Travelling tittle-tattle, tall tales and shameless name-dropping by Jon ‘Don’t Call Me’ Norman

About Me

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The name's Bond

The curtain opens on an open-planned office at a radio station in London. It has just gone 2 o'clock and autumnal sunlight is streaming through tatty blue blinds. An assortment of producers, news-readers and researchers are at work. The post lunch lull where digestion takes priority over productivity is in full swing when.......

*Phone rings*

It's an unfamiliar mobile number so I answer it.

Me: Hello
Voice: Hello. Is this Jonathan Norman?
Me: Yes
Voice: This is Roger Moore. Did you just try and call me?
Me: (thinking: Now this is a surreal moment in my life) Um, yeah!
Roger Moore: Sorry about that. The woman at the hotel reception didn't put the call through on time. Do you want to call again?
Me: Yeah!

Roger Moore hangs up.

Me: (to the office) Roger Moore just called me. How strange.

So close yet so VBloody far........

From: Mavreen Brown - Mustard [mailto:mbrown@*******.com]
Sent: 21 October 2008 10:11
To: Jonathan Norman
Subject: VB advert - Standby.

Good Morning Jon,

My colleague Nick asked me to get in touch regarding the VB advert. I’m afraid that you didn’t make the initial group of four that we were casting for, however the director was very happy with your audition and asked for us to hold you on standby whilst they look into the possibility of a 5th member. I know this may not be ideal but was wondering if you were ok with this situation?

If you could keep the following dates on a pencil it would be much appreciated……

Mon 27th – 1pm onwards: Wardrobe Call
Thur 30th-Fri 31st: Shoot Dates
Wed 29th & Saturday 1st Nov: May need to film a few pick up shots.

We hope to be able to clarify the situation soon. Please do let us know that you received this email well and are available on the dates we have asked you to pencil?

Kind regards,

Mavreen

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Bowled Shane............

My job has many perks and one of them happened today when I was sent out to interview Shane Warne. He was in town to promote his new book 'Shane Warne's Century'. And for those of you who are interested you can hear the interview here.

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Back to black

I learnt something new today. Something that would have become apparent long ago if I'd given it much thought. And that is that powercuts are boring. Tedious things they really are.

It was dusk when I found myself walking down the hallway towards my front door. The security lights were already on and I was looking forward to a relaxing evening as in the previous 24 hours I'd had my senses battered by Batman at the Imax, my nerves jangled by a meeting and interview with Shane Warne and my self loudly berated by workmates after I mistakenly sent a 140MB file to everyone in the building - which led to the collapse of my company's entire email. Oops.

The last thing I needed was to be plunged into darkness as I pulled out my keys and attempted to get into my front door. Something had happened in the neighbourhood as my entire estate disappeared from view.

A quick trip to the shops followed to pick up some candles and I soon lay there on my sofa looking up at the ceiling wondering what the hell I could do. So I listlessly called a few mates and then my brother who was the first to remark 'ooh, how cool' when I told him there was a blackout in the Battersea area in town. I quickly disagreed. For what exactly is there to do when there's no electricity? No reading, TV, computer, tea-making opportunities, no shower or bath, no music no nothing. BORING!!!!!

Fast forward two hours and Fe had finally got back from uni after another knackering day. We popped out to get some food and then had crossed our fingers on the way back that power had been restored. No such luck. She started her MA two weeks ago and had homework to get in for the next day. You can't fault her dedication.

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And then without warning the electricity clicked back into gear. And we both jumped up and felt deliriously happy for about five minutes as we marvelled at all the things that were once again possible.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Barmy times

There's something very sad about spending a Friday evening in, alone, armed only with a £12 box of red wine and nothing on the tv to watch. What's a boy to do? That's the sad bit. I've spent the last hour or so going through my own 'blog and laughing at it. Well, someone's got to I suppose. It's a nice way to remember times that don't always spring readily to mind while all the time mentally correcting some of the grammar. It's great to remember great times as I have been tonight. New Zealand was a blast.

That's not to say things haven't been interesting back home. For it was only last Wednesday that I ducked out of work early and scampered across London to a secret location in the middle of town.

I'd received an invite by the Barmy Army to audition for a commercial. A commerical that would pay £1,000 for three days filming. All of which sounded pretty darn good on a number of levels.

Few clues have yet been given about who is behind it and the premise. But what I do know is that it is to involve a 'world famous cricketer' and that four lucky Barmy Army guys (or gals) would be selected to appear and who will be broadcast all over Oz in the build up to next years Ashes.

My knowledge of the audition process has grown in the past year or so thanks to Fe who often comes back with horror stories. But I was in a relaxed mood as I turned up at the studios near Centre Point. I sat down next to a few other non-plussed England cricket fans before having photos taken and signing a couple of forms.

And before you know it I was standing in front of a camera singing Barmy Army songs and punching the air, all the while waving a 'St George' flag and wearing an orange wig. The songs of choice were 'The Australian National Anthem' & 'The Aussies Love the English'. All delivered with aplomb.

It all lasted five minutes before we were thanked for our time and allowed to leave the building.

In all there must have been between 20 and 25 people who turned up to try their luck. And with four positions up for grabs it's anyone's guess whether I'll be one of the lucky ones. We'll have to wait and see.