When I got the phone call from Dan, the second assistant producer, I thought it was one of those 0800-BEEFCAKE chatlines.
'Do you like dressing up?' he said in his hip-hop-cockney slur, 'I mean, do you like dressing up animals?'.
'Depends?' I said. And then quickly followed it with, 'is this a trick?'.
Doh! I've told myself that I must never say that on the phone. Because then the person on the phone always says no but they don't really mean no because they know that I know that we know… well, anyway.
'Ha! I jacked you' said slangy Dan. This sounded even grubbier now.
'No, listen, right, I was wondering if you wanted to do the music and help out on a show I'm producing?'.
'Depends' I said. (Made sure I didn't say 'is this trick').
'It's gonna be 'nang' – it's going straight to cable! Do you wanna hear my pitch?'.
'Ok?' I said slightly slurring, trying to be vaguely hip and not at all gullible.
'Listen, listen… First take some cats; then some clothes; add some celebs – whattayergot?
"Celebrity Cats in Clothes"! Eight out of ten people prefer it!… Whadyerthink?'.
'Delightful, er, I mean "fresh". How do you see the theme tune?'.
'Sort of soft and fluffy with a hint of menace. Sort of Neighbours meets Jaws. Anyways we'll get to that later. We've got all sorts of stars lined up: Graham Norton's cat dressed up as Napoleon; Brian May from Queen, his cat is going to re-enact a scene from West Side Story and then we've got couple of rejects from The X Factor – we thought their cats could dress as the cast of Glee? They'll do anything we tell 'em… Then, the money shot, we've got the surviving members of the 1966 World Cup bringing in their cats to see if the ball really did go over the line… It's got the lot: education, history, sewing…' he sort of trailed off wistfully, drinking in the magnitude of his creation.
When I finally got his intention, 'I'll do it' I said, 'When do I start?'.
'Tomorrow. And bring your sewing machine. Must go, where there's fluff – there's money. Bye'. Click.
'But… but… it's not a trick, is it?'.