Slow Motion Pieces of A Man

I cycle from Hackney  to Tottenham Court Road and at 8.40am meet Becky Shaw  who is Southbank centre’s  artist in residence liason. We step in to the extremely comfortable  private club  One Alfred Place.   I am here to read at 9am for the press launch of The Slow Down London campaign. I understand I shall be reading at 9am and have already cut a morning meeting  short (I had one at 8am) to be here for 9am.  At approximately 8.50pm inside the club a tall tanned gentlemen steps over to shake my hand.  It’s the best selling author Carl Honore . 

 I sit outside the press conference and wait for my 9am. An hour later and I am still waiting.  Carl whom earlie  reminded me of to keep to time has gone way over time. Slow Down I tell myself It’s only time.  At  10am towards the end of the press conference I am called – the finale.   I read my poem and leave immediately.  It was part of the plan that I would rush off. But I actually needed to rush off. It’s all strangely perfect.

Within thirty minutes i’m at my office on the riverside  and  receive a flurry of emails
on my iphone from a production company.  My BBC documentary Pieces of A Man has some fantastic previews. It’s pick of the day in The Guardian,   “an excellent
  By 11.30am I am in the southbank centre listening to the show go out to the nation and across the world. I’m listening with head of Contemporary Arts at Southbank
centre Gillain Moore.

(It must be the radio because the sound quality of Gil Scott Heron’s voice  is terrible,  as if the interview was in a toilet. I shall listen to it on different speakers later.)  

Later on and  after a good meeting with Gillian  my very good friend  the artist  Whitney
  provides an honourable gift of one of her paintings, one of her headz series . I am so proud to hold one of her pieces in my office at The Southbank.  I begin the search for a framer to mount this beautiful piece of work You can see it here.   Tomorrow Whitney will be  at the  press launch of Saatchi Online.

At 3pm I do a phone interview with The Manchester Evening News. Some ten or so years ago  I wrote an eight hundred word  weekly column for them which  is a fine record and  reminder of my time there.  The Manchester Evening News is an historically vital newspaper in britain it is the birthplace of The Guardian which in its earliest form was called The Manchester Guardian.

It’s an intense working day but the weather is beautiful and the southbank is shining. The
London evening Standard
 is out today and features myself and Vannesa Feltz as ambassadors for The Antony Gormley 4th Plinth in Trafalgar square.   I bike home
and stop off  for a coffee at La Bouche on broadway market.  At 7pm I see Carl
Honore on BBC TV helping Londoners to slow down in a short snappy witty erudite
and perfectly timed authored piece to camera. Nice.


3 thoughts on “Slow Motion Pieces of A Man

  1. 'Pieces of a Man' is an excellent programme…though I'd have liked it twice the length (if you ever get a chance to make a cd special edition with outtakes I'd probably like that too). GSH is one of the most talented writers and performers ever, ever, EVER so the more people who hear him the better. To be so funny and so serious and fascinating, to sing like that too…sheer bliss listening to him! Already a few new converts via my place via your programme.
    I'd never heard of the Carl Honore guy but looked at his site and his attitude to parenting sounds fairly commonsensey. Of course some people will never take to it…they want to be rushing their children to failure and misery! Still, it's always worth a try…

  2. Just caught the GSH doc on iplayer before it disappears into the BBC ether… excellent… like the above I would love to hear the full unedited Gil interview, its grand to hear him in fine voice and signed to Xl, even better.
    five years ago I wrote a Gil; life and works dissertation for university in Leeds (ive got at least thirty thousand words in the lock up, records, books and all… a book in celebration one day hopefully!!!) so attached i am to him it was great to hear him lauded, mega to hear him in good health.
    inspiring stuff, cheers Lemn

  3. Fantastic Lemn. It's the programme that those of us who love the man and his music have wanted and needed for ages. His eloquence and insight are as important as ever. I saw Gil 3 times during the 80's and his influence has been with me ever since. Let's get him over here again doing what he does best. We need him and you Lemn

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