It was good to be on the radio again, last Monday. Got through the rush hour traffic without incident and arrived at reception at the Birkenhead YMCA in plenty of time. The receptionist called through to say that I'd arrived and moments later a younger guy appeared (younger than I expected - this is Vintage radio - for old people) and said, "Hi, I'm Simon, you must be Mike. Follow me."
I followed. Not up the lift, to where the studio had been last time, but though to the back of the building, out into the court yard, then in through the cafeteria, where lines of homeless people were waiting to eat. I was led down another corridor, through a door, and there I was, in the kitchens. There were a small group of kitchen workers who looked at me with relieved expressions. And Simon handed me an apron.
"Okay, you can start straight away," he said.
Anyway, I found my way back. Headed up the lift and did the show without incident. It's strange doing radio. You just sit in a room and talk into a microphone. You have no idea if you are talking to two or two-million, (the former is probably the more likely) and you don't know whether what you did was a success or not. You talk, you finish, you go home. Job done.
So this week I'm trying something more visual. I've got the day off work on Wednesday to be a film extra. The BBC are making a drama about a trumpet player in a Big Band. My Big Band has stepped in at short notice to be the musicians. We've got a full day of filming and (we believe) our part will occupy just 30 seconds of screen time. At least this one isn't live, so I'll get to see myself in action for once. I don't know much about it except it's called 'Moving On'.
Maybe I'll be in the end credits, just below Best Boy and Grip. I'll be there as a conglomerate entity - Merseyside Big Band.
Hollywood seems such a long time ago now.