Today is probably just another day in your life. Got up, walked the dog, read the paper, maybe some light shopping later before looking at the garden despairingly. Or maybe you actually know what those green things are in the garden, in which case can you please come round and help with my garden, the weeds are now so long I think there’s an actual monster in it? (Might be a fox or a badger, or possibly a small tiger. Or one truly insane hedgehog, which may be the most terrifying prospect of all.)
But today has slightly more significance in my life. Today is the day that I transition from radio guest to radio host, and for an hour at 12 noon today British Summer Time (11 a.m. GMT, 4 a.m. PST, probably nearly tomorrow in New Zealand) I will be asking the questions for the first time on Cambridge 105’s bi-weekly radio show, Bums On Seats. If you look at the top of this page, you’ll see a link to all of my previous performances, which have been happening since September last year, but today I take my first turn in the hot seat.
I was absolutely fine about this until Thursday night, at which point I read a few words of my script to my ever loving and supportive wife, Mrs Evangelist. I was about four words in when she exclaimed “No!” Apparently I was trying too hard and not being myself, but repeated short bursts from me followed by drill-sergeantesque “No!”s from her any time I sounded too stiff and forced have sent me into a spiral of self-examination and doubt.
For deep down, I fear that I have a radio voice, which as yet hasn’t been unleashed on the public, and today at 12 noon / 11 a.m. / 4 a.m. / nearly tomorrow that voice will take over my very soul and define me
if they ever let me do this again for any time I ever open my mouth again. Here’s my prediction for the composition of that radio voice: I’m calling it the Bums On Seats Pie Chart Of Fear.
Alan Partridge: Radio Norfolk’s finest fictional journalist, I even managed to say “A-ha!” the last time I was on the show. (We were reviewing a Steve Coogan film in my defence, but I agree that’s not much of a defence.)
Nick Grimshaw: We’re going to be covering everything from Fast & Furious 6 to Something In The Air. I looked up Trotskyism this morning. Then I looked up “dictatorship of the proletariat”. Then I looked at some funny cat videos to make myself feel better. I have a horrible fear I’m going to skew towards the Grimshaw end of the intelligence spectrum. I also need a haircut.
Smashie and Nicey: Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse’s DJ creations do a “lot of good work for charidee.” Ahem. Charity. I fear the moment I attempt to put any intonation into my voice, I’m going to go just a bit Mike Smash.
Simon Mayo: The self-aggrandising, and Kermode-aggrandising, host of Radio 5 Live’s Wittertainment and associated podcast talks over his reviewer and generally thinks little of his own opinions and less of those of his co-host. Totes amaze, Jason Isaacs.
Anyway, I should be reading about Trotskyist cats, or something, so tune in today at 12 / 11 / 4 / nearly tomorrow, or catch the podcast later next week if you miss it today / nearly tomorrow, and let me know which part of the Pie Chart Of Fear came out the most.