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Monday 12th February 2018

5557/18577
Happy Darwin Day. But when will there be a day for Jesus?

Pretty run down after a busy week and this annoying bug still eating away at me. I had been looking after Ernie overnight and even though he only woke a couple of times it was not enough sleep for me. But a little bit of a snotty nose and a headache aren’t going to stop me bringing childish entertainment to some men who work in IT and so I researched my guests, John Robins, Elis James and Danielle Ward and then headed into town.
After that enjoyable gig for Matt Forde I decided it might be a good idea to try and write my opening monologues for RHLSTP rather than noting down a couple of ideas, running with it and seeing what comes out. I thought I’d done a fair amount of work on the train and backstage, but when I stepped out to do the first one (with a tacked on bit about Kettle Crisps thanks to a last minute delivery backstage), I discovered that I’d hardly written anything down at all. So it was just the same miss mash of half thought out ideas. But I had a great little routine about Cheddar Man for show 2 (next week obvs) but when I tried to get it up on my phone, somehow the document got deleted and I couldn’t retrieve it. So I had to try and remember that too. Luckily one joke emerged basically as written, but the rest did not do so well.
Hopefully I will do better in the future. As RHLSTP becomes almost the main thing that I am doing with my life, it does perhaps make sense to attempt to become more professional. I mean 12 series of half-arsedness is probably enough. But I think maybe the half-arsedness is what makes it appealing. 
You can never really tell which acts are going to sell out on RHLSTP - some of the big names are pretty certain, but then sometimes someone without huge TV presence will surprise you. John and Elis have both been on before, so I knew that they had a dedicated band of fans, but was still a little surprised by how quickly this show sold out and the rock star welcome they got. They thoroughly deserve it though and I like the respect they have for the people who love them this much and their understanding of the responsibilities involved. We talked a fair deal about being fans of other things and that being incentive to understand and embrace obsession, particularly when coming from a teenager. Stew and me had something similar back in the 90s and always did our best to write back to people who wrote to us (indeed my second guest Danielle had written to Stew in 1996 and got a reply) and Elis and John are great role models for the people who love their radio show. They are flawed and silly, but I mean who isn’t? They were offering wise advice to a 14 year old fan on the podcast I listened to and I can understand why they receive such devotion. 
I mean they’re both comedians so they are despicable people deep down, but who cares about the horrific depths, when the shallows are so agreeable?
And Danielle is another terrifically interesting comedian to talk to. She’s been through some scary stuff in recent weeks with a complicated birth and early days with her new baby, but she remains resilient and funny and somehow still awake enough to give a great interview. And she’s a fine example of a comedian who hasn’t (yet) had the the plaudits and attention she deserves, but who has nonetheless continued to put out challenging and inventive comedy for over a decade now. I’ve seen most of her stuff, but even I was surprised by quite how much she’s achieved. Most of the stuff we said is not suitable for broadcast and when you see the stuff that we didn’t cut you can only imagine how bad the stuff we did cut was. I was giddy from a combination of craft beer and snotty cold bug and lack of sleep. But it was another fun night with the funnest job I do and so far this series we’ve sold every single ticket (the next three are all selling well, but think we might not quite reach capacity next week, but come along if you want to see Trev and Simon and Jess Phillips - don't think they've ever been on the same bill before)


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