Except it wasn’t, not for me. I was never a part of it. What surprises me is that I’ve never met any of the lucky ones, the chosen few. After decades of never quite being reconciled with this disappointment, I think I’ve worked out why Jim’ll never fixed it for me.
It struck me that back in the day, in the 70’s and even the 90’s, most of those little cherubs blessed by the God of Prosaic Wishful-Thinkers were probably the kids or the mates of kids of Producers. Nowadays of course, this would never be allowed. No one who’d ever met a BBC employee would be bestowed such gifts from the Benfactor of the Boring.
But check out this little darling … no Producer’s son is he:
Then I realised, it wasn’t my fault that my letter wasn’t picked, it wasn’t because I was outside the circle of nepotism … it was all my Mother’s fault. Exhibit A, imagine the laugh they had in the Jim’ll office when they received my ridiculous request:
Please can you fix it for me to go to China to meet a panda, and if possible hold a baby panda.
Thanks in advance,
Janine (age 10)
Oh, Janine (age 10), a baby panda?
But how could I be blamed – where was the voice of reason, the person who instead of telling me to follow my dreams would tell me to limit my expectations of the world? I should have asked to eat a burger on a roller coaster. Well, not that, I never liked heights.
If I’d had one of those pushy stage-mums, there would have been a campaign – I’d have been writing a letter a week, asking to meet UK-based television and recording artists who had something to promote, I could’ve picked another BBC TV show to star in, like the kids who got on Doctor Who and the Antiques roadshow. Something local maybe.
It’s this kind of sloppy parenting that leads to a world of hurt, a universe of regret. Yes, I did blame Jim’ll. I wanted to hold the shiny, square medallion and have my long, blond hair caught in the velcro on the satin strap, like so many other girls, the lucky ones, the chosen few. And why were they chosen? As a reward, for aiming low and having parents who supported them in their drive to mediocrity.
Sorry, Jim’ll, it was not your fault. Rest easy, Prince of Low Expectation.