I did a Book Club record at midday with someone who I haven’t seen for about 15 years and who was 5 or under then, Mya-Rose Craig. She’s the daughter of one of my friends from school and I don’t want people to start claiming that the Kings of Wessex, Cheddar old boys’ network is out in force again. In the last 40 years we’ve already seen that give rise to one mediocre comedian and the bass player from Reef and precisely zero PMs.
I think it’s true that if she wasn’t my old friend’s daughter (and he’s not that good a friend as I haven’t seen him for 15 years either) then I wouldn’t have heard of Mya-Rose, but that’s because I am 55 and not really up with the campaigns that she’s been involved with that have seen her set up her own charity to help kids from ethnic backgrounds enjoy nature, appeared on stage with Greta Thunberg and be on the One Show. And all whilst she was still a teenager (or maybe even slightly before that). She’s written a book about her passion for bird watching
and the ups and downs of her sometimes turbulent family life, but it’s about even more than that - and you don’t have to be interested in birds to get a lot from it.
She’s the first guest I’ve had on the show who was born this century and who will live her life entirely in the same millennium (what a loser) and you can read about her achievements on her wikipedia page.
I didn’t have a wikipedia page when I was 20 and I don’t think I can really argue that that’s because wikipedia and basically the internet didn’t exist then. She’s an inspiring and impressive person. Sadly I was unable to remember any high-jinx that her dad got up to at school. I just remember thinking he was unusually cool and sporty-looking for our nerdy group of friends, but now I’ve found out he’s always been an obsessive bird spotter, it makes a lot of sense.
Anyway anyone with preconceptions about what young people are like (apart from maybe those people who think young people are all do-gooders obsessed with saving the environment so they have somewhere to live when they’re 40) will do well to listen to this one and read Mya’s book.
It was a sublime chat which contrasted with the podcast that I was to record this evening, episode 78 of Twitch of Fun in which I failed to be able to exert any control first of all over y daughter and then over Ally, who was at his filthy worst. Somehow though I need to lose control and mental balance for this to work and it really felt like I was trying to stop Ally from saying stuff I wasn’t expecting and didn’t want to hear. And that’s when I think this works best. It is a rollercoaster ride and its beauty is that I’ve never sat down and thought about what I am trying to achieve with it. I guess I have to be the straight man to make it work (and the roles are sometimes blurred), but after 78 hours I think we’re getting somewhere with this. The Jeremy Hunt song was very catchy. Check it out here