Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Day Tripper

Long old day yesterday- I'd forgotten how much the National Express coach from Sheffield to London and back in one day saps you- it's about 7 hours on the coach for around 8 hours in the capital. It is however very, very cheap (and inexplicably even cheaper if you buy two singles rather than a return for the same times).
I was down plugging No Tomatoes- doing a little interview with BBC Radio 7 presenter Penny Haslam that will be chopped up in teensy usable slices and scattered thinly over the airwaves in the next few weeks. Six or eight minutes maximum I'd imagine.
Now, that seems a short time to justify a trip to London doesn't it?
It is, which was why I'd also arranged another appointment at Broadcasting House, talking to one of the arts producers I've previously done items for on Front Row, offering up a bit of archive material for a currently unannounced Radio 4 programme and chatting in the studio about the background to it.
Interestingly, I find it much easier to talk about other people and their work than I do about me and mine. Not what you'd expect eh, long suffering reader?

While I was in London I had a little free time and discovered two interesting things.
The first was that No Tomatoes episode 2 was at that point the most listened to entertainment programme on BBC Radio 7's iPlayer page (and something like fourth or fifth most listened to on the station overall) and as a consequence was on the very front page of the iPlayer representing 7 and claiming to be a radio highlight! It's certainly better than episode 1 by my reckoning.

It's also definitely getting much better publicity this time, with really well crafted on-air trailers, and nice little images on the Radio 7 homepage, and all this before Penny's interrogation of me is cast piecemeal into the ether.
The fact I've started getting email from strangers about it again suggests a heightened awareness too.

The second thing I learned was the full contents listing for the final Big Finish published Doctor Who Short Trips story collection, a lovely fiction range that's now coming to an end. It's a best of retrospective cunningly titled Re:Collections.

< Geeky Who bit >
I'm in it, as are several friends- virtual, actual and bothual. In particular I recommend you Matt Kimpton's Life After Queth- he should have got a slew of Doctor Who gigs on the basis of this debut, funny, moving, tricksy with time and beautifully written. The story features Doctor Who's very best giant telekinetic alien woodlouse and introduces a whole new race of space armadilloids.
Truth be told I'm there under slightly false pretenses because the very best entry in the volume my story came from is definitely Paul Magrs' Kept Safe and Sound. However, I believe the rules for the collection were one story per author and Paul had already been ear-marked for inclusion for a story from another volume, allowing me to sneak in in his place.
I'd also recommend Jonathan Morris' story The Thief of Sherwood even though it is NOT CANON and contains a very unlikely fictional edit occurring in an early 1960s BBC videotape show, and Steve Lyons' All Our Christmasses, a lovely satirical fable which was so prescient of 'Pirate Planet' episode 4 Spannergate and the evil that scandalous interference released into the world.
< /Geeky Who bit >

Great cover, isn't it?
I came back from London with horrible dandruff, which I'm going to blame the coach air-conditioning for, while being glad I didn't wear headphones during the radio interviews just in case I'm wrong.

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