My book, Silly Beggar: The World’s Stupidest Begging Letters, was featured on Monday’s edition of magazine show The Hour on Scottish Television. The item was the first in a series about blagging freebies. Throughout the week different approaches to acquiring items for free will be reviewed, with my light-hearted comedy approach up first. Other methods they will look at include the Freecycle project and a group called the Freegans who live on things that the every day folks leave behind (wait - isn’t that the Wombles?).
The item was introduced by two very well-known Scottish presenters: Stephen Jardine and Dorothy Paul. My interview is with presenter Vicky Lee, who visited my home to see some of the goodies I received. We discussed the book and I read a brief excerpt (although all the jokes were mostly cut out!). Even the blog you are reading right now was featured.
One viewer very kindly put my interview on YouTube, so please enjoy the link below:
I spent a very pleasant afternoon on Saturday at Borders Books in the Glasgow Fort retail park, just outside of Glasgow city centre. I had been invited to sign copies of Silly Beggar for customers and to talk to them about the book.
I was very well looked after by the friendly staff and given a good position at the front of the store to catch customers as soon as they walked in. They had also put up a nice big display of the book, with posters, elsewhere in the store, advertising my appearance.
Several customers had heard of our book thanks to the publicity it received last month in the national papers, the Chris Evans show and one customer commented that she had thorougly enjoyed my Richard and Judy interview!
All in all, a great event in a great store. It looked like the staff enjoyed their work and the store really does have a fantastic atmosphere. I was invited back in the run up to Christmas and I plan on taking them up on the offer.
It thrilled me to my very socks to discover an article about Silly Beggar in the Weekly News this week.
For those unfamiliar with the work of the Weekly News, it describes itself as a newspaper that thinks it’s a magazine! Packed with real-life dramas, celebrity interviews, an in-depth guide to the latest TV shows and films, up-to-the-minute medical news, puzzles, prize competitions, cartoons, gardening, short stories, The Royal Week, top sports coverage and much, much more.
The Weekly News article talks of my love of tea, buttering up companies, and reveals how the book has several ‘running gags’ throughout, which any one of the companies would not have been party to.
There’s also a picture of me, from the book, holding a magnifying glass to the ‘Slimfast’ logo on my shirt. Unfortunately, the newsprint doesn’t really show the logo very well and it looks more like, for reasons not apparent, I’m magnifying my nipple. Oh well, whatever helps sell the book!
As a Scotsman, I can’t help but get a thrill whenever I have the opportunity to promote the book to a Scottish audience. Therefore it gave me enormous pleasure to be interviewed on Clyde 2 this morning by the popular DJ Mike Riddoch.
This interview was quite different to many I have given recently because Mike, who had clearly read and enjoyed the book, picked his favourite emails to discuss rather than the usual companies I find myself frequently asked about. So, unusually, we discussed Angel the cat, my wife Tiffany, Felix cat treats, BT Yahoo and I found myself reading the Tetley poem to the listeners. It was a really good fun interview.
It was also great to be able to promote the book on a Glasgow radio station one week before the signing at Borders, Glasgow Fort (27 June 12 noon). I was able to plug the signing during the interview and Mike even asked me to repeat the details at the end. It was a thoroughly enjoyable discussion of the book and I look forward to meeting the good people of Glasgow on the 27th at Borders, Glasgow Fort.
FM 104, Dublin’s Hit Music Station, arranged a phone-in interview with me this morning to discuss the book. I spoke with presenters Jim and Niamh about the book, some of the wackiest blagging techniques within its pages, and the freebies I got my hands on.
Niamh revealed that she had once written to a chocolate company in her youth and received lots of free chocolate. I like her style! They asked me about the impact of the book since its release and we discussed whether it could start a blagging trend!
This was a great fun interview. From what I heard of the rest of the show it sounds like a lot of fun.
The signing tour continued on Saturday, 30th of May, with a visit to Waterstone’s in my home town of Dunfermline, Scotland.
This event was a lot of fun as many of my friends and family turned up, including some friends I hadn’t seen in years! In addition to people I knew, I got the chance to talk to a lot of new faces about the book and my experiences since its release.
Waterstone’s did a great job promoting the event, having set up a table at the very front of the store. In other words, nobody could browse their extensive range of books without getting past me first! One staff member had even put their artistic skills to use, having drawn a really snazzy penguin on their promotional whiteboard to bring in passers-by and penguin-watchers!
No penguins were harmed during the event, but a small town in Fife will never be quite the same again.
It really was a fantastic event and I enjoyed catching up with old friends and sharing the book with new ones.
Missed the gig? The video below captures some of the highlights:
For the second time, I found myself at the impressive BBC Glasgow office. This time I had been invited to talk to Becky Want for Radio Manchester.
We discussed blagging and the book and I gave another reading of the Hovis poem. I wonder how many loafs of bread have been sold thanks to my book promotion campaign?
The interview was good fun although I was described as a Silly Billy and accused of being mean! I was even asked if I ever paid for my round at the pub. I explained that I did indeed buy a round, although I conceded that it only happened at gunpoint!
It was all in good fun, and I enjoyed talking to the good people of Manchester.
For the second time in two weeks, I found myself in the Dunfermline Press. This time, however, rather than being interviewed specifically about the book, I was asked a number of quick questions for their ‘On the Spot’ feature. I spoke once again to top journalist Matt Meade and I rattled off answers to his questions, including:
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Something to reflect on
Who would you most like to invite over to dinner? Cookie Monster. Though I suppose I wouldn’t end up with many cookies
What would you do if you won the lottery? Buy a million lottery tickets as you never know when your numbers will come up
The article also highlights the book signing on Saturday at Waterstone’s Dunfermline 12 noon to 1pm.
Silly Beggar made it’s first television appearance this evening on the Richard and Judy Show.
Last week, after the Daily Mirror article came out, I was contacted by the producers of the show asking if they could fly me down to London to be interviewed. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
The format of the show is such that it has a main studio where Richard and Judy interview the big name guests, and a second studio known as the ‘Star Bar’ where a guest comedian interviews the other guests. In tonight’s show, legendary comic Rowland Rivron interviews yours truly.
It was great fun to record the show and an experience I will remember for a long time. Richard and Judy even gave me some expensive toiletries by way of thanks for appearing on the show. I do love a freebie.
The good news is, a reader who follows me on Twitter had the technical know-how to put the interview up on YouTube, so I will provide the link below. Enjoy!