I have been kissed by Fatima Whitbread! That's not a sentence I thought I would ever write. And it was only on the cheek (though nearish to the edge of my mouth), but still. All these years of graft have been worth it. A gold medal winning javelin thrower has kissed me. Wonderful.
This is a bit of a spoiler for this Thursday's "Mark Watson Kicks Off", (ITV4 10.35pm) which I recorded this evening. It turned out to be a lot of fun, although I had been worried before we got going when I found out that one of my fellow panelists was Johnny Vaughan. Would he have heard my sketch about his recent advert on AIOTM (AIOTM) or read blog about it
. It seemed unlikely, but perhaps he looks at himself on Google, or someone had pointed it out to him. It's an uncomfortable thing about stand up comedy. When you write a bit about someone you never really think that you might meet them. I still stand by my remarks and would hope that as a fellow performer Vaughan would understand that this is how things work (but having said that he called Collings a cunt for a much more innocuous comment in a Radio Times article), but I was concerned it might create an odd atmosphere.
As it happened Vaughan was clearly unaware of any of it and was effusive and friendly and very much full of pep. He was friendly, but did keep calling me "Mr Lee" and I wasn't able to find a gap to let him know he had got my name wrong (luckily he didn't do it on the actual show). I did say that I had seen him working for the water board
and he revealed that he had in fact been doing a programme about the Victorian sewers for the History channel.
I had wondered if I would be brave enough to joke about breakfast biscuits on air, but it didn't seem like a good idea, as Johnny was excitable enough already. He was very funny (which wasn't a surprise - it's the fact that I like his stuff that made the advert more disappointing) and rattling out material on and off screen at almost dizzying speed.
It was one of those panel shows where the scoring is rather arbitrary and it doesn't really matter who wins, but Johnny seemed to be taking it very seriously and competitively, but I assumed this was a joke. I like it when people do this. Kenneth Williams was the master of mock outrage when he was losing or felt peeved at the luck of another contestant. Johnny had gained an unassailable lead early on and so Mark Watson doled out some points to make a contest of it (and I managed to complain about some minor errors that made Johnny lose some points). I don't know anything about sport but in a final round I had to say if a name was a Tottenham footballer or a Shakespearean character and my knowledge of the latter meant I scored a fair few points and SPOILER ALERT took the contest by one point. Johnny was aggrieved, which was very funny, but his complaints went on for long enough for me to worry that he might actually punch me in the face for my meaningless victory. Not being one to be intimidated I show-boated with the tiny trophy I had been given, holding it aloft, waving it in his face and then showing my lack of respect for him and the competition by miming wiping my arse with the cup (I hope that makes the show). The fact that the complaints continued once the cameras stopped rolling made me glad that he wasn't aware of the whole lunch marmalade fiasco. I escaped with my life, though there was some jovial, but slightly hard pushing in the corridor.
I think it will be an entertaining programme and Johnny was the winner both in terms of getting the most things right and being the funniest.
But for once I went home with the silverware.
More aims. Will do it for one more day, so get them in now if you want to join the fun!
F S "My aim for 2 years time is to be roughly as I am now. I have a
reasonably well paid job and a really nice family, so if we're still
happy & healthy in two years and I've avoided recession induced
redundancy I'll be quite happy. Oh, and I'd like to have a MacBook
Air and/or PinPod by then."
E M "I aim to have escaped teaching, and to have performing either my full time occupation, or something that is an extra bit of fun, not this halfway house where I need to teach by day and entertain people most nights. That and a longterm relationship. Oh and financial security. Yea, just love, work and money before I'm 30. Fine... Or I could just wait till I was in my early 40s like some big name comedians I've heard of."
M M "(Almost) coincidentally I signed a 2 year contract at a new company on the 24th, after the last company I worked for went under. So in 2 years I'd like to have figured out what I'm going to do, and more importantly what I want to do, next. And to develop some sort of life outside of work because losing my job brought home the fact that currently I don't have much else.
Also, I'd like to be very rich."
J B "By 25 November 2012 I hope to be a permanent resident in Australia. I hope I'll either have a happy and satisfying relationship, or be single and reasonably OK with that. And I hope I'll still have a job that involves working in my shorts in my front room being and being good at what I do, rather than having to go to an office and be mean to people."
T S "Having already achieving the elusive trinity of being simultaneously satisfied in my career, home life and relationship, my goal for the 25th of November 2012 is to buy a flat with my girlfriend, preferably with a garden and room for my bookcases. Like too many our age this first means paying off credit cards, then doing the skimping and saving for a big enough deposit. Not very outrageous but still exciting when we achieve it!"
B H "I'll keep it short - by 2012 I want to 'get the girl' and get a 2.1 in my degree."
D W "By 25/11/12 I really hope to still be travelling and writing, and have avoided being lured back into a rubbish normal job. (Hopefully doing an Asian girl too)."
T F "Well I guess I should really have a pop at writing something funny rather than just making my partner and mates laugh."
S M "By 2012 I would like to have a goal. It sounds really depressing but I don't have something to work toward at the moment, have having been in school since I was 3 now that i graduated Uni I don't have something to work for. Being a history major meant all I know how to do is analyze medieval monks and primary source documents. Highly unproductive apparently. I need to figure out what will make me joyful about going to work. (petty side note, i'd like to loose weight so that my bra size is smaller and i can fit into Victoria Secret's horribly overpriced lingerie) "
A Y "I have three goals for 25.11.12. 1) Complete one of the three books I have kicking around in my head and somehow convince an agent to take me on; 2) Make some money (even if it's just covering costs) from something I've actually made; 3) Be more punctual/efficent. I started writing this when you first mentioned goals and three days later I'm emailing it to you.
The voice in my head says he has just one goal and that is to become Britain's most infamous serial killer, known for slaughtering comedians. He says he'll leave you until somewhere near the end, to keep you guessing if you'll outlive everyone else."
N B "1) I will have finished my Ph.D. and be teaching somewhere, either in my field at a University or College, or teaching literacy and adult education for a non-profit group.
2) I will have a baby or be pregnant.
3) I will have published an article in a well respected, peer-reviewed journal and a short story in a literary magazine.
4) I will own a home."
C T "I am lucky enough to have what many would think as a pretty sorted life. Beautiful wife, 2 awesome boys, great house, successful own business and slim fit and healthy to boot. Yet I am a miserable bastard, too quick to snap at my people and bitch about others.
My goal is to cheer the fuck up and hold on to what I have got. Had first hypnotherapy session last Friday to address this. By 25th November 2012 I will be serene."
C P "By 25 November 2012 I am aiming to have performed my own one-man show at the Edinburgh festival. If I don't manage to do it by August 2012 though I'm probably not going to manage to it in September, October or November really."
M H "Iâm trying to be a writer. Iâve had a few comics published and have sold a good few short stories, but by the 25th of November 2012 Iâd like to be finally off the fucking dole and making a living writing comics. I live in Ireland and the prospect of finding an actual proper job diminishes with each passing day. At this stage, itâs success in comics or a premature, pauperâs death."
K B "I began my blog 130 days ago and haven't missed a day. Obviously then my first goal for 25th Nov 2012 is that I will be writing blog post number 861, still having not missed a day.
I also aim to be on the way to a creative career, married to my girlfriend, have returned to Japan for a long stay, and have a life free from working in retail or customer service. Maybe I will have a novel published, or at least have finished writing it. My girlfriend is the greatest person I have ever met, and I want my failing career/creative aspirations to stop dragging me, and by extension her, down."
J M "By November 25th 2012 I hope to have actually plucked up the courage and self confidence to have done stand up in an amateur, semi-pro or professional setting in London. I think its an amazing and quick format of self-expression, but one that needs careful attention to detail and a level of autodidacticism. However, convincing promoters that my self-expressions are worth a chance in the open spots is a problem, doing this by 25/11/12 would be satisfying. Attaining a level of detail and a standard of autodidacticism is also problem, mainly as I spend my days chasing unattainable women, playing role-playing games and being lost in my own imagination. That and the many hours of pornography. Overcoming these by 25/11/12 would also be satisfying."
But to put a dampener on all this Leigh Caldwell got in touch to direct my attention to this article
, which says that telling people your goals is not the most effective way to make things happen. So maybe to help you all along I will add that if you haven't achieved your goals by the date agreed I will hunt you down and harm you.