30 seconds of fame

15 minutes is really hoping for too much. In fact, I wouldn’t want that 15 minutes of fame. My seconds were more than enough.

I was reminded of this embarrassing event when author Lucy Coats told ‘all’ about her recent interview on Blue Peter. In a way it was a relief to hear how much time was spent on what turned out to be so brief. And it’s a lesson that you don’t need to go to too much effort. Just be yourself.

And whatever you do, don’t bother cleaning the house.

For me it was walking home from school with Offspring. Just an ordinary afternoon, with Daughter in the pushchair and Son walking next to me. We saw these weird types outside the local theatre, and I realised I was about to be used for something.

The short one told me they were from the BBC and the news was that the theatre was due for demolition and what did I think of that? I told him. (I was quite fluent and sensible, on the whole.)

Then he said, would I mind repeating that on camera, and I couldn’t very well refuse. Except I was barely able to recall what I said the first time, so sounded pretty incoherent. I went home and put the video recorder on for the local news. I had dinner to make and people to feed.

It was embarrassingly bad. I had no idea I sound like that. I wondered how anyone could possibly put up with me. Two more people were interviewed. My neighbour across the road, and another school-run mother.

Afterwards the local children stared at me, and my friend’s husband told her to ask for my autograph. Luckily for her she didn’t.

Roger Whittaker

The theatre went some months after. In its place is the ‘magnificent’ entrance to the new car park for the public school which owned the building and had been waiting to get rid of it. At least the parents collecting their children by car have somewhere to park.

We no longer have the Roger Whittaker concerts or the pantos or any of the other entertainment in this former 1930s cinema.

4 responses to “30 seconds of fame

  1. I wouldn’t worry – as a journalist I can tell you that most people don’t speak in complete sentences, no matter how experiences and media savvy they are. Digital editing is a wonderful thing…

  2. I know. When I do my own interviews I’m always surprised by the number of ‘uhms’ and ‘you knows’ that have to be pruned.

  3. Thank God for digital editing, then…! I have a new respect now for all those telly people who can talk live with nary a stumble.

  4. And had you known about editing, you could have left the dust where it was. Also quite sure those telly people can’t write books.

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