Thursday, 21 October 2010

TAM London Blog: No. 7 - Some Scary S**t

(1.40 pm, 16th October, TAM venue, Edgeware Road, London )

As has been mentioned previously, I was at TAM London because the organiser and all round wonderful human being Tracy King decided to take my sarcastic request for a press pass at face value and granted me one. She said I'd caught her in a good mood. I worry that this good mood was one of the extreme chemically-facilitated judgement-impairing sort, but I kept my mouth shut about that.

But as a member of the 'press', I was given several perks, outside of the fact that I get allowed in without paying. But I didn't take advantage of these perks, I was already feeling massively guilty about wasting everyone's time as it was. I sincerely doubt anyone's even reading this right now.

But as a member of the 'press', we had reserved seats in the front. I ignored these, I feel you need to be in amongst the people to get a real impression of how things are going at an event like this. But then I'm not a proper press person, so I would say that wouldn't I?

The press were also granted the opportunity to go to a press conference with James Randi himself at 1pm. I went and had lunch instead. I'd missed the earlier opportunity to eat as I was talking with Simon Singh, who is well important and brilliant and actively suggested we meet up so that's nice. It meant I didn't get to eat, and I was hungry. People seemed shocked that I'd consider passing up the opportunity to meet the great man himself, but I was ravenous. And besides 'are you a gnome?', what would I ask him?

Anyway, that happened. Back to the people saying stuff.

First talk after lunch wasn't a talk per-se, but a bit of a chat between Richard Wiseman and Andy Nyman. Say those two names together, it sounds like some sort of mystery-solving duo. This isn't too far from the truth really. The problem with this talk for me was the fact that I wasn't really familiar with Andy Nyman's work. The name was ringing a bell, so to speak, but when someone is introduced and treated like a big star then this is a bit confusing when you're as clueless as I was.

Turns out Nyman is sort of like the Buzz Aldrin to Derren Brown's Neil Armstrong, being his writing partner in his various big screen outings. He's also responsible, with Jeremy Dyson, for creating the show Ghost Stories, which is brilliant and terrifying by all accounts.

Then it was pointed out where I knew him from; he was the evil producer Patrick in Charlie Brooker's Big Brother based zombie horror Dead Set. You'd think this would help me appreciate the conversation and anecdotes, but in fact it made it worse. If you haven't seen Dead Set (it's very good if you like that sort of thing), at one point Nyman's character defecates explosively into a bin. That's not an image that's easy to forget, and it kept coming back to me throughout the interview.

"So, how did you first come up with the idea for Ghost Stories?" "Well, I he shit in a bin he shit in a bin he shit in a bin he shit in a bin he shit in a bin and then Dyson suggested that he shit in a bin he shit in a bin he shit in a bin he shit in a bin it turns out Liverpool is full of Catholics he shit in a bin he shit in a bin he shit in a bin he shit in a bin he shit in a bin and thank you all for coming".

Andy Nyman, clearly a very talented, intelligent and charismatic man. Who once shit in a bin.

Email: Humourology (at)

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