I thought I was meant to be taking it easy til Christmas, but had a pretty full day today, zooming into London to appear on Jolyon Rubenstein and James Ball’s The New Conspiracist podcast
and talking about Hitler’s ball(s). They record in a very impressive studio in town at a place that makes loads of top podcasts, showing that this industry really has become big business. If only they could see the way we recorded Collings and Herrin (though to be fair, we did lose a few of those along the way). It was a fun chat and James not only had Ball in his name but had done some great research into the subject. Should be out in a couple of weeks.
Then I went to the even more impressive offices of the Times. Someone in that organisation really has some money, I can tell you that. We were whisked up to the 17th floor and got to look out over London from a room that was solely used for presentations. I was interviewed in a room with no view, just so I knew my place, but had a good talk about the new book and the experience of losing a bollock. I was then asked about cancel culture so I expect the whole article will end up about being about that (basically) non-subject. Actually the journalist seemed like a good guy (that’s how they get you) and we then did a photo shoot where I had to hold a football, so fingers crossed my testicles will be splashed all over the Times.
This building has everything, so of course it had its own photographic studio and very friendly and efficient staff. The freelance photographer was also great and in 20 minutes got in lots of good shots, though I expect they will use the one where the football was entirely covering my face. I am hardly Kate Moss, but I have done enough photoshoots to be an old hand at this and know how to make every shot slightly different than the last to give maximum value (not that it matters too much now that photos are digital). Sometimes you end up realising you’re almost recreating an old photo. The photographer asked me to fold my arms and I realised I was wearing the same colour shirt as I was back in the 90s and did almost exactly the same thing. Except then I was young and happy and now I was old and had only one ball.
My Kryptonite, as you may know, is polystyrene. Or more specifically the sound it makes when it is rubbed against something. It can make me queasy or angry or just annoyed and that makes photoshoots a potential minefield for me as huge sheets of the stuff are used to reflect the light and are constantly being moved around. The photographer kept forgetting this was an issue, but my polystyreney-sense is so acute that I managed to always block my ears in time.
Hopefully one day the RHLSTP empire will be successful enough that I can afford to buy a skyscraper in central London, right next to a tube station and on the banks of the Thames. Though it might take a couple of years to rival Murdoch. He’s done so well since leaving the A Team.