Saturday, 19 May 2012

Looking back at a bit of work – but there’s always HAY on WYE

Apparently ‘they’ are commissioning sitcoms – clearly not mine – so to comfort myself I was pleased to travel up to the all new ‘Media City’ in Manchester to be an actress for three days in a BBC Radio play called ‘Higher’.

 What is the new BBC building like? Well, the same joke was offered by quite a few local user groups – it goes like this “Welcome to Stanstead”

The repetition made me feel that the actors might be suggesting the new building simulated an airport? But I couldn’t be sure. Certainly lime green chairs in the coffee bar area would not be out of place near an aircraft holding bay. I bumped into a nice welsh man – Alex Winters - who does Cbeebies and he told me there had been a piece of art set in the reception for a few weeks - but it had gone. Shame. I like a bit of art in an empty space. Because then you can say the space is there to set off the art - without the art the space is... well just very spacious in a pure sort of way. Pure except for the Pyrex barriers that garrotte you if you forget your BBC pass and sometimes if you don’t.

 3 days of radio acting without line learning is my idea of bliss. I stayed in the hotel next door – the ‘Holiday Inn cum Groucho Club to host visiting guests on BBC Breakfast TV’ – Jon Cooper Clark joined my seating group and we made merry. He has a very wide vocabulary and I told him so.

 Friday was spent in Cardiff visiting a heritage site. My Cadw guide had emailed ahead to suggest the wearing of sensible foot wear. I must have been boiling the kettle at that bit- as I appeared to be wearing my best stage wedge suede black ones. Found myself gamely walking over a deeply muddy field of bullocks and clambering over several complex built styles to get to a lovely castle with a man I’d only just met. Luckily I’m trained - I can change in lavatories, sing (badly) without any sheet music and deal with silences
Me outside Old Beaupre Castle, not far from Cowbridge
I am getting very excited about appearing at The Hay Festival and the How the Light Gets In Festival.

My first turn is where I will join a discussion about this: ‘In an age of self publishing and writers' workshops, the idea that we all have a novel inside of us has become commonplace. But how essential is writing to individuality? Has the internet facilitated one of our most deep-rooted desires, or has it opened up the false hope of a readership, a performance without meaning?’ Wowsa!
Six Billion Authors in Seach of an Audience Thursday 7th June, 2.30pm, Globe Hall.
Caroline Smailes, Helen Lederer, Ewan Morrison, Scott Pack. Gabriel Gbadamosi chairs. Here's the event website:
As long as I get to moan about agents, the media, and innuendo on panel games - I’m sure I’ll get a biscuit after.
The 2nd appearance is at the OTHER Hay Festival next door - talking about ‘Finger Food’ my book for ‘Quick Reads’ to Kathryn Gray

Helen Lederer talks to Kathryn Gray,  Saturday 9 June 2012, 9am • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
'The comedian, author of Coping with Helen Lederer and Single Minding discusses her new Quick Reads story - A Comedy of Ambition, Dreams, Treachery and Daytime Television'

Event Website:

Then I get to hang about for three whole days – anyone know of any Hay on Wye –ish parties ? If so I will collect the boots back from the cleaners to bring with and network like crazy.

Monday, 14 May 2012


this is  unusual  - it's on Channel 5,  Tuesday at 8pm - the programme invited me to take part and so I did -but filming it was quite hard - and then after a time, just as the big brother contestants  will tell  you,  I  really did forget the camera was there - I had a lot of gin in the evenings though - and what's  more I found me a cousin !   anyway I wrote this which explains it

normal jocular service of wry veering on bitter sweet observations of the shallow world of showbiz to be resumed I hope...

See Helen Lederer in War Hero in my Family,
Channel 5, Tuesday 15th May, 8pm

'Helen not only found  her grandfather  to have been a hero she found a cousin who survived  Auschwitz and is reunited with him.'