It’s been a slightly tough run of RHLSTPs for me at the Leicester Square Theatre - not that they haven’t been fun and of a pretty high standard, just that there’s been so much going on and so I have been super tired. Today required a lot of prep as both guests had books I needed to read and whilst I knew Miriam Margolyes would be a relatively easy chat, Emma Dabiri’s book is, whilst short, packed with complex and serious ideas. Also whilst she seems to be saying that there’s no point in trying to make people feel guilty or calling them out for privilege, at its heart the book does seem to be calling for the dismantling of capitalism and the entire structure of society. There’s a great analogy with a slave ship, with the slaves chained below deck and the sailors on the deck. The answer isn’t to let a few of the slaves up on to decks, the answer is to get rid of slave ships.
Of course I have done serious RHLSTPs before, but my faux (and actual) bumbling style can sometimes make things a bit bumpy. And it took a little while for me to find my feet in this one. In the pre show interview Emma had been impressed that I’d pronounced her surname correctly and I said that for both her and Miriam, my natural inclination was to pronounce the surnames incorrectly. Sadly that jinxed me and put the wrong pronunciation at the front of my brain and I said Emma’s name wrong as I brought her on. She didn’t mind, but I was annoyed and I was then slightly on the back foot and struggling with my notes and I worried I was going to fuck this whole thing up. Which I did a bit. But luckily it all settled down and we had an interesting, if serious, chat about race and how whiteness and blackness and race itself are relatively recent inventions.
I got Miriam’s name right and though I think she’d been quite tired and not really looking forward to the show beforehand (though perfectly charming, but she’s 80 years old and hadn’t enjoyed the walk from the taxi to the theatre) she was charmed by the audience reaction and I managed to remain in control of the interview, roll with it and really got the absolute best out of her. It was a magical chat and Miriam shone and the love in the room revived her. An absolute honour to meet her and her incredible honesty makes her the perfect RHLSTP guest.
As always, what an incredible privilege (check your privilege) to talk to such extraordinary people and only mildly embarrass myself.
It was a cracking pair of interviews to end the LST run on, demonstrating the scope of the podcast - they were two very different interviews.
We loaded the car with the cameras and I headed home from London for the fifth time in the last 8 days. It’s all been a bit exhausting (as you may have picked up), but one last push to get the fucking sitcom scripts finished.