A few days ago, I was woken up to a call from the Jazz office saying that London Radio wanted me to call them to see if I would like to go on air and discuss an article that was published in the Daily Mail about how disgusting it was that more and more otherwise ‘respectable’ sports personalities seemed to be getting tattoos.
A few things to know up front here:
1. I am not at my best at 9 in the morning
2. I have only ever bought the Daily Mail once in my life and that was when they gave the Prince album away with it. I don’t recall reading it.
3. I don’t know anything about sport other than MMA and wrestling - and for my money, tattoos come with the territory where they are concerned
4. What the hell is London Radio? Have Capital rebranded?
So I called up and was given the briefest of briefs - including “please don’t swear” (which immediately meant that half my vocabulary was missing) - put on hold and before I had even pulled the blind up to see if the snow had arrived in this corner of the world, discovered I has an audience of 4 million people...
Imagine if you will, waking up and being asked a lot of questions in quick succession by somebody who didn’t really give a flying one about what you had to say anyway. I hope and think I fought the corner well - the guys at the office tuned in online and James even managed to email me such helpful comments as “Can you get Alvin Stardust played for me?”
In hindsight, I guess it must be quite hard to do a radio show absolutely live when you don’t know if the people you called up five minutes ago will participate and your whole show is based on whatever happens to be in the newspapers that day, but somehow I expected more in depth questions than “How many tattoos have you got and how much did they cost” but my favourite was something like, “Why is this happening to our sports people”, like it was some kind of disease that was sweeping the nation. I don’t freaking know do I! Maybe they wanted to get one! Much like what clothes they decided to put on that morning and whether they would have tea or coffee with their breakfast, they probably decided for themselves much like the rest of us!
I did however refrain from saying what was on the tip of my tongue, but again in hindsight wish I had said: “Perhaps a better question to ask would be why our professional sports people can’t play sports anymore. I certainly doubt it’s because they got a tattoo and is probably more to do with the fact that when you get paid seventy gazillion pounds a minute for being average at best, what’s the point in being hungry for success? When you’ve got that much money to play with, what else are you going to spend it on except tattoos, prostitutes, drink and cocaine? Was nobody in the sports world paying attention to what happened in rock n roll over the last fifty years?”
Maybe if he’d kept me on the air a little longer I would have slipped it in…