our months ago I was filing my weekly column from the 17th floor of a Manchester hotel, looking down on a city in lockdown and being handed an airline-style breakfast from reception rather than hogging the usual buffet.
I was up in the city filming a 20-part TV series for Channel 4, a glorious break from sitting at home trying to write and fretting about ever setting foot on a stage again. The stand-up show I was supposed to be touring had obviously been postponed, taking with it the majority of my annual income, so getting some telly work meant a great deal to me – financially, professionally and emotionally.
I am a show-off by nature and there I was at the age of 60 in the middle of a pandemic being handed my first very own TV presenting gig. I couldn’t have been more grateful. In the past I’ve struggled to find my TV niche: I’ve dabbled with disastrous sitcoms, managed two series of my own chat show back in the Nineties on Channel 5 (no, I can’t remember it either) and came tantalisingly close to nabbing the Bake Off gig when Sandi Toksvig left in 2019. I feel I’ve waited a long time for Drawers Off – the “life drawing with a twist” TV show.