Sunday, 17 March 2019


I’m back. The eyes are are a wee bit better so I thought I’d better join the fray.

    My agent phoned (!} wanted to know if I’d be interested to appear on Pointless Celebrity 60’s. I was busy in the 60’s. Rushing around, learning lines [unintentional jest], costume fittings, doing tons of crap to keep a roof over our heads. So I was caught up in my stuff to take much notice what was going on around me. So Pointless seemed a waste of time.

    So I had a thought how about Celebrity Antiquity Road Trip. So I suggested that to the  agent [!) They said they’d try. I’ve heard nothing. Waited and waited. Zilch. In the meantime I watched the Road Trips as they rolled out.People I’d never heard of. Tons of them older than me. Amazing. And loads of repeats. Not a sniff or a whisper in the pipeline. I was definably past my sell by date. Oh dear. Depressing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
    But on the brighter side.  A man called Blue John bought two of my CD’s. In a couple of weeks he bought four more of them. Why? Six! It turn out that he liked it so much that he gave it to some friends, including Bob Fischer, a DJ in Blue Johns area. He also liked it and played tracks on his show. Then out of the blue, he wanted to interview me (live) at a local venue. It was a crazy journey up there.
    Kings Cross Station is confusing. My train was about to leave from platform 0. ( Harry Potter). I just got there on time and found myself in a dining car. I was given a sandwich and a coffee. Which I ate quickly. Then guard came up and looked at my ticket.
“That’ll £25. This is a 1st class carriage.` £25 for a coffee and a sandwich! A good start.
2  and a half hours later I arrived at Gateshead.
    Nice hotel, pleasant bedroom and bathroom but no tissues.There never are are. Why not? Do they want guests walking around with running noses? I phoned Bob and arrange to meet him on 11.00  the Sunday evening show.
    Then I had a wander around the the town. Like a cat peeing on every tree it passed I marked way so I didn’t lose my way back to my hotel. I found a little pub and had a couple of of beers then back to to the hotel for a kip.
    Later I had something to eat and a glass of wine.
    `Do you want another glass.?’
    `No, thank you.`
    `If you do you can have the rest of the bottle free.`
    What an extraordinary place Darlington is.
Slept well and saw Bob the next day. Nice fella. He was going to pick me up at 6.00.
The venue was good. 60 people were coming. The K.O. was 8.00. So I went over to the pub.
The were a nice crowd. Bob interviewed me for about an hour. Then there was a break. Three quarters of hour of questions. Then signing books a giving out photographs. Then he drove me back to the hotel. It was a good evening.  But was I deluding myself?
I it seemed that Bob had paid for the hotel bill. I sent him a text thanking him. He replied, ‘It  
s the least I could do. It was lovely to meet you.’ Hardly effusive.

But what could I expect.? The old ego was popping up again. I’ll put it into a box and chuck off the Brighton Pier I’m sure David Attenborough  wouldn’t complain ‘cos fish with egos wouldn’t eat plastic bags any more they’d be too full of themselves.

Monday, 10 April 2017


A few years ago we were encouraged to buy Diesel powered cars. Cheaper fuel and better for the engines. Now higher charges if you drive these dangerous vehicles in London also it is muted that they could ban them off the roads completely..

It’s a strange old world. Take a product that I voiced a few years ago. Flora  boasts high in Polyunsaturates. Sold well until......a crazy American scientist told the world that it was dangerous to heath. Flora went down the drain.

Like some schools said that playing conkers was dangerous and the children had to wear goggles if they played it. Similar to T Blair who tried to ban completive races at schools ‘because children who didn’t win could suffer damage their self esteem.

What a load of toss. I never won a race at school. I’ve never won a prize in my job. But we were taught to soldier on.

In the seventies there cafes called Cranks. You may remember them. These place served  ‘healthy tea and special coffee’ and sandwiches that tasted like cardboard.  Once, with dreary church music in the background, I saw what must have been vegan mouse running about. That was the last straw.

Back to the pub for me. Jolly music, good company, laughs fags and lovely beer.

Alright I’m probably wrong . Certainly about diesel engines. Not sure about conkers, coming 2nd and cardboard sandwiches. Smack my wrist.

Experts say that electric cars are on the way and robots will be running everything. But the NHS is in a on the skids. What can we do about that? With medicine improving month by month people are living longer and old people are clogging up hospitals. 

I’ve always thought that old people should be supplied with a bottle whiskey, a hundred fags a day and it can’t be impossible in this technological world to create a night time pill for the older generation to dream happily of sleeping with Nicole Kidman or if they prefer Brad Pitt. Anyway there is alternative.... the electric car. Sleeping with a car !? No,no.

Old people get frail, wobbly, certainly not too quick on their pins and usually a bit deaf.
So match deaf old folks and electric cars.

They cross the road and then can they hear these silent assassins?

Oh, dear, electric cars and cardboard . What the hell is this crazy world coming to?    

Wednesday, 22 March 2017


We all use supermarkets, don”t we? They are enormous and charmless.They can buy in bulk and consequently all the local shops can’t compete and and they have to close. And I miss the friendly faces.
Of course the supermarkets sell their goods a lot cheaper and shoppers love them.
But they are temples of destruction. Why are they so? Not just the little business that go under but the potential of bringing A.E. departments to bursting point. Why do I predict this?
Supermarket trollies. We’ve all seen them whizzing around piled high with food and the owner on a mobile phone. haven’t we? But have you ever had to leap out of the way when one of these juggernauts bears down on you? If you were a lorry driver on the mobile the police would slap him in prison. But these buggers are never touched.
So I have a simple solution. At the end of each supermarket aisle there should be traffic lights. So normal basket shoppers can cross safely.
But, of course, it would cost money and for these poverty stricken supermarkets might have to shell out and then they’d be FORCED to put their prices up. Any excuse.

Then maybe the local shops would be able to open up and we’d all be happy.

Saturday, 4 March 2017


A dream. Well they’re looking for a new Dr Who. What about this: a very old, retired Time Lord trying to get a hip replacement. Then he finds himself in the Tardis. The wrong button has been pressed. He’s totally confused, doesn’t know what to do. Fortunately there is an assistant who helps him to fly the Tardis to sunnier climes where his aching bones can be eased. They’re attacked by Sun Rays. The only thing he’s got in his pocket is a pencil.It could be fun having a dopey old man trying to come to terms with the terrifying stuff he’s confronted with. What about dopey old me? Dreaming.

Or back to EastEnders. Say I went back as the twin brother of Joe Macer ( who fell out of a first floor window after confessing to Dot that he killed his wife Pauline Fowler), who’s corporate lawyer, and demands to get back the property that Ian’s living in. Dot would have kittens thinking that Joe had come back from the grave and Ian would have a nervous breakdown and my lawyer would become the pariah of Albert Square. That’d be fun.

The trouble with dreams is you always wake up.    

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Wind and Rain in Ilfracombe

 got a taxi from Barnstable and arrived at the Carlton Hotel £30 lighter. Snow was predicted.

‘It only snows on Exmoor’ the driver said confidently. ‘You’ll be alright.’

But there was certainly rain. When I got out of the taxi it was like having a bucket of water chucked over me and the wind nearly blew me off my feet.

‘Mr Brooks.’ the Michael, who I’d spoken to on the phone, greeted me warmly. ‘Your room is 203.’ The room was comfy and so was the bed. The wind was kicking up but I had to get a beer.

All the pubs seemed to have closed down for the winter but then I found one that was open! It was a big warm place and I downed two pints lickerty spit and settled down to think about my show tomorrow night in The Space in wet Ilfracombe. I had to introduce my memory stick to the projector at 1.00 on the day.

Having slept well and having a jolly breakfast. I set off, with my books, for The Space. The rain had stopped but the wind was even fiercer. The Space was was in the basement of sort of church. Inside it was a hive of activity. People putting up seats, others fixing up lights and I was greeted by Robert, the overall boss of the place.

‘A lot of seats.’ I said.

‘Forty people have applied but only fifteen have confirmed. The weather, I suppose.’

Fifteen was alright for me, I’ve played in front of a lot fewer than that, but for the theatre not so good. Although they’s said they wanted just 40 per cent of the ticket price and I told them that they could keep it all. It didn’t seem like a lot of money to take on the gate.

That evening when I arrived it seemed full! The wind must have blown them all in.

The show went well although I left out a chunk in the first half (getting as bit carried away I suppose). ‘Ran for forty minutes, Ray.’ Robert, the stop watcher, announced.

‘The second half is shorter.’ I said pathetically. And it was.

Generally I was pleased and the audience seemed happy. They bought most of the books.  Then I took Robert off to the pub. Back at the hotel and Michael was still there but the bar was closed.

‘Do you want a drink, Ray.’ he said. Then opened the bar and brought a large red wine. ‘And I’d like to buy a book for our in our library/’ he bought a book then offered me a  lift back to Barnstable the next day.

And so to bed. Two books left, an audience of 47, then a text from son, Tom. ‘Very proud of you.’

The perfect end to a perfect day.

Saturday, 31 December 2016


After the debacle of Cathy at BAFTA, I was standing waiting for a train at Brighton Station. When it arrives it looks like something out of The Ark. With me and a few of others, it chugs along coughing and sputtering, stopping at every station, where nobody gets on or off. then there’s an announcement over the the tannoy. ‘We will be delayed because of trouble with signals. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.‘ Inconvenience! I’m starving, there’s no  buffet car and the seats are rock hard.

Eventually the train arrives at Southampton. I’d missed my connection to Bournemouth. I was starving so I went and got a sandwich from a dubious station cafe. Egg and cress which tasted like it  had been made in around 1847. After about half and hour the Bournemouth train arrived. When I got there I took taxi to the hotel.

‘The room’s been cancelled.’

‘What !’


I phoned my contact. Not answering. Left a message. Got a taxi back to the bloody station. Got back to Brighton. Dark and miserable (me) and exhausted. You can stuff Cathy.

Now someone has has invited me to a showing of Cathy in Brighton, I turned it down

After the disaster of Bournemouth good news arrives ! I’ve been invited to the Bewdley Book Festival in Worcestershire plus ( and this is extraordinary) to go to The Dr Who Convention in Wichita in Kansas. And I’ve only done a Dr Who film with Peter Cushing! Very exciting. Valium Airlines here I come! If I’m brave enough.

But my concentration is focused on Ilfracombe. I go there on the 13th of January to do my show. The hotel is booked, the posters have arrived and so have my books.
 I’m following my rep towns which I did for three years. The second one was Clacton but there were no suitable theatres ( two but both too big ), I certainly couldn’t get 750 people in. My first was Nottingham which I have fond memories of.

So next year is exciting if Valium Airlines stays in the air!