Nine Years Ago this week...

Nine years ago this week, I launched the Please Don't Hug Me podcast with Micky Boyd. It was hard going in terms of having to learn how to edit and most of those early shows were recorded from the hotel I was living in for almost half a year. 500 podcast and radio shows later, I can look back and say that apart from the live Resonance FM era of Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available, the early Please Don't Hug Me episodes were probably the most fun I've had making a podcast.

So many people are making podcasts now which is great, but so many underestimate just how much work it takes to put them together which is why after a few weeks, even shows by big names can be intermittent. It's a lot of work which is why I stopped making them so that I could focus on more important projects, but I'll always look back with affection at the early Please Don't Hug Me episodes, even with all its Micky-heavy features, The Boydie Beautiful, Ask Boydie, etc and let's not forget, the hugely competitive Toilet Bingo.

We were fortunate to have some good co-presenters on board too. Stuart Armstrong, Roisin Rae, Clay Lowe, Brooks Livermore, Fiona Hardingham, John Rain, Alan Mitchell, The Chin (who wrecked episodes 51 and 52 which never aired). We had Grant Static behind the artwork and a memorable theme tune from the brilliant and lamented by me Keyboard Choir.

I hope I haven't forgotten anyone.

It was all new and exciting and a big learning curve. And of course, though it was a tiny audience, we had some brilliant and very funny listeners who bought into whatever it was we were trying to do and became a big part of the show. As much as they might’ve looked forward to Thursdays for the next PDHM episode, we looked forward to hearing from them.

All 55 episodes are available here on this website.

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Café regular passes away

A moment of sadness today in the café as a poster announcing the death of a longtime regular went up behind the bar. The (Portuguese) man looked terribly ill when I last him in the café last month. He was with either two of his daughters or grand daughters and he caught me briefly glancing at him as I noted his alarming decline.

Some years ago, he'd got a new job that saw him working with some English guys. I think it was as a road sweeper and every morning he'd turn up in the café with this guy, Alan, who was almost an entire picnic short of a picnic. Alan was a dead ringer for Bruce Forsythe, even sounded the same, and it quickly became evident to us regulars he wasn't the full ticket. The now deceased Portuguese man, like many in that older Iberian community, and despite decades here in London, had terrible English, but the two formed a close bond that was nice to see and you could tell the deceased had warmed to his eccentric colleague.

It's a long-established tradition in the café that if a regular dies, the poster along with details of the funeral goes up behind the bar. If I wasn't so reserved in there, and assuming the café survives the onslaught of gentrification in SW8, when my time is up, I think I'd be a certainty to have my picture go up behind the bar. I don't know about the funeral details. I have no plans to pay for mine. As long as I get admission into the AFTERLIFE, I'm not too fussed what happens. Given attendance to my funeral is likely to be poor, it's not something I lose much sleep over.

I hope the newly deceased finds the coffee in the AFTERLIFE is every bit as good as it is in the café.

R.I.P.

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Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available highlights

Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available S2 E14 live on Resonance - The Winter Massage fails to allow enough time for long johns removal.

From Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available Bumper Christmas Annual 2014 on Resonance FM

A festive visit to see my aunt Spanish Kanu and my uncle.

Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available, S2 Resonance FM

Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available S2 Resonance FM 'The Hat'.

Prospective hat excessively manhandled by shop staff.

Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available - S3 Resonance FM

South London has lost its belly.

Bibi Does Soho

Discussing great women's hairstyles I'd like to have had by myself and finding my flow cut down as madcap host Bibi Lynch says a certain naughty word live on air...

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Bibi Lynch learns about the toilet table.

Bibi Does Soho

The Café greetings.

A Nectar Points update from S1 of Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available on Resonance FM.

Why summer makes us all equal.

Recalling the dull summer of 2013.

No recognition for Merton on 'Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available'.

From S2 E13 of Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available live on @resonancefm

Plastic surgery on show on the streets of SW8. Cosmetically Enhanced mum's ever changing face.

Pic: YouTube

Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available, Resonance FM S1 E19

My dad was disappointed his distinctive signature was never acknowledged by my form tutor whenever he signed my school journal.

Part 2 of 'The Signature' from Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available, S1 E19.

My dad was disappointed his distinctive signature was never acknowledged by my form tutor whenever he signed my school journal.

BalDcASt - for the bald and the beautiful

Bald since 1995, Micky Boyd, baldcaster, looks at the hairstyles he would’ve loved to have had that genetics cruelly denied him.

All 13 episodes of the podcast, produced by me, can be found on Twitter and the Facebook page.

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Here’s a taster from Micky’s BalDcASt series.

Ep 12 sees Micky eulogise Roger Daltrey’s hair over the last half century. You’ll note they’re very short shows. Micky, as his fans will recall, is a busy man.

Website renewal - please support this week

With my website renewing for another year later this month, if you enjoy my radio and podcast work, please consider making a donation via the Paypal link on the homepage here or by clicking on the Paypal link below.

All donations, large or small, will go into paying for the annual renewal and keeping 500+ shows and videos, spanning a decade, online.

Paypal

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Comedy with Resonance - 12 hidden gems from the archives of the UK's most eclectic radio station

Here’s a link to an article that appeared today on the UK’s biggest comedy website, Chortle, about 12 hidden comedy gems from the Resonance FM archive. I’m pleased to write my most recent work for Resonance, The Café Chronicles, is listed in the 12. You can of course find the complete 10-part first series of the show on this website as well as the hour-long Christmas Eve special.

Resonance - 12 hidden comedy gems

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Merry Christmas

Just a quick post to wish all listeners and readers a Merry Christmas. Those of you who have kindly donated to the site during 2018, a special thank you. I have taken the time to thank every donor individually responding to email addresses I have for them. On occasion, the email addresses I have haven’t tallied with the email addresses the donations came from and I apologise if any donor hasn’t had a response.

Merry Christmas.

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The Café Chronicles Bumper Christmas Annual 2018 - 8pm Christmas Eve on Resonance

Airing on Christmas Eve, 8pm on Resonance 104.4fm.

(Repeated Boxing Day, 12pm)

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Daniel Ruiz Tizon returns with a Christmas Eve special of The Café Chronicles from the South Lambeth Portuguese café he has holed himself up in since the summer of 2001. As the gentrification sweeping through Nine Elms and Vauxhall accelerates, The Café Chronicles documents the characters and community threatened by these changes. This packed festive edition features chin fissures, cartoon flattened pastries, leviathan eclairs, hairy chested waiters in open necked shirts shedding chest hair in customers coffees, and Old Twitter, the octogenarian couple with their newspapers breaking yesterday’s news today. And Daniel looks back at an old Christmas exchange with a café regular that kick-started the erosion of his long-prized anonymity in the café.

The Café Chronicles Bumper Christmas Annual on ResonanceFM

As mentioned on this week’s guest appearance on Bibi Does Soho, I will be presenting a special hour-long festive edition of The Café Chronicles next month. The Café Chronicles Bumper Christmas Annual will air on Resonance 104.4FM on Christmas Eve at 8pm.

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The show is likely to feature many of the characters that featured on the opening 10-part series that aired on Resonance back in the summer. All the episodes are available to download both from this site and also Apple Podcasts.

Me! Me! Me!

It’s looking like my eBook Me! Me! Me! is finally going to be in print next year. I’ll have more details shortly once it’s confirmed with the publishers. This will mean a relaunch for the title and it’s likely to disappear from Amazon soon until it’s published in print, at which point it will again be available as an eBook.

If you can’t wait until then, you can still buy Me! Me! Me! here:

Me! Me! Me!

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The lost podcaster

I caught up with the great lost UK podcaster earlier today, Micky Boyd. With the café undergoing its refit and not reopening until Sunday (a partial glimpse of the work last night has left me anxious my favourite corner spot has been done away with), Micky and I went to one of his regular haunts. The coffee there was too strong for me (as indeed it was the last time we went there) and my old friend, looking very trim, quickly spotted my bad coffee face. While my range of facial expressions are severely limited, the one thing my features can produce is a bad coffee face. And this was bad coffee.

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We hadn’t seen each other since the summer when I was on crutches and Micky was kindly driving me around. After a couple of days spent trying to explain to my aunt Spanish Kanu, who ‘officially’ turns 80 next week, what asbestos is and why workmen are descending on her block to remove said asbestos, it was good to catch up with Micky. We chatted about our shared love of Sherlock Holmes, my 79-year-old uncle being fist bumped by his fellow horse racing fans in the local bookies, and the fragility of the Sainsbury’s own cracker which breaks up at the slightest contact.

There is no real point to this particular post. Micky was just keen to have this picture of him up on the website and I was unable to come up with a more interesting post to justify posting this picture of the mid-eighties school sprint champion.

A peanut takes my cafe table

A curious dream.

A peanut had taken my regular table in a cafe.

Not my cafe, you understand.

But I had the sense in this dream that this was a regular dream cafe and as is my habit stretching right back to childhood when I had to sit in the same corner of the room during my music classes at Primary school (much to my teacher's chagrin), I had a favourite table in there.

I was taken aback to find the peanut sat at my table.

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We looked at one another.

I couldn't be sure whether the peanut was looking right through me.

In front of them was a broadsheet.

I caught sight of a headline.

'Sent to Coventry'.

Thrown by the peanut's presence, and unable to settle for sitting anywhere else in the cafe, I left.

But I kept circling the cafe to check if the peanut was still sat at my table.

I must've looked a dozen times.

The peanut showed no signs of leaving.

Was the peanut waiting for someone?

Was it, I wondered, waiting for me?

I stepped back into the cafe and disappeared into its gents downstairs in the basement, where I found myself being sick.

Still, I had enough about me not to touch the toilet bowl when being sick, as you see people doing in films. Sure, I was thrown by the peanut's presence at my table, but I still had the presence of mind to make no contact with the bowl as I was sick.

I sorted myself out, splashing water on my face before heading back upstairs to check on the table.

The peanut was still there.

I didn't want to leave the cafe again.

I made my way cautiously to 'my' table.

I looked at the peanut.

The peanut looked at me.

We looked at one another for what seemed like an eternity and with great sadness.

And then the peanut rose from its chair and left the cafe.

I sat down at the table.

I looked at the newspaper.

'Sent to Coventry'.

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