Working 9 to 5

Sorry it’s been so long since I updated the blog, but things have been a bit busy here over the summer.

Apart from the usual holiday time spent at our place in Portugal, this has been the busiest summer I’ve had in years, and it’s also been one of the most enjoyable.

Fancy that! Having fun and getting paid. As my Dad says, “How does he get away with it?”

Being freelance means that summers are usually quite quiet as everyone is away, but this year when the sun came out so did the work. At one point I spent sixteen days on the trot without a day off, and weekends were just like Mondays, but it was wonderful, and here’s why.

I have a confession to make. I suffer from something called FD, which you won’t find in any medical dictionary but is extremely common. It’s full name is Freelancers Disease, and there’s no known cure.

FD is a well known virus amongst TV and radio people but can be caught by anyone at all who doesn’t have a full time job, its characteristics being a willingness to accept every bit of work that’s offered just in case the ‘phone stops ringing and it all stops tomorrow. We all have bills to pay and, often, empty pockets when the tax man sends his warmest greetings and asks if we could make a small contribution to the national coffers. So, as the saying goes, ‘take it while you can’.

People who suffer from FD include my BBC Berkshire colleague Paul Ross. When you ring his mobile number his voice mail starts with him saying “Hi. Thanks for calling. I’ll do it.” It may be a misdialled call from the army recruiting people, or a hospital looking for guinea pig patients to test drugs on, or someone selling double glazing or, even worse, a booker looking for guests for Never Mind The Buzzcocks. But Paul would do them all. Even Buzzcocks.

Why do you think so many celebrities do awful reality shows where the only real thing is their humiliation? Would you go and learn diving for Splash! and then appear in budgie smuggler trunks with your belly hanging over it like a condemned balcony sliding to the ground for all to see? Or would you eat kangaroo testicles boiled in spider milk, or whatever other delicacy the production team come up with, if you weren’t get paid in thousands by the I’m A Celebrity accountant?

A pal of mine, a household name comic, signed up for the ice skating show. He was paid to train for a few weeks and also paid for the whole of the two month run of the show. But he was kicked out after the first week as he was so bad. I still wonder if he did it deliberately, enjoying a few weeks off work while getting paid.

If ‘Love Means Never Having To Say Sorry’, then Freelance means ‘Never Having To Say Sorry, I Can’t Do It’

This summer has been fab but now, as the rain pelts down outside my office, it’s back to reality. But not reality shows. Not yet.