Monday, 25 May 2009
Quiz and on
Last night recording of The Book Quiz for BBC4 TV. Four teams of two. One semi-final knockout, then the final. My partner is the stand-up comic and journalist Natalie Haynes who is splendid. Other teams involve Brian Patten, John Sutherland, Bonnie Greer and Andrew Motion and if I can't remember the names of the two other sweet and lively women it is because it's all a bit of a blur. We guess quotations, we try to guess poems from picture clues, we guess poems from garbled Japanese translations translated back into English, we do quick buzzer questions.
It all goes swimmingly. But I suppose I can't say what happened until it is broadcast, and I don't know when that will be yet.
Afterwards I sit around the green room for a while with Andrew and Natalie and Kirsty Wark, then am driven back to this rather smart hotel where after an initial confusion they have given me a suite, so I have slep in two double beds at once, watching two televisions and having twice the usual number of dreams, that I am now twice as incapable of remembering.
I watch the sad face of Alan Shearer being twice as gutted. I see Newcastle lose 2-0 not 1-0. It is double disaster time for Toon. My heart does go out to the city, that I really took to when giving those lectures. But from what I saw and read it was a gutless surrender. Alas.
It reminds me a little of Leeds - terribile dictu. Here's to better time to come for both.