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Saturday 17th September 2005

Talking to C List celebrities all day is a surprisingly tiring exercise. You'd think it wouldn't take that much out of you, but after recording two episodes of Heads Up With Richard Herring this afternoon I was knackered. I think it went pretty well though, despite some teething problems and the fact that I apparently said "Fantastic" much too much.
My guests in the first show were Chris Brooks who is a DJ who was taught to play poker by Scott from 5ive (which I insisted on pronouncing Five-ive as that it is the way it is written down), Malcom Harwood, a professional who has been playing for over forty years and Ewen MacIntosh who you may know better as the scotch egg eating Keith from off of the Office (a popular sit-com). I was a bit tense, I think (probably because I am not used to mixing with this level of celebrity) and the conversations didn't get quite as relaxed and free-flowing as I had hoped, but it was still fine and this is after all, the first time I have done anything like this (I think we had a small interview section in the first series of TMWRNJ, but we never really had enough time to get anywhere with that and we quietly dropped it).
In the second show my guests were Roberto from Big Brother (he was the one who liked to cook in the nude, not the one who put bottles into his bodily orifices), Tiffany Williamson (who came 15th out of 6000 in this year's World Series of Poker) and Norman "No Moustache" Pace who was an absolute delight and now I understand why he is so popular in Italy.
The audiences at the show were as eclectic as the guests. In the first one the front row was taken up by what looked like some teenage Japanese tourists. They walked out after half an hour and it turned out that they had been teenage Japanese tourists who had been shopping in Whiteley's shopping centre (where the show is filmed) and been asked if they wanted to come along. It was a bit of a long shot that they would be interested in poker, me or Chris Brooks. In the second show there was a group of French people on the underfilled seating. They managed about forty minutes, but then had to go and catch a bus. I am used to walk-outs so it didn't bother me.
The producer kindly let me do jokes about how I used to be on proper telly and there was a nice undercurrent to the proceedings in which I bemoaned my fall from grace and implied I had been forced to do this show (possibly literally) in order to pay off my gambling debts - as if that were true!
I have a feeling the series is going to be a lot of fun (I think it starts airing in October or November, so plenty of time to get satellite TV installed).

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