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Picture inside the BBC green room
Twitter and Radio 4

Posted on 17 September 2010, 5:23

Above: the Green Room at BBC Radio 4 this afternoon.

An interesting day of new meets old media. The Pope landed in Edinburgh at 10.30am for the start of his state visit to Britain, and while the plane was still in the air I thought I’d tweet his arrival for the Ship of Fools feed. I’ve done this a couple of times now: posted a fast-running Twitter commentary as events unfold – but you have to be light on your feet to think up the jokes in time, and willing to risk looking stupid when some of them fall flat.

In all, I posted 19 tweets, taking us from the Pope’s plane landing, to him meeting the Queen, and then on to lunch via a Popemobile dash through the packed streets of Edinburgh. The most successful were (these all got 10+ retweets)...

shipoffoolscom Dove One has touched down in Edinburgh after some tense moments with air traffic control, who do not speak Latin.

shipoffoolscom The Pope is meeting the lovely old Queen. Which must happen to him every 5 mins in the corridors of the Vatican.

shipoffoolscom Queen to Pope: ‘And what do you do?’

shipoffoolscom Archbishop Rowan says through spokesman that he would have had a haircut and beard trim, but only does it for special occasions.

shipoffoolscom Papal lunch menu: Aperitif: Bloody Mary. Starter: Eggs Benedict/Ratzatouille. Main: Stake (rare nowadays) with Newman potatoes.

In the middle of all that intensity, I got a call from PM on Radio 4 (their late afternoon show) inviting me to go in and talk about the Ship of Fools papal tat. In the taxi on the way to the Beeb, I thought up a nice comedy scenario where the Pope jumps into the mosh pit at one of his masses to ‘get with the faithful’. I didn’t think I’d get a chance to use it, but Carolyn Quinn (interviewing) gave me the perfect in just before the end of the piece, and I took it with both hands.

PM interview – listen to it here.

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