My thoughts on the countryside yesterday (the countryside, in this case, being a few plants in the garden of my hotel) provoked a typically balanced set of comments in favour of greenery or nasty dirty old roads (my personal favourite). It goes without saying that any opinions I express here are pretty frivolous and not meant to upset anyone with the contrary opinion, and indeed, it was a pleasure to hear from some country-loving folk. The most authoritative of these, and the only one to really rise to my challenge of naming some plants you couldn’t see, was Deborah Fern. This is a serious countryphile: she owns a shepherd’s crook, hopes to marry a farmer, and even has ‘Fern’ as her name. In case you missed it, she wrote:
So to your surroundings – the purple flowers if shaped like a pompom are probably alliums (a member of the onion family). I’d say the climber is either a clematis or perhaps a Virginia creeper. The bush with blue flowers probably a ceanothus (see-an-o-this). The red leaved tree will be an acer japonica. So is there a prize for this?
Yes, after that, I think there should be. What do you want, Deborah? (Terms and conditions apply.)
Among yesterday’s other impressive contributions was a proposal by Corey for a game-show called ‘Britain’s Got Tarrant’ in which the ‘Millionaire’ host, whom I worked with not so long ago, is kidnapped each week. I will work on getting this commissioned, although perhaps it’s not the best time for me to approach the BBC…
Thanks for all the messages about We Need Answers. All of our few, loyal viewers are highly valued by us (Key, Watson and Horne). To be h0nest it was not a big shock as we knew BBC4 was being shaken up and made to cut its ‘quirky comedy’ quota, which basically means us. In a sense it was a brave decision for them to make it in the first place. The only shame is that nearly everyone who watched it seemed to like it, and a lot of them REALLY liked it; the show’s being axed because there just weren’t enough of them – and if you get rid of shows on that basis, virtually no show on a digital channel wouldever have survived its first series. Plus, the BBC themselves have the power to determine ratings by doing trailers and press and so on, and they didn’t really bother doing that with We Need Answers; instead they promoted shows that were already huge. So you end up with a catch-22 where the show can’t really catch on till more people hear about it, but they’re not allowed to hear about it until it has caught on. It’s similar to the way sometimes families put all their energies into helping the golden boy who’s already sorted, and leave the black sheep to struggle more and more.
But I’m grateful the BBC ever gave it a chance in the first place, and we will almost certainly do more live We Need Answers in the future. And continue to play No More Women, the spin-off game, which you can find online.
Tonight I did a preview show in what I can only call a school hall, in Ashford. On the whole, it was quite good. There are two months until the show goes to Edinburgh, and then it will be out on tour. During these times, the blog may become worryingly negative on occasion, depending on how things are going. But at the very least it should be quite lively reading.
I haven’t said anything of note today, I do apologise. It’s fair to say the blog is more interesting when I actually choose a subject, like yesterday. But sometimes it really is all I can do to just chat to you for a while, like this. The way I might if you were a single person and we were travelling home together. And we were going to have a cup of tea and then curl up in bed. Night night.