Well, the 8th September came and went in a blur of activity. The studio setting, which now seats more people, was packed and staff and dancers were whizzing around everywhere. As I write this tonight the nation will watch the Launch of the new season of shows, not even thinking that behind the scenes a huge mountain of work is going on.
We were constantly whizzed in and out of makeup and costume departments, given 'orrible food served in cardboard boxes, and so on. Ah, the glamour of show business.
Debbie and my son Gary were in the audience and apparently I didn't do too badly. I know I goofed in front of the judges desk and they will be probably making notes to use in the future. At least this wasn't part of the competition.
Straight after the recording (this is the only show in the series that is recorded) we went round many tables, being rapidly interviewed by about 50 journalists before we could go up to the bar to meet with our families. Nice to meet Billy Connolly again up there.
We got home late.
That didn't stop us having to be up early the next morning as Debbie, Gary and I all had a lot to do. Gary shot off to do one of his fitness training sessions (he's the trainer) and I went off to make up and costumes again to shoot the title sequences, do radio interviews, still photographs and so on that they will use in publicity.
Thanks to the Beeb gang being very well organised I managed to wrap about 1pm and Debbie and I set off for Wigan because it was Paul Jnr's 50th birthday and we wanted to celebrate it with him.
The nightmare began. There had been a fatal crash on the M6. The police closed the road. Worse, the diversion system didn't work. Roads in every direction were gridlocked. The service station car parks were gridlocked. Welcome Break had the nerve to send staff into the car park and charge drivers who were stuck in there for more than 2 hours... and that after the extortionate prices they charge for refreshments anyway.
Gary, my youngest son, had to give up and turn back. Sort of luckily I had got off the M6 just in time but even then I couldn't find a road north so I headed off into the Peak District and went round the other side of Manchester to get to Wigan. It took 8 hours to get there, but then we had a beautiful meal in Gallimore's Fine Restaurant, shared a lot of laughs with Paul before heading back for home. This time it only took 4 hours.
Why did we come home? Because the next morning we had to be in Redhill to launch the pantomime we will be doing in December....
It's all go round here!