We're on TV!
A little while ago we were invited to take part in a roundtable discussion on ‘competitive socialising’ hosted by President Erdogan's shiny new propaganda mouthpiece, TRT World. Improbably, I was chosen to take part - either because I'm known around these parts for being an eloquent, loquatious, occasionally sesquipidalian speaker with a voice that could melt the heart of a particularly grouchy Cossack or because nobody else was available. I was furnished with a suit, given a time, date and place, and a copy of a report recently published by Savills (no relation to the Paediatrics Plunderer) which I read, dilligently.
This is not, I hasten to add, how I dreamed my TV career would take off. I'd much prefer to have been a panellist on Question Time telling everyone else they're wrong. But it was good fun. I got the jokes about locking up journalists out of the way before we went to air lest I offend my hosts, and succeeded in extracting from the makeup lady a promise to check out our website. (This was the most perfunctory makeup application I have ever experienced. My last was a full drag queen affair done by an Iranian PHD student with a fondness for dark eyeliner.)
Also on the panel were the founders of an axe-throwing company and a board game café, and a gentleman who had something to do with investment whose job was to give an overall view of the economics of... whatever it is we're all a part of. The ‘competitive socialising industry.’ I made one subtle sex joke and otherwise took a contrarian line, refuting the lazy presuppositions about the industry - that it's new, that millennials are driving it (because we're apparently some new species who do things no other generation does, like going out with friends and playing board games), that food and drink offerings are a vital part of the business model, and so on. The investor chap was asked whether we'd all be millionaires, and the camera inexplicably cut to me as I was contemplating the £9.20 I get paid each hour.
And that was pretty much it, save the transition shots. These were new to me and they're thoroughly bizarre. The director tells you to look at each panellist in turn for up to 30 seconds as though listening to them saying something fascinating, but the whole thing takes place in a terrifically awkward silence. I suspect very few of our awkward grins made it into the final cut.
The video is enclosed for your perusal. It has, at last count, a whipping 215 views, so give it some love.