… but last night I did. I had to present a TV news program and it was going very, very badly. Interpretations, please!
It was my first day as presenter of an established program called News Tower. The presenters’ desk was stupid. Me and my overly-blonde female co-host had to peer out between mock embattlements as if our News Tower was a medieval castle.
When I got my copy of the script just minutes before show time it was hand-written on scraps of paper, and I could barely read the appalling writing. The pages were all out of order, and the text was over-written with corrections and arrows showing how the sequence had been changed. When I asked whether the Autocue copy was typed OK, I got a blank look as if “Autocue” and “typing” were unknown words. And indeed, the camera lens watching me was naked: no cueing system could be seen.
I could perhaps cope by concentrating. I shuffled the papers, trying to make some sense of it all, but people kept interrupting me. The floor crew gossiped amongst themselves and, when they needed to make hand gestures, they’d plonk their folders and half-drunk coffee cups on my desk, in camera shot. I tried to tidy it up but they kept leaving more stupid crap on it.
Then the sales manager brought some plastic toys to sit next to us on the desk. The advertisers had asked for it, apparently. I tried to explain that the lead story about drought-stricken India required gravitas, which wasn’t enhanced by a green plastic dragon waving at the audience — a cross between the St George Bank mascot and a Chinese lucky cat.
I never did get the script into the right order. I felt trapped in a loop, never getting the desk tidy but never getting to air time either.
And then I woke up.
What does it all mean? Actually, as I write it up, some of it starts making sense and I can probably offer my own interpretation. But you first.