Today was my big day. The day I broke into television. I’m not counting the dead birds on Wanstead Flats, that was hardly the grand entrance I wanted. No, today is where it is all going to start. I don’t yet know what it is going to be called, but I believe the working title is Wansteadbirderwatch.
I arrived at the London Wetland Centre and was met at the entrance by no less than Sir Peter Scott. Carrying on past the statue, I ended up in a room at the top of the visitor centre where Simon King was waiting for me. He was of course absolutely thrilled to meet me, though true professional that he is, he managed to mostly conceal his utter delight and acted perfectly normally. Like it was something he did everyday. As if! I did my bit of course, putting him at ease by pretending to be totally amazed at meeting him, a bit of fawning and so on. I think it worked! Eventually they managed to drag him away from me, and so I was able to get on with my program-making. Honestly, the people I have to deal with…
Arriving on the set of Wansteadbirderwatch, the cameraman and sound guy were both ready and waiting. Unfortunately Air Traffic Control had been unable to agree to my request that all Heathrow-bound planes divert to Gatwick for the day, so the filming was interrupted about every forty-five seconds by the roar of jet engines. This is why my thirty second segment took fifty-five takes, rather than any other reason such as gross incompetence. Just wait until I get hold of Willie Walsh. Throw in every school child in west
and a few aimless plastic duck-strokers, and it took forever and we were unable to move onto the main segment of me expounding my thoughts on twitching and dog-ownership levels in the southeast. Nevermind, I’m sure that will be the next part to get made just as soon as I have a chance to get back there. London
I ambled back to the visitor centre in the company of Sula, a local birder and blog acolyte, where it was no surprise that Simon was hanging around waiting for me. I put him out of his misery and sat down opposite him at a table, and proceeded to have a good old chat about many things. Mainly about travel and Shetland, which he wanted to know all about as I think he is planning a trip there soon. Hopefully I was able to pass on a few tips.
And that was it, I bade my farewells and headed back to my limo. It’s a long red one, I don’t believe in black. Although I had told my driver what time I was finishing, he must have misheard, because he was between twelve and fifteen minutes late.
I’m back home now, and I have to say that cooking dinner and dealing with squabbling children is a bit of a come-down after my day of televisual feast-making. Soon though I expect that to be a thing of the past, and my personal assistant(s) can fetch the children and bring them to the trailer if I’m on set....
PS Anyone who takes this post the slightest bit seriously needs to get out more. Out against a wall to be precise, where they should arrange for someone to then shoot them.