A wonderfully diverse and entertaining pair of RHLSTPs tonight, starting with Jon Ronson and I discussing the social revolution and good and bad consequences of the internet and ending with Emily Atack and me talking about Noel Edmonds, Bros, going into the jungle and the fickle nature of fame. This is why I love doing this show and why I am ever more determined to improve it and make it my major focus. Writing scripts is such pain, but researching and then chatting to my guests in front of my excellent audiences is just so much fun.
Jon has always seemed to understand the way the world was going with startling clarity. His book Them predicted the rise of extremism and his recent podcasts have shown the social and political changes brought about by the internet. As I listened to his hilarious and chilling audio book “The Elephant in the Room” on the drive in it struck me just how fucked the UK is. We are looking backwards at a time when we need to look forwards. Our political system seems hopelessly archaic in a way it didn’t 20 years ago and yet both the main political parties are pining for a pre-digital age, even though technology is going to make nearly everything they believe in irrelevant. Corbyn at least understood the power of social media in order to get himself to power, but Brexit or not, do you think any of these people are in a position to understand how things now operate thanks to the internet? There is a huge vacuum developing that will be filled by the person who understands. And there’s little to guarantee that that person will have our best interests at heart.
I wonder if the internet will ultimately make us less judgemental and less angry. I wonder if we will accept our hypocrisy and admit that none of us are what we pretend to be. I wonder if we will stop piling on to those who have seemingly transgressed in some way, without considering that we could easily be next. And what effects are readily accessible porn having on young people.
It’s all happening at terrifying pace and we’re relying on old people who don’t understand any of it to lead us. As so often nowadays I feel like I would enjoy watching all this play out, if I wasn’t also a participant. Certainly a lot of fucked up and weird stuff is going on, but thank God we have people like Jon Ronson to document it and possible accidentally help it all along.
Emily could hardly have been more different a guest and there as a fun bit of cheekiness and back and forth in our chat. I enjoyed making her think that taking on a stand up tour with no experience of stand up was a possibly hubristic move (and it easily could be) and yet, she is so likeable and confident and fun that it’s hard to believe that she won’t succeed at this just as she seems to be succeeding at everything. The audience seemed to enjoy both interviews equally.
It’s very good to be back. We have changes coming up and not just with the tour. The professionalism and focus of both tonight’s guest was an inspiration for what we have to come. I am very pleased to be doing a fifteenth series of something and for it still to be feeling fresh and full of possibilities.
There are some awesome guests coming up. Do come and see us live if you can.
Two of the absolute best bits of the Emily interview have to be taken out for the all important sense of decorum.
I’d driven in to town and so had the fun of driving home through the fog.