This, of course, makes one famous and requires that one is referred to as “your highness” or “yes, shut up about it now”. In short, one is now far too famous for the frivolous activities of the mortal world and will endeavour to reach a higher plane of existence by, say, the middle of next week.
And yet somehow here we still are. I should probably start from the beginning.
Travel back with me, if you will, to the sunny day in April when the van went from yellow to green. That day there was a fair truck load of things going on, but somewhere in the middle of that BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Radio wanted to speak to someone about barbecues. The timing was perfect, as we were in the middle of launching a business and they were in the middle of what subsequently became the entirety of the British summer. So Barny had a chat, live on air, about meat. Nobody was hurt, and much to my infinite delight I even received one hit to the blog on the exact subject matter.
Peace and love reigned for a while, and then the BBC called again. Once more, BBQ advice was sought. Once more Barny stepped up and gave the county the alfresco catering advice it so urgently needed. He even managed to slip the Jabberwocky in somewhere, which resulted in one additional blog hit.
These had both been telephone interviews, as was the next one after that. Last week, however, they invited him into the studio to taste the hottest commercially available chilli in the country. Barny is one of those fiendish people who will gleefully add enough spices to make your brain water and then argue that it really isn’t that hot. He then often turns out to be right. Either that or the dish he has created in 5 minutes flat (whilst still managing to use every available utensil) is so painfully tasty you just can’t help but eat it. At any rate, eating Bhut Jolokia, ranked just below law-enforcement grade pepper spray on the Scovile Scale, appeared to be his idea of fun.
So he pottered down to Coventry and found the studio (which is coincidentally right next to the gas safe place. I know! Small World…). After a quick briefing they were on air and chatting about chillies, with Barny being a pro (in my humbly biased opinion). The chilli itself, by all accounts, was actually not that bad. I had expected, perhaps a little meanly, that he would fill me in on the horrific agony he managed to cover up live on air but no, he even had time to ponder tasting notes (surprisingly sweet, almost fruity, with a fiery chilli heat that catches you off guard) and munch on the seeds. Molly the host was unashamed by her disappointment that there was not a lot more suffering going on, but described Barny as the toughest man in the world, so all is forgiven and hopefully he will be invited back for more.
The reality, if I can clamber down from my ethereal pedestal for long enough, is that we are probably not going to become overnight legends after being on the radio a few times. On the other hand, there is a small chance that perhaps my two radio readers still drop by for the occasional browse today, and might even remember us if they see the van out and about. I think we will therefore chalk the experience down as a wholehearted success, and begin making shelves for “famous people off-of the radio” trophies immediately.