Sunday, 5 December 2010

Leading the Good Life

One is rather finding one's restaurant reviewing career and brilliant insightful newspaper columnest interest difficult to keep going, what with all ones television obligations to attend to. Now unless all you little proles out there have been living under a stone (which outside of WC1 ANYTHING is possible!!!), then you will be well aware of my brilliant new series on the digital TV channel Living It Up At Home Gold UK TV 02. It's called "Leading the Good Life" and features yours truly, the ever humble Giles London, working alongside my dear old chum Sue Dyke as we attempt to do the old Richard Briers and Felicity Kendall thing, and live a life of self sufficiency in suburbia. Now I was never quite sure where suburbia was but it is simply miles and miles out of London - six at least, and is full of these squalid little houses with not a fusion bistronomique outlet to be seen.
The programme is done very tongue in cheek and is made by the brilliant new TV production company called Alan London Films Ltd, incorporating Nepotism Productions. Not quite sure why I was chosen to be the main presenter with Ms Dyke, but obviously Dad must have seen some of my previous work with people like Gordon Sweary and Rick Shagger and the likes, and must have been impressed. The opening programme had us both in the garden of the house we were pretending to live in, digging over the lawned area to make room for things called vegetables. I did a couple of shots with my spade in hand, and made a couple of witty comments to the camera about not realising I had been signed up for Time Team. All the crew got this witty bonne motte and tutted appreciatively, and one or two of them sighed loudly in support of my predicament. As soon as the director yelled cut, I handed the spade to the nearest neanderthal chappy with headphones and ordered him to dig some more of my patch. I called for a skinny latte but sadly none was forthcoming.
Hortence, my lovely wife arrived and stood watching some of the filming with her arms folded and a grimace on her face. She obviously dislikes the suburbs as much as I do. During a break in shooting I asked her if she was alright. She grabbed my by the lapels and hissed she wanted to know my sudden urge to spend all my time with women in comfortable shoes. I looked around at most of the women working on the film crew and commented that high heeled Jimmy Choos would look a bit daft on this programme. With this she screamed briefly, looked me hard in the eye and muttered about insensitivity, before marching off to her BMW X5, pausing only to throw a clump of soil in the direction of Sue Dyke. How eccentric my lovely new wife is.
Well the rest of the filming for this wonderful series has been very good and gone mostly without hitch, apart from the episode when we filmed the "buying some livestock" section. We were driven to a place called Whales, which was very cold, hilly and far from London. We were supposed to be purchasing chickens, pigs and other commercially viable livestock for a smallholding like ours. While Sue and the majority of the film crew were looking at some ducks, I wandered off for something a bit more exciting. And I found what I was looking for! There were these big fluffy things called Alpacas. They looked jolly friendly, and so, with only a cameraman as support, I vaulted over their fence and into their paddock. Well those of you who have seen the footage on You Tube will be aware of what happened next. I obviously now bitterly regret wearing my Afghan coat, and should not have panicked and tried to run when they stampeded towards me. Slipping on the mud was unfortunate, but I should not have curled up like a hedgehog with my bottom in the air. Apparently "Alpaca Gang Bang!" is now the 16th most viewed clip on You Tube, and is even being considered for use in trailers for the series when it airs just before Christmas.
Hortence was very unsympathetic when the driver dropped me off that evening. She even made me go out and purchase my own tube of Preparation H. Not what I was expecting from a life of marital bliss!
If you have any Alpaca-free restaurants you want me to visit, then please drop me a line to and I shall see what I can do.