In at 2am and up at 7 to help my little one greet the day. And then I went down to see my daughter.
It’s good to be home. Though this was a fairly easy three nights away (or two and a very late arrival home) - next week I am away for six nights. That will be tough. And even in the last three days Phoebe seems to have changed into a different child, much more expressive and adept and (at least to begin with) even more grumpy with me. She forgot for a second and we did our silly voices together.
No time to bond any further though, as I was straight out the door to head over to North Acton to record episode one of Relativity. Nearly twenty-eight years ago, when I first moved to London, this was my local (ish) tube station. It was also where we came to rehearse Fist of Fun a few years later. It’s now unrecognisable with the BBC building gone and hotels, shops and flats filling the whole area.
The studio was in an industrial estate and with its many studios a strange oasis of actorly talent. The reception was filled with familiar faces and I would be starstruck to see David Warner eating his lunch on a sofa later. Not that the studio I was working in had a less impressive cast. Alison Steadman and Phil Davis are playing the grandparents and the cast also includes Gordon Kennedy, Fenella Woolgar and Emily Berrington (I mentioned my Humans-based routine to her today, which she luckily found funny).
Everything felt a bit surreal through the fug of tiredness, but it was pretty amazing to start the day with Phil and Alison bringing episode 1 scene 1 to life. Aside from a couple of fairly crucial script failures (which I only spotted on the third take), it went really well. And we’ve got four days to do four 30 minute episodes which mean we can work at a relaxing pace, so there was lots of sitting around, drinking coffee and enjoying a nice lunch. And with no lines to learn, it means there were time for lots of great stories about working with Woody Allen, other actors filling studios with farts, though disappointingly not a similar anecdote ending with “And he said, “What a cunt!”” which is the 98% of actor stories culminate.
Even though the work has been a bit full on, this felt a bit like a holiday. The solitary nature of the comedian, means the camaraderie of an acting company - or as today, loads of acting companies - was a welcome respite. So strange that it was all happening in the middle of an industrial estate in Acton, but the life of the radio actor feels like rather a nice one. I was a bit intimidated by the company I was keeping and hoping that I wasn’t letting the side down, but luckily I didn’t have loads to do on this first day. Certainly everyone else has hit the ground running and it sounds like a real radio programme. Which in a way, it is.
It’s coming out in September apparently.