So. Sorry about the faffing about which has preceded this revelation. It’s probably not as exciting as I’ve accidentally made it out to be. I’m conscious that hype is normally followed by anti-climax. Having said that, maybe there was a slight element of trying to build suspense, because like everyone else, I’ve got to have cliffhangers to boost my ratings. If not enough read this blog, then regardless of how good it is, I might lose the slot. (Little joke about my TV career there.)
Also, this will come as less than a surprise than it might have to some people, because I was loose-tongued about it on Twitter, forgetting that a conversation on Twitter can be overheard by others with the same followers and what-not. So, sorry about that too. And that’s all the apologising I’m going to do: now strap yourselves in for the biggest thing in history.
On February 28, then – a month and a day from now – I, Tom Basden and Tim Key will record a new MW Makes The World Substantially Better. It will probably not be called quite that, because it’s going to be different in a few key ways. But it will essentially be that. So that’s good news if you like this famously whimsical radio series, probably my most popular piece of work except maybe my Pot Noodle ad in 2006.
But here’s the thing: the main way in which it will be different from the previous series is this one will be LIVE.
LIVE, LIVE, LIVE.
We will begin it at 11pm on February 28th and at the same time, it will go out to the nation. No editing. Live interaction between us and listeners. No cheating by turning up the laughs in post-production. Ad-libbed bits go on the air whether funny or rubbish. No controls on potentially fatal swearing/Richard Keys-esque disasters.
Really, really risky. Haha.
If it goes well, we might end up doing a series live in the same manner. If not, maybe a series in the old, pre-recorded way. If really bad, I might find another job.
So, this will be a pretty exciting night. If you ever came to see one of the original shows recorded, you’ll remember I was nervous enough even doing that. I’m going to be like a man with a cat in his trousers this time around. I hope it will have that Derren Brown live TV special atmosphere of ‘tonight you are going to see something amazing happen…’ even if it’s going to be mostly a case of jokes, songs and poems, rather than earth-shattering influencing of the public.
You can imagine, there’s scarcely been a gig in my career where it was more important to have a ‘home crowd’. So, although normally these things are ticketed by the BBC and it’s a bit of a lottery, this time I have secured permission to stuff the room with as many readers of this blog as I can get.
You need to be able to be in Central London late on a Monday night (it was the only night we could do it, sorry) which takes out a fair few of you right away. You need to be easily excitable and ideally prone to laughing out loud and whooping, or failing that, just have a nice encouraging face. It’s a bonus if you have heard/liked the radio shows before, but not essential. Basically by dint of the fact that you’re reading this, you are already qualified. Unless you’re one of these jackasses that still occasionally wander onto here to write a grammatically flimsy insult. But they’re starting to die out.
So it couldn’t be easier – to be added to the Watsonian Guest List for this event, post your interest below. This will be open for maybe a week before they allocate the rest of the tickets to (gulp) the general public. Although luckily, still the portion of the general public who apply for Radio 4 tickets. Not many should end up in the hands of these frightening kids who sometimes stand around outside the supermarket. Or thieves. To give just two examples.
And if you are one of the exasperated souls who are too young/not-in-London/in-possession-of-a-proper-job to attend this unique Watson event, take solace in the fact that there will quite a few ways to interact with the show WHILE IT IS GOING ON.
And if that doesn’t cheer you up, there’s a chance something along these lines, but even riskier and even more demanding-of-Watsonians, will occur this summer. So there you go. As one mystery is cleared up, another immediately takes its place. As with life, eh?
UPDATE, 3pm: Oh yeah. I should have said. If your actual name isn’t obvious from the username and the email address you use to post on this site, please give it to me, so I can provide them with a reassuringly well organised list. Ta.