I cannot let this year depart without just mentioning something. In the last two months I have turned down invitations to appear on BBC TV, The One Show and to contribute to BBC Radio 4, Making History. I am not averse to appearing on the television or to broadcasting on the radio – I have been doing so since my stupendous performance on Does the Team Think? in 1966 – but since my best selling book, The Passport, The History of Man's Most Travelled Document was published in 2003 I have been waiting for the Media to substantiate their declared enthusiasm for making the documentary about the history of the passport with me yet all they will ever do is to nibble at the subject.
I have the knowledge; I have the artefacts; I have the presentational skills. What is the problem? They know the subject is interesting because they keep asking me to talk about it and with Brexit possibly looming it will remain a popular fascination.
In the interim I prepare meticulously for their broadcasts; it takes a deal of my time. For a multinational media company to offer me £50 in recompense is insulting. Fifteen years ago the Womens Institutes were paying me more than that for an evening's entertainment.
Let's see what 2019 will bring....
Saturday, 22 December 2018
Continuing the series of passport portraits in my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
Peruse and wonder.
The next time you are sitting in a photo booth in order to have your passport photograph taken; having naturally combed your hair and removed your hat and spectacles, and having succeeded in constraining yourself from any facial display of enjoyment of the rigmarole which might be interpreted by the digital camera as a smile (heaven forfend) I suggest you think of Madame Hélène Guimard Massé who, when entreated to supply a photograph of herself to put in her Italian passport in 1927, went into her garden and sat under a tree with a good book.