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The grey office buildings sped by as the train picked up the pace. I was busily reading the newspaper, trying to forget that in an hour I would have a camera shoved in my face and a TV crew hanging on my every word. I had been invited up to London to be filmed for a segment of an End of Year Show for Channel 5 and ITV, a fact which was in turn exciting and nerve-jangling. Boris Johnson had been sacked, I was deemed the foremost expert on him. Very good of them to think so, I said, and after goading from my manager and friends, I accepted their invitation. I donned my best white top, conducted an extra-through shave, and travelled up sharpish.
The graffiti on the line was getting increasingly tiresome, and I was pleased when Waterloo came into view. There was little time to amble, and I raced through the crowds and down the tube escalator, desperately looking for the Northern Line platform.
Within 20 minutes, and an astonishing 30 minutes early, I’d arrived. The venue was a posh hotel near Marble Arch called The Leonard, and I approached the reception desk with a air of superiority. “I’m here to be filmed. Where should I go?”, I asked, and brimmed with pride as I noticed the reverence I was suddenly being shown. I waited in the foyer, nervously drumming my fingers and rehearsing the lines I’d prepared on the journey up. Before long I was summoned to a large suite of rooms, and in the main room stood a large television camera, a large umbrella, a bright light and the producer. Both the producer and the interviewer were friendly to a fault, put me at my ease and told me that they may only use a little bit of my monologue, if any, as I was a late addition. They also were astounded at my height – and this caused considerable problems with the microphone and camera alignment. As they struggled to raise the height of their equipment, I went through the facts I had prepared. And then – AND THEN – the camera started rolling. I forgot everything. I tried reeling off Boris facts, witticisms and anecdotes, extolling the virtues of an all-encompassing Boris-led country, and managed to pull a couple of suitable passages out of the bag. However, everything I’d prepared went straight out the window, to my eternal regret.
After 40 minutes, my first foray into the media was over. I’ve no idea if it was good enough – in fact, even if it was good enough I’ve no notion of whether it’ll be squeezed into the programme. My fifteen minutes of fame may be over before I’ve even noticed…