls’ the musical but I felt a little queasy at the thought of it. Not the show; I, literally, felt a little queasy.
It has been a long week, all dead emotional. On Monday night I sat in for Paul Ross.
The role of the presenter is inextricably linked with the producer. The engineer keeps you on track. I didn’t know either of my crew. Mr. Lowrie is on holiday in Barcelona – I felt like I was swimming in sago with Leonardo De Caprio AND Kate Winslet strapped to my life belt. How I did is anybody’s guess.
‘Just be yourself’ they keep counselling. ‘Which one?’ I ask.
On Tuesday evening, Jim and I went to the wrap party of ‘Food Poker’.
You’ll love the show. I’m doing the commentary. They wanted a male presenter, like a card-shark, and they’ve got it in the handsomly talented Matt Allwright. He really is good, much taller than he looks on ‘Rogue Trader’.
We arrived at ‘RED’ in Kingly Street, behind Carnaby Street. Down into the bowels of the earth where the cast and crew were congregating. Jim chatted to Dan one of the cameramen whilst I sat at the bar with a glass of water as chef after chef walked in. I felt like the greeter at a Jewish wedding – Jun Tanaker, Martin Blunos, Maria Elia, more camera men from GFL, PA’s, researchers – it was like a reunion party, a tear or two dripped into my ice-cubes.
Jim had 3 glasses of red wine and two black sambuccos, went up stairs for a quiet fag but returned ashen. He said it was like ‘Bladerunner’ up there. I think it was a combination of age, booze and the Globe. Why the Globe? Well he’s been running around as a Shakesperean geezer since May and it’s ‘London Fashion Week’. The centre of London is awash with wierdo fashionistas although not even Vivien Westwood could compete with Jim’s little off the shoulder number he wears in ‘Merchant of Venice.’
A swift drive home and it was supper in a Nepalese restaurant in Battersea High Street. The daughter and her friend joined us for ice-cream and nibbles. Jim and I went for hot prawns, a sort of Italian provencal fish stew that blew your brains out, and a chicken curry, that demanded the use of several paper napkins and a nan bread. The nan to mop up the gravy – the napkins to mop up the nostrils.
Yesterday was more LBC, today was more voice overs, tomorrow yet more voice overs, Saturday more radio but tonight – well it’s Atul Kochar’s BENARES for a Michelin starred madras with my literary agent , her assistant and Jim. The food will be much cooler than our previous Nepelese nepalm, whilst the location requires a clean car and an up to date tax disk!
But excuse me, there’s the buzzer, it’s my tea chum; kettle on, custards to the ready and ‘Heigh Ho Silver…’

3 thoughts on “Afternoon Tea-vee”

  1. Hi Jen,
    I am beginning to feel like some sort of stalker ths is the third time in one week that I have replied to your blog. I e-mailed Rob Hooker at LBC “Ivory Towers” yesterday(since the new management moved in) about the wonderful St.Anna R and sadly heard she will not return. Ms Bell is great with her tongue in cheek style but I feel there is place for both. They have obviously made thier minds up, so smut is in the air all afternoon Monday to Friday! Please let them not do the same to Paul Ross. As you know I have been listening for years and have enjoyed many presenters but felt in the last year or so that they hit the nail on the head. Alas things change. By the way I thought you were the face behind Food Poker not that bloody Matt Allright I and the husband cant stand him! Cant please everyone I suppose, will give it a go for you.
    Night from me and the choc lab Nutmeg.
    PS How’s Jackson?

  2. Ooh you lucky girl!
    My Husband took me to Benares for our Wedding Anniversary and it was scrummy! Even better, they do not serve “Michelin star sized portions”! I couldn’t even manage a pud and waddled down to the bus stop, rather than the elegant shimmy more befitting of the occassion.
    Really excited about food poker, but admit I am a tad dissapointed as I assumed you were fronting the show.
    Still be nice to have you back on our screens in whatever format!

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