A couple of pieces of news about me which might have reached you from other sources.
Firstly, remember when I ran a tremendously long way (13.1 miles)? You might barely be aware of it, so little did I bang on and on about it. Well, as you might know, old Minchin – my friend, colleague, inspiration, and fierce-competitor-to-the-death – and I sometimes run together and can be seen trotting around the woods near Crouch End. He is also running a ‘half’, as truly cool people like us call half-marathons. We’ve placed a little gentlemen’s bet on the question of whether he can beat my now famous time of 1.50.27. That is, a little bet between gentlemen, not a bet between little gentlemen.
Except it’s not really a gentlemen’s bet because there is money on it. If he comes in under my time, I will give £150 to the kids’ charity he is running for. If he’s slower, then it’s ker-ching for my charity (www.themoldovaproject.com). So, one way or another, a charity wins. (I should probably point out that if Minchin wins, I shall take the money out of my actual money. Not out of what I raised via your contributions. I hope that goes without saying…)
Mixed feelings for me, of course, because I support Minchin and everything he does, and tend to look up to him as a sort of older brother figure, and would love to see him make an excellent job of the marathon, but I really want to win the bet. So, unfortunately, I may soon start sabotaging his efforts by poisoning him when we meet for coffee, undermining his confidence by muttering ‘fatty, fatty’ during jogs, and so on.
Of course, when I ran MY half-marathon, the bet didn’t exist yet. If I’d known I was setting a time for Tim to beat, I would have forced a couple of extra minutes out of my poor old legs probably. So he has a slight advantage in that regard because he can always speed up near the end. But that’s easier said than done, of course. Anyway. Despite the competitive aspect, I recommend you follow this epic contest by reading about it on www.timminchin.com and continuing to check back here. And on that website you can of course sponsor old Timmy, too. Taking-it-in-turns racing. It’s the new racing at the same time.
The other thing – this was announced on Chortle while I was on my way here – I’m going to be hosting a sports-based panel show sort of thing called Mark Watson Kicks Off. It’s on ITV4 and it is, basically, a televised adaptation of Fighting Talk, the popular Radio 5 show which I’m sometimes on. Colin Murray hosts that, but he’s not available for this, so they’ve scanned the country for the person who looks most like him, and ended up coming back to me. I didn’t mention this on the blog before, because I don’t know of how much interest it will be to the large numbers of you who are not sports fans. BUT it is still me prattling on, telling people off, making remarks, having T-shirts on etc. So if you like that sort of stuff, well, you should get something out of it. It’ll be on in October. I am hugely looking forward to it, I must say.
And the other thing is, holyshitit’sonlyfifteenminutestillthedeadline. I wrote most of this last night (Aus time) but then ended up, not to put too fine a point on it, falling asleep suddenly (I’ve been working quite hard), and then had to wake up for a breakfast radio interview, but went straight back to sleep, and SUDDENLY WOKE UP IN A SWEAT FEARING I HAD BEEN CRUELLY CAUGHT OUT BY THE TIME DIFFERENCE. But no. Not quite. I’m ever so sorry. I hardly dare look at Twitter. I bet my name is mud. But hey, we’ve got away it.
If it’s any consolation it’s still bloody early here. (It won’t be any consolation.)