Thursday, 14 February 2008

In The Land Where The Cheggers Dwell

The adjustments I've been making to my sleeping pattern have left me suffering terrible bouts of narcolepsy. As soon as I stop moving, my eyes close and I'm asleep. And little do I care where I land. Since I started to get up earlier in the day, I've been found sleeping behind the sofa, in the laundry closet, and nestled at the back of Judy's clothes cupboard. As I move on with my plan of getting up an hour earlier each morning, the narcolepsy seems to be getting worse.

'I think you should go back to bed,' said Judy at eight o'clock this morning. I'd just fallen face first into a bowl of cornflakes and only the years Judy spent as a life-guard saved me from the milk I'd sucked into my lungs.

'No, no,' I replied, 'I'll be quite fine. I can't feel as tired as this all day. I just need a little fresh air.'

'You're going to look a mess for this afternoon's show.'

I couldn't deny that but I was in mood for giving up. Madeley will need to be heading into the city at seven thirty on Monday and I want to be doing so after more than a couple of hours sleep.

With that in mind, I resolved to ensure that I would wide awake for five o'clock this afternoon but physically tired when it came time for me to retire to bed an hour earlier tonight. I changed into my tracksuit and went out the front door, fully intending to jog five miles down the road and back again.

The enterprise began quite well. I turned right at the front gate, ran down past David Dickinson's place, and then peered up Michael Palin's drive in the hope of seeing him, despite the rumour that he's currently walking barefoot across Australia for the BBC. Then I was skipping past Trevor McDonald's house and then gave a wave to Clive James who was washing his car. I then carried on down to the cheaper end of the street. It's rare that I go that far on foot. The problem of living in a strictly hierarchical neighbourhood such as ours is that there are always people on the lower levels who demand something from those at the top.

Today was no exception. I'd just run past the house owned by the neighbourhood recluse who used to be Shakin' Stevens when I heard a voice shouting me.

'Richard?' squealed a scouse accent. 'Hey! Richard? It's me!'

I turned around in time to see Keith Chegwin leap a low privet hedge and come running after me.

I might be prone to rushes of serotonin to the brain but I was not without certain emergency functions. Before I could consciously issue instructions to my legs, I was running the other way.

'Richard! Stop!' came another appeal. 'It's me. Cheggers!'

If you know anything, you'll know that Madeley hates men who refer to themselves in the third person. I looked over my shoulder to find that Cheggers was pursuing me but I was relieved to see that he wasn't gaining.

'What do you want?' I shouted but not lessening my stride.

'Any... chance... for five... minutes... on... your show?' he asked.

'Not a chance,' I shouted.

'But Cheggers has got... a... new... computer game... coming out...' was the rather breathless reply.

'A computer game?'

'A... showbiz... trivia... game...'

For a moment, I thought about stopping to learn more but then I remembered that chatting with Cheggers usually involves him telling you the story about when he presented a show nude on Channel Five.

'Haven't got time, Keith,' I shouted as the thought of Keith's shrivelled genitals encouraged me to pedal my knees faster.

'But it's on the Wii...' shouted Cheggers, the last syllable draining out into the silence of my eventual getaway.

Deciding not to risk another encounter with Swap Shop's scouse siren, I took the long route home, cutting through the estate where most of the Radio 4 lot live. I was quite relieved when I spotted John Humphrys who allowed me to take a short cut through his garden and to climb the wall that separates his apple orchard from the bottom of the Madeley estate.

When I get into the house, I mentioned what Cheggers had told me about his computer game.

'I think we're missing a trick here, Judy,' I said. 'Here we are spending time with our clubs for books, wine, cheese, and nuts, but we're catering to a vanishing audience. We need to start appealing to younger viewers.'

'We're not having a video game club,' she replied.

'No,' I said, 'but I thought we could easily have a Richard&Judy video game.' I looked towards the Xbox 360 that Stephen Fry had bought me for Christmas and I wondered if 'Zorg the Destroyer' would have any advice about my idea of making the jump into the virtual world.

'I'll ring Stephen this afternoon and see if he can think of any genre of game that would suit us,' I said as I sat down on the sofa and pulled off a shoe. 'I think a first person shooter based on the Richard&Judy formula would rocket to the top of the video games charts.'

Judy might have answered. I really can't remember and I haven't got time to go and ask her to repeat herself. I only woke up ten minutes ago with one trainer still on my foot and the other propped beneath my head as a pillow. I must now go and wash and change. I also have to get rid of the large Nike logo that's now embossed on my cheek.

You can't believe how strict they are at Channel 4 about produce placement and advertising.


Lola said...

I can't be bothered to comment on the blog post, so may I be the first to offer you a chaste harmless Valentine's greeting? Not in a creepy stalker sort of way at all, of course.

Richard Madeley said...

It's Valentine's Day?

It's Valentine's Day! In fact, it's nearly five o'clock on Valentine's Day and this is my very first card-like-post!

I need to blog on this immediately.

(Thank you Lola. It's nice to know that I have non-creepy-stalker-like admirers out there.)

lee said...

Woo hoo -Michael Palin -I would like to stalk him in a creepy way. The thought of him with no shoes on is a very appealing one, to be sure.

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