02 June 2004

I've just had to deal with the worst case of performance anxiety. And not in any kind of situation you would expect it.

Things are always much more complicated when you've got an audience. Removing clothes and getting into bed is usually the most simple thing in the world. When you have an audience you always manage to get tied up and stuck in your jumper (though perhaps an investment in suitable sex toys might help to save the jumpers from becoming so mis-shapen), or trip over your jeans. And don't get me started on the etiquette of discarding underwear.

Stepping away from the gutter, a sentence like "I was responsible for dealing with press enquiries" can flow freely from the mouth if your talking to a mate. Put yourself in a job interview situation when you've got a panel of four listening intently to every word you have to say; and suddenly it's like trying to say "I am not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's mate. I am only plucking pheasants, Because the pheasant plucker's late."

I've just come home, and as I was about to enter the house, a crowd of neighbourhood kids gathered by our gate, to watch how the lady in the wheelchair gets in her front door.

Getting in my front door... not usually a problem. Give me an audience and suddenly my rucksack gets caught in my wheel, I run over my own foot and it's just a debacle.

It's that time of year when disabled people everywhere are saying "Why didn't they put a disabled person in the Big Brother house?" and it does seem slightly odd to me... after all, if me entering my front door can attract a crowd, can you just imagine the viewing figures? And voyeurs won't have to worry about the social shame of staring as they'll be safely concealed in their own living rooms.

"How does she get into bed?" "Will she wear a swimming costume so we can see how deformed her legs are?" "Does she need help getting into the shower? If so, will this be the scene for some hot lesbian action?" "Can disabled people have sex anyway?"

Most importantly of all, viewers could ascertain the answer to the question that has troubled non-crips since time began... "Does she take sugar?"

Endemol producers... take note.

(I'm sorry, 'Endemol' just doesn't work as a TV production company. It sounds like something that should be prescribed for tonsillitis at best, or more realistically some kind of procedure... "turn over Lisa dear, time for your Endemol." The name just gives me nightmares involving Hattie Jacques standing over me with a daffodil.)

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