The new book got a lively pre-launch feature on Radio Leeds
this morning, in an interview with reporter Nicola Rees
live from our patio. As this was part of Graham
Liver's relaxed, topical, morning slot, not only did I
have to answer the questions that I might have expected about drawing
and the garden but also some questions that I wasn't expecting,
like 'Do you remember your first kiss?' (a running theme through
this morning's programme because of something Cherie Blair had said
about her first kiss, aged seven).
Because Barbara was recording the interview and
I knew my mother-in-law would be tuned in I managed to fend that
one off; 'I don't remember,' I lied unconvincingly, 'I'm sure it
must have been Barbara.'
got out of that one, although Radio Leeds would have had a scoop
with a live on-air divorce. I could hear Graham (left) laughing
through the earphones saying, 'You creep!'
But Barbara's mum phoned immediately afterwards to say how well
she thought it had gone and she said to Barbara 'I knew he was going
to say that when she asked that question!'
Got through that quite well then.
Nicola Rees of Radio Leeds on location in our back garden
found myself being asked speculate on what the blue tit in the crab apple
tree was thinking at that moment and I did an impression of a smooth newt
popping down small tadpoles one after another, as if it was eating sushi:
'PWOP! . . . PWOP!'
'If your first kiss was like that, I'm surprised you didn't scare Barbara
off!' said Nicola.
Portrait of a Reporter
Nicola had time for a coffee before setting off for her next interview
so we sat in the sun at the patio table and I drew her looking towards
the bird feeders (typically the birds came back in numbers just as soon
as the interview was over).
I thought perhaps I'd made her look too young, Nicola thought I'd made
her look too old and Barbara thought it wasn't a good likeness. But we
were chatting as I did it and I think by making her sit still as I did
it, I didn't capture her on-air personna of bubbliness.
Actually she's pretty bubbly in real life too.
- there's 'listen live' option: my friend Tanya in Singapore managed to
- you can now order the book online
Richard Bell, email@example.com