I wish I was Vernon Kay.
I never thought I’d say that; and I don’t say it lightly.
Actually, on reflection, I’d like to take it back. I don’t wish I was Vernon Kay at all. But I do wish I had at my disposal his remarkable, implacable showbiz persona. It’s like a sheet of very expensive plastic, highly disposable and horribly tawdry for sure, but unflappable and infinitely confident.
Alma likes Vernon Kay. She wouldn’t like him if she’d heard what I heard the other day.
But I shall not stoop to gossip. Especially not when I’m on the radio.
That’s right. The radio.
Oh, dear God in Heaven, I don’t want to go on the radio. Are you there God? It's me, moaning Stanley. Please don’t make me go on the radio.
I’ve got to go on the radio. To publicise the book. I said I would because you have to say yes to these things, don’t you – carpe diem and all that. Plus it’s written into my contract. So I’ll do it. But I already feel sick at the thought.
There are currently two interviews lined up, next Tuesday and next Wednesday. I’ll give you the details on Monday, just in case you want to witness my humiliation first-hand as it slowly, painfully unfurls, like a sticky sleeping bag full of bad pornography. At the moment I’m too bilious. At the moment I need to relax and channel Vernon. Aaaah, Vernon. The smile. The quips. The slightly sinister over-eagerness to please. The desperation to be loved oozing from every pore, hanging in the air like celebrity sweat as a creepy dead hand drapes itself over an unwilling shoulder. Can I manage that on radio? Well, as Vernon is my witness, I can try.
And with that, we move lushly and crassly into the final batch of beautifully staged pseudo-fan portraits, patiently posed by some people I met on my travels.
God Bless them all.
Oh, and that thing about Vernon Kay and the aerosols is just absolutely ludicrous. It’s just one step up from Richard Gere and the hamster, and Ann Widdecombe and the gingerbread butt-plug and I for one want no part of it.