Yesterday, it was my great pleasure to sit in a pub and drink with the legendary Noddy Holder, who was good enough to give a (terrific) performance in our radio sitcom ‘The Richest Man In Britain’. We are now nearly halfway through recording – which is one reason why I haven’t been blogging much recently – and I’ll miss it when it’s over. Is there a higher art-form that the thirty-minute comedy show? I suspect not. I know that some people would make an argument for opera, the symphony, or figurative painting, or even (God forgive them) the novel – but how funny are any of those things, really? I cannot and would not claim that, with ‘The Richest Man In Britain’, we have now reached the pinnacle of human achievement – that was probably ‘Seinfeld’. But there are some very good jokes in our series, all of them made either by my co-writer Giles Smith, or in ad-libs by our wonderful cast – Noddy, Kerry Fox, Russell Tovey, Mark Williams (as the eponymous Dave) and Linda Bellingham, so far, with Rosamund Pike (who has a great face for radio, ha ha) and Phil Cornwell to come. Radio pays nothing, and that makes it incredibly hard for our producer, and we are recording in various far-flung studios at weekends and on tube-strike days … But I really hope we get commissioned for a second series.
Meanwhile, in Nashville, Ben Folds claims that he’s started recording the songs for our collaborative project, and I’m really excited – not least because I’ll soon be receiving mp3s of new Ben Folds songs that nobody else has heard. At the moment I’m being asked to examine recording budgets, and to get myself a music publishing deal, and that’s almost enough excitement on its own.