I arrived with just a few minutes to spare and headed straight to make-up. The bright lights a familiar sight to me, the memories of early mornings and fleeting gulps of coffee came flooding back as I crossed the room towards the mirrors. But this time I wasn't leading someone else to the chair: I was to sit in it myself.
Warpaint swiftly applied, (three inches thick to my estimate: I need it), the Green Room beckoned. So many times I'd be the first one in of a morning, making sure the room for the artistes was heated and lit and comfortable. Now it was me relaxing amongst the cushions and being asked if I wanted a coffee. Very odd.
The Floor Manager came in to mic me up and I smiled inwardly as she explained how to fit the wires around the nape of my neck and down to the radio pack hanging on my belt: I know broadcast equipment like the back of my hand - I lived and worked with it for over a decade. When she left, I quickly pored through my notes, trying to ensure I would be able to comment succinctly and with authority. I wasn't sure if I had prepared enough; you can never prepare enough for these things.
Nervously, I went to the loo: I needed a pee, last minute bra adjustments were called for and my lips begged more lipstick with their dryness. Ever the AD, I had checked my watch when I entered the toilets, estimating I had just enough time before being called on. I was wrong: a minute later the Floor Manager darted in and told me it was 'time'. We rushed along the corridor and I resisted the temptation to tell her that I used to do a job just like hers; that I also used to have to run into toilets to grab the "talent"; and that I used to get pissed off when the "talent" would fart-arse around making last-minute phone calls, or having a quick fag, or finishing off their crosswords. With my boss screaming in the walkie-talkie hooked into my ear, 'Where the fuck are they? We are ready to shoot!', I would have to delicately attempt to convince them that they needed to come to set NOW. I'd often get the blame for their being late of course. The "talent" probably never knew that; they certainly rarely apologised for their delays. And here was I, unintentionally pulling the same fucking trick. God, I was embarrassed: I apologised profusely. I'm not sure if the Floor Manager believed me (if she's reading this, I really am sorry).
Approaching the tiny set, I was shocked to see all three cameras were unmanned (or unwomanned) and were set up in stationary positions (wide single, medium single, reverse two-shot) to record the broadcast. There's me, used to the movies with their big special effects scenes and nine film cameras rolling at once, and here I was faced with what I can only assume is standard, for news-based eg. cheap, live-telly. I guess it saves a lot of wages when you cut out the camera operators...
I settled next to one of the cameras and waited for my segment to begin, a few minutes into the show. My legs, already jelly-like from nerves, were now shaking. This only increased throughout the programme: thank god there was a table hiding them. A lot of material was covered in the news piece and it went well, I think, or at least I didn't freeze up, which was a bonus. It was nice, refreshing even, to be talking about non-sexual material and hopefully it was interesting for the people watching it too.
When it was over, I wobbled (legs still shaking) back to the Green Room and chatted to the Producer. As I left I told him, 'You're very daring to have a sexblogger on the show.' And I think he was. Not because it was me - I am no-one special - but because having a sexblogger (and also their blog address) onscreen pre-9:00pm watershed on television is quite courageous, I think. It may only be a small step towards the acceptability of sex-writers in the mainstream media, but a progressive step forwards it is, nevertheless.
In the cab on the way home, my mum phoned. 'You did well,' she said. 'Your dad and I laughed a lot when you cracked that joke about the American State Legislator who was found to have porn on his computer.' Progress indeed.