I should have foreseen the course of the evening when I boarded the Jubilee Line tube train. “The Jubilee Line is now closed between Finchley Road and Waterloo. Passengers are advised to use the Bakerloo Line to Waterloo or find other transport alternatives.” The walk from the Bakerloo to the Jubilee platforms in Waterloo Station is roughly the same as from Waterloo to Southwark (my destination on the Jubilee Line).
We eat at this Italian place near Waterloo Station when attending things near Jackie’s job. Our plates arrived and Jackie’s cannelloni looked okay but it had too much cheese (“Italian food for the English palate” she later remarked). A lovely plate of risotto was placed in front of me. “This isn’t mine.”
“Yes, is yours.”
We were under the clock for the start of the show. “I’ll take it but it’s not what I ordered.” Without asking what it was that I HAD ordered she took both plates away then returned, apologetically, in a couple of minutes with my arrabbiata. Okay, I guess, but this place really shines when there is a set menu on offer.
The metaphor stalked us to the television studio and feasted on our carcasses the rest of the night. Jackie had a migraine earlier and was about 2/3 full of codeine; I developed one about an hour into taping.
We have been trying to get tickets for a taping of HIGNFY since October 2001 when we were in Amsterdam for my post-doc interview and the Amsterdam Marathon. That episode featured Rich Hall and before we returned to the States, we saw another that had our current MP and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and both times we laughed as though we had eaten hallucinogenic mushrooms a couple of hours before the airing — odd coincidence, that.
Tonight’s show was chaired by Patrick Stewart and, as always, featured team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton. Richard Osman and Angela Eagle (who staged an unsuccessful coup against Jeremy Corbyn, last year) were supposed to be their respective team mates but Eagle, as is her wont, panicked in the face of overwhelming opposition of her own making and bolted from the fight. She was replaced by the game but supremely unsatisfying Camilla Long.
It took 3½ hours to do the ½ show (plus a few retakes because Stewart seemed addled and was unable to read the prompter nor even respond as though sober). Ian and Paul also seemed a bit slow but Osman was almost up to the task.
It’s fun to watch how these shows are made, though. With any luck, we’ll get in again in fewer than 15 years this time.