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Saturday 22nd June 2013

Unbelievably I had my second consecutive Saturday off and spent it with my lovely wife. We went up to Alexandra Park and walked around Crouch End for an hour or so, before stopping off for dinner and a drink or two.
As we walked back towards Crouch End from the park a cyclist whizzed by. He had headphones on (is that a good idea when you're cycling?) and shouted, "I am listening to you!" as he passed. I assumed he meant one of my podcasts, though he could have just been a highly inefficient spy. If that's the case I expect he got told off afterwards - "The skill with surveillance is to not make yourself known to the subject and certainly not inform them that you're bugging them."
"But what about the movie Stake Out? Richard Dreyfus isn't that bothered."
"No, honestly, in real life, best just keep quiet about it."
"What about Stake Out 2: Another Stake Out."
"I am not sure that the same thing happens in that one."
Later he emailed me to say that he was indeed enjoying a podcast as he cycled (though that could have been a clever attempt to cover up his earlier mistake). More amazingly he said that at that point he'd been listening to me talking about which celebrities I had seen in the street (I think it was Justin Lee Collins and Tim from the Office) and the cyclist was just trying to work out if he'd ever seen anyone famous in the street, concluded that he hadn't and then at that moment passed me. Which is a bit of a freaky coincidence, not because I am famous (I spent the rest of my walk untroubled by anyone recognising me) but because he was listening to my podcast at the time. That kind of thing could freak you out and make you crash your bike.
I was pleased with myself for being well-prepared. I had gone on line earlier to book a table in a swanky looking restaurant, but then I got a call to say that the booking shouldn't have been taken as there was a private party in the restaurant that night, so we had to just find somewhere on the spur of the moment as usual. The lesson is, never prepare.
We got home and watched Chariots of Fire on DVD. Just as they got to a bit with some people singing Gilbert and Sullivan I remembered that I had read that Stephen Fry appeared uncredited in that scene. And sure enough just as I said that to my wife we saw him, peeking out between two of the other characters. Also Ruby Wax makes a fleeting appearance and the woman who plays Harold Abrahams' girlfriend is the Borg queen from the Star Trek films (and Harold Abrahams will one day be Spock's dad). It's fun watching an old film again for the first time in decades and spotting all this kind of crazy shit.
The audio version of the RHLSTP with Russell Brand is now up at the British Comedy Guide or on iTunes.
Still a few tickets left for the show on 24th July with Mark Thomas and Edgar Wright. Book here.

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