What's new with Janey
14 December 2005

Near Death in Soho

I have had such fun in London so far, had good meetings with TV people, and had a great gig last night at Comedy Camp, got to meet up with Jay who is an old mate…and shopping eating and fun.
Yesterday I was at BBC television centre pitching a sketch show and screenplay. I got out at White City and was amazed to find that there is no bar or café local to the station, so people going to BBC for meeting etc…cant have a sit down or anything before they go. There are a few upmarket coffee places across the road and up to the new BBC centre which is not far but hardly near enough, so I thought about ditching the TV idea and buying a bar! Hold on…did that before for 15 years, why do I keep going back to that idea?

Last night coming home (did I just call the luxury apartment home…I wish) from Comedy Camp on the 88 bus through Westminster, Clare Short the politician got on, I stood up to give her my seat and she said “Its not necessary” I smiled and said ‘Listen you are an old burd and I am off at the next stop” she wasn’t that happy, but I was too busy listening to Doobie Brothers on the IPOD to care.

So today after another meeting with lovely telly person about various projects, I made my way to Bar Italia in Frith street, its my favourite coffee house in all of London Town. The whole shop front is covered in scaffolding, the building is being renovated.
After a good hot latte, I stood up and plugged in my earphones so that Steely Dan could carry me through Soho, when debris and lumps of masonry from above came crashing down on my head. It was fucking sore; the café manageress came out and was helpful in dusting me down and checking I wasn’t bleeding. She got the building manager to come to see me…this is where the fun began.

Now any man who wears jogging bottoms and shiny smooth loafers, with a Union Jack Jumper stretched to the limits over the big fat belly and a deep Cockney Accent with a slight lisp has got to be funny when your skull is sore. It was like trying to listen to verbal Sudoku!

He asked me where I was from.
“Glasgow” I replied whilst rubbing my scalp.
“Where about in Glasgow?” he mumbled, “east end” I said.
“Yea, we could be family, I am from Clerkenwell” he said.
I looked at him, wondering where this was going.
“Great” I sniggered “you know mate, where I from means nothing, that building site is unsafe, what are you going to do about it?”
“I know gangster Arthur Thompson” he smiled, as I still waited on the answer to my near skull smashing experience.
“He’s dead; listen mate, my head hurts who owns the building?” I snapped.
“Don’t threaten me” he hissed at me in his twisted strong cockney accent. It was like being harassed by a badly dressed Kray Brother.
“Ok, you need to stop the whole jellied eels, oi oi oi thing and tell me who I am supposed to call about this”
The upshot was he gave me the wrong phone number for Soho Estates who own the building; luckily I have the internet and called them direct.

I then spoke to the poshest man in the whole wide world, he apologised and urged me to go to hospital and reassured me they would do anything possible to help, but in fact they own the property but the sub contractor is responsible for the scaffolding and safety issues. I doubt that very much, ultimately it is the responsibility of the people who hire the people of the safety of the site…but in any case, I am not badly injured and am not suing.

So it is true I am the epicentre of disaster…maybe I will get a free coffee from Bar Italia?_

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