April 2006

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Rob gives us his highlights of TellyNation 2006!!

April 2006

I’ve never been as late as this before...so with the TellyNation girls pulling frightening faces and threatening me with the whips I’m returning to my laptop for this belated Laughter Lines.

We all have an excuse for the tardiness however...as everyone who attended the hilarious, brilliantly organised and alcohol fuelled epic that was the TellyNation weekend at the Swindon Hilton can testify.

In the past I usually get to these sort of things a little late and leave a little early but not this time...oh dear no. Checked in by lunchtime on Friday and departing after a relaxed round-up chat in the bar at lunchtime on the Monday, this was a well and truly full weekend.

The highlights for me? Far too many to relate here. But it was, naturally, a joy and pleasure to interview Burt Kwouk, Brian Murphy and Linda Regan. All three gave great good value on stage and were delighted to chat to fans outside of their ‘on-stage’ duties. I can report back that they all had an excellent time and thank the Telly Nation team for their efforts.

Paul Cornell was an impeccable M.C. Not just one of television’s finest writers but a thoroughly nice bloke as well. And his skill during the auctions was another of my highlights.

What a delight it was to meet Damaris Hayman who stepped in to the breech to be interviewed by Paul Jones and regale us with wonderful memories of Jon Pertwee and The Daemons.

The fruity live wire that is Minder writer Tony Hoare, spilling the beans on life at Euston Films and at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

Doing the Peter Kay dance routine to Tony Christie...EVERY night of the three-night-disco-a-thon.

Henry Holland – the weekend’s most prolific interviewer – saving the best till last and coaxing a fascinating hour-long reminiscence from Nadim Sawalha.

The delightful and ageless Anneke Wills sharing Doctor Who, Strange Report and Pleasure Girls memories with the glee of a radiant pixie.

Several hilarious hours in the bar with my pals from SFX Magazine, Steve, Nick and Mark; encompassing the obvious (Doctor Who 2006 spoilers) to the obscure (the best Arthur Askey movie!).

The superb Sunday cabaret from Ian Watt; John Laurie: Fraser and I, which held a captive audience for almost an hour of finely tuned Dad’s Army anecdotes and pain-stakingly researched tit-bits from a lengthy stage career.

Henry again: his Friday night ‘half-hour’ that lasted nearly two...with the uplifting and emotional obituary tape, and an opportunity for me to say a brief, personal, farewell to Dennis Kirkland. Thanks H.

And most of all, the sheer joy of being with a load of friends, both old and new, and sharing our healthy, affectionate obsession with the best in television and film. The hilarious Mother of All Quizzes, enthused chats into the wee small hours (how I managed to be on stage at 10am on Saturday morning after not getting to bed until 5am I’ll never know) and the never-ending (until the bar shut) joint pleasure of beer and pals...and then just water and pals after the bar shut. So, aside from the organisers, many thanks to Al, Steph, Mike, Dick, Mad Max, Rob F, Mark and the gang for the pleasure of your company. It was a blast. And I, for one, can’t wait to do it all again in 2008!

Robert Ross


Page Last Updated Wednesday, November 01, 2006 at 17:38:49