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Thursday 7th June 2007

So today was the day of the broadcast of "You Can Choose Your Friends", though fittingly I would be on stage in Telford when it was on, yet still it was quite exciting counting down the hours as the day progressed. The previews (most of them the same as the ones from the weekend) were enjoyable mixed from the man in the Telegraph who loved it, to the reviewer in the Mail who said it was "unwatchable". But if he thought it was unwatchable, does that mean he didn't actually watch it, in which case he isn't in a position to judge it, or did he watch it to determine it was unwatchable, thus disproving his own point? Or was he accidentally just sent a DVD with flashing interference and white noise on it?
The previews were fine, but I had hoped for better. If we are going to get a series we need all the help we can get and things haven't been improved by some empty-headed idiot saying "nigga" on Big Brother. Whatever context she used it in (and I don't know much about it, but from what Emma Kennedy says it seems to have been used in the more positive hip hop sense), perhaps she might have thought twice about using it, given all the stuff that happened in the last series. But no, she just blundered on, not thinking of the repercussions for charming, yet subtly subversive comedy dramas on the other side.
I have actually been surprised that so many of the professional reviewers have taken the show entirely at face value. I thought they would spot the subversion and the fact that I have quietly parodied most TV dramas by setting up the possibility of car crashes, child abduction, lesbianism and disaster and yet pull the rug away at the last minute and allowing pretty much nothing to happen. Only Time Out came close to noticing that. But if people want to enjoy it as a charming family drama, which I suppose it mainly is, then that is OK. For the moment everything hangs in the balance. I think on the whole the previews have been good enough, but we have to wait for the reviews and the overnight figures and who knows what people will make of it?
My gig in Telford was enjoyable and as I came off stage at two minutes to nine for the interval, I realised that when I stepped back on stage for the second half I would be back on TV for the first time properly in eight years. I wondered if anything would change, if the audience would treat me with a new found respect, but it was all the same. All that had changed was that I had several texts from people who had been mentally scarred by seeing my arse on television.
It would have been nice to go out and celebrate the broadcast, and though I had a drink with a few people from the audience, by 11.15 I was back in my hotel, drinking stout on my own, contemplating the strange nature of show business. Will YCCYF go on to be a successful series or will it be yet another project that I put my heart and soul into, which then essentially disappears off the radar? Time will tell and I will be able to cope, no doubt, with either eventuality.

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