The world of daytime TV is an odd and quite frankly scary place. It is peopled by folks with harrowing yet life-affirming tales of battling hardship (“I ate my own leg to survive eight weeks trapped in a disused mineshaft”), scary individuals with questionable family ties (“Yeah she is me ‘alf-sister but she’s also me fiance, innit!”), chefs who can conjure a slap-up meal from sheep hooves and a bottle of vodka (“Et voila! I call it From Russia with Lamb!”) , and celebrities that you would probably only recognise if you were off work sick, gainfully unemployed or long enough in the tooth to hang on whether or not the challengers will beat the know-it-all Eggheads this time.
The Alan Titchmarsh Show on October 6th was all about knitting. Hence calling on the so-called ‘Banksies of knitting’ (according to Alan’s pre-amble) myself and the good Perri. And they didn’t just want us.
Oh no, they wanted the knits too. Cue me remaking our fabled Phonebox Cosy in the 48 hours preceeding.
The Cosy was a nightmare of knits, having been pulled from the Parliament Square Phone Box where it first saw the light of day, in rather a hurry. Several bits had gone walkies and some were just too saggy to be used. So I remade the whole thing, and this time I backed it all with material so it would fit nicely.
Of course there are two kinds of phone boxes in life. A normal sized phone box. And an extra large one that ITV has made special for Olly Murs…
No one on the Titchmarsh team suspected that a cosy, made specifically to fit on a normal phone box, might not fit on the giant TV one? No? Sigh.
Perri and I went to work remaking the woolly wonder to fit the beast.
Much to my relief we managed to stretch, fold and sew the new Phone Box Cosy in place over the gargantuan phone box.
I got the feeling that Plarchie, the giant knitted squid, had a little bit of stage fright.
But after a bit of a talking to I calmed him down and he began to give it some vogue. That squid sure does know how to work a camera when he wants to.
And of course no TV appearance in complete without a flock of knitted pigeons and a whole load of Stitch London book knits. It occurred to me at this point that I really don’t tend to knit in muted colours, do I?
Time for rehearsals. Plarchie got to hang out on stage while the rest of the guests took their turns. Here he is overshadowing the chick who is currently playing Dorothy in the West End’s Wizard of Oz at her rehearsal. I began to worry about his ego.
Back to the Green Room where…
Lights! Camera! Alan! It was time…
And just like that we were done. Phew! Our three minutes of knitting fame were over. It took one quick advert break to take everything down and get it off the set. Quick!
The giant Phone Box was rolled out all ready for us to de-cosy. It appeared rather dishevelled in the rush the poor thing. Who knows where it will end up next.
So there you have it. Knits on Titchmarsh. Who’d have thunk it? It’s almost like knitting is making some kind of unprecedented comeback, isn’t it?