To further whet the appetite of an already baying and enthusiastic public, I've been playing Mervyn in Big Finish's monthly pod-casts, which are still available on their web site, should you wish to hear them. Also available will be a video recording of me reading a chapter from the first book at the launch party; follow a link to the BF FaceBook site and it should be there sometime soon. Nicola Bryant also read a chapter from the book and I guess she'll be on FaceBook too.
It was a very festive occasion and a great opportunity to catch up with the wider Big Finish Family, and indeed to meet some people for the first time. Sylvester McCoy was there and in top form; he's currently rehearsing a production of Evelyn Waugh's Decline And Fall at The Old Red Lion in Islington, which plays from 30th November to 8th January. Claire Vousden was also there, a touring buddy from Don't Look Now; really good to see her again; I think the whole event went very well and was a great success - hope the books are a similar success for Nev.
Earlier in the week, I was deeply honoured to have been asked to take part in a Remembrance Day Special, broadcast on the Suzanne Hunter Show for Brooklands Radio. My friend John Silke and I had been on her regular morning show back in October, talking about George and the Magic Radio, John's book for children, during which, I'd read some of the story on air. This time, Suzanne asked me to read the two pieces reproduced below. Apparently, the broadcast was very well received and is scheduled to be repeated on Sunday.
The First Armistice:
"The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect. The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume, and stopped dead, and the mighty-limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped also, seeming to do it of their own volition. Someone took off his hat, and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also.Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of 'attention'. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes, and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still ... The hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city and become so pronounced as to impress one with a sense of audibility. It was a silence which was almost pain ... And the spirit of memory brooded over it all."
Armistice by John Banks
John McCrae 1915
...and that's just about all for now; looking forward to working with Ken Bentley and the rest of the company on a new Doctor Who drama later this month - can't wait!