Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Blue Peter Badge, chapter 94

I'm well aware that this blog has turned into "The Saga Of Zoomy's Blue Peter Badge", but I think I have to record that I found it again. It had fallen down behind my armchair, where I briefly dumped my jacket on Thursday night before deciding to be tidy and hang it up instead. So now I'm reunited with my status symbol, and I don't need to mention the thing again. Yay!

So, what else can I talk about? Let's try memory. I've been seriously unmotivated to train my memory lately. I don't know if this is in spite of or because of the fact that I've been doing so many tangentially-related memory celebrity things like This Morning and Radio 4 and the chimps and Blue Peter, but I'm really unable to sit down and practice the long or even medium-length memory disciplines now. I've become a performer rather than a competitor. Which isn't good. I really want to win the WMC again - I'd hate to go down in the history books as someone who only won it once, because I know, all modesty aside, that I can do better than that if I really live up to my potential.

Maybe it's just because it's Christmas. I always get depressed at Christmas.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Oh, I don't believe it!

I've lost my Blue Peter badge! It must have fallen off somewhere yesterday, because it wasn't on my jacket this morning. And still isn't, for that matter. I can't believe I didn't notice it last night when I hung the jacket up - possibly someone broke in to my flat last night and stole it. But this is terrible! I look like a normal person again, someone who's never been on Blue Peter and had Socks the cat sitting on his lap and everything! Well, I'm not going to stay badgeless. I'll buy one on eBay. Or steal one from someone else. Or draw a picture and send it to them.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I didn't wear the badge

At least, not for the interview. But I put it straight back on my jacket immediately afterwards. And in a charity shop in Burton, two people were very impressed by it. A woman in the shop told me that she's always wanted a Blue Peter badge, and that when she was little she sent them a story she'd written, but they wrote back saying that she hadn't written it herself, she'd just copied a story written by someone else. And she swears she didn't. It must have been a terrible childhood trauma, and I felt deeply sorry for her, but if she was hoping I'd give her my badge to make up for all her upset, well, she'll have been disappointed.

The interview went passably well, though - I'm making an effort to write about real life in this blog a bit more, because I'm conscious that I don't do that very much. I wouldn't have given me the job based on that interview, but I'm tougher than most people, so you never know.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Today on Blue Peter, Burgess Meredith memorises things!

I won't talk about the actual contents of the show until it's on telly next Wednesday, but I will say now that I've got a Blue Peter badge! My trousers are absolutely covered with hairs from Socks the cat! I got my own dressing room at Television Centre! I've never had my own dressing room on a TV show before!

I should have thought a bit more about the actual dressing part, though. I decided to wear my black suit jacket and trousers with a predominantly white T-shirt because I thought it would look cool and memorable. What I failed to take into account was the fact that I have a rather large and pointy nose, and the Blue Peter studio is currently festooned with animatronic penguins. I can't help thinking viewers will make comparisons.

Still, all this celebrity stuff is REALLY getting in the way of real life - I got a call from one of the recruitment agencies on Tuesday morning just before leaving for London, arranging an interview with Coors in Burton for tomorrow morning. What with being a nationally famous children's TV entertainer nowadays, I really haven't got a lot of time left to read up on the job and the company in preparation. It sounds like a cool job, though, so I'll do my best.

Should I take the Blue Peter badge off my jacket before the interview? All professional logic says yes, but I want people to see me wearing it. I will brush off the cat hairs, though.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Worst advert ever

I saw an advert on a tube train today for Vicks First Defence, which went along the lines of "A stinking cold is the last thing you want for Christmas. Vicks First Defence fights the cold virus in the early stages and may prevent symptoms developing. In fact, 77%* of people who used First Defence said they didn't get a cold. Happy Christmas."

The asterisk leads to some very small print saying "2006 satisfaction survey of 90 UK users."

So let's get this straight. Out of 90 people who used this product last Christmas, TWENTY of them developed a cold over the Christmas period? What percentage of people would normally get a cold over that kind of timespan? I'd be very surprised if it's as high as 23%. It seems to me that this First Defence stuff actually makes it MORE likely that you'll get a cold! And they're using this statistic for advertising purposes?

Anyway, that rant was the main reason I've come to this internet cafe/barber's shop in the heart of London tonight, but I suppose I should also mention that the chimp memory filming went very well too - I see they made the BBC news tonight, too, so I'm sure it will be old news by the time the documentary makes it to your screens, but you will have the fun of seeing me attempting the same memory test and scoring significantly worse than Ayumu the chimp. It's going to be great!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Make a note in your diaries (and cross out the other one)

See me on Blue Peter on Wednesday December 12th! And not the 5th, as I might have said before! It's being recorded in advance, you see.

Check out my memory chimp friends on BBC News! In fact, the performance you can see by clicking on 'number memory test' is rather more impressive than anything I can do (without practice, anyway), although I think Ramón Campayo, who specialises in split-second memorisation of random digits, could still beat them. Actually, I wonder whether that film's a bit misleading and there's a limited number of positional distributions of digits that the chimp has seen plenty of times before, but that's just me being a sceptic. Still, I think tomorrow I get to have a go at the same test, or something more similar to it than the one they knocked together for this documentary last time - we're basically redoing the whole thing that I filmed with them previously.

The life of a memory man really is groovy, isn't it?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Word of the day

It occurred to me that I was aware that there is such a word as 'amanuensis', but I had no idea what it meant, or how I became aware of the word's existence without also learning its meaning. So I looked it up on the internet and now do know what it means (I would share it with you, but I'd hate to think that this blog was educational in any way), but I still can't think where I heard it from in the first place.

I am friends with several pretentious people who like to use big words, it might have been from one of them, but perhaps I was asleep during the conversation and didn't pay attention to the context. Or maybe I came across it in some unnecessarily pompous factual book or article I read and didn't pay particular attention to.

Well, however I heard the word, I'm now enlightened and, being both pretentious and pompous, will do my best to use the word in everyday conversation and everyday bloggery as often as I can. And I'll maybe employ an amanuensis to transcribe my blog and show it to people who haven't got computers, so they'll all know how clever I am!