I told a friend at lunch today that I was surprised at how often I’ve been invited on TV to speke mi branes as a result of this blog.
It’s not all the time, but I do occasionally I get an e-mail asking me if I’d go on this or that show, or more subtly asking me if there are any clips of me doing TV already, so the producer can check I don’t have an enormous protuberant forehead or spit phlegm between every word before inviting me on TV.
My lunch-mate seemed surprised that a) anyone could be so foolish as to invite me on t’telly, (which may have been in part because my Business Casual approach to clothing today involved not shaving, beige jeans, an old t-Shirt and a Travis Bickle jacket.) and b) surprised I said no.
So I thought I should explain. So far I’ve turned down the various (OK, three) invites I’ve had for going on telly for the following reasons:
1. Who cares what I think? I do, obviously, because I’m right about everything, so possibly by failing to share my wisdom with a wider audience I’m depriving the citizens of tellyland of enlightenment. However the only thing I really know about is teh politics, and if you want to hear about politics, why not get a politician, instead of some nobody whose only qualification is an overblown sense of their own importance and the fact they have enough free time to type things on a computer.
2. I doubt what television needs is another pasty faced bletherer telling you whatever happens to wander into his brainbox. This blog is usually just whatever wanders into my head on my lunchbreak. Sometimes not much wanders in at all. So there’s a good chance my answer to the question “and what do you think about the impact of this enormously significant story” will be a long pause, followed by a quiet “err, not much. Can I have a biscuit please?”.
I doubt this would make good TV.
3. I only get invites for Nerdovision and Loser TV. You know, 3am slots on News Channel 78 to review the papers. Yeah, that’s what the world wants at 3am. Me blankly staring at the days papers trying to to think of something to say which isn’t “and here’s another thing in the papers. Jeremy” (One exception here, which was for a proper telly programme, but see 5 below)
4. I’m a bit fat and would look fat. Also, I’d look fat. TV hates fat people, and fat people like me hate TV. We’re only fit for plastic surgery programmes and lard loss camps, and being patronised by skinny fashion designers who delight in trying to get us to get our keks off to for the chortling amusement of the sofa bound gogglers. Anything else is wrong, wrong, wrong. I am on a diet though, so this might change.
5. There’s usually people who’d be better than me. Sadie Smith is funnier, Luke Akehurst knows more about politics. So on and so forth. I can provide references.
6. An alternative view, promulgated by my girlfriend: “It’s cause you’re a big scaredy-cat”. This has some merit, I admit. I am a big scaredy cat, plus did I mention I’d look fat?
There’s also one semi-serious reason, which is that I like and enjoy writing. I really do. It’s fun. Talking on TV is not so much fun. You don’t decide what to talk about to start off with.
So replace an appearance on Channel 78 with a “David Aaronovitch is away” slot, and I’d be there faster than you could say “self-promoting media tart” (Note to Daniel Finkelstein: This is a hint, you mouldering old lummox.)
All that said, I need everyone to know that I’m not just some loser typing away in his spare time, but some loser who gets invited on TV. In fact, I’m even cooler cause I’m not doing TV, thus sticking it to the man in some mysterious fashion, but that’s no good to me if you don’t know how cool I am by turning down TV.
It’s a gordian knot, and I’m cutting it with this thinly veiled brag post.
Anyway, that’s me and TV. That said, I might get a digital camera and film me droning on about stuff, because that would be like having my own TV channel, and I could just talk about random stuff , like how annoying the new announcements on buses are. Plus, I could mess with the editing so I looked thinner.
Yeah, I’m going to do that. Probably.