Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Joe Blog's Interview #94 Andrew Collins

Name : Andrew Collins (Wikipedia & IMDB)
Age : 41 (42 in four days)
Location : London
Vocation : Writer, broadcaster, anything.
Philosophy : Could be worse, could be raining.

Sum up what your blog is about.
It is mainly about TV programmes, films and West End stage musicals I have seen, or books that I have read, deftly interwoven with my views on health and nutrition, current affairs and trying to get satisfaction in shops.

Why are you doing your blog?
I started it in April 2005, when I moved from doing a daily weekday radio show on BBC 6 Music to the weekend. For the benefit on my listeners I decided to start recording what I did in the week, so that we were all up to speed come Saturday.

It appeared on the 6 Music website. I stopped doing it in December 2005, as it was interfering with my actual work. Then I started it again, in a slightly less regular format, in February 2006 on my own website, so that the BBC didn't have to assure people that my views were not necessarily those of the BBC at the end of each entry.

What’s the funniest entry on your site?
Comedy is subjective. What I find funny is not necessarily what other people find funny. I found this line I wrote last week about giving up buying the Guardian because its coverage of health matters made me angry quite funny: "I realise it won't even be a blip on the Guardian's circulation radar, but my life will be greatly improved and I'm hoping that peace and calm will descend upon me, as I read about the end of the world every day in the Independent." I think I found it funny because I didn't know I was going to write it until I wrote it.

What is your writing style?
I hope it's clear and concise and properly punctuated, unlike your blog, Mr Blogs. The apostrophe in "Joe Blog's blogs" should come after the "s" in "Blogs", not before the "s", unless your name is Mr Blog, and I don't think it is. I can only assume you were educated some time after the 80s, when education in this country was ruined forever. (If so, I let you off. Not your fault.)

What do people commonly say about your site?
If they are doctors, they say I am wrong about the efficacy of homeopathy. But I don't care what they think.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing your blog?
Writing a sitcom for BBC1, writing a one-off comedy drama for Channel 4, writing a radio sitcom for Comic Relief, or writing a novel. These are the four things I should currently be writing instead of answering these questions.

Why should someone visit your site?
If they want to find out when my next book is published, although it's May 3, so they don't need to visit the site to find that out any more. To read the blog and more importantly, join the "community".

What did you learn from your first love?
That first love is not as important as it seems at the time.

Are there any blogs, you enjoy reading?
Richard Herring's is the only blog I read every single word of. He is a comic genius. I enjoy The Urban Woo because Clair, who writes it, is a journalist and punctuates properly. I will often click on the blogs of bloggers who comment on my blog.

How much time do you spend writing material, with all the different projects you have?
I start early, sometimes as early as 7am, and always finish before 7pm, with plenty of screen breaks. During those two times, I should be writing all the time, but clearly I have meetings and travel time to work in too.

If you could be in any TV series (new or old) which would it be and what character would you like to play?
I would like to be in The Wire, playing an unnamed cop in the background at a wake for a fellow officer in Kavanagh's bar, singing along to a Pogues song.

What's been the highlight of your career?
Probably winning a Sony Gold award for Collins & Maconie's Hit Parade in 1995, although it worries me that my highlight might have been 12 years ago. It suggests it's all been downhill ever since, which it hasn't. I was rather proud to finally be invited on Richard & Judy and that was only last week.

Tell us about a good deed you have done recently.
Filled my three bird feeders to the brim two days ago, so that the goldfinches, chaffinches, tits, robins and woodpeckers may feast to their hearts' content on peanuts and sunflower seeds, while the blackbirds, robins and lone pigeon may hoover up the bits that fall to the ground beneath. (Note where the apostrophe is in "hearts".)

Tell us a random funny story that comes to mind.
I once insulted Christina Ricci by mistake. It's in my next book, which is out on May 3.

What advice would you have given yourself 5 years ago?
Five years ago, February 2002, I was just about to start broadcasting five days a week on the about-to-be-launched 6 Music. I would have said to myself: don't move to Reigate.

Any interesting travel stories?
In 1992 I flew out to Boston with a photographer and record company representative to interview the Lemonheads, and instead of flying home from Boston, I hitched a ride on Curve's tour bus and drove to New York, then rearranged my flight and flew back from New York a few days later, on my own. It might not sound like much of an adventure, but I was 27 and it was the most spontaneous thing I'd ever done in my life.

What’s the most incredible thing that ever happened to you?
Getting a book published about growing up in Northampton in the 1970s and seeing it go into the Sunday Times bestseller lists. I still can't believe that.

Now it’s your turn! Ask me one question, anything you like.
When are you going to correct the apostrophe in "Joe Blog's"? (In some ways, I think you should keep it the way it is, and change your name.)

Joe Blogs : Where were you 94 interviews ago! I know what your saying about the apostrophe, and it obviously causes you some annoyance, me too now. When I write it like you suggest though, it just doesn't look right. Would you believe me if I said I dictate this blog to my PA Kelsey Grammer? My name is Joe Blogs, so I won't be changing that. If I change the apostrophe now, it would be a bitter pill to swallow. I might change it after I've tort my next Inglish class. I've got a good link here, The Apostrophe Game!

Aside from my grammatical faux pas, check out Andrew Collins' blog, it really is a good read, and made me chuckle. Mr Collins is an accomplished writer and broadcaster. A glance at Andrews amazing CV includes his autobiographies, 'Where Did It All Go Right?', and 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now'. Also he has his BBC 6 Music radio shows, and is the film editor for The Radio Times. This is the tip of the iceberg, you can find out all about Andrew on his blog.

By the way Andrew, Happy Birthday for March 4th, and thanks for taking time out to answer these questions.

Your Site Address : Never Knowingly Underwhelmed