I went to Broadcasting House to meet with the head of light entertainment to see if there was anything that I could be doing on the radio. (Playwright Patrick Marber once said that "radio is where you begin and end your career." I don't agree with the curmudgeon. I had a great time doing radio shows in the past and would love to do something (other than the Newsquiz) again. And I'm not planning on dying till I've had ten more years of days off.
One of the things that struck me might work during the meeting was a radio version of this diary. Hadn't thought of it before, but might be a good way to use what I've done in an interesting way.
Anyway, on the way up to BH I noticed some building work going on. Nothing unusual about that. There has been building going on there for ages. But as I looked over to the right I saw that an entire building had disappeared.
Not just any building. It was Langham Place, the home of Light Entertainment Radio when I first started writing and also at another entrance, the location of the Radio 1 studios where many of our first radio 1 programmes were broadcast from.
I had been in quite a happy mood, but suddenly my stomach lurched. All the memories of those early days came flooding back and to think that the building that they had happened in had gone was weirdly disoreintating.
The disgusting Weekending writers room had crumbled into dust. Never again would I see its dirt and smell its stink (I am reminded of a funny joke me and Stew came up with back then for something quite obscure "If an infinite number of monkeys were put in a room with an infinite number of type-writers, someone would eventually come in and mistake it for the Weekending writers' room. Except there wouldn't be enough bodily hair or the foul stench." Something along those lines. And the jokes would be better could have ben added perhaps.)
I don't know why I was momentarily upset because I had a pretty miserable time in that room if the truth be told. Not just on the day I hid inside some crates in an attempt to avoid having to write topical jokes about John "Grey" Majors.
Immediately after the twinge of disappointment, I felt a surge of delight. It's gone! Crushed into the ground where it belongs all along. So much for the power of weak topical satire!
But then I felt another pang of regret. It was an important time that I spent in that building and it was in that writers' room that I first saw some of my close friends (as well as quite a lot of monkey-man freaks) and in those corridors that we struggled to write Lionel Nimrod and I flirted inexpertly with numerous PAs.
There were some secret loves and stolen kisses and drunken promises and heartache.
The building was my youth.
It is gone.
But as long as Weekending has gone with it then that is a small price to pay.