Ready to go on

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Sunday - home again, home again, jiggerdy jig

Well, goodbye Scotland - for now. We return twice more on the tour; to Glasgow and Aberdeen. Of course there are weeks between each visit and we jump about from Scotland to convenient venues like Plymouth!

Next week we're in Southampton, but I have today and tomorrow free before I have to travel down there. I say free. I am, sort of, working on those days. Sort of. On Tuesday morning I'm recording a part in Rebecca Front's new comedy series for BBC Radio 4, 'Incredible Women', which she's written with her lovely brother, Jeremy. Very funny script and they have managed to fit my recording in on Tuesday morn before I go down to the coast. She's such a lovely person and a very loyal friend so it will be great to work with her again.

I'm hoping to see Rebecca on Monday evening as well? We are both taking part in the attempt at the world record for the largest kazoo orchestra, which is taking place at the Albert Hall for Comic Relief.

Yes, people, it's Comic Relief time again and hooray for that. I have taken part in other Comic Reliefs over the years and always treasure the memories. I've done sketches and filmed some inserts for the main programme but I've never been to the main event. I shan't be going this year either as we'll be on stage that Friday (noses on for the curtain call and a collection bucket), but luckily I am free on Monday so I can manage to go along to the Albert Hall for the fun.

I've played the Albert Hall several times before, on my own, doing readings of A Christmas Carol and The Nativity with full, live orchestral backing, which is as scary as it sounds, so standing up with a large bunch of 'celebraties' and playing the kazoo along to The Dambusters and Ride of the Valkyrie's will be a doddle.

It was Comic Relief that led to me drinking my son's urine. There, that got your attention!

I got a phone call asking me if I could get to television centre for the afternoon to play some small parts in a number of sketches and, naturally, I dropped everything, jumped in the car and set off for Television Centre. The traffic was fairly dreadful and I thought I was going to be late so, despite being very thirsty, I didn't have time to stop at a garage and get a drink. I remembered that there were some bottles on the back seat of the car that had been bought the last time we traveled as a family, so I reached behind the seat and felt about for one. Fortunately there was one in the seat well behind me and I greedily opened it and took a deep swig. It was then that I recalled that our son had been caught short on the motorway and had been persuaded to pee in to a bottle. Guess which one I'd picked?

I can tell you that if you have ever been tempted to try your own offspring's week old urine that has been slowly fermenting in the sun, then don't. It's not as yummy as it sounds.

My other main Comic Relief memory is slightly more pleasant than that. I performed at the very first Comic Relief show. It was a stage show. I don't think, at that point, they had even organised a television event? I think it was at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London? It was a big theatre anyway and there were some brilliant people performing in it. Fry and Laurie, The Young Ones, Lenny Henry, French and Saunders, Frank Bruno, Ben Elton and lots more.

At the end of the show we had all been told to line up in the wings whilst Bob Geldof and Midge Ure sang "Do They Know It's Christmas?". They sang the first bit and we were all to swarm on stage and join in when they got to the chorus, "Feed The World". Can you imagine how exciting that was? Well for me? I assumed that the more famous stars would take it in their stride?

By some extraordinary coincidence (and quite a lot of pushing and shoving) I ended up standing just behind Kate Bush. Tiny Kate Bush! We stood there quietly listening to the first part of the song and waiting for our cue. As it approached, Kate Bush turned round, stood on tiptoes and whispered in my ear. That's a good enough story in itself, isn't it? But it was what she said that has stayed with me more than anything. No, she didn't say she loved me and wanted run away with me, sadly. But she did say, "Ain't this exciting?".

Kate Bush?! The biggest female pop star in the world, at the time. She'd played massive arena, had number one hits all over the world and done everything. Despite this she felt just as I felt; excited. Like a little kid on Christmas morning. Isn't that lovely to know?


or text the word 'Yes' to 70005

1 comment:

  1. Mike, have texted a fiver to Comic Relief from myself and my young daughter has txt't a fiver too.

    Enjoying your blog, hopefully me and the hubby will get a chance to see you if you make a visit to Glasgow :-)