It is from a book called Ha Bloody Ha, by comedy critic and early supporter of our endeavours William Cook (he interviewed me at length during one Edinburgh Fringe - I must have read the book at the time, but unusually for me I don’t have a copy so I ordered one on Amazon today).
Cranston asked if I was in the sixth form when it was taken (and certainly my hair looks like it was somehow styled on Simon from the Inbetweeners). But no, this was my first publicity photo, taken in the early 90s in Acton by the boyfriend of a friend. So I was probably 23 or 24.
I didn’t have much money and we didn’t have much time. I don’t remember too much about it or the guy who took it, except that he was really upset when he split up with my friend (I was pleased cos I secretly fancied her, not that I ever did anything about it because I was an idiot. Or maybe aware of the likelihood of reciprocation) and I think threatened to throw himself off a roof. But he didn’t. We were all so young and idiotic. And felt things so strongly. I hope he’s OK now. I got over fancying his ex-girlfriend, so hopefully he did too.
Anyway, I suspect we only did a roll of film at most (was there a contact sheet?) and this weird, sad eyed photo is the best we could manage. It reminds me of similar awkward sad eyed photos that I had taken at school as a 7 year old.
I am wearing one of my trademark “whacky” shirts which I believe I bought from HM Hennies at Oxford Circus.
But look at me. Who is that bean-faced idiot? I don’t really remember. I do not imagine that that picture got me any work. But I would have been amazed, if you’d told me at the time, that it would end up in a book.
But there’s that moment captured in time and there for me to wonder about three decades later. I hope they invent the technology to let you step back in time via photos so I can tell him how things turn out. And give him some warnings to make sure that this awful time line is erased.
RHLSTP with the brilliant Fingers on Buzzers podcast team is now up on audio.