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thecultofnick

Thu 06/12/07

Talk to an old mate of mine called Jeremy Dry. Guy's a legend, got me started in radio.

Weirdsat

Starting to feel real confidence in the show.

Choose day

Mate of mine sends me a text: "Who was presenting your show last night? It sounded like Gary Bushell."

Impy skirts

One of my best mates has a baby. He lives miles away but is able to send me a picture on his phone. I'm in awe.

Sundaerday

A good friend of mine signs up for an online dating agency. I wonder how she'll do?

Sanderday

It is with dissapointment that I learn my mate Toby Foster features only a little in the new Extras Xmas special. I learn this after texting him to tell him I've just interviewed someone who gave it a good review.

Underhill

The lady is coming to live with me. I'm excited and nervous.

Hanky

Time seems to be going really fast. It's sort of freaking me out.

NM

Gonna get there

Interview Keith Chegwin. He's a cheeky chirpy chappie.

NM

Tuesday

We air some of my old stand up material in the form of a behind the scenes phone call. The original material is here although it was revised before being performed.

NM

Hum jams

Mark Thomas pops into the studio. We chat for quite some time about David Shayler, conspiracy theories and other bits of nonsense. The interview will air in the New Year.

Continue in my quest to hassle the DD's.

Met a mate of mine yesterday who was up in Birmingham for the BBC's radio awards. All sounds like it was a very expensive bash. That reminds me, I must set up my direct debit for my TV licence.

NM

Sandurday

My mate sends me a text message about the film Zeitgeist. I'm a little worried about the fact that I'm acting as a conduit for ideas which I may not personally agree with. However I think alternative dialogue is a good thing so brush off those worries with thoughts that it's good for people to think, simply for it's own sake.

Ickester's on the way baby!

Xmas cards are coming my way as I'm getting texts asking for both my address and my current girlfriend status. I'm crap with Xmas cards.

creat

My girlfriend gets some sad news. Her blog is worth reading, it's better than mine.

yadnews yadsenew can;t do it.

Feeling and looking fat. Talk about football on the show. Callers are starting to get used to me but still need more spunk in them.

Tuesday 20th November.

We interview Mark Thomas and he's very funny. He agrees to come in for a studio chat at a later date. Aces.

Also I have my name analysed on air and it has quite an impact on me:

Nick - previously called "Nicky". The Y stood for a partier. When you lost the Y you chilled down a little bit - he is the glue that holds the world together makes other people look good, helpful kind, wonderful person... got a very long rope and then he will get mad...takes alot for him to bite!

I'm unnerved by how true this feels and reflect on the fact that I did change in character when I dropped the "Y" from my name. Scary.

Monday - rubber bands

Go for a pint with my mate after his interview. He seems hopeful and looked smart in his suit.

Fundai

A mate of mine has an interview in Birmingham tomorrow. I like the idea of having friends who live in the City so hope he gets the job.

(Saturday) culminary

We go round to my mate's house and eat his girlfriend's "goo". We also watch Strictly Come Dancing and enjoy the whole experience.

Titch

My mate comes up and we all watch the Led By Zeppelin gig at Kerrang. This is done in the company of a group of invited listeners, all of whom are cool. The gig will be broadcast to co-incide with the actual Led Zeppelin gig. Aces.

Umberboarder

Me and Alex and Amy spend a day watching a very dull legal DVD about what you can and cannot say on the radio. I've seen it a million times before but some of the law has changed recently.

It's living in the beyond

My mate texts me to tell me that our old collegue Jules Warren now presents Sky Sports News. That's fantastic as Jules always struck me as one of the good guys. We once argued on air about sports and he accused me of "being controversial".

13th Poo's day

We interview AQA and they're really good. We were going to grill the f#ck out of them after Alex got a rubbish reply to one of his questions but then we decide to try and get the best out of them instead.

Mundayz

Feels like the show is starting to really take shape. The lady stays over, I want her to move down asap. I must stop using "asap" it marks me out as a t#at.

Bunday

Sit and watch a riot take place from my the balcony of my flat. I genuinely like Birmingham and almost consider the crazy nature of it part of the appeal. From a distance it looks like the police outnuber the rioters two to one but the whole thing is genuinely scary to see.

(Saturtee) Fork cough.

It's my girlfriend's mate's birthday and we go round to her boyfriend's house. He has, proudly displayed on his bookshelf, copies of Tony Robbins CD's. I'm stunned and at the same time feel a twinge of pain as, ever since I got the Kerrang gig I've sort of let all that sh#t slack off a bit. Not good. Must get back on the self help wagon.

Scooby snax.

A mate of mine (who writes a blog which never fails to amuse me) sends me the following text message:

"Update your blog quicker you bitch!"


Difficult to argue with that but I seem to be spending all of my life either sleeping or working at the moment. It's a stark contrast to my previous life.

Sunderland

My mate James Piekos does a stand up gig and it goes really well. Good times. He sends me quite an emotional text message thanking me for my help in getting him ready.

(Weds) Ultimate catch up

I decide it might be cool if you could sum up your life using film trailer cliches after remembering that I used to do it all the time as a kid. One particularly embarrasing memory is of me going to my mate's house on a Saturday afternoon. In my little world he was a bit of a square and he went to church a lot so the film trail as I rode round there on my BMX went like this: "He was a Christian who didn't take risks, Nick was a guy, who showed him how to party!". Man I was such a f#cking geek.

Upside down

We record Peter Tachill VS Shirley Phelps. It's awesome and will be aired soon.

Skiddle the piddle.

Do a dissapointing interview with Richard Herring, I'm a fan of his great blog www.richardherring.co.uk/warmingup. It'll get aired but it'll be heavily edited. Never meet your heroes.

Edit poorts

A band called The Skies come in and do their stuff. They seem nice enough.

So ask the question...

Me and the lady have a wee adventure in my hometown. A good time is had by all.

Are you in control?

Birthdays can be fun. It's not mine but it is my sister's.

Modern combents

Take time off air because of a Warchild special. It feels like a mistake.

Open the birth

My Dad bought a cheap guitar from a car boot sale. He's put some strings on it today, I realise I prefer nylon strings.

Lick the leaves

Have decided I want to be on one of those sh#t list shows, like I LOVE 1986 or something. Watched one of the weekend and decided they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel nowadays.

Kippers and blood

Realised that I've chipped one of my teeth. Things like this always remind me of my own mortality.

Previous dentist based entries.

Here.
Here.
And here.

Jumping doh

Recovering from a mate of mine's leaving do. He's off round the world and his blog, which is brilliant, is here.

Clearspot...

Do boring stuff like, ring the water board and the electricity company. Settling in to Birmingham a bit.

Underscore hash plus pears equals nosh

Did a great interview with Dan from The Feeling. He's their lead singer and he was up for a bit of nonsense.

I'm hacking away at the backlog even though...

Spoke in detail about anorexia with Lorraine Dumbill, someone who used to suffer from the illness. She got to the point where she was eating an apple a day and as she told us about it on air, tears welled up in her eyes.

Sometimes I think I'm...

Did an interview with Emma Thompson which went quite badly, managed to argue with her without meaning to. At the end of the interview she left her mic on in London and sounded off about what an "idiot" I was, without realising I could hear her.

Never EVER going to catch up...

Did an ISDN interview with Michelle McManus, she was great. Planned for the Warchild special which is coming up.

22nd... Skip to the end and a blur of activity...

Had problems lining up an ISDN interview, worried about that because we're using it for Alex Jones later on. Good comedian on the show, Rob MCConnell.

Sunday...

Me and Alex are bonding over our mutual hatred of Rugby and Football and sport in general. The Rugby particularly annoys me and I end up banging on about it on air.

NM

Saturday...

I get the following text off a mate as regards a recent interview I did with uber-conspiracy theorist Alex Jones; "He brutalised u, old bean, but I think you managed to get a few repostes in. Did he drop off the air or did u have to dump him?"

The answer to his question is yes. I had to use the delay on Alex Jones, I censored him. Needed to cut out allegations made against Prince Philip.

NM

19th Fribbleday

My local pub have been listening to the show - it's got the thumbs up. Oddly though this news makes me feel a little homesick and I end up missing The Bay.

NM

18th Of the Munch...

Interview David Cronenburg, he's a film director but we only get about five minutes with the guy. The whole thing leaves me feeling a bit cold and stupid.

NM

17th The grobbler and the grub.

Coming in early to do interviews is starting to take its strain but doing the show itself is still fun. Callers aren't really as assertive as I'm used to though, they're a bit meek - !

NM

16th Of the mother bumph.

We have our first "creative meeting" but it's not really useful. Everyone in the team is still settling in to their roles behind the scenes.

15th Strike the match...

People I've not spoken to in years are listening to the show and getting in touch. It's nice and I'm still getting my head round the fact that Kerrang really is a big gig.

NM

14th Of Fear...

Feels like I'm working a lot. Sexy Sunday's fast becoming my favourite day though, it feels like it has an identity.

NM

13th Shingles

Spend a nice day in the countryside and see cows being milked. I want to live in a very big house in the country when I win the lottery.

NM

12th Frumpy day

Get stuck in a motherf#cker of a traffic jam. Listening to Rick Shaw, who I really rate, calling it "Black Friday" for traffic.

NM

11th of the delisious.

Getting in at really f#cking early times, like 1pm. There's been a big kick off behind the scenes about "Who are you and what do you want" but despite this we're keeping the feature.

NM

Weds 10th of Naghill

Today we did an interview with Tim Minchin, it won't get aired for a while but it was great fun. The show is going well but we're still in the early stages of its development.

(Tuesday) 9th of Doom.

Had a comedian on the show called Robbie Alderson, it's always a bit of a fear getting a comedian on, will they be funny? The answer to that question, in this instance was, yes.

NM

Under and over the mill

Decided to do blog updates which are only two sentences long, the reasoning being that I'm now more than a month behind on updates so I need to catch up.

Today we recorded the Fonejacker "Who are you and what do you want" interview, he dropped out of character half way through and we did a straight interview with him which was, frankly, fascinating.

First ever sexy Sunday.

We got a bloke on the show tonight from Loaded magazine to talk about chat up lines. It was a pre-recorded interview. He told us that, surprise, surprise, "chat up lines don't really work". I don't think I've ever heard that they do to be honest. We also had a model in the studio, with her big boyfriend standing in the corner watching closely. It was an odd show. I'm still very much getting used to being on air and in the new environment.

It's quite slow on calls at the moment and we're not really pushing that element of things. I'm trying really hard to avoid places like Digitalspy and so forth. I don't really need crit on the show just yet. I need to do a month or so of it first and then look at where I'm at.

Also, I'm getting very worried about how out of date this blog is. There's a massive increase in the numbers of people reading it but there's nothing new for them to read. These entries are inevitably going to be really f#cking short so for the moment I've upped the page displays to 5.

NM

The suckler...

A mate of mine popped up this weekend. We talked about life the Universe and everything over a few swiftly consumed beers. We were also joined by radio's Dan Morfitt who is better known (now at least) as Kebab Van Dan.

NM

Skizz is over rated.

Ye f#cking mother f#cking c#nting b#llocking c#nts! I'm walking back up towards my car, it's Friday but I'm at work because even though I'm not on air tonight it's do sh#t day. So, I'm walking up towards my car. Surely my eyes are decieving me, looks like there's a parking ticket on my car. How silly. I've got four hours booked in that space. Funny how the mind plays tricks. But, wait. No really. What the f#ck? I've got a ticket. B#llocks.

Surely, there must be some mistake? I wander up to the car in shock and look at my clearly displayed ticket right behind my PENALTY NOTICE. What the f#ck? I'm in shock. There's sh#te and there's sh#te.

Fueled by indignant rage I storm off and do what any angry Englishman does in such a situation. I write a stern letter. I then revise it a bit. I then re-write it to make it a bit more stern. I then sanitise it and finish up with a rather matter of fact account of things which frankly wouldn't offend anyone. I then post it.

Then I realise that the postal strike may affect things a bit. So I resolve to take decisive action about it next week. A resolution it's obvious I won't stick to.

NM

Everybody's nowadays


The show now has its own blog. The updating of which is the responsibility of Amy (Junior) Jones. Click here to see it.

Tonight was the night I sent Tim the text. It felt like a good solid show tonight. We had two bands in both battling it out for supremacy. The results were decided by text. The band who lost seemed really miffed.

It's been a bizarre week. I don't feel tired but I am working flat out at the moment. We need to gather some momentum in terms of guests and as a consequence we're doing interviews during the day. As a result I was talking to Rageh Omar today. He detailed a harrowing story regarding two people haggling about the price of some kid they were selling, outside Selfridges. Nasty. Not sure when we'll air that interview, it was good though.

NM

Snooze into your nibbles.

Still feels like I'm finding my feet with the show. I don't quite feel like I've found my "Kerrang" voice. I made a pact with Tim that as soon as I felt the show click I'd text him. I've not yet texted him. That's not to say that the show is awful, it's just not yet what it will be. They say it takes about three months for a show to really bed in. The old Hallam FM show took about that. The show we're replacing, The Asylum, took about that.

It's funny because I remember listening to The Asylum early on and thinking it was awful. The difference between that show at the show it became was vast.

On the other hand I think Tim's settled in straight away on breakfast. Kate Lawler came up and chatted to me today. She was jolly nice. In retrospect it's not surprising given that Big Brother was, at that point, a selection process designed to find people who are nice. I think. To be honest I didn't really watch that one much. Anyway, she seemed nice. We chatted about Weight Watchers and Slimming World. The reccomends the latter. I need to sort my weight situation out. I'm eating loads of f#cking sh#t. I can actually feel myself getting fatter.

NM

Bloating the bus.

Post show analysis with the boss. Everyone's reasonably pleased but aware that we're going to improve bits here and there. I feel a lot more relaxed having actually done the first show. I think this is true for everyone. What's required now is a few weeks of momentum and we'll be able to assess things properly.

As predicted this blog has rapidly become out of date I've no idea when I'll actually get time to write up this entry. I'm geniuely bust at the moment. It's a weird feeling.

During the day we're doing various interviews so we can build up a bank of stuff to play out in the future. Today I did an interview with a guy called Oliver Rowe and we tried something a bit different. I explained to him that we were going to only ask him two questions; "Who are you?" and "What do you want?". He agreed to try it out.

I then shouted "WHO ARE YOU?" and "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" at him for about half an hour. It was excruciating to do and ended with him gasping "ah - I can't do this". He then left the mic. As we did the interview via ISDN line it wasn't clear entirely what had happened but we're going to try and edit the results into something worth listening to. I'm quite excited about it.

NM

Tramps and sh#te

The whole thing's over. It went by so fast it's hard to assimilate. We had Jason Burmans from The Loose Change Team on. He was good. A live guest over the phone. Straight after that we had Wil Hodgeson on. He was fantastic. I'm proud of the fact that he was on the first ever show. He was a live guest and I offered him accomodation for the night in my spare room.

After the show we all went for a curry and drank a few beers. It's impossible to evaluate the thing clearly at the moment and frankly it'd be silly to decide how things will work out from here but overall I'm in a good mood. My dream that it'd go badly simply didn't come true.

More than anything else I'm just relieved that the first show is over and out of the way. From here I think it'll be a process of nipping and tucking as we guide it towards the right place. No massive major changes just gentle steering. My brain is scrambled.

NM

Dan The Phlegm guy sends me a nice text.

My nerves keep coming off and on in flashes. I spend the day with family eating nice home cooked food and picking up essentials for the flat. Unfortunately I don't yet have an internet connection so as a consequence I'll probably end up getting behind with the blog. Already I'm getting a much higher level of traffic to this place but at the same time I'm determined to keep to the ethic of the thing. A post a day. I've been doing it for years. I'm f#cked if I'm going to compromise that. As a result people who click through to here from the Kerrang site will just have to put up with old out of date posts as I try to catch up.

It's strange going from a period of relative inactivity to one where I'm genuinely busy. We're aiming for a quota of three interviews a night on the new show and as a result loads of my time is spent either recording or preparing for them.

Also I'm writing and recording a few sketches and a bit of nonsense here and there as well as getting back on top of the papers. I've been a whole year almost without really giving a sh#t about the world. Now I'm preparing to re-engage with the whole thing.

A large part of me just wants to get tomorrow night over and done with. Lets get rolling. Get all the "wahh - it's not The Asylum" sh#t out of the way.

NM

Piano blumes into the night. Kiss the sounds as they leave your mind.

Spend the first half of the day f#cking about doing boring stuff like securing my inventory for my new flat and making sure the water board have my details. Then we head over to Manchester for a mate's birthday party. It's reasonably uneventful, largely because my mind is locked into the fact that I start doing a national radio show on Monday. It's hard to engage with people when I'm like this. It reminds me a little of how I became when I was doing the phone in on Hallam FM. There was a point when I only really spoke to a very small group of people. Not as part of any sort of plan but simply because I couldn't focus on conversations. Writing this out now makes me worry a bit.

It's the nerves though.

I spot a guy at the bar who looks exactly like my mate Dave Henning. In my confusion I text him and tell him. He replies with "Yeah, it was me I just ignored you."

"Thought so, you c#nt" I reply.

"Ha ha. F#cking love you man. When does the big show start?"

I get solidly drunk on Pear Cider and then talk nonsense to my girlfriend.

NM

Scrunch (Friday)

One of my new collegues Johnny Doom tells me that I wasn't hallucinating last night. There really is a giant f#cking eye which watches over Birmingham. "Some crazy f#cking illuminati sh#t right?" he jokes.

My final weekend before "The Big Show" begins. All the early signs are good. I like the two people who will be working with me. I like Birmingham and I like Kerrang. The only concern is that I'm f#cking sh#tting my pants. Other than that I'm fine.

I go to sleep with these thoughts and then have a dream where I'm offered a straight up phone in show like the old one on Hallam FM or the chance to try and make this new show on Kerrang work. In the dream I decide to stay in my comfort zone and do the old style phone in show but as soon as the decision is made I regret it. I spend the rest of the night wandering about in dream world regretting my haste and lack of courage.

Previously I've had a dream where I do the first show and the whole thing is a massive f#cking disaster! I mean really bad. Someone tells me that's good because 'what happens in dreams rarely takes place in real life'.

Nerves are good though right?

NM

Modern colemnts

Finally I move into my new flat. I've got hardly anything in there in terms of furniture and clothes but nontheless I do now have a base. It's about time. I've been p#ssing about commuting from Manchester and staying in Travellodges for ages. I spend the night looking out over the new City which I'm joining. As I do so I spy a very odd thing. There on the top of one of the buildings is an eye. A big eye on a giant screen looking about and blinking every now and then. The screen looks like the sort of thing that you'd use to advertise Coca Cola and so forth but instead it's got a big f#cking eye on it.

Classic illuminati symbolism. I'm in shock as I look at it. There must be a rational explanation. How odd. There it is staring me in the face. I must be loosing my mind. I video it on my camera phone and then drift off into an uneasy sleep.

It's not that I believe in all the conspiracy theory stuff but being aware of it means you do end up noticing a lot of stuff. Thing slike that freak you out. Big eyes watching you at night. I'm losing my mind.

NM

Just because the hill is high doesn't mean I can't climb it.

It's good to be living in the same city as my old mate Lloyd. We went and watched Alabama 3 tonight. They were good but I know that I'm getting old. The reason I know this is because I've got less and less tolerance for people who push past me. It really annoys me when people decide that the gangway is right next to me. How and why the f### does that always happen?

As regards the band; they were good. Nice beat to their tunes and I knew more of their songs than I expected to. The venue felt nice and small. I watched in awe as my mate Lloyd took about 40 minutes to get served at the bar. He was stood there resting on the bar and the staff totally ignored him. I thought that was only something that happened to me. Lloyd takes being ignored to a whole new level though.

Once the gig was done I went back to my Travellodge. My flat's not ready yet. I should be moving in tomorrow.

NM

(Tuesday) Films fly

I watched my mate Toby Foster storm it tonight at a club in Manchester called XS Malarkey. The club itself is one of those nice little independant comedy clubs that manage to exist outside of the Jongulers world booking alternative acts as well as the mainstream. I've never quite worked out where Toby Foster sits as a comedian. Is he mainstream or alternative? I imagine it's exactly the sort of question he'd balk at.

The club was celebrating an anniversary. I think it was 10 years but I might be wrong. It was packed out as a consequence but nontheless I was still surprised when old school legend Jimmy Cricket pushed his way past me with a polite "scuse me there, thanks, etc". He was making his way towards the stage! Bonkers. Jimmy Cricket playing an alternative Manchester comedy venue. He was good as well. Not (if I'm honest) as good as Toby was but it was so surreal to see that I couldn't help but laugh. There's no reason why acts like that shouldn't be able to gig alongside everyone else.

Following on from him we had Mark Steel. He was good but didn't quite grab me in the same way as the previous two acts. Great presence, good material and fantastic delivery just not quite exciting enough. The atmosphere in the club was fantastic though and I was excited to be there.

NM

Jumping James . . . (24th. Monday)

It's difficult not to be in awe as regards the price of parking in Birmingham. Kerrang sits just on the very edge of the premium parking rate zone so if you f#ck up you pay a fortune. My senior producer has already been fined a couple of times for not having a ticket or having one that runs out on him.

Land ownership is the root of all social inequality. Parking is one of my pet hates. I've blogged about it in the past here, here, here and here. Oh and over here. You could say it's a bit of a pet hate. I even tried to launch an exciting political campaign about it once but it never quite took root.

The fact that here in Birmingham you pay, for example, £1.80 but still get no change from £2 is actually stealing. And that, my friend is the work of a c#nt.

NM

(Sunday) I scroot for you.

I absolutely hate rubbish call centres. This website is bloody good. It features various recorded conversations between p#ssed off people and the conversations they have with people in rubbish call centres. Go and have a scan, my personal favourite is the person who works in Royal Mail who flips out when told she's being recorded. Lovely stuff: www.callsmayberecorded.co.uk

Here's a bit of advice for you. If you're ever faced with a call centre situation and you're making a complaint, tell them you're recording the call anyway. Even if you're not. Also, tell them you work at a radio station. If you do they suddenly become considerably more polite and efficient than usual.

Don't let the f#ckers grind you down.

NM

Killing me hardly.

I remember getting my first gig at Oak FM. I was really excited to finally have a radio show. The crunch moment came quite early on. The Programme Controller sat me down and dished out the following speech:

"Right, Nick, I like your stuff. You're good at what you do but you're going to have to make a few changes if you want to work in commercial radio. First of all, from now on, you are a salesman. Nick Margerrison is a brand. When you're on air you're selling the brand Nick Margerrison. You've always got to think, what will people take away from what I've just said about brand Nick Margerrison? Good radio is where you sell that brand and make people think, 'okay, I like that brand'".

I was horrified at this little speech. What about being creative and doing funny things and stuff?

"You're job is to create a brand that makes people listen longer".

How dull it all seemed. I was crestfallen. "Oh and by the way, you'll need to change your name to Rick. We've already got a Nick on the station, people will get confused. Good commercial radio always keeps things simple".

And that was it, I was called Rick.

Thank f#ck that didn't work out.

NM

Underscore, hash.

Today we did our first interview. The show is going to have three a night so we're doing a few pre-recorded ones now before we go on air. It was weird to be doing the show but not yet having it on air. I felt like I didn't quite have my Kerrang voice yet. The interview in question was with this bloke:



He's supposed to be the Mr Motivator of finance. I spent most of the rest of the day editing and re-editing the thing wondering exactly what tack I'm going to take with the show. I think I want it to be sincere but in a simmilar vein to the old Hallam phone in show. Largely though I'm working in the dark. Also, I'm not housed in Birmingham yet. I'm doing a commute from Manchester. Either that or spending time in a Travellodge like Alan Partridge.

NM

500 Million.

Today I sat staring blankly at an empty show clock. If you're not sure what one of those is it's very easy to explain, it's a list of what's coming up on your radio show. My boss had filled out some ideas for me already but he made it clear that what he'd written was just an outline, "a way of getting the ball rolling". I've no f#cking idea what to do. However, it's good that I'm nervous. If there's one thing my stand-up stuff taught me it's that nerves are always a sign something is going to go well.

One thing we're thinking of doing is getting a few video bloggers on the show. One of them being the bloke I mentioned here. Actually, you could help me out here, blog reader. If you know of a particularly good vlogger post their name in the comments section and I'll try and get them on the new show.

In fact that goes for anyone who you think would be a good guest on the show. We're planning on cramming a few guests into it. One possible is the awesome comedian Wil Hodgeson!

NM

Windows Eat Doors Now.

I'm in a room full of about 30 people. It's the final ever Asylum Show on Kerrang Radio. I'm the bloke who is taking over the show, but it'll not have the same name. It'll be a different show. As I wander around the building I'm constantly aware of the fact that people are curious to know what the show will be like. My honest answer is; "I have no f#cking idea really". I've met the two people I'll be working with. One of them already features on Tim's Show. She's called Amy and she'll be the junior producer. The other person is called Alex. He seems quite similar to me only younger. I'm reminded of myself when I was back at Youth FM, all keen and eager. That's a good sign. I was quite creative at that point.

It's hard not to be intimidated by the spectacle that is a live Asylum show, particularly the last one. Tim Shaw looks like some crazed ring leader surrounded by loads of different far out people. Then, sat in the corner, is me.

I'm still stunned at how nice everyone at Kerrang appears to be. It's not what I expected. I'm also surprised at how busy I am. At points it's fair to say that I've taken the p#ss a little bit with my job but right now I'm working on lots of different ideas. Not long now 'til we go on air.

F#cking sh#tting my pants.

NM

And you know you're only dreaming (Tuesday)

Blam... it explodes across the studio! A man has just obliterated a plastic spoon with a powerful mouse trap. "Now you put your hand in there..." he says to 'Donkhole'. F#cking hell. I'm really sweating for the guy. "Don't f#cking do it man," my brain is screaming as I watch from behind Tim Shaw's shoulder. 'Donkhole' is sh#tting his pants. He's pale as the moon. Tenderly he gently reaches out and pops his hand on the mousetrap. It closes on his hand. It hasn't closed with full force. There's the trick. Everyone groans and I've almost fainted in the corner. I really can't take sh#t like that.

I can't watch anything where I think there might be something bad about to happen to someone...

I'm watching a radio show, the penultimate "Asylum" show. 'Donkhole' later slices his head open as part of a trick involving a guillotine. Seriously.

I'm not going to try and "take over" The Asylum. It'll be a different show and I'm hoping people will respect that. Tim Shaw keeps saying nice things about me and he even talks to me a couple of times on air. All the while I'm sh#tting my pants. I come over as a bit of a dull fish out of water but I'm trying not to 'match him'. I just want to keep out of it and get ready to kick off the new show.

The whole experience leaves me a little stunned and reminds me a little of when we were peaking on the Hallam talkshow and I was just about to can it.

NM

Crumble the pie...

I've only met my senior producer, Alex, a couple of times but each time I've chatted to him I've got nothing other than a good vibe. He seems like a goodie. That's a good thing. For the most part today I sat looking at a "show clock" and wondered what the f#ck I'm going to do on this new show. It's planned out in my mind as being the best show I've ever done, I'm going to try and combine different elements of shows I've done in the past. It should be good. I don't want to curse it too much because it's not on air yet but trust me blog reader, it really should be good.

I did the wander round and meet people thing today. Obviously, loads of names and people to remember. I hardly remember any of them at all. People seem nice and I think my fears about being cool from yesterday were just silly paranoia.

Tomorrow night I will be watching Tim Shaw's Asylum and seeing exactly how the show works. It'll be interesting to watch Tim at work. I remember him from his old days back at Hallam FM and, to a lesser extent, BRMB. What I like about him is that, like me, he seems to have managed to stay outside of the radio mainstream. He's a good presenter but he's just not part of the fold really. That's good.

He's been saying nice things about me on air so hopefully the Asylum audience won't totally hate my f#cking gutz when I start.

NM

(Sunday) ...Undermight

The final few Asylum shows are being broadcast this week. I wanted to make it along to the one tonight but it's turned out that I can't make it. Instead me and the lady spent the night together with a little bit of pear cider. Tomorrow I will drive in to my new home: Birmingham! I'm going to make an effort to say hello to all my new work collegues. I'm cr#p at remembering people's names and faces but I plan to do the 'wander round the office' thing tomorrow. I managed quite well to say hello to people at The Bay and make friends. I want that to be the case at Kerrang.

It's tricky though. I'm worried that the people there will all be really cool and I'll stick out. I'm not and never have been "cool". It'll be a ball ache if I have to try to be. It sounds really wet but I intend to be honest with 'em. I'm a geek. I like comic books, Dr Who, and have a rubbish haircut. I also have no tattoos. Oh dear. I think even writing the above entry confirms my lack of cool.

I hope I don't need to be cool.

NM

(Saturday) ... Scrumba the humba

My final night before going to Birmingham was great. I went out and had a drinky with my sister. We got tiddly on wine and then talked utter nonsense about life the universe and everything.

I'm trying to ignore the pressure of the new show by thinking about other stuff. I've got loads of niggly things to sort out as regards actually living in Birmingham. Fortunately I already know a couple of people who live there already, one of them blogs here. I'm excited about seeing him actually, it's good how life throws up little surprises like that every now and then.

The quality of my blog entries is going slowly through the f#cking floor. These notes I'm writing now won't get typed up for ages and I'm guessing that once the new show launches there will be a considerable increase in readership here. I suppose I should try and welcome the new readers....

This blog is about two years old. It has a few hundred readers a week. It's updated everyday. Get back to the first entry and catch up!

NM

Stark bleached fools ...

Me and my Dad went round looking at places to live in Birmingham today. It's a massive place and I was frankly totally confused by the whole experience. We looked at about six places in total. They were all much of a muchness and seen as I don't really know anything about the different areas that I looked at I'm a little in the dark. In the end I was just so sick of looking that I picked one almost at random. Not a bad place but it'll take a while to move in, lots of paperwork to sort out. Looks like in the meantime I'll be doing an Alan Partridge and staying in a Travel Lodge. That's £50 a night I'll be sp#nking. B#ll#cks.

It'll be weird to go and work at a new place, after the pleasant experience I've had at The Bay part of me is sh#tting myself that Kerrang will be a step back into the depressing world that radio can sometimes become. There's no reason for me to think that might be the case though, other than my awful paranoia.

Is it possible to be paranoid about your own paranoia?*

NM

*Yes.

(Thursday) I need a wee.

My final night in the pub with my Dad and his friends tonight. Most social circles have a pub night, Thursday is my Dad's. There's general excitement all round that I'm off to work on a national station. I end up getting really f#cking drunk. It never ceases to amaze me the ammount of sh#t I talk when I have a few too many jars. I can't remember specifics but I do recall thinking I was squirting out b#llocks at a pretty consistent rate.

The bit I enjoy the most though is the wander home when me and Pop's talk about life, the universe and everything. It's odd really to notice the number of things that are simmilar between the two of us. Obviously I must copy his mannerisms and so forth but it's strange to realise the extent to which I do that. Little turns of phrase here and there which I thought were my own are actually things my Dad says.

Being bladdered and in the presence of my parents is less odd than it used to be but still something I don't handle all that well. I become self conscious, not something that goes well with being drunk.

We look round Birmingham soon for a flat.

NM

(Weds) Sleeping giants.

I'm suddenly genuinely busy. I have all sorts of b#llocks to sort out. I'm moving to Birmingham for a start. It's a big, big, big, blo#dy place. I mean seriously big. The roads are nothing short of f#cking crazy and the vibe is different to anywhere else that I've ever lived. All of this is of course first impressions. Most of my time is spent looking at it all in total f#cking horror. It's a huge unfamilliar place. I had the same thoughts about Manchester in the past but now it's somewhere I really like being. I need time to get my head round sh#t. I'm a ponderer.



This video sort of sums it up for me.

NM

(Tuesday) Shrug and shrug and shrug.

I've always been a fan of the film "Withnail and I". I liked it even before I'd seen it. It's one of those ones which, before I'd seen it, people would say, tantalisingly, "I'd have thought you'd have seen that". Almost like you've dissapointed them when you admit you have not. I find that's the best way to get me into something. Just go; "oh, you surprise me, I'd have imagined that'd be right up your street," and then pull a funny face. It's a routine that has worked countless times*. I think one of the reasons my musical tastes are so eclectic is because at points it has been expected of me to like weird sh#t. Thing is, you start of pretending and it ends up becoming true.

There was no need to pretend with "Withnail and I" though. It's an awesome film. My girlfriend smuggled in some wine so we could have a wee drinky during the wine bits of the film: "chin, chin". In total there must have been ten or so of us all sat at the back of the cinema stinking the place out with our red wine. It was a really good night. I was surprised at the level of detail I noticed in the film this time round. It oddly works well as a cinema film, I used to think of it as a TV sort of thing.

"I'm excited for you about the Kerrang thing fella," added a mate of mine afterwards. I felt a little spark of excitement and nerves as I thought about it.

NM

*Just not with football. Pull that routine with football and I'll be very upset.

What's the smell?

I'm moving to work at Kerrang Radio. It's all quite exciting. I'll be doing a late night show with a heavy level of speech. Kerrang Radio is based in Birmingham so I'll be moving over in the next few weeks. The show goes on air on the 1st October but I'll be getting down there ahead of that date to get an idea of what's what.

I've done a bit of cover work on Kerrang before and it's a very different station from all the others I've ever worked on. Everything about this show looks, sounds and feels f#cking great. That's the reason I've signed up to do it. I intend to keep this blog upto date as I negotiate my way through the process but I'm, for the first time in a while, genuinely busy so the entries will not always be up on time.

I get a little mention here.

Keep the faith.

NM

(Sunday) You lord it you bag

Is it a good or bad sign that The Captain* is currently making a lot of sense?



I've got his classic album Trout Mask Replica on my mobile phone. It's getting a lot of hammer at the moment. As usual with these things I feel like I'm a little bit late to the party. I've been aware of people playing tunes on their mobile for ages but never thought it'd work on mine. Turns out it does. Brilliant.



NM

*Captain Beefheart. Previous entries about him are to be found here and here.

(S#itturday) The wheel...

Today me and some mates went and watched Henry V at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. It was absolutely f#cking amazing. I mean really, really, really, f#cking amazing. It blew my f#cking mind into bits. They had a stage which moved open and lifted up, water to create realistic rain effects and loud cannon effects and lights. I had no idea it was going to be as good as it was. I thought it'd be okay, something a bit different. Turned out it was amazing.

If you get the chance to go and see it, do.

WEBSITE.
PROPER REVIEW.

Before watching this we popped to the Urbis and saw an amazing exhibition called "Little People". It was a very witty display with loads of pictures of little people in urban environments. The intention was, apparently, to get people to reconsider the detail in ordinary mundane situations. Another must see if you get the chance.

THE ARTIST'S BLOG.

THE URBIS.

We also ate Sushi in a Sushi bar. Unlike the other two things this was not a life altering event.

NM

(Frirday) The Day before H.C.

I'm still struggling to explain the idea of the fourth dimension to people. My mate has a jolly good go at it here. Whenever I start I end up being totally confused and then questioning if I actually understand it at all. That's not a good position to be in when you're pumping out wise words to someone else but it's the one I found myself in tonight after a few beers. Halfway through I had a sort of 'moment of clarity' which went: "you boring silly b#stard, shut the f#ck up".

Once I'd finished confusing both myself and my fellow drinkers I glanced out of the pub window and saw two scratty kids stood near a taxi. "How odd," I thought, "it's a bit late for kids to be out". The door to the vehicle opened and out stumbled a short, squat, ugly, woman with a purple face. The kids ran to her as a tall, thin, sharp-faced man with missing teeth came round from the other side and swore a few times at the driver who pulled off from the kerb with a two finger salute. The man then cracked open one of the two beer cans he had with him and led his bizzarre looking family off into the night.

It reminded me of a time when I was about 14 and catching the bus towards school when a woman with a couple of large bags loaded with stuff pushed her way onboard. She was followed by a couple of ruddy faced toddlers who'd clearly been crying. They then went to the back of the bus and in typical toddler style started asking questions like "will we ever see Daddy again?" and "what was Daddy upset about?". She answered their questions by sobbing loudly. Everyone else on the bus sat there in stony determined silence.

NM

I think I've kissed something

My old flatmate Matt Mackay is off on a round the world trip with another mate of mine, Captain Ginger Dave. Their blog is here. I remember when another group of my mates went off to India a few years ago and they came back bragging of how much the experience had changed them. I couldn't stop thinking how absolutely awful the whole thing sounded. I really do not like travelling, particularly not abroad. It's ironic that as they returned from India I finished reading the book 1984 by George Orwell. Now that changed me without a doubt. Probably more than going to India ever could.

I need to stop telling Matt and Dave to be careful and encourage them to have a good time instead. I just can't help but worry about it. I'd be sh#tting myself if I were about to go off like that. I feel uncomfortable in a country where I can't speak the native language. Look at what happened in Amsterdam. Listen to how it all kicked off on my first ever plane journey. I'd be a total f#cking wreck.

Still, I'm sure they'll both be fine. And I'm sure that their blog will be a great read: www.mattanddavesworldtrip.blogspot.com

Drop the pill...

My newest comedic love is The Larry Sanders Show. I spent about two hours looking for them on DVD. Turns out they're not all out on DVf#ckingD yet. B#llocks! That's so annoying. Fortunately it turns out that they are all on YouTube: here. It's a classic example of how the internet is allowing great work out into the open. Without the internet you'd not be able to see some of this stuff! Crazy!

Talking of great work which wouldn't usually get an audience:



Devvo's ace. It annoyed me that Channel 4's attempt to put him on air was such a f#ck up. He just wasn't as funny without the graphic use of class A drugs. Make sure you look at the website: www.fat-pie.com. It's the site which brought him to fame.

It's so cold in the middle...

I had brutal confirmation of my thoughts regarding the no smoking ban in pubs last night which came back to me today in the guise of a drunken flashback. I'm stood at the bar waiting to be served when I let fly the biggest fart you can imagine. I thought it of no note. People never notice farts in pubs. It's a farting alloed area. Or at least it used to be...

"Urrgh... who's pumped?" groaned the bar maid.

"Urm... I can't smell anything," I lied to her.

"Yeah, that's horrible," added a couple of women who were stood nearby.

Suddenly I'm back at school bluffing my way out of a crime which I clearly committed. I raise my eyebrows and try my best to make it look like it wasn't me but it clearly was. All the while my drunken brain is firing up on a rant about how much better the world was when smoking was allowed in pubs. You couldn't smell people then. Now it's actually become an issue. My mate comes over and chips in with "yeah, that's a bit of a smell, who did that then?".

I'm still bluffing, "I dunno, those girls smelt it first, lets get out of here".

My flashback from last night reminds me of a valuable lesson: don't fart in pubs.

NM

(Monday) Boil down Tall here.

Tonight I went out on the lash with the team from The Bay for my leaving do. It was an assorted gathering of people I've only known for a short while but come to like a hell of a lot. I felt a little emotional as I handed in my keys and was blown away by the fact they'd clubbed together to buy a leaving present. It's a metal-plated belt which cost £30(!), accompanied by a box full of stuff related to my short time there. I was made up to see the card with everyone's signature on it, alongside nice little comments like: "How Are We? Good luck in your new job xxx". What a contrast to the last time. The vibe at The Bay has been a huge contrast to the one I was used to before and I think the shows I did there reflected that positive atmosphere.

Tonight I also managed to get very drunk without spending any money whatsoever because everyone bought me a drink and wouldn't let me return the favour. My final memories are hazy but involve me and local radio legend, Tony Simon, declaring that we need to do this kind of thing more often, after spending about an hour debating the idea of going clubbing.

I can't disguise that I'll be sad to leave The Bay and I've already turned down offers of work on 'bigger' stations for more money on the principle that "money can't buy happiness"*. The show I've signed up to do will be better than anything I've ever done before and it's for that reason alone that I'm involved with it.

NM

*Perhaps I was wrong about that last bit though, eh?

(Sunday) Stand up

"I'm having the best day of my life" squeals my girlfriend as she recounts the day that she blogs about here during the World Beard Championships. Stuff like that is brilliant and surely what life should be about. I was amazed when I trotted round The Scorton Country Fair this year. It was a Country Fair which showcased tractors from years gone by. F#cking wicked. I have a theory that people who have an interest in something become interesting. It's like geeks who love Dungeons and Dragons and/or comic books, war games and Dr Who. Traditionally people like that are looked down upon as not being cool, mostly though they're the most interesting person in the room.

The comedian Stewart Lee does a great riff in his current set about being asked to perform comedy at a festival which celebrate insects called Pestival*. In the riff he explains that their enthusiasm for such an ecelectic thing was infectious and equally confusing. Looking round their website I'm equally baffled: www.pestival.org.

I guess that's what I enjoy so much about Louis Theroux's TV shows. You get a glimpse at sub-cultures who are really excited about something you might never have considered before.

NM

And the last one goes here...

There's nothing better than getting drunk with some mates and watching Flash Gordon and that's exactly what I did today. Actually, there are of course some things better than doing that... here's a list:

1, Getting drunk with your mates and then going to watch Flash Gordon at the cinema.
2, Getting drunk with your mates and then meeting a load of new people who are equally interesting and going to watch Flash Gordon at the IMAX.
3, Having all your drinks bought for you and all your mates at a free bar before going to watch Flash Gordon at the IMAX followed by a talk given by Brian Blessed about the film.
4, Free bar and food, with all your mates, then Flash at the IMAX with a sound track which is augmented by live music performed by Queen. This is followed by a night on the p#ss with the entire cast.
5, You actually become Flash Gordon and act out a real life version of the film before returning to your normal life whereby you do everything outlined in #4.
6, Everything outlined in #5 but at the end of it when you wake up the next day you are surprised to discover that you've become a multi-billionaire.
7, Everything in #6 plus you're physically perfect in every respect.
8, All the parts outlined in #7 as well as an end to violence in the world.
9, A really satisfying sh#t. And everything I said in #8.
10, Add #9 to a night out at the cinema the next day with your mates to watch Flash Gordon.

Etc.

NM

Ogle the ogre

So, my last evening show is finished. I have one more show on The Bay and then I've got my leaving do on the Monday. I concluded the long running Britney Spears feature where I've been playing a clip of a song and people have been ringing in to try and suss out what tune it is. It's a quick four second clip and although everyone instantly recognises it oddly no one has got it right. "This feature is being done purely to wind people up, there's no prize, nothing like that, you call me and tell me what this song is..." then I play the clip and take a few calls.

They all come up with far out answers: "Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention? Tubular Bells? The Wombles?". No one gets it right.

I announce that it'll have to remain a mystery and then press on with the show. Five minutes later I take the following call:

"It's Britney Spears isn't it? Everyone knows it but it's a wind up isn't it? They're all in on it"

"I'm sorry luv, I don't know what you're talking about. Did you want a request?"

"No! It's the song thing. I've just realised. It's all a big wind up isn't it?"

"Ah - the song clip you mean? Well we've finished that now I'm afraid. It'll all just have to remain a mystery."

"Ha ha ha. I've just got it. It was a wind up all along. All those people. Ha ha ha."

"Right well, I must crack on luv. [cut her call] I'm not quite sure what she was on about there. I think she was ringing in about that song clip. I forgot to ask her what she thought it was. Tsk! It'll have to remain a mystery."

My last evening show over I drive home feeling quite happy inside. The shows I did on The Bay were ones which I was allowed to do well. My leaving do is on Monday and I've got some pretty exciting news, which I'll post here soon, about what I will be doing next. Things look like they might be about to take a dramatic turn for the good.

NM

Ticking clock don't laugh at me. Ticking clock don't scold me so. Ticking clock, - learn to listen! Only then will time you know.

I've given the blog a re-vamp! As I'm about to enter a new stage in my life I thought I should tidy this thing up a bit. I'm even toying with the idea of putting a picture of my cheeky face up somewhere. Maybe not.

Black. That's the colour I've gone for. As you can see. It's slimming. That's the main reason I like it so much. I'm not sure I needed to make your monitor look slimer though. Also, it might be hard to read. If it is please whack a comment under this post and I'll look at making it a different colour perhaps. I dunno. I feel quite precious about this blog and I'd hate to f#ck it up with a sh#t re-vamp. So, you know, rather than just not reading it make sure you give me your thoughts.

I'm being more than a little paranoid here. It's just a background colour.

In other news I don't think I've yet posted this fantastic video I found a while back:



The idea of extra dimensions is something which feels very much in the zeitguiest at the moment. I think this video does a good job of explaining the theory and I understand it for a few seconds when I watch it but I have enormous difficulty articulating it afterwards.

NM

Tune into the blue light and listen for the future...

I don't intend to mention on the air that I'm leaving The Bay. "Hey guys, goodbye everyone!" I'd be saying as half the audience wondered who I was anyway. I've often had callers ring in convinced I'm Darren from Darren and Lorna fame. A "goodbye" would just feel silly and it might also make me feel a bit sad. Rather just wrap up the show and then not turn up for work next week. Easiest way.

Unlike the last place I've decided to organise a leaving do which will take place next Monday. I'm a bit nervous about it. What if no one turns up? Just me on my own in a pub looking glumly at a wall. That'd be grim. I always feel nervous for other people when they organise their leaving dos. If there's only one thing worse than a leaving do where no one is there it's one where there are only two people. This has happened to me before. You feel locked into a strange pact where you both feel like you should at least try and pretend. Couple of drinks. Few polite words. Field a few polite and frankly bullsh#t excuses from people who should be there but aren't and then wonder when you're going to make your own and leave. Not good.

Meanwhile I'm stuck in the world of Celebdaq. I'm making more money than an American arms dealer on a sales trip to the Middle East. Unfortunately it's fictional money that I'm making. Ruined.

NM

Hey sister soul sister roll sits there ho mister.

I've been drawn right into the world of The Larry Sanders Show... turns out it's one of the most amazing TV shows ever made. I had no idea how good it was until literally a few days ago. It has turned my head inside out. I'm almost spluttering with amazement as I watch it. I can't get over the fact that it's almost a decade old and yet feels so fresh. There's a raw authenticity to it which I've only ever encountered before in Alan Partridge.

Madness. I feel like I'm raving about the internet or ipods or something though because everyone I tell about it seems to already have an appreciation for it. "Welcome aboard a ship which sailed many years ago," is just one of the comments I've had back as I send out text messages to people telling them they aught to watch it.

I think my problem is that when I find a TV show I like I become hugely obsessed with it and am able to watch it non stop for a few days. Then it gets a bit of a rest and I'm back on it before the end of the month consuming and digesting it into little quotable chunks. And watching any available commentaries as I cross reference trivia and facts relating to it on the internet.

In short: I'm a grade 1 comedy geek.

Which means: I know my sh#t. The Larry Sanders Show is f#cking good.

NM

Up town and out of sight.

So, I'm leaving the Bay and this is my final week. I've had a fantastic time there and I feel sad about leaving. It's weird to go into my final week not being able to announce what I'm going to be doing next but such is the way of the industry I'm in. It's important to point out that I'm leaving The Bay in such a way that, unlike the last place I worked, I think the boss will still return my calls.

I enjoyed reading out some of the love letters on The Lovezone tonight, mainly because I wrote some of them...

Dear Jenny,

Our love is like a Rose, it has pretty petals and yet carries sharp thorns. It takes root particularly well in temerate climates and is often cultivated for its natural beauty. Also, like most shrubs it is particularly vulnerable to aphids.

Love Johnny.

Dear Nick,

I used to think love was a game that only other people played. Like a massive game of british bulldog or something. A game where you needed to be invited in. Now I realise that it is more like a game of Chess. You can invite other people to play but you'd better make sure you know the rules. In Chess if you're not sure on the rules you'll get beaten pretty quick. I reckon actually it's best not to play Chess at all until you've had a chance to watch other people playing it so that's what I'm doing now. I'm avoiding the game of love for the moment and watching others instead.

Yours Sincerely,
Neville.


And so forth. I really will miss working at The Bay but what I'm about to do will be better than anything I've worked on previously, if it all goes even slightly according to plan.

NM

(Sunday) And it all goes well.

There's a massive and still raging debate on the internet at the moment as to whether or not this interview is a wind up or a genuine awkward clash of personalities. The video is about 50 minutes long so if you're reading this at work make sure you've got a good chunk of downtime on your hands...



The evidence for and against it being a wind up is as follows...

It's a wind up:

25 minutes in they're talking about uncomfortable moments and the way in which they fuel comedy. This immediately preceeds the show's "set piece uncomfortable moment", the moment where Ricky Gervais swears under his breath in amazement at Garry Shandling's rudeness in not making him a cup of coffee.

It's for real:

They both come out of this looking pretty bad. Ricky Gervais comes over as slimy and Garry Shandling appears unnecessarily confrontational. The broadcast of this piece was put off countless times and then put out almost without warning. "A source" said that the experience put Gervais off doing another series of 'Ricky Gervais Meets'.

I think that the evidence for it being a genuine clash of personalities outweighs it being a wind up but it's hard to say. Very hard.

As a consequence of this video I've massively got into The Larry Sanders Show.

NM

(Saturday) Don't know if they got that.

A little bit drunk me and a couple of mates hack a random tree with a f#cking great big Samuri sword. We're p#ssed, we're grown men and we're still f#cking stupid. Wootey takes a proper whack at the branches of the tree as I try and film this historic moment on my camera phone. Big Ears has already stuck the tree a gudden and my turn is coming up. I'd be dissapointed to think that I might ever not think this kind of thing was a good idea. That moment might come in a couple of seconds from now when I clumsily swing the sharp sword and lop off one of my mate's fingers by accident. I'd go from wacky funster to f#cking wanker in a matter of seconds.

Fortunately that doesn't happen and I just tw#t the tree like the daft c#nt I am. For a moment I think I've broken the sword but I haven't. We return it safely to its rightful place and then scamper back drunk and excited.

Life is always stupid and often good.

NM

(Friday) I'll fight you... and you.

I'm off to a mate's wedding tomorrow. It's one of those ones where you think "ahh, that's nice" as opposed to "f#ck really, when's it due?". In fact all the weddings I've been to have been along the "ahh, that's nice" lines. It's only the ones in soap operas where you've got your doubts. Actually, scrap that, it's only the ones in Eastenders and Coronation Street. I wouldn't want to tar every fictional character who ever got married in a soap opera with the same brush.

For example, I f#cking loved it when Scott and Charlene got married in Neighbours. I had no doubts about that at all, despite their tumultuous relationship. I'd go as far to say that it was a magical moment in my life. Even Mrs Mangle shed a tear!

It blows my f#cking mind though, that there are some people who don't remember that moment in history! It's a generation defining moment. I cried at Scott and Charlene's wedding. The generation above me thought I was mad and the one beneath me hasn't got a clue what I'm on about. How strange that such trivia deftly exposes the mercurial nature of our mass media defined culture*.



Actually watching it over again I've discovered that Mrs Mangle doesn't shed a tear. She was a great baddie. Apparently she went into hiding in Australia because people were picking on her, they thought she was evil in real life! F#cking idiots.

NM

*Looks like a great sentence. I'm proud of both myself for writing it and you for reading it. Well done everybody.

Opie and Andy

So... 28 Weeks later is a f#cking belter. That I did not expect. I'd even go as far as to say it's almost better than the first one*, 28 Days later. Quite a surprise how good it was. I was only irritated by the excessive screentime given over to Robert Carlyle. I understand why this was allowed to happen, the man's a great actor, I just felt it was a little -ahem- unlikely. Yes, that's right, unlikely. In a film about Zombees who come back from the grave and stuff it was his constant re-appearance was the bit which I thought didn't quite add up. Not realistic enough. I give up.

I'm a bit all over the place at the moment. Lot of stuff to sort out. Things are suddenly getting quite hectic. Not in a bad way, it's all very exciting. Just that I seem to be driving about an awful lot and therefore not consuming much of interest to spurt out into my blog.

I'm excited to learn that the fantastic video podcast This Is A Knife has returned to life. Unlike most video podcasts this particular one has the added bonus of not being sh#t.

Talking of podcasts I'm working on my new episode of Homemade Nonsense III. It'sa bit of a f#cker getting the clips in the right order. I suspect it'll be way behind the deadline I've set myself. Don't forget you can still download the 30 minute chunk of the old phone in show there now.

NM

*As soon as I'd written this I felt like a c#nt. It's only almost better. You know, as opposed to actually better.

Slurping the leftist braintubes.

I'm wrestling with my beard. I think it might have to go. I'm sort of bored of it. The only problem is that when I remove my beard I appear to have a big wobbly chin. If there's one good thing about beards it's that they give a chubby featureless face a bit of definition.

My girlfriend forwarded this website to me recently: www.beards.org. I'm not sure I've quite reached the dizzy heights that some of those chaps have with their facial hair. Mine's too patchy and uneven.

Me and the lady tried last weekend to stratigically shave off most of it and just leave my sideburns. Once we'd finished we were confronted with the fact that unlike most people I've only got one sideburn, as opposed to two. The left hand sideburn is patchy at best and non existent in a strong wind. I'm dissapointed about that, I always had enormous respect for a bloke called Gaz Coombes, he managed some of the 90's most respected sideburns. I've always wanted that look but it's beyond me. Unfortunately whenever I try it I look more like a confused tramp who tried to shave without a mirror.

NM

(Tuesday) Chop it out and

I'm stuck fast in the world of The YouTube... I've discovered a great site called www.stumbleupon.com which is providing me with loads of video delights. Like this one below "Simpsons Censored":



Or this one of Jessica The Hippo:



Or this one which is better than it looks at first glance:



Or this one with Eddie Izzard's Death Star Canteen routine:



Or this beauty... Simpsons Star Wars intro done by a fan:



Brilliant.

I'm still recovering from last night's comedy excitement! It'll all be podcasted soon.

NM

Snort a big fat one.

I now have all the audio I need for Homemade Nonsense Volume III. The podcast is going to tell the story of what exactly happened when I did my final comedy gig. This one is the last one because the nature of my workload is about to change quite dramatically so I won't realistically be able to keep up the stand up. It'll have to take a backseat for a bit. Shame, but there we are.

So, as a consequence I'm going to leave off news of exactly what happened at my final ever Beat The Frog and put it all in the podcast.

How exciting.

See how I'm forcing my readers to download it? They have no choice.

Don't forget you can still get the half an hour long chunk of the phone in show I made available a bit back. Go there now and download it. It's great. You'll love it.

I look forward to explaining why exactly I won't be doing stand up anymore very soon on this blog.

NM

R Dawkins: "Open your mind but not so wide that your brain falls out".

I've always thought that Youtube entries were cheating a bit...



I've always loved Alan Watts and this animation of one of his concepts is cracking. It's allegedly by the same people who do South Park.



Then there's this bit of fun. Really well made. It's a totally different vibe:



Leading me on to this fantastic video:



NM

(Saturday) Ar#e sandwich.

I am rubbish at smiling. Today, in a pub, I learned that the trick to smiling is to pretend that you're about to bite and apple and then hold that expression and look into the camera. It worked really well with my girlfriend but I just look like an angry loony tune.

I get nervous with cameras. I always think they've taken a picture, just before they actually have, so I manage to drop my features into a sort of "mong face" for the actual take. I've never seen any other bit of evidence for the mong face aside from pictures. It never happens on video or even in the mirror. Only ever on a picture taken by a friend. Look at this one of me at Beat The Frog recently. What the hell is going on there? I'm trying to smile, I think, but I've gone cross eyed. I'll guarantee that both the second before and after that was taken I looked normal. Unfortunately as the camera flashed, that happened.

In other news my Constant Comedy.com debut hit the site today. Unfortunately it's not very good. It suffers from both poor delivery and material. However it looks quite good, thanks to the talents of Jett Loe.



I was right to ditch this material when I did. It's only got one joke in it. However it's a bit of content which is unique to Constant Comedy.com, a site that is improving all the time. My two current favourite posters are these two:



They're almost my polar opposites in that their delivery is excellent and their material is ace.

NM

(Friday) Listen to the bird song and write it all down.

One of the odder but more compelling stand up shows that we saw while in Edinburgh was Martin White's "Do Something Martin!". It was a show which picked up on the universal theme that wasting your time in a go-nowhere office job isn't good. Even if you're earning a lot of cash, it's not what life's about. It followed the journey made by the performer, Martin White, from office worker through to the accordianist/commedian that he is today.

There were four people in the audience.

Now, to me that's a f#cking bonus but to most it's a sign that they've wasted their time. "Wahh, I wanna see The Ricky Gervais like everyone else is, this guy's not famous!! Waaahhh," I imagine their logic goes. It was always one of the attractions of the Zumebar comedy club [internal backlink to a random review] that no f#cker ever seemed to turn up and so you'd get first class acts literally performing to you alone. So, "Do Something Martin!" was unintentionally intimate. However, on the other hand, it was also intentionally f#cking brilliant. I mean, really good.

The fact no c#nt had turned up added impact to what he was doing. The story/musical he was performing explained how he'd quit a well paid office job to do what he was doing; stand in a large, almost empty, room singing songs and making jokes. There's a thin line between pathetic and heroic. I use pathetic in it's truest sense, pathetic as in travelling with pathos and meaning towards tragedy. All heroes need pathos. How is it anything other than great that he was following his instincts?

Unlike some of the other acts we saw he was a professional in that he gave his performance everything he had. I got the impression he was doing it because he loved it and as a consequence I enjoyed it all the more. I was transported away, straight into the story he was telling. I was with him every step of the way and I'm convinced that in two or three years hundreds of people will fill that room every day he plays. What a story that will make.

I'm nervous about doing my stand up. It's on Monday.

NM

(Thursday) I need some more proof that this Dawkins bloke exists.

I hate hecklers*. I remember some time ago watching Justin Moorhouse doing a corporate gig for a radio station I used to work for. It wasn't going very well. The audience were a mixture of p#ssed c#nts and tw#ts, none of them were interested in seeing any comedy. The poor bloke was dying on his ars#. Justin's claim to fame at the time was the fact he'd appeared in Phoenix Nights. In the first series one of the comedians they book at The Phoenix is heckled with the following line: "Tell us a joke we know son". Now, being an uber geek I know that this line has been lifted from a real life incident when someone shouted it at Peter Kay** when his act wasn't going to well once.

I was drunk and bored so I shouted out the line from the show. He looked me right in the eye and replied: "yeah, it is a bit like that isn't it? Look, I'm sorry everyone, I'm not really a comedian. I'm going to put my fee behind the bar and get out of here. Sorry."

Off he went, a broken man. I was horrified. I hadn't ment to garner that reaction.

While we were at Edinburgh me and the lady watched the fantastic Sarah Kendall doing a stand up set at The Stand on Saturday night. It was a boozy atmosphere but the context was totally different, here people had paid to see comedy. She opened with a few observations after which a bloke sat next to me went "bang!". She looked over at him and asked "bang?". He was sat at a table with three girls all of whom looked very embarrased to suddenly be sat so near someone who had drawn all the attention of the room upon their table. "Huh, yeah, bang". He replied slightly less confidently.

"Sorry everyone but am I missing something here? Bang? That makes no sense at all. Does that make sense to anyone else? Bang?"

AUDIENCE: "NO!"

"So, it's him that looks like a c#nt not me?"

AUDIENCE: LAUGHS.

"Just so long as we've all got it clear, he's a c#nt."

AUDIENCE: MORE LAUGHS.

Beautiful. The bloke in question sort of slumped into himself. He was drunk but now he was an annoyed drunk. He'd been put in his place by a woman. You could see he really didn't like that. She stormed the gig and yet all the way through it he refused to smile. I caught his girlfriend nudging him and asking what was wrong; "she's just not funny" he tried to say over the sound of huge laughs coming from the audience.

Ultimately he passed out and was carried away by his girlfriend. I like to think that she destroyed him with her comedy.

www.sarahkendall.com

NM

*Does this mean I'm admitting to a certain ammount of self loathing? I think it does. I hate it when I do that.

** READER'S VOICE: Hey, wowzers Nick, how do you know that? are you mates with Peter Kay?
MY REPLY: No. Quite the opposite is true. I'm a geek with no friends who watches DVD commentaries.

Shoot the burgers and then lick the fries.

I pulled in at a service station garage to fill up on petrol. "Amazing, that's almost a pound a litre" tutted my brain as it listened to a podcast on my mobile via some headphones*. An angry looking bloke pulled up alongside me in his sports car. I correctly guessed he was a pr#ck.

"'Scuse me mate, do you know if I'm at the right junction for Warrington?"

"Ah, no. I'm sorry I don't really know."

"It's round 'ere though innit?"

I decide to adopt a blokish demeanor and go "aye, yeah, it's not far off, maybe ask inside and see what they've got to say," as I wave in the direction of the service station garage.

The bloke gets out of his car and strides off ahead of me. As he goes I hear his voice trailing off with the following sentence;

"Aye, good idea mate. He'll have a map or somethink. Oh f#ckin' 'ell it's a f#cking P#ki! I won't be able to understand a word he says".

I was shocked. I took my headphones out. I couldn't believe what I'd heard. I was dumbstuck. I've long thought racism was on the rise in this country but I've never bumped into such naked casual c#ntishness. He seemed to say it in a manner that suggested, as another fat white bloke, I'd agree with him. But he was out in the distance now, already talking to the man in the garage. I really didn't know how to react. Should I challenge him inside the garage? What would I say? I decided to go into the garage and dish out some subtle retribution. I walked right up to him and said as confidently and clearly as I could:

"It's all the way off down that way mate, five junctions down. You're way out of your way here."

"Really? Blo#dy 'ell. I told her".

Unfortunately the garage attendant chipped in and corrected me, giving concise and clear directions to the racist. As I watched him drive off I hoped that his bigotry would force him to follow my false directions in preference to the garage attendant. Surely he'd trust me, a fellow whitey? Unfortunately his racism didn't extend that far and he turned round on the slip road back towards Warrington. Ruined.

I'm still shocked though. Perhaps I live a sheltered life. I'm reminded of Stewart Lee's frequent attacks on the "political correctness gone maad" brigade. He's right. Political correctness is a good thing. C#nts like that bloke in the sports car are the only ones who rejoice when it's pulled down. After all who gives a b#llock if it's called a chalk board?

NM

*Talking of podcasts don't forget there's a new one up at: www.nicholarse.mypodcast.com.

(Tuesday) Just not yet.

I've posted up half an hour's worth of the old phone in show on MY PODCAST SITE. Don't forget it's a piece of p#ss to subscribe if you go over to that page and click the correct button for your preferred podcast software. I'm an iTunes man myself. In fact I've today discovered that my new mobile phone has enough memory to store loads of podcasts. With the loudspeaker option it's almost like a portable radio! Brilliant news. I've been listening to a combination of rubbish comedy and Tony Robbins as I drive around in my car.

However, despite the fact that I've posted a new podcast, it's not correct to say that Episode III of Homemade Nonsense is ready because it's not. It'll be out the end of next week and will tell the tale of my final attempt at Stand Up Comedy as my last ever gig looms at the start of the week. I'm nervous as f#ck and am practicing as much as I can. It'll be weird to know that it's my last gig for the forseeable future. I look forward to being able to tell you why.

Go and listen to the podcast. Remember the days when I talked both b#llocks & profundity to South Yorkshire and The North Midlands. CLICK HERE NOW.

NM

(Monday) I'll post some review

The internet is amazing. I mean, really amazing. It blows my f#cking mind how amazing it is. Watch this bloke:



Not a bad little tune. Now watch him as he jams along with his mates who are all over the world. They've never met up. They've not even spoken on the phone. They're just email - YouTube buddies. Watch 'em playing along with each other!!



Amazing. Totally f#cking amazing.

I've still got post-holiday blues but these videos went some way to cheering me up. Genius. Total genuis.

What do you mean?

Holidays aren't really my thing. I still refuse to go abroad. Why bother? A mate of mine is going travelling soon. I really don't see the attraction of that. Either it'll be great and you won't want to come back or it'll be sh#t and you'll wish you'd never gone. My girlfriend gets very annoyed at this attitude but I'm not sure it'll ever change.

Going to Edinburgh for a week was a sort of compromise holiday I guess. This brings me to the second problem I have with holidays, I like them at the time but they have to end at some point and when they do you get a big fat dose of: POST HOLIDAY BLUES. I can feel them kicking in as we draw away from Edinburgh. It's as if colour bleeds out of the world the further away we get from the festival. It's even more irritating to think that for everyone else it just carries on. As if to emphasise the point I get a text from Jett Loe asking if I want to hook up and shoot some stuff for Constant Comedy.com. I explain that we're off out of Edinburgh.

Gutted. My P.H.B will probably last for about a week or so. You don't get that if you don't have a holiday. Take a week off and you've lost two weeks from your work schedule. It's impossible to concetrate at work with P.H.B.

My mind spits bile at the human race as represented by the tabloid newspaper I'm reading. I'm hungover, I feel fat and my holiday has come to an end. Ruined.

NM

Sting the bee.

It's our last night in Edinburgh and I meet up with my mate James Piekos who's over for the weekend with his better half. After watching an amazing and incredible show about marketing* we sink a bottle of wine and tear it up at the legendary venue "Late and Live" which Richard Herring blogs about here. It's good to see James but I get riotously p#ssed and talk utter sh#te to him**. I'm excited about various things*** and it's a quality night.

I'm stumbling from the table we've got at 'Late and Live' to the toilet. Full of wine and beer I push my way through the bacchanalian hordes towards the little alcove near the door. There, stood back in the shadows, is a smallish but familliar figure. I recognise him like you would a friend but can't quite place him. He's looking up at me fearfully. Suddenly I realise who he is!

"Holy f#ckballs! It's Phil Nichol!!". Now, remember, I'm quite drunk at the moment and I'm a massive fan of this guy having seen his show twice. He more than a little confused by me and timidly asked: "Hi. You're not going to hit me are you?". Now he might have been joking but I really felt that he was being serious. "What?" I asked him. "You're not going to punch me or anything?" he confirmed. "No man! I'm a massive fan, why would I do that? No way!" I projected into his face as I gave him a big hug.

I pulled him into the hallway and ranted at him about how great I thought his show was: "better than your last one man, it's got a filmic quality to it!". Only to get the following response; "the critics don't think so". He seemed to be in quite a weird mood but in retrospect I was utterly w#nkered and perhaps I was just harrasing the poor guy. This thought occured to me a bit at the time so I straightened myself up a bit and tried to go into business mode:

"Erm, yeah well, I'm a radio DJ and we're looking to do interviews with good comedians like yourself so, err, let me get your number here and we'll get you on the show at some point.."

"Ok, it's 07*****."

"Cool, I'll, um, get my producer to give you a call in a month or so. Enjoyed the show man (my business demeanor starting to slip a bit). Seen it twice actually. In fact I bootlegged it!"

"Wha'? You bootlegged my show?"

"Um. Yup. Erm. Or no. I don't know. Anyway, see you later for that chat."

We said goodbye and I wandered off to have a p#ss thinking to myself that perhaps I shouldn't have admitted that I'd illegally taped his work. The logic at the time was that if I could prove I was a real fan of his work I'd be able to impress him or something. Then maybe he'd stop looking so f#cking frightened of me. Madness. It reminded me a little of the time me and the lady saw Johnny Vegas in Manchester.

I wonder whose phone number he gave me?

NM

*Both "amazing" and "incredible" because it was so profoundly bad. Really f#cking awful. Worst show we saw! I'm not going to give any more detail than that. It's not fair. But it was a really p#ss poor attempt. The only good bit was he gave me a little bit of a deep fried Mars bar at one point. That was nice!

**I always talk utter sh#t under the influence of alcohol. Some people think you're more honest after a beer or three. Not me. I'm astounded when people remind me of what I've said when drunk.

*** Of which more later.

Blew my big greens and waiting for the news to filter

Last night I placed my tape recorder on the table at the comedy club we were at and recorded an American bloke who was chatting to two Australian women. The American was a one of those blokes who is "uber cool" and therefore really annoying. You know the type, good looking, goes to the gym a lot but well into his 30's, maybe even touching 40. The woman were about 10 years younger than that, say in their early 20's but they were clearly in awe of him. "Woman 1" was sat next to him whereas "Woman 2", who was the prettier of the two, was slumped in the corner looking quite drunk compared to her mate. It seems they'd just met and he was doing a pretty good job of chatting them up.

I found their conversation fascinating.

I'm not sure if taping it was wrong or not? I'm even less sure about transcribing it to a few hundred people via my blog.

Woman: Oh God, you must have been saving for a bloody while?

Man: What?

Woman: Saving. Money.

Man: Ah - I sold my business. Well, I had a deal where a guy was paying me eighteen times once a month. So I could just stay in L.A. and spend the money there or I could close up my deal and get my boxer with somebody else and take my advance pay. And no bills. Take the money, take the money, take the money, travel for twelve months. It kind of works out the same.

Woman 2: (Gasps) Cool. That's awesome.

Woman 1: I wish someone would pay me like that, in advance.

Man: Yeah, well I could have done something else with the money, you know like invested it or something but I just wanted to: Go! Go! Go! So I did: I went! Went! Went!

Woman 2: Ohhh, wow that's cool.

Man: Once I've been down to London for a few days I'm off to The Burning Man festival for two weeks. It's like a cool, great festival. And, uh, then I'll be home again.

Woman 1: Yeah.

Man: Get a job, get a place. And uh, yeah. Like, it's cool. But, err, it turned out great.

Woman 2: Wow.

Man: So you guys from Australia?

Woman 1: Yeah, we're from Oz but we took, like, a year out as well.

Man: Oh, right, uh, that's cool.

Woman 1: But yeah, we went, we started off, we went to, Thailand as well.

Man: Oh cool, going down the river?

Woman: Yeah.

Man: Swimming around?

Woman: Yeah, and then we went, we flew, to England. And then we did a tour of, sort of, like, places in Europe and then we just travelled ourselves up to Western Europe and then, what else did we do? We went to Ireland.

Man: Dublin?

Woman 1: Yeah.

Man: Spain?

Woman 1: We only got to Barcelona.

Man: Oh, but that's cool.

Woman 2: But the food poisoning?

Woman 1: Oh yeah, we got food poisoning there.

Man: Too bad, it's good food over there, amazing tastes.

Woman 2: There were good ones and bad.

Woman 1: Yeah, but anyway, but yeah. So then we came to Scotland.

Man: So that's a year?

Woman 2: No! We've only been travelling for two months.

Woman 1: Yeah, anyway, yeah.

Woman 2: We're going back in a week.

It was a joy to listen to. I've got about 10 minutes of their yabbering on tape but the audio quality is awful. I was half thinking I could use it somehow but it's really terrible. Loads of other people talking and drinking as they waited for the show to start.

NM

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