On 17 August, 1999, my flatmate and I went to BBC TV Centre in White City to appear on Backstage, a live early evening discussion programme shown on BBC Choice (the precursor to BBC Three). The beautiful host, Julia Bradbury, interviewed us about the films of Alfred Hitchcock, the subject of our book which had been published the previous month.
It wasn't our first TV appearance; earlier in the year, we'd done a quick interview for Carlton Digital (another channel that no longer exists), interviewed by a comedian who was best known as the face of Lee & Perrin's worcester sauce. But this one was at TV Centre, where they'd made the best TV in the world at one time. The gimmick for the show was that it had no set of its own but was broadcast from behind the scenes on whichever sets were available. I seem to recall we walked for what felt like miles within the famed BBC 'donut' before reaching a stage that had been dressed for a children's comedy show.
I'd been nervous about doing live TV again, knowing my habit of accidental Tourette's moments, so on the whole I think it went quite well. I even got away with saying that some of Hitchcock's films 'sucked and blowed at the same time', a line I'd stolen from Bart Simpson but only realised how rude it sounded the seconds after I'd said it on live TV.
Julia Bradbury made me blurt like a star-struck fan for the first time since I met Tom Baker in 1986. After the interview I babbled: 'I loved you on L!ve TV' (another defunct cable channel), and she said 'Oh, thankyou!'. Then I ruined it by saying 'Bet you're glad you left, though!' Thankfully she saw the funny side.... I think.
Oh, and she kept the copy of the book - which was okay, because the producer had said we couldn't show it and she ignored her and insisted it got onscreen for a hefty plug.
They sent us a video of it. It's sitting on my shelf. I might come back to this blog and add a screengrab... then again, I might not be quite so brave...
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