No, I’m not talking about the Christmas holidays. I’m talking about two major dates for an Irish Anglophile: St. Patrick’s Day and Red Nose Day.
Since I had the migraine from hell most of the week (it’s my body’s way of reminding me who’s in charge and why I should take care of it, the fucker), I wasn’t quite in the full Go Green spirit for St. Patrick’s Day. However, it was going to take more than crushing pain with a side of nausea to keep me from having a good time. I spent the evening with some of the most awesome co-worker/friend/theatre peeps in the world. After a little pre-gaming at my place (complete with my iPod playing a goodly amount of my traditional [read: beautiful yet depressing] Irish tunes, we all jammed ourselves into a tiny Toyota and drove a mere six blocks to a local Irish pub. Though they’d added a tent out back to make up for the teensy-ness of the place, the holiday + lack of cover charge = actual line outside the bar. A five minute wait time became fifteen with only two of the five people in front of us being let in, so we skipped our way down another two blocks to a favored watering hole where the $5 cover which previously hindered our desire to go there quickly turned into a blessing as we were able to obtain a table, down some car bombs, get some grub, watch some great Irish dancers and cut a few jigs ourselves. All in all a very good night, with everyone satisfactorily tipsy and on the way home by 10pm.
Red Nose Day is reason #7,862 on the list of Why I Live in the Wrong Country. It’s also very high on the list of programming I wish BBCAmerica would offer in the states. It may be a Brit-run fundraiser, but who says giving money to Africa through England is in any way less needed than giving it through the US? The Brits actually care enough to have a marathon (plus weeks of pre-shows) of original programming built solely around the purpose of raising funds for charity. Remember how the US had Comic Relief? Only available on premium channels and mostly live sketches by comics for one evening? Yeah, the Brits do it so much better (as per usual). There’s dance and song competitions leading to the big day, there’s fundraising via web, TV, twitter, etc. There’s a long telethon hosted by great celebs, and a slew of original skits produced just for the event – including new Doctor Who and a brilliant parody of Downton Abbey (it's hard not to crack up at Simon Callow as Julian Fellows). Sure, you can download some of these gems on iTunes or look them up on YouTube, but it's not the same.
I’m not sure how to go about it, but I really want to put a bug up someone’s butt in the upper management world of BBCA to get them to broadcast Red Nose Day, and Pudsey Day, in the US. I’d be happy to cough up a few quid to aid Africa if it means I get to see wacky Who and Merlin skits and seen Davina McCall, with her enigmatic bottom, macking on gay AND straight blokes…