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Monday 22nd October 2007

So we got away with it. More than got away with it. The recording of shows 1 and 2 of TWTTIN (TWTTIN) went very well. In fact it was a pleasure to have the team together. As we stood on stage during the rehearsal of show 1 and the band started playing the signature tune, adrenalin surged through my veins, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Suddenly the last 12 months evaporated and it was like we'd never been away. It even felt good to have my radio wife, TV's Emma Kennedy back beside me. I must have been drunk on the atmosphere. Somehow despite working hard on the scripts for the last week (and the weekend in particular) I hadn't really thought too much about actually getting back to the performance and so it was a bit of a jolt to be back here on the stage in Bush Hall. The passage of time being somewhat apt for a show about the past.
There was a much more relaxed vibe to the whole thing than I remember us having before - the first series was particularly tense and fraught. But if anything it was better that we were somewhat lackadaisical now. We just got on with it and messed around and it was playful and silly and very enjoyable and hopefully not too self indulgent. The only slight disappointment was that when we came to record the room wasn't packed with standing room only as usual, but was only about three quarters full. I don't know what had happened. They always send out too many tickets. The postman's strike was blamed, but I can't see that being the reason. I don't think it's a sign of unpopularity either - people love free radio shows and they're always full. But the crowd we had were responsive and fun and excited so it didn't affect the finished product.
Typically I goofed up my first line, to loud ironic cheers all round, but after that there were few bad mistakes (Danny as God did advise Noah to collect one of every animal, which gave us the opportunity to ad-lib a confused response - in a way I almost wish that had been in the sketch). I remember seeing some sit-com actor being interviewed (I forget who) who said it was always a good idea to make a mistake early on deliberately as it relaxes the audience and gets a laugh and gets them on side. I wish I could say that that was the reason for my own balls-up. In fact I can say it was. So it was.
There was a slight worry we wouldn't have enough material to fill the requisite half an hour for each show, but the first came in at about 32 and the second was nearer 40, so most of what we did should get in. I had expected the second show to be the weaker of the two, but in fact it went a lot better than the first, where we lost momentum a bit in the middle. But both were fine. It's just a shame that we will have to lose the line about a certain celebrity in an alternate universe not being able to afford a one-legged prostitute, let alone marry one. I can't think who that celebrity was now. It was, however, one of the biggest laughs of the night, so I will get the producer to tag it on to something I said that didn't work on the night. Maybe I will get her just to put the same laugh after everything I say. I am sure no-one will notice. Or maybe the new honest BBC can't do that any more. In which case My Family would go out to the stony, embarrassed silence that it deserves.
Soon enough it was all over and the delightful thing about recording two shows in a night is that now a third of the series is in the bag! Let's see if we manage to get the next two written in advance or if I am writing it on the Sunday before and the actual day of the recording. We had a couple of hours of sitting around doing nothing today, so maybe we should try and write show 4 on the day! It wouldn't be the first time.

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