WHEN it comes to TV, my old man use to say, that Tony Blackburn fair has a face for radio.
And when it comes to radio, I discovered this week, I fair have a voice for newspapers.
It doesn’t matter.
We each of us have our talents, and mine I have learned are not wireless-based words. I can confirm I will never host – or even be asked to appear on – Desert Island Discs.
This fundamental truth struck me as I narcissistically sat listening back to myself stammering, stumbling and stuttering my way through a slot on Radio Sheffield’s Rony Robinson show.
If you missed it (how I wish I’d done the same) allow me to sum it up in a single word... erm.
Oh, yes, I did lots of erm-ing.
Plenty of umm-ing over nuclear power, a good share of ahh-ing about electoral reform, and not much in the way of coherent or considered opinions. All expressed in a Boycott brogue that’s equal part Sean Bean, equal part Sam Dingle.
No Zane Low zip here, no Chris Evans charisma just a windy Dean Windass dying on his...well, yeah. Less Mark and Lard, more a no mark try hard.
“How was I?” I asked her afterwards.
“Yeah...” she replied. “Was it fun sitting with Rony?”
Not even a subtle attempt to change the subject. Just an unstated blanket ban on discussing my performance.
Since she asked though, it was fun in there.
There’s a bank of TVs behind you and a wall of windows in front. You don’t need to wear earphones and you get a drink if you ask nicely.
You forget you’re on the wireless. Or at least you forget right up to the point where you’re suddenly asked a question and you realise there’s Lord-knows-how-many people listening and they’re all almost certainly thinking ‘Christ, what bobbins is this guy talking?’
And then you realise ‘Christ, I don’t even know what bobbins I’m talking’.
And then it gets worse because you look up and Rony’s nodding at you and you realise he wants you to carry on...and so...you do…
Like the job interview where, when it finally ends with them asking if you have any questions, you only want to answer: ‘Which is the way out?’
I never wanted to appear on Desert Island Discs anyway, I consoled myself walking away afterwards.
Eight records to take into isolation? No thanks. My theory about that show is whatever you choose wouldn’t be good enough because there’s always something better out there you just haven’t heard yet.
To wit: if someone had put me on an island before I’d heard The Strokes debut I would never have known how beautiful sound could be. Which means it would have been a far less glorious life.
My solution? Choose eight records I’d never heard and hope one of them was better than anything I’d ever heard. Simple – but probably not enough to fill a Radio Four show. Even with all my umm-ing and ahh-ing.
We talked about this, me and her, to change the subject from Rony.
She said maybe my theory was symbolic of a nihilistic world view where I’d sacrifice a life of contentment in an ultimately-doomed search for one moment of euphoria.
But I said I thought it was more symbolic of the fact I was still smarting.
It doesn’t matter.
Kirsty Young hasn’t yet called.