I really meant it, Dave Gorman

Last night we went to see ‘Dave Gorman Gets Straight to the Point’ at the Wycombe Swan, which was absolutely brilliant and very funny (and Nick Doody was good too). When Dave Gorman showed us the emoticon his mother used in a text message, I was almost weeping with laughter. You’d have to have been there to understand the context. Afterwards we bought his book and had our photograph taken with him (see below).

Just before the photo was taken I mentioned to Dave Gorman that I was one of the contestants on his radio show ‘Genius’, many years ago. I’d submitted the idea that couples who have marriage guidance counselling should wear furry animal costumes as it would be harder for them to get angry with each other. I remember when it was recorded, Dave presented me with a parrot costume, and I put the head of it on, and he was in an animal costume himself of course so we could role play an argument, and the whole radio theatre erupted into laughter. Sid Waddell proclaimed me a Genius. It doesn’t get much better than that.

So there we were last night, at the Wycombe Swan and Dave Gorman actually remembered the show and was really nice about it, and I said to him, sort of as if I was joking, ‘it changed my life’. Then we had the photo taken and we didn’t want to take up his time as it was late at night and he’d been signing for ages, so we wished him well and went home.

But I didn’t say what I wanted to say to him, so I’ll say it here instead.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 08.39.16

(Left to right, Chris, Anita, Mr Dave Gorman, me, Russ)

On the night Sid Waddell called me a Genius, I was wearing the parrot head and I realised that everybody in the radio theatre had found my bizarre marriage guidance counselling idea funny.

My teen novel ‘Diary of a Parent Trainer’ was published by Scholastic in 2011, and I’ve had four more books published since. Anyway, my getting started as a children’s writer was partially inspired by that moment on ‘Genius’, it was a significant lightbulb moment when I realised that an idea from out of my head could actually make people laugh.

So this is a message for Dave Gorman:

When I said to you last night that being on ‘Genius’ changed my life, I wasn’t really joking. It sort of did. Thank you.

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