Monday, 31 December 2018

Me and the Media

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....


  1. I recently came across your book "Neither Civil nor Servant" in a charity shop in Oxford and purchased it. As a former IO I found it a brilliant read and think I recognised a former colleague. I have passed it to another old lag and others will receive it in due course.

  2. Hello "unknown ex-IO". Glad you enjoyed my book. That is the best result I could wish for. You will have realised that most of the individuals' names I changed but it should not be too hard to guess identities. If you live in the Oxford area I shall be talking in Wantage on 1st October and in Witney on 3rd. October 2019. My talks are always fun. Come along and have a chat.