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Wednesday 28th September 2016


Christian Reilly came round today to record some of the songs for the nursery rhyme parody section on AIOTM. Fittingly the nursery was acoustically the best room to do these in. We had set aside the whole day but managed to get everything done in a couple of hours. This is just the first stage though as the songs have to be sent off to Chay who is going to animate them, but it’s good to have another load of stuff moving towards completion. I still feel a bit sick when I realise how much I’ve got to do. Not least of which write a script for the next recording on the 16th October (plenty of tickets left - come along if you can). It’s cool to have so many talented people help me get this thing together. But there’s a whole lot to do yet. A lot of filming and a lot of writing and a lot of organising.  It makes me feel a bit vertiginous thinking about it, especially given I’ve also got to write four sitcom episodes by Christmas and find guests for  RHLSTP, but you know I love having a bit too much stuff to do.

I now had the afternoon to catch up with work, but a morning of singing about monkeys and owls and unicorns had exhausted me so instead I ran all my errands. I then stopped off in one of the new cafes that have sprung up on the Uxbridge Road. Five years ago whenever a new business sprung up it was invariably a fried chicken joint. It seemed crazy there could be so much demand for the same service in one place, but clearly the shop owners felt there was. But now a new place is likely to be a cafe or slightly cool restaurant. Even though that's better in every way it makes me slightly sad that the place is being gentrified. I prefer lattes to fried chicken and in most conceivable ways it's a positive thing for me that the local area is up and coming. But still I feel sad about it.

The cafe was empty apart from me. It had two TV screens linked to a computer, one with the prices of the coffees and another with the time, date and weather. The digital clock on that screen had the seconds slowly ticking upwards, which made the experience of being there slightly tense. I don't know why exactly, but the constant movement of the time made it feel like time was passing quickly and that every second counted and though going up felt like the day was slipping away from me and so was my life. I wondered if the too specific clock of doom on the wall was what was putting customers off. Should I tell the nice ladies who worked there that they didn't need to go that accurate with the time. That maybe no clock at all would make people feel happier to pass some time drinking coffee, or at least one that wasn't ever chivvying them on to make something of their lives.

I tweeted a pic of the screen and someone noted that the display said it was Tuesday. Maybe that was to help counteract the dread of the ticking seconds, to give people the impression that they'd still got an extra day to get what they needed done. Or maybe I'd stepped back through a Goodnight Sweetheart type portal that took me back just one day. That wouldn't help me carry out a bigamous affair with the lady in the cafe.

I told them about the date, but not the seconds. I hope I haven't damned their business to failure.

This evening I went to the Science Museum to do a 15 minute set about food (I have an awful lot of stuff about food it turns out) as part of one of their monthly themed evenings when they have a late night opening. It’s a great idea and if you’re still lucky enough to be dating and not have tied yourself down in a loveless marriage (or if you are married, but can get away from your spouse for a bit), it’s a terrific place for  a date. There’s loads on and stalls selling food and booze. You should be encouraged to be drunk in more museums. As I left I passed several smooching couples, so it seems that looking at science is an aphrodisiac and this is a great place to meet clever people if that’s your thing. Or stupid people who want to go out with clever people. Imagine if you hook up with one of them by mistake. Two stupids.

The gig was awesome. There were about 300 people in the imax theatre and they unsurprisingly enjoyed jokes about exponential mathematics and linguistic quirks. I had to follow a bit of audience participation where a very handsome man called Richard, out on a date with a vegetarian, was called upon to eat some insects. He managed to get a massive spider in his mouth and keep it all down, though he nearly gagged a few times, prompting me to comment that I’d never had to perform on a stage with thrown-up spider carcass on it. Weirdly it didn’t cross my mind to reference my old woman who swallowed a fly routine (though not sure I would have remembered it). Also on was the highly recommended George Egg who prepares meals using items that can be found in a hotel room. It’s got to be seen to be believed, but he made pancakes using irons and a Gideon Bible.

Luckily I am a happily married man and though I was able to vent some of my frustration at these lucky twenty and thirty somethings who live carefree lives without responsibilities of parenthood and get to come out on a Wednesday and get drunk in a museum, I was glad to dash home to my amazing wife and only a tiny part of me wished I was twenty years younger and able to have another go, this time realising how fucking lucky I was. 

The Elis James podcast is now up on audio and video in all the usual places. It’s the last in series 9, but there will just be a one-week hiatus before series 10 starts. And to fill the gap we will be releasing three bonus audio podcasts throughout next week. Hooray.

Find out more in next month’s newsletter.

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My new stand up show, Happy Now? will be touring from September 2015 to June 2016 All details here.
Buy tickets to Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from the LST website
You can download the audio for free from the British Comedy Guide or iTunes or watch the video on YouTube