I now realise I must have a knack for picking up on trends, but why did no one tell me how difficult it is to train a new dog?
Back when I presented a lot of television programmes, some people were unkind enough to characterise me as a bit of an Alan Partridge figure. This was hurtful, not least because they had a point. I remember the moment I realised this. I was filming a series of quiz shows called, if memory serves, Perfect Strangers. I was perfectly rubbish at it, which is why it ended up being shown in the not very coveted 3.15pm slot on BBC Two. At the end of a very short run, it limped off into the oblivion of failed TV projects.
We recorded several shows a day, at breakneck speed. At the end of each one, I would rush to my dressing room, where a nice Australian woman called Paula would have my next outfit ready. While I stood there reading my notes, she would remove my trousers and shoes, and put new ones on. On one occasion I found myself glaring at her because she had seen fit to take a phone call before she had tied my shoelaces. I was astonished to realise I was annoyed at being left to tie my own laces.