Tuesday 29th January 2013
This afternoon someone tweeted me a link to excerpts from one of the Top of the Pops episodes that Stew and me introduced in 1995. If you want to see the second one then click on this link. It is odd looking back at these and not just because of the unlikely fact that I twice presented Top of the Pops. But apparently I did.
Of course nowadays that job comes with some negative associations, though I am pleased to be able to say that at the end of the second show when we're surrounded by young girls I am not hugging them and squeezing their breasts, like some kind of ogrous Jimmy Savile, but instead just look terrified.
But even though there is video evidence of me having done this job I still found it hard to believe that was really me. I do have some vague memories of the two times we were down there. I remember being handed the gold microphones, I remember Brian Harvey eating a King size pack of Maltesers outside the canteen, I remember feeling freaked out that I got to speak directly after Cher's performance, I remember asking the screaming girls why they only screamed when Robson sang and not when Jerome did and I remember that our dressing room was next door to Eternal's dressing room and when I went to the toilet I could hear one of the group in the bathroom next door, practising the song whilst doing a wee. I wasn't listening on purpose. I just couldn't help hearing it. And then had to carry on listening to make sure that it was all really happening. A member of Eternal has weed about three feet away from me whilst I had my trousers down. You see, Top of the Pops WAS a hotbed of perversion. Perhaps she has an anecdote about hearing me practising my sarcastic introductions whilst having a dump. I don't know. You'd have to ask whichever member of Eternal that it was. I hope it was Kelle.
Yet those seem very few memories to have of such a momentous happening in my young life and they could easily have been placed in my brain by some kind of Total Recall technology. I look at that young Richard Herring and I can't believe it's actually me. In fact I am pretty certain it's someone else. Comedian Grainne McGuire suggested that this might be like when Becky in Roseanne ended up being played by a different actress. Might I be some kind of replacement for the original Richard Herring who maybe got too demanding or asked for too much money or got a better job somewhere else (motorcycling round the world with Ewan McGregor?)? It would explain why my post-90s work has been less successful. No one ever likes the replacement actor. Which Darrin in Bewitched do you like best? Everyone hates all the doctors apart from William Hartnell. No one could match up to the original Lucy Robinson in Neighbours however many times they tried.
I look at that young man, at his unease at the job in hand, the way he looks pleased with himself when he's got a link right, his stupid smug face and I think have I just lived my life like a leech feeding off of your talent? I've even had a go at rewriting your scripts for Gorgeous and Ra-Ra Rasputin. What kind of monster am I?
Like nearly everything that happened to me/him back then just washed over me/him without me/him registering how amazing and incredible and transitory it all was. I wish that young man well whatever he went on to do and I hope I haven't let him down too much by hijacking his legacy.
It was probably a better world when you didn't have access to moving images of your (relative) youth. No good can come from it.
By the way in the bit where it looks like I am calling Stew a wanker, I am actually calling him a wassock. I don't think I deliberately did it off mic to cause the confusion.
Talking of me being two different people - I know millions of you have been waiting for the first snooker podcast of 2013 and sorry it's been so long in coming, but I didn't think I could subject the cats to this world of insanity until they had got to know me better. The basement is their home. What if they interfered with play. But then I realised that the addition of cats might actually be what this podcast has been waiting for. So finally this evening I headed down into an infernally hot basement to see what happened. And what happened has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately I only audio-taped it. The cats were not as badly behaved as I anticipated but it still added a new dimension. If you want to hear a cat shitting then this might be the podcast for you. It's a market that has been largely uncatered to thus far. You can listen to it here but as always, if you're new to this you really need to start at the beginning for it to make sense. And it still won't.
All the dates for the Talking Cock tour can be found here
Buy the Talking Cock book here
Tickets are now on sale for both my Edinburgh Fringe shows. "We're All Going To Die!" is on at the Pleasance Beyond at 8pm Book here
Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast is at Stand 1 daily at 14.10. Book here
You can get video downloads of Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from Go Faster Stripe
A video explaining the idea can be seen here
You can buy tickets to the shows from the Leicester Square Theatre website
You can still download the audio for free from the British Comedy Guide or iTunes
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