Not much sun-bathing time ahead, as I begin a schedule of long-lead interviews for the Erebus book (which, incidentally, is looking very nice indeed, ) due for publication on September 20th. As the two North Korea shows for Channel Five are edited together I’ll be commentary recording and doing general publicity for those as well (transmission dates not yet finalised).
Then there are appearances at the Ledbury Poetry Festival on the 3rd July, reading Adrian Mitchell’s very funny, very angry, and occasionally very rude poems, The Idler Festival on the 14th July at Fenton House in Hampstead, and on the 28th two shows at The Great Yorkshire Fringe in York.
After a year or more reading, writing and researching the book it feels good to be getting away from the desk. Yesterday we filmed and recorded some promotional material for Erebus at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. A perfect afternoon of unblinking sunshine hopping from one side of the Greenwich Meridian to the other.
I see that the head of Comedy at the BBC has assured the world that he would not commission anything like Monty Python again. This is evidently nothing to do with the fact that we were dreadfully unfunny and wisely avoided by anyone with a sense of humour, but that, after careful analysis of photographs of the team, we have been found to have white skin colour and worse still, to have gone to two of the most useless universities in the world, Oxford and Cambridge. We can only plead guilty and apologise to the BBC for blatantly disregarding the fact that there is nothing funny at all about white skin pigment and a good education. We were lucky to get away with it for as long as we did.
Talking of Python, I do still go and visit my friend Terry J. Last time we walked up to the pub together. The symptoms of his dementia will not miraculously disappear, but I continue to go and see him because there is a real glimpse of the old Terry there. He says very little, but I feel that we make contact still. There’s a lot there in his eyes, and he smiles and takes my hand, and that’s worth the visit any day. And he’s still walking miles each day. He’s looked after very well – if his carers can keep up with him!