I really like Jonathan Ross. I think he’s a funny, interesting, kind person, and an excellent interviewer. I also really like his wife… But let’s not get back into that.
Jonathan and his wonderful producer, Suzi, have been incredibly supportive of me and so when they asked me to write a song for their pre-Christmas show, I didn’t hesitate. It was the worst possible time to be writing a new song – I’ve been overworked and ill, was on tour, and was really feeling the stress. But I wasn’t going to say no… it’s Jonathan Ross! And my fellow guests were to be Tom Cruise, the divine actors from Downton Abbey, and the ace Inbetweeners boys.
So I got to writing. Being Christmas, I thought it would be fun to do a song about Jesus, but being TV, I knew it would have to be gentle. The idea was to compare him to Woody Allen (short, Jewish, philosophical, a bit hesitant), and expand into redefining his other alleged attributes using modern, popular-culture terminology.
It’s not a particularly original idea, I admit, but it’s quite cute. It’s certainly not very contentious, but even so, compliance people and producers and lawyers all checked my lyrics long before the cameras rolled. As always with these bespoke writing jobs, I was really stressed for about 3 days, and almost chucked it in the bin 5 times, and freaked out that it wasn’t funny and all that boring shit that people like me go through when we’re lucky enough to have with a big audience with high expectations. And if I’m honest, it ain’t a world-changing bit of comedy. Regardless…
On Tuesday night last week, we taped the show. I met Tom (he’s nice and quite laid-back off camera, and not very short) and the divine Downton ladies (swoon) and the lovely Inbetweeners chaps (yay) and I did my song and everyone laughed and Tom said it was great and when it was done I ran off set onto the back of a waiting motorbike, got from South Bank to the Hammersmith Apollo in 13 minutes, walked into the building, straight on to stage to sing White Wine in the Sun with Professor Brian Cox. Rock n roll.
Subsequently, Suzi and her team edited the show and everybody was happy. Suzi felt it had a nice balance of big-ticket celeb action, local talent, and a nice bit of that cheeky, iconoclastic spirit for which Jonathan is known and widely loved.
And then someone got nervous and sent the tape to ITV’s director of television, Peter Fincham.
And Peter Fincham demanded that I be cut from the show.
He did this because he’s scared of the ranty, shit-stirring, right-wing press, and of the small minority of Brits who believe they have a right to go through life protected from anything that challenges them in any way.
Yesterday I wrote a big rant about comedy and risk and conservatism; about the fact that my joke has no victim; about sacredness (oh God, not again!) and about the importance of laughing at dumb but pervasive ideas. But I trashed it because it’s boring and takes it all too seriously. It’s hardly the end of the world.
But I have to admit I’m really fucking disappointed.
It’s 2011. The appropriate reaction to people who think Jesus is a supernatural being is mild embarrassment, sighing tolerance and patient education.
And anger when they’re being bigots.
Oh, and satire. There’s always satire.
Anywaaaaaaaaaay… the fun news is that I already had the footage of the song when they cut it. Yay. And so you can decide for yourself how offensive it is! Yippee.
Oh, and although I can’t think why anyone would have a problem with me posting this (Peter has covered his arse, the protection of which he is rather nervous about) but I suppose you lovely tech-geeks might want to grab a copy or mirror it, just in case I get asked to take it down.
I hope you enjoy my silly, harmless, accurate song of praise, “Woody Allen Jesus”.
Today the Xfm Breakfast Show with Danny Wallace is going out completely and utterly live…or naked.
Danny Wallace’s Naked Breakfast goes out 100% live between 11am and 2pm. Absolutely everything will be live: jingles, bands and even live adverts. The show hopes to raise thousands of pounds for the charity War Child. You can find out more about the show and the charity via the above links and you can donate here.
The Approximate Timmy Time (ATT) is 11am. UPDATE: You can listen again to this here if you missed it. Tim was on about one hour in.
Aussies who subscribe to Foxtel will be able to see the BBC Comedy Prom 2011, hosted by Tim at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in August this year. Tim is joined by The Boy With Tape On His Face, Beardyman, Mongrels, Sue Perkins, Kit and the Widow, pianist Danny Driver and many more.
It’ll be on UKTV, channel 103, at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21st December.
Apologies if you don’t subscribe to Foxtel but maybe you could drop in on some friends who do, p’raps with some wine and nibbles…tis the season for it after all.
Tim’s show Ready For This?, filmed live at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London, is to be shown again on Thursday 22nd December at 10.35pm on E4. So if you weren’t ready last time and missed this outstanding show or just can’t get enough of the tight trousered, loosely tousled one playing the piano, singing and (occasionally) dancing get ready again and tune in.
Ever wanted to see Tim perform in an upside-down purple cow that holds just 400 people, giving you a perfect chance to study his naked feet from any seat in the venue? Well here’s the good news!
Tim will be headlining and closing the Udderbelly Festival at the Southbank Centre in London! His piano and he will be performing a one-hour set on the 8th July 2012 at 8pm.
Other acts confirmed to be appearing at the festival include The Boy With Tape On His Face, Isy Suttie, Richard Herring, Alex Horne and Abandoman. You can buy tickets for these and a limited number of other shows here, with more being announced and added in January.
The initial allocation of tickets for Tim’s show has now sold out, however, more will be made available in January, when the rest of the lineup is announced. You’ll be able to purchase them from here and here, but be sure to grab them quick once they’re available as the first lot sold out within hours!
Fancy spending a portion of your weekend with Tim? Well if you’re in the UK or Australia, then you can!
Tonight, 16th December, in the UK, Tim will be appearing on The Jo Whiley Music Show on Sky Arts at 10pm, alongside Annie Lennox and Aloe Blacc, with The Kills providing the music. It’ll be repeated on Saturday, 17th December at 10am and 6pm, and then again on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, so the only excuse you’ve got for not tuning in is not subscribing to Sky Arts.
Tomorrow, 17th December, in Australia, at 9:10pm, ABC 1 will be broadcasting the glitch-free version of Tim Minchin vs SSO that was aired earlier in the year. This recording of the show won’t be coming out on DVD, so if you want a copy of this, make sure you’ve got a recording device handy (but please don’t upload it to YouTube, etc.) so you can watch it again and again.
You know how we told you that Tim was on the Royal Variety Performance bill and that we’d let you know when it was due to be aired on TV? Well that time has finally come!
Tomorrow, 14th December, Tim will be appearing on the Royal Variety Performance on ITV1 (and ITV1 HD) from 7:30pm! Also appearing will be the likes of Penn and Teller, Jason Manford, Greg Davies and Cee Lo Green, amongst many others. Which of his songs was deemed royalty friendly? Well you’ll just have to tune in to find out!
As well as this, Tim will also be popping on to the Matt Edmondson Show on BBC Radio 1, from 9pm, to host a musical songwriting masterclass with him. Who knows what gem of a song will be written! As usual, this will be available to listen to worldwide both live and on iPlayer afterwards, and there’ll also be a podcast available here.