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Last week I was given a great opportunity when E4 (the television channel I have a crush on, in case you didn't know) invited me down to London to meet their continuity announcer and have a tour of the studio.
I met up with Si from marketing (cool as cucumber and friendly guy) who gave me a quick overview of what we would be doing, and what he does. He loves all things Channel 4 and E4, and this really shows. We talked about Charlie Brooker's (awesome) Black Mirror and the adverts that went out for it (The woman with the cracked smile) ... he seemed to be as big a fan as me. It's good to see people that love TV working in TV.
Inside the studio reception I was greeted by someone who would later be in my list of "nicest people I've ever met" ... Kelsey Bennett.
Kelsey is the lovely Scottish voice you hear on E4 ... She's friendly, funny, and way too pretty to be only a voice on television. When she started talking, it was like hearing an old friend (one that mainly tells me what's coming up next on my television). She seemed genuinely pleased to see me (either she likes meeting new people or she's a great actor when it comes to PR ... I think it's the former). What I think I'm trying to say is ... she was da bomb (do people still say that?)!
She took me on a little tour of the studio where I met more lovely people all very busy delivering you quality entertainment 24/7 (My words ... not E4's). Everyone was so nice, chirpy, and happy to say hello (and female, when I was there everyone working was female ... the sort of ratio I'd appreciate in a bar, because I love getting rejected by as many women as possible when I go out!).
I met the voices of channel 4 and More 4 too ... both very lovely (and I knew their voices so well).
It was an unusual experience meeting Kelsey and the other continuity announcers ... putting a face to a voice, I'll admit, I was starstruck. I welcome these people into my house every day when I turn on the TV and now they were letting me see a bit of their world ... and even invited me to join in...
Yes! Kelsey offered me the chance to try it out myself ... so I donned the giant headphones and started recording. She had a big list of shows and scripts to give me and I had the chance to write a script myself. I think Kelsey was being a bit too nice when she called me a natural ... my tongue had more twists than a M Night Shyamalan movie as I constantly tried not to sound like a broad Yorkshire Alan Partridge.
On one of the scripts I had to say "Mature Humour" (or something similar) and Kelsey said she liked the way my accent sounds when I say "Mature" ... I'm still blushing from this, and will no doubt be trying to fit it into any conversation I have with attractive women in the future ("Excuse me, do you have any MATURE cheese?" is the least creepy sentence I can think of though, and even that sounds creepy when I accompany it with a wink ... especially if I'm not even in the supermarket!).
The continuity announcers work really long shifts ... doing a mix of prerecording, live announcements, script writing, research, and keeping fans entertained on Twitter (follow @E4tweets). I think that it shows how nice and friendly these people are to still sound nice and friendly after the long shifts. If you are interested in learning more about this job (and you are nice and friendly) I suggest you follow @4Talent on twitter, they have loads of info about roles at channel 4.
Unfortunately, the day had to end, I said my goodbyes and left the building ... then realised that E4 had given me an open return train ticket ... phoned my friend up and arranged a place to stay for the weekend.
That evening as I was at a civilised (crazy) meal (party) ... I stopped all the music and asked for quiet as I heard my own voice on the TV. It was exciting to say the least, and I am so glad I was given the opportunity. Thank you to all involved!
E4 will never be the same for me! When I hear Kelsey announcing shows in the future ... I'll always remember the great day I had ... I'll be able to visualise who is talking ... and I'll know she knows I like the way she says "E4" and "Big Bang Theory"...
Because I'm the sort of guy that innocently says weird things like "I get excited when you say E4 and Big Bang Theory ... sorry, that sounded creepy didn't it" ...
I can't believe I've made the 100 mark, when I started smolemon I thought I'd be bored by now ... but still I keep going. The comics have changed since the first; I listened to what people were saying and they wanted recurring characters ... and the Octopuses running a hotel were created. I try to keep a few story arcs going but I thought it was time to give those Octopuses a real hard time ... So for comic 100 I'm starting a new story that will be running through the comics over the next few weeks. It's kind of nice to have a fake universe I have complete control over (God complex much?).
This week I was given an early screening of the first episode of E4's new series 'Youngers'. That show is definitely one to watch ... fans of 'Skins' will love it. The first episode is funny and I was kind of proud that I understood all the street lingo they used (I am getting old!). 'Youngers' Starts on E4 March 20th at 7.30pm.
Also this week I saw 'Oz the Great and Powerful' ... the Sam Raimi (Evil Dead trilogy, Spiderman trilogy) directed prequel to the 1939 film 'The wizard of Oz'. The film stayed true to the classic and was a sight for the eyes. The 3D was a good laugh, and probably the only film I've seen in 3D that deserved to be in 3D, it works perfectly. The story drags in places but it is still a great film, with some great set pieces, quirky characters, funny jokes, and freakin' scary flying baboons!
I made a fool of myself at the drinks machine at work this week...
Me: "Hi mate, you ok?"
Work Colleague: "I'm surviving"
Me: "Just surviving? What's up"
Work Colleague: "Nothing, it's just a stock answer"
Me: "Oh I am very sorry, I hope she will be ok"
Apparently "It's just a stock answer" and "My sisters got cancer" sound very similar. Luckily he doesn't even have a sister so I wasn't jinxing some poor woman.
And finally ... I saw a man trying to seduce a 50 year old woman by giving her an envelope filled with money, he then proceeded to get up on stage and dance (with glowing thumbs from a magic shop). This was an odd evening to say the least.
Until next time ... keep it weird folks.