19 September 11
Hello! Tom blogging, once again, on my own, once again, because my writing partner Pete, once again, has fobbed me off to do something "more fun", leaving me to fend for myself in the blogging wilderness, lost and alone like Simba twenty minutes into the Lion King, realising that he's forsaken and - for the first time in his young life – he has to man up and write a blog for BAFTA.
“Dad, come on! Wake up! I know you just got trampled by a herd of wildebeest and it's pound-a-pint night at Oceana and Bradley from S-Club 7 is doing a DJ set, but please dad, get up, I need you to help me write this blog! Please papa, wake up!" Tears in the aisles. But no, Pete's disappeared into the night, the opening chords of Don't Stop Movin' have kicked in, the hyenas are circling, the cursor is blinking on an empty page and that's probably enough of the Lion King Metaphor.
Anyway, as much as Pete has once again let me down like the vermin he is, the brunt of my anger is directed squarely at You, the blog reader. I mean, you just don't listen, do you? In my last blog , I made one fact clear. I repeated it so many times that it lost all meaning and became “funny”. But it wasn't a joke. It was deadly serious. What was that fact? That fact was the fact that I DON'T LIVE IN HAMMERSMITH. I never have. Now, you’re probably thinking: "Oh no, he isn't gonna spend a whole blog talking about Hammersmith again?" YES HE IS. Because I thought we understood each other. I thought that the previous blog had put the Hammersmith question to bed. I never wanted to hear about it again.
That said, I’m now going to blog about my interview on Hammersmith radio last Tuesday. Yeah? It’s in one ear and out the other with you people, isn’t it? I say "I don't live in Hammersmith", you hear "Wow I'd better invite Tom onto our Hammersmith radio station to talk about life as a young Hammersmith Comedy Writer" and OF COURSE I'm going to accept that invitation because I have an ego and a blog. We were offered an interview by ONFM , Hammersmith's premiere local radio station, and while I admit that it may have been my error in accepting, it was also an opportunity to self-promote and to GO ON THE RADIO again.
Oxide Radio Headquarters, Bonnbonnbonnbonn Square, OxfordBoth me and Pete (who deigned to drag himself from the arms of whichever Topshop model he’s sleeping with this week) are old hands at broadcasting. Before we met, we were both on Oxide radio , Oxford’s Only Radio Station. Oxide was kafkaesque, an internet station run by nobody that broadcast to nobody that was sued pretty much out of existence a few years ago after somebody realised that they'd not paid any music licensing fees. I made one guest appearance on a friend's show , was weird, was dubbed 'Creepy Tom' and was not invited back. Pete co-hosted something for a while, had a go at producing, left MGMT's "Time To Pretend" on loop for 6 hours, went to bed, and was not invited back.
HomecomingAnyway, whatever, I agreed to go on and we actually went to Hammersmith, which was novel. I vowed I wouldn't repeat the debacle of last time, so I made clear to the DJ from the getgo that I wasn't a Hammersmithian, I never lived there, Hammersmith was an alien land to me. "It's fine!" he said. "A tenuous link is still a link". And I thought that was that; by the time we were sat in the studio, earphones on, mic in front of us, everybody who needed to know that fact knew it. I knew, Pete knew, both the DJs knew, the producer knew. The only people who didn't know that I wasn't from Hammersmith were the people of Hammersmith we were broadcasting to, but really, there was no need to even bring it up.
Hello to all you lovely ladies out there in radiolandSo, showtime. We went on air, the DJs chatted 9/11 for a bit and finally it came to us. We introduced ourselves and I talked about Rocliffe/BAFTA for a bit. It was going well, the DJ was great, I was being witty. But then it went wrong. Because what - over the course of the entire interview - was the first thing that Pete said? What was the opening sentence that emanated from his lousy no-good mouth, a smile playing over his febrile little lips, a look of malice in his piggy little eyes?
"So, Tom, you’re from Hammersmith, right? Why not tell us a little about that?”
HE STABBED ME IN THE BACK
I knew he was a sneak. I knew he was a coward. I knew he was a liar - for two months in 2009 he told us all that his girlfriend was Emma Watson off Harry Potter, when really it was only the ginger one who played Ginny Weasley - but I never realised he was a two-faced double-crossing traitor. I repeatedly jabbed a biro into my thigh as, in front of literally dozens of listeners, I awkwardly rehashed the events of the last blog. "I was born in Hammersmith, and left, and never came back since" I said, then realised who I was talking to, and added "But not because I don't like Hammersmith, it's great. Just, now I live somewhere else. But Hammersmith is great. I assume."
I finished the sentence and stopped talking. Everyone looked at me. My entire body constricted as I imagined the listeners. A radio-listening lingerie-clad Hammersmith housewife choking on her white wine and dropping the iron. Schoolchildren crying in the street. Pitchforks and effigies, perfectly-rendered paper-maché models of my quiff burning in the bright September sun. Why was this happening to me again? Why. Why was my post-Rocliffe life eternally haunted by the specter of this small west London borough? Hammersmith isn't even humorous, but it keeps cropping up, and it's not like The Simpsons, when Sideshow Bob gets hit in the face with all the rakes, and it starts off funny, then unfunny, then gets funny again though repetition. This starts off unfunny, and stays that way. It's like Family Guy. I teared up. Luckily the interview concluded, the DJ played Coldplay, and we left the building immediately.
As soon as we were outside, I rounded on ratfink Bowden. "Sorry man," he said through his stupid ‘et tu, Brute?’ grin, "But it was pretty funny".
NO IT WASN'T. MAKING ME LOOK STUPID IS NEVER FUNNY.
As I was on the verge of punting him into the Thames, my phone bleeped and, somehow, things got even worse. It was an email from BAFTA, informing me they were sending us all video cameras so we'd be able to 'liveblog our time in New York'. This is going to be a disaster.
TO BE CONTINUED