And so I make my debut on comedy radio which came as something of a surprise, I can tell you. Well… not by the time this week’s episode of The Museum of Curiosity hit the airways but a few months back when I got an unexpected email asking if I’d fancy being on the show alongside the likes of the wonderful John Lloyd and Dave Gorman.
Rocking up at the BBC on a Friday night was a very different experience to my usual, low-key, daytime, small recording studio affair for Home Planet. This time I passed a queue of people trailing out the door and it took me a beat to realise that I could cut the line because all these folks had turned up to watch me (and 2 other far more famous and funny people). Eeep.
Through the swing doors and there was John Lloyd welcoming me with open arms and giggling about his gaff earlier that day when he’d sent my name spiraling into a brief trend on Twitter by tweeting to 160,000-odd qikipedia followers something along the lines of
seahorses are the only animals in the world where the males give birth via @helenscales
Oh ah ha ha (what a difference punctuation can make). You can imagine the response it stirred up as the twittersphere pondered just how such a feat might take place.
The show recording was a joy. 2 hours of chatting and laughing and by the end the Beeb producers seemed genuinely thrilled that they’d managed to put a marine biologist, a top advertising executive, and a comedy writer in the same room and for them all to get on like a house on fire.
And we carried on the off-mic discussions at the pub for a couple more hours. John Lloyd told me all about the time he and Douglas Adams learned to scuba dive together in Los Angeles, while they were writing The Meaning of Liff, and how the enormously tall Douglas fell over with his scuba kit on and couldn’t get back up again. Wish I’d been there to see that one.
Additional note, November 14th
I have a small museum-related confession to make. I love this show. Yes, I know I’ve been on it, so I’m a bit biased, but it’s been such a joy spending my Monday early evenings for the past 6 weeks listening to John Lloyd and Dave Gorman meeting all sorts of interesting people (with Dave’s ever-present chuckle in the background).
The end of the series sent me dashing off to Amazon to order a copy of the previous series on CD. And it brings me to post this rather lovely rendition of the theme music (and has me wondering whether the online rumours are true that the music was originally composed and performed by Bill Bailey).