“No more telly!”
A strange thing happened yesterday – I was invited to appear on ITV’s Granada Reports, which just goes to show you wake up in the morning and never really know what to expect!
The story goes as follows: I’d written a tribute in this diary to Liz Dawn and the ITV News Editor read it, then emailed to ask me to phone him. I replied that I’ve got no credit but would be happy to talk so would he call me? Sure enough, half an hour later the mobile rang and it was he; a nice young fellow who wanted to hear some of my anecdotes about Liz. I duly obliged and he seemed suitably entertained, at least enough to invite me to appear live on air that night. I must admit this was hugely flattering, both that he’d read my blog and that he wanted me to go on telly. He was aware that I’m a homeless traveller and asked was I local enough to get to Manchester, or if not he’d arrange transport for me. Again I was flattered but I declined his offer.
Later, I told Jayne about this unexpected invitation and she asked why the hell I turned it down.
“You’ve done TV before,” she said, “You’ve done the Southbank Show!”
“Yes,” I said, “and proved I’ve got a face more suited to radio.”
“I know,” she said, “but still.”
“Thanks,” I said.
People say the nicest things. This reminds me of a time when I was talking to a young lady in Salford Quays who wanted to know why I was single:
“Because I’m fat and ugly,” I explained.
“Rubbish!” she cried, “You’re not fat!”
I often think about this and chuckle to myself.
But I digress. That wasn’t the only reason I turned down the invitation. I would’ve been nervous, yes, but also I was tired, my belly was empty, I was unshaven, I’d got no ironed shirts and I just didn’t feel up to it. But more than anything I would’ve felt a bit of a fraud, appearing under the TV lights recounting happy memories of a brilliant servant to Coronation Street when right now I’m on my arse. It sounds a bit plaintive, pathetic even, but that’s how it is, that’s how it would’ve felt, I can’t get past it, I just wasn’t up to it.
Also, I would’ve felt like a cheat because the show I’ve always loved is out of reach as I rarely get a signal on the Ottermobile’s TV – in fact I haven’t watched it for a while and I miss it like mad. But that’s a price you pay for homelessness.
But if I learned anything about yesterday it was that my diary at least gets read, I have an audience, and that felt good. It also felt good that though I was unable to appear on TV, or even to watch it, I’d paid my respects to Liz and made someone else chuckle as I retold stories I’d written for her, in what I like to think were some golden days of Coronation Street. I also learned that my phone still rings.