I can't believe I got a plane back to London with David Baddiel and didn't once think to sing, "We're going home, we're going home. We are going home." I am losing it, I really am. I could also have asked to see his passport and then said, "You see that bloke int he picture, that's you that is." What's wrong with me?
No one collapsed on me this time, but as I waited for the plane to board in Paris there was a loud popping noise from about twenty feet away and I looked up to see something flying towards me. I thought it was a party popper, but something plastic hit me in the leg. It was the top of a travel sized bottle of champagne. The man who'd opened it looked shame-faced and his partner chastised him. I pulled a face, but not one of genuine anger. But David enjoyed the fact that I am acting as some kind of aeroplane based disaster magnet on this trip.
It was also a relief not to have to spend any money (though I bought my wife a few nick-nacks from the airport shop- she was suitably unimpressed, even though I had got her a pen that you could play like a recorder). With a bit of time to reflect on what we'd been up to I am glad that I took part in it. David and the crew have been delightful to work with and even when things got fraught or time was wasting away in traffic or on the opera house backstairs, everyone pretty much kept it together and got on with the job. And the experiment itself threw up all kinds of emotions. One incredulous man who we paid about five pounds for a piece of information looked at us like we were fools and then headed off (I am guessing) to a bar with one of his friend, staring at the money, counting and recounting it. Giving money to a stranger is insane in this world, but hoarding it all up for your own use, even if you've got more than you could ever possibly spend is normal.
I don't think I am going to reverse my lifestyle and start handing out everything I own until I am destitute and living on the streets hoping to chance across foreign TV crews handing out fivers, but this has made me consider the value of money and what it's best used for. I can't imagine this will come across in the show itself, but I am glad that I got to take part.
And as we said goodbye at the airport it felt that I had known these people for a lot longer than three or four days (I have known David longer than that and the executive producer was a runner on Fist of Fun - always be nice to everyone in this business, you never know what they might become!). I am lucky to get to do jobs like this every now and again and perhaps luckier still not to do them all the time. Doing an occasional TV show helps to finance the other less commercial projects I do, but if I did them all the time then I wouldn't get the chance to be creative. I loved being part of a team as so much of my work is solo, but I think it's easy to get regular TV work and forget about the other stuff. David and I talked about fame on the plane (his latest show on this subject is very funny and incisive) trying to pinpoint this delicate balance. I want to be well known enough that people will come to my live shows and I will occasionally get on shows like this (I was a last minute replacement for someone who dropped out - I don't think I would have been asked otherwise) and yet not so well-known that I can't maintain relative public anonymity, so I can continue to observe, rather than being observed. I am also fortunate that I have to keep working and pushing myself because there is no guarantee of work round the corner. If the seesaw had to unbalance one way then clearly it would be preferable to be better known and still working, rather than unknown and unable to draw a crowd. I am in the position I am in by luck rather than judgement I think (both good and bad luck simulatenously) and I don't think it's something that an individual can control much anyway. But thanks so much to all of you for basically keeping your enjoyment of my stuff as a secret. It's much appreciated.
Given how short the trip had actually been it felt disproportionately good to be back home. I had been granted an extra three hours in the day (after just four hours sleep), but managed to stay up until 9pm. Though I'd been falling asleep on the sofa. That strange little diversion is now over and now back to my normal life of interviewing people and travelling around the country talking about death.
Rufus Hound is going to be joining Shappi Khorsandi on the first two RHLSTPs of the new series. Buy you tickets here. Or get your series pass to see at least seven video podcasts at gofasterstripe. Confirmed guests as well as Shappi and Rufus are Simon Pegg, Miranda Hart (7th October), Dara O Briain and Ross Noble.
And don't forget that WAGTD! tour starts next week. I am in Braintree on 1st October and then at the Leicester Square Theatre from the 8th-13th October. Book now for Friday and Saturday gigs which are nearly sold out.