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Sunday 14th May 2006

So today was my big day. Andrew Collings was having the week off, so I got to present the whole of his Sunday afternoon show. Three hours of DJing a show on my own. I was nervous and excited by the prospect. Would I run out of things to say? Would I be struck dumb or find myself garbling sentences? Was I man enough to step up to the plate? Am I going to stop using phrases that are based around the game of baseball, which I do not like or play?
After a bit of a nervy start I really got into it and had a lot of fun. The time flew by and it was very enjoyable. You can listen again to it here, (for the next week anyway) and decide for yourself. A bit bumbling, a bit muddled in places, but surely that is part of the Herring charm. I haven't got where I am today by not being incompetent.
The new 6 Music studio is presently right next door to the 1 Extra studio and there is a glass window between the two. They play what I believe might be described as Urban music, rather than the more effete output of the station I was broadcasting for. Scary looking men were shouting into microphones and generally looking intimidating. Part way through the show I realised that the music they were creating there was so loud that it was coming in over my cans (what we DJs call headphones) and I wondered if that was spilling out over into our actual broadcast. But the producer Leona and me were both too scared to go and tell them to turn it down a bit. Just as I am too scared to go out on to the Uxbridge Road and ask the scary looking men who play their car stereos really loudly to maybe think of other people and at least shut their windows. Luckily the glass in between the studios could not be rolled down or I think the 1 Extra men might have been leaning their arms out of the gap and be looking at us in a threatening manner.
Mark, the occasional producer of the Andrew Collings show was man enough to go and complain though and the volume was turned down, so it just goes to show how stupid our pre-judgements and fears can be. I did mention the altercation on the air though, trying to derive some humour from it.
Later it seemed that the music had slowly returned to its original volume though and we were too scared to say anything to the people directly, so instead I made another joke about it on air, saying they'd turned things up even louder, which would teach us to complain. I was only joking and perhaps forgetting that what I was saying was being magically beamed out of the studio into other people's ears because a few minutes later the producer from 1Extra came in to tell us that they hadn't turned up the music on purpose and that if we had a problem we should just have come and talked to her directly. I explained that I had only been mocking myself and my own middle class stupidity and that in fact the music wasn't really impinging on things with us badly at all. But I felt a bit guilty for upsetting her and the big hard men next door who I think I caught looking me with doleful eyes, as if they were saying, "Why couldn't you have been our friend? Why did you betray us so, with your borderline racist material?"
But I maintain I was the victim of my own joke and still think it was funny.
And it was a real kick doing the show for the full three hours. I am hoping that the 6 Music bosses will decide that I am best than Andrew Collings and immediately sack him and give me the slot permanently. I am grateful to Andrew for championing me over the last year and he has been very helpful in the mini revival that has been developing over the twelve months I have done his show (and of course Banter which he recommended me for), but this is a tough business and there is no room for friendship or loyalty and my ultimate aim is to see Collings in the gutter whilst I drive past him in a Rolls Royce made entirely out of diamonds and fuelled by the blood of orphans. He knows he would do the same to me if he got the chance.
I also chose Russell Howard to be the paper guy and do my job. I had worried that he would be better than me and that next week it would in fact be me who would be sacked and Howard who would be driving by in the orphan blood diamond Rolls Royce, but luckily Howard made me look better, because he didn't show up (nor did he ring to give any explanation as to why he hadn't made it). So compared to that I am brilliant. I may not really come up with many jokes about the news, but I do at least bother to come to the studio to say the not many jokes. Consequently I was forced to do the papers bit by myself, but I am a professional. I took it all in my stride.
I very much enjoyed it all though and will be glad when Andrew is back in charge next week really. He is very good at it and it's much more fun when there's someone else there to talk to.

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