First the good news from London – it looks like All In The Mind
might be made into a film. So if you didn’t get the hardback, get out and buy
the newly released paperback now to see why Hollywood (oh ok, a very good UK
film company) is interested.
But now the bad news from Paris – I’ve been ousted from a prime-time
radio slot by the President of France.
It was all going so well. Off the Eurostar, straight to France Inter and Le
Fou du Roi, an only-in-France type radio show with a big studio audience, a
seemingly random selection of comedians and commentators, and me sandwiched
between an African band and a rapper. But the presenter and main reviewer had
read the book, (Tout est dans la Tete) liked it and said as much. So happy author set off with happy
publicist for several hours of back to back paper and magazine interviews.
Again, they’d all read the book and said they liked it. This was going too
well. I found myself believing my own line that the UK media was too harsh, the
French media too soft and a happy medium would be found somewhere between the
With my French holding up ok, off to meet another paeon of praise and
presenter-holding-the-book-to-camera-pluggery on Le Grand Journal on Canal
Plus, the moment only marginally spoiled by them showing the title shots of the
porn films watched by Jacqui Smith’s husband. They so could not understand the
fuss, but the studio audience were squirming a bit. Then a late night TV chat
with a livewire called Karl Zero, who I had been told was the Michael Moore of
France. But he kept holding the book up to the camera too, said he couldn’t
believe I had written such a sensitive novel and why didn’t we have people like
you in French politics? — I love these French guys. I was by now mellow enough
even to join in his pisstake of Tony Blair’s video-message of congratulations
to Nicolas Sarkozy when he became President.
So then back to the hotel for a few hours sleep before the big one this
morning – Jean Pierre Elkabbach’s breakfast slot on Radio Europe 1. This has
been in every itinerary I’ve seen as this book launch has been planned. But
suddenly the happy publicist is not looking so happy.
‘We’ve been bounced,’ she announces.
‘The President,’ she says. ‘He has summoned them to the Elysee to do a talk on
My God, I knew I was doing well, and Brits doing well in Paris
are not likely to stay flavour of the month for long. But do I deserve this? I
mean, he only has a a French position on global regulation to defend, a
relationship with a new US President to develop, and a world economy to save? I
have a book to promote for heaven’s sake.
I’ll forgive him this once. But someone better tell him to get into that G20
Summitland sharpish. This town ain’t big enough …