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Tuesday 14th May 2013

Our punishment for last night's Bacchanalian adventures was bound to be sore heads and dry throats and the wife and I pretty much gave up on achieving anything today. We headed to the Westfield and had a delicious and massive breakfast. I had decided to pay in the coins from the last four tour gigs and struggled under the weight like Jacob Marley under his chains. It turned out I was carrying about £1000 in change and the collection from the 50 or so gigs of the tour has now topped £11,000. Thanks to all those of you who have donated (there's still a couple of days to donate to get your name in the 2013 programme).
The plan for the rest of the day was to watch Game of Thrones and have a pizza and then if we were feeling up for it to pop out for a quick birthday (probably soft) drink with a friend.
But I got a call at about 2pm asking if I would fill in for a last minute drop out on Just a Minute. That's not a show that you need to be mentally sharp on, right? Having a hangover would almost certainly make me better at it. I do love this programme and am always thrilled to be asked to do it, so I couldn't really turn it down. I'd have to chance it and hope that the adrenaline would get me through. As a side note I am almost certain that I got this offer because I was in people's minds after the Sony awards and if so that means that I clawed back a bit more of the money that I'd spent to be there. My biggest failing in my career is my inability to and embarrassment at networking. But possibly by being affable and happy last night (due to being pissed) or even just by being present and reminding people I existed I had done myself a favour. Rebecca Front got cast in Time Gentlemen Please after we'd been struggling to think of someone to be Ms Jackson when I bumped into her in a bakers and realised that she'd be perfect. I don't know if she hangs around bakers deliberately, knowing that writers love eating pastry. By the amount she is on TV I am guessing that she must.
So within a matter of hours I was heading into town to compete against Paul Merton, Gyles Brandreth and Russell Kane. I didn't have time to get nervous or really to practice the game. I was just going to throw myself into it and hope for the best. And maybe the lack of nerves was a good thing. I had a terrific time tonight. I still made plenty of unforced errors (but the game would be rubbish if everyone was as good at this as Paul) but managed a few impressive flurries and more importantly got a few laughs. As intimidating as it always is to be sitting next to Paul Merton (I really wanted to ask him if he'd do a RHLSTP but I was too shy), it is also a wonderful thrill to be riffing with him and he was in a skittish and fun mood. And as competitive as he can be (or appear to be, it's all part of the game) he is also very generous on this programme, giving other people the space and time to do things. I almost totally forgot about the hangover and just enjoyed being a part of what is the funniest radio programme in the history of radio programmes. It's only Tuesday and it's already been a brilliant week!
And I managed to get a wanking joke in, so I am happy. The two programmes we recorded tonight will be broadcast in June.
And to add to that sense that things are moving in an interesting direction for me (it's a sense I get about every six months but then it turns out that nothing has really changed at all - or perhaps very slightly and only perceptibly over a long period of time ) there is a nice write-up of RHLSTP in this week's Time Out and they have also put the podcast at number one in their top 10 comedy podcasts. I am turning into an over-life success.

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Buy the Emergency Questions book here And help fund the filming of series 11 and 12 of RHLSTP.
My new stand up show, Oh Frig I'm 50 is at the Edinburgh Fringe this August and I am also doing three RHEFPs while I am there All details of shows and previews.
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