My sincere thanks to all those who offered good wishes and helpful suggestions about staying calm in a radio studio....it seemed to work. My contribution to Radio 4's A Good Read World Book Night special is done and my thanks to the BBC for the invitation. It was all very enjoyable from where I was sitting, great books and some fascinating debate with my fellow guest (Tom Watt...better known to me as Lofty from Eastenders and now a journalist and broadcaster ) and the presenter ( Harriett Gilbert from BBC World Service.) I won't spill any beans because the book reveal is all part of the interest of the programme, and of course I had rattled on for ages before I was reminded that I hadn't actually said what my book choice was but hey-ho, I'm sure it will all translate and edit down into a coherent radio programme somehow. The programme is usually broadcast at 4.30pm on a Tuesday and think it might be the World Book Night week edition (? March 1st?) but I'll share the timing details when I have them.
It was a relief to fall into the embrace of Villandray in Gt Portland Street afterwards and meet up with Amanda Craig and, as luck would have it, just as I was leaving for the station word came through that John Self had been let out of his Asylum for a day and happened to be in London too. He was meeting up with Linda Grant in the afternoon so we all joined forces and had a grand chat. It's always a treat to meet Amanda and Linda (who was dashing off to get her press pass for London Fashion Week) and it was also lovely to meet Mr Self for the first time and reminisce about our first joint Bookerthon back in 2007 when, struggling to get hold of the books, we posted them back and forth to each other.
Thank you too for the e mails alerting me to the fact that we are mentioned in dispatches in today's edition of The Times... the Web Search item on The Daily Register page and a lovely picture of my very muddy shoes. If anyone has found their way here via that link you are very welcome... please do make yourselves at home. Normal book service will be resumed next week and sometime over this weekend I will recount my discovery of the very latest thing that annoys me on a train journey. I actually moved seats very politely but it was out of the frying pan into the ...well the footballers actually. Details to follow.