On a weekly basis people talk to me about Mr Benn, I order a coffee or a beer and they’re off. Crazy when you think about it. I started recording thirteen in 1968 and finished them eighteen months later. But ’68 to 2014? My voice must have changed but it doesn’t seem to stop them.
Now another old favourite (of mine) has crawled out of the woodwork. Big Deal. That has emerged on the recognition stakes.
Last week, wheeling my youngest granddaughter Grace around a fairground, both dizzy from a few turns on the Carrousel. a bloke runs over to me.
‘It’s you!‘ he screams. Grace goes loopy. ‘Robbie Box!. My favourite TV programme.’
I had to peel him off me before he went through all the plots quoting all the dialogue.
The other day having a coffee outside (no Grace), a bloke sits down next to me. ‘Hi, Ray.‘ he says.
I don’t know him from Adam but I smile politely.
‘Big Deal.‘ he says. ‘That set me off. I’m a professional gambler now.’
He told me that he plays at poker tables three times a week. ‘Won 90,000 dollars on on-line gambling. He went on and on about his achievements. ‘I studied to be a croupier. Two of my pals on that course have done well for themselves. One has a casino in Sun City and three in this country. The other is a professional card counter. Blackjack. Made a fortune.’
Then a pal of his turned up and I slipped off. I think I prefer Mr Benn people to certain Big Deal freaks.
Now a strange request arrived. In an Edinburgh cinema, on the 30th of this month, they are showing Cathy Come Home to sponsors of a homeless charity. They want to Skype me for a Q&A session with the audience. If anyone’s reading this, I wonder if you’ve ever used this way of communication? I have and it’s like talking to men on the Moon.
The other stumbling block might be that the Scottish people are voting on independence before this Skype business. If the ‘Yes‘ voters get their way, what new rules will they bring in?
They might block Skyping from over the border.
I’ll have to wait and see.