I am writing today’s Dollop in a bit of a rush, so forgive me if I’m not on blistering form in this Dollop. I’m afraid you might just have to make do with two jokes every paragraph on this occasion. We’re about to go on Springwatch, and are currently sitting in the production studio. The seat I am sitting on is a swivel chair which has a wheel missing, and I nearly fell off it when I first sat down. I have warned the people at the BBC about this rogue chair, because I am worried that someone like the culture minister, John Whittingdale, might one day be in that studio and sit on that chair, and if he should fall of it, it might spell the end of the BBC, as he launches a massive health and safety investigation into the corporation. He is seemingly looking for reasons to close it down, and this could be the thing that pushes him over the edge. I hope the producers I warned about this will heed my words, because this might be the chair that brings John Witingdale, and consequently the BBC, to its knees.
We’ll be going on set in the next ten minutes. At the moment, there is a Broadcast assistant teaching the studio audience how to applaud. They’ve been practising their cheers, their clapping, and their whooping. If you watch our Spring watch appearance tomorrow, listen out for the audience reactions, because they are something special, having been properly honed by a BBC Broadcast Assistant.
I hear that the wildlife is also coached about how to behave. I probably shouldn’t reveal this, but … You think that everything you see is just the birds and the animals behaving naturally in their natural habitats, when in fact, it’s actually all directed by a BBC Broadcast Assistant. To be honest, it would be much more fascinating if they just spent the programme showing you how this is all achieved, seeing the Broadcast Assistant coaching the owls how to hoot propperly for the microphone, and attempting to demonstrate to a bird how they should most effectively dismember and eat their prey in a way that will be most camera friendly.
A few days ago, I was pleased that regular Dollopees (still waiting for a better collective name for you all) Claire and Catheryn, inspired by my walking audio Dollops, created a little walking audio Dollop comment, which I played out at the start of Dollop 150. Sadly though, no one as of yet has seemingly been inspired enough by my ASMR Dollops to create their own ASMR audio Dollop comment. Whether it be you cuddling a dummy with Latex gloves, or nibbling an imaginary body part, your ASMR audio Dollop comments are welcome.
This week has been very busy, and has probably posed the biggest challenge to getting these Dollops released. I’ve been out every evening, and have been busy during the days, working on a project with some of England’s finest young musicians, and I’m not referring to Michael and Sean. The age of the musicians ranges between twelve and nineteen. They are so enthused by and obsessed with making music, that even in their rest time, they are relentlessly creating random music. For instance, in the cantine, they will make up songs, or they will use their cutlery to create complex rhythmic pieces, which they discuss in great detail before hand:
“OK, so Georgia, you bang your fork in 4/4, andante, and I’ll add a cross rhythm in 6/8 with my knife, meanwhile Emily, how about adding a bit of syncopation with your spoon? We’ll build to a crescendo at bar 15 shall we?”
I was a bit taken aback today when a few of them came up to me and told me that they’ve been listening to my Dollops. This is a little bit awkward for me, given that I’m trying to play the role of responsible, professional teacher, and my efforts are being somewhat sullied by them listening to me on the evenings being nibbled and fondled by a woman. If you’re one of the people who only reads the written version of these Dollops and not the audio, then I appreciate you’ll be massively confused. Check out Dollop 150 to be, enlightened, for want of a better word. So I have started creating alternative Dollops, featuring lots of family-friendly, erudite, educational thoughts. Basically, I’ve developed a system whereby there is a programme on my website that can access the visitor’s webcam, identify their age from the photo, and then show them the family-friendly content if it identifies you as one of my students, or a family member. Ironically, in order to set this up I have had to break lots of privacy rules, and have to essentially illegally access people’s webcams; but, this is much more preferable than facing the awkwardness of having students and family members reading and listening to things that I’d rather they didn’t.
Anyway, must dash, I shouldn’t keep Chris Packham waiting any longer.