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Monday 30th January 2006

I was walking down towards Hammersmith on the way to the gym (I am so fit) and then onward to Banter. I was thinking about the show and the things that I might say and was perhaps deep in thought because a man appeared from round a corner and said what I initially mistook for "It's a small world", but realised as he immediately repeated it was actually "smile". Which was good to hear because I didn't recognise him and it would be weird for someone you had never met to meet you and claim it was a small world. I was actually probably on the way to smiling before I understood that he had said smile, because I thought I must know him, but then realised the smile was the exact correct response. And being told to smile was a nice thing, especially as I wasn't even depressed and I wasn't a woman so he hadn't added, "darling, it might never happen" at the end.
He headed off in the opposite direction to me, but must have turned back round for some reason as two minutes later he was by my side asking me if I used to be on TV. I told him I was and he said, "Yeah, you did a comedy show and then you did a kids' show."
"No, I didn't do a kids' show," I told him, before realising he probably meant TMWRNJ which was on in the day and had lots of cartoons and puppets in it. But I had never considered that it might be mistaken for a real kids's show before. As people who haven't seen me on TV for six years tend to do he asked me what I was up to these days, and reminded me that I don't appear on TV much any more. But he was nice enough about it and I didn't mind.
He told me he knew Bill Bailey who lives nearby, but that he didn't like Mark Lamaar on Buzzcocks taking the piss out of old musicians because he used to be in a band. I didn't ask him which one as he'd hoped and he told me that he'd been drummer for a midway successful punk band, but added that he'd played with them at school when it had just been all mates, so he might not have been in any of the officially recognise line ups. He looked like he'd enjoyed some of the rock n roll lifestyle and had perhaps not been a stranger to drugs. Indeed we chatted a bit more about him playing on film scores when he said, "That's my dope dealer. Gotta go. Nice to meet you."
I asked him his name, because I had liked him and I liked the fact that he hated that identity parade round in Buzzcocks. It always strikes me that most of the people on the panel who are laughing at the "hasbeens" might easily take part in the other end of that round in five or ten years. I wonder if that has ever happened yet. Perhaps in ten or twenty years time, snide and sarcastic Mark Lamaar might find himself in a similar line-up with some snotty young upstart asking a panel if they can spot the former TV star amongst a parade of fat and balding middle-aged men. This round of Buzzcocks is a startling satirical comment on the ephemeral world of show business. I am sure that's what the Buzzcock producers were thinking when they invented the round and not "ha ha, let's laugh at people for not being as successful as they once were."
I thought it was sort of interesting that this drummer has done a similar thing to me on seeing me. And yet he himself has had some kind of brush with fame and had to get used to a normalish life afterwards. Irony upon irony.
Banter was fun. Do tune in every Thursday at 6.30 or listen again on the web - details on the right there.

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