Title: Mummified Cat

acast Time: 1:07:10
Youtube Time: 1:05:56

Original Record Date: Unknown
acast Publication Date: July 8, 2020
Youtube Publication Date: July 8, 2020

Please Welcome a Man
Who thought he was playing the O2.

Acronym Modification
Richard Herring’s Let’s Sell Telephones Podcast

Cool Kids
I was hanging out with Ian Oxygen the other day. He’s the guy who invented the O2 network.

Guest Best Known
For being thanked in the credits of Tim Timinee Tim Timinee Tim Tim To You.


Better or Worse than Last Week: N/A
Like or Unlike Wikipedia: N/A

Member Member Note

Emergency Questions

Over the last few months, I’ve watched every episode of How I Met Your Mother. What is the most degrading thing you’ve done to yourself for no apparent reason?

I had to have a meeting once – actually, it was when they were trying to get We the Jury made in America – they sent me around, like, to meet loads of writers so that I could choose a writing team that I wanted to be involved with. And one of them was from How I Met Your Mother. And I had to go in the meeting and talk about, uh, how impressed I was with How I Met Your Mother, which I wasn’t. A lot of episodes and, from what I understand, the pay-off at the end is absolutely ridiculous. *RH asks whether JA has performed degrading or humiliating acts.* Well, I mean, I could write a book about them. And they were mostly unnecessary, as well. Like a lot of… I often think that, in general – I think about it a lot the last couple of years, especially last year I toured the whole year. And I just thought, Why have I done this to myself? And put myself in this position where I’m on stage all the time and I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I don’t like people looking at me. I don’t like all the attention being on stage. I feel stupid. I feel like the show I’m doing is shit. And I think that since being a kid I’ve just relentless done that like, you know, like, plays in he living room for parents. I’m going to devote my whole day to this thing that never works out.  never put the play on and they go, “That was amazing.” They’ll always be like, “Okay. Seems alright.” And like, you know, I did one once where it was just me and my friends dancing to Cotton Eye Joe. And putting that on. And us pretending to be Rednex, the band Rednex.  But not, you know, anyone listening who doesn’t know. I don’t want them thinking we were pretending to be rednecks. *RH points out that the members of Rednex were pretending to be rednecks.* Yeah, to be fair. And what a risk. They were lucky that song was that good. Like, what a catchy song that everyone just forgets that they called themselves Rednex. And they are all white. So it’s like, it’s a real gamble. If a band came out now and did that, we would all be absolutely appalled. I wouldn’t even listen to the song. But I was six, so whatever. So  was like, This is my jam, I love it. Don’t understand what the name means. I had more questions about the song title than I did the band name.

Is there an author who you would have liked to have heard read their own books on an audiobook from the past, before this technology existed?

Well, I’ll not say the Bible, because I think that would be… No matter what anyone’s answer is, if you the offered them the Bible by the people who wrote it, then actually yes, I would like to hear that instead. *RH comments that God arguably wrote it, so he’d have to read it and see all the contradictions and errors.* Oh no, that sounds homophobic. Can we go ahead? I’ve worded this wrong. It sounds bad. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea. Um, yeah, that’s my main tip for anyone writing a book, is every time you do a proofread, read it out loud. Because every time, when  did my first audiobook, as I was doing it out loud I went, “Oh, I’ve written a bad book.” And you go, “I don’t like this anymore.”

If you could take one item from any museum or art gallery – and you’re allowed to take it home with you – in the world, what would you take?

That is a very good question. This is my genuine answer. And it’s going to sound – And it’s a stupid answer, in a way, but I – There’s nothing else I’d want. So there’s – I’ve spoken about this before, different things – there’s the Manor House Museum in Kettering. There’s a tiny, little museum and it’s just obviously about local stuff. And since I was a little kid I’ve been going there, school visits and various things. Once Billy Boyd from the Lord of the Rings films went there to sign autographs for no reason. I mean, the films were coming out at the time but t’s very odd to get one of the hobbits to come to the Manor House Museum and sign autographs. Like, “To James, Hobbits rock. Love, Billy Boyd.” I – there’s a thing there. One of the items is a mummified cat, which was found in a wall in Kettering. And it’s gross; it looks horrible. Like, it’s just completely… You can Google it and see it but it’s just a horrible husk of a cat. And, uh, everyone who goes to the museum, you know, freaks out when they see it. So it’s become a really big part of my life and my upbringing, was this mummified cat that everyone was freaking out over. And I think I would love to have that in my – Like, if I didn’t have anything displayed in my flat I think that – I’ve got more of a connection with that than I have with the Mona Lisa or anything. I think they would sell it because one of their other things that was quite a big deal was this model of a Celtic man holding up a sword like that *holds arms in the air* and it had these tattoos. And it was, like, that was also, like, really everyone in Kettering knew that guy. And they sold that to a cafe in Milton Keynes or somewhere. And it’s just inexplicably in the corner. Obviously, you know, in reality, if I had to do it for real, you’d get something from the British Museum and give it back to the country they stole it from. That’s what you’d actually do. Because the British Museum have got way too much stuff, none of which is theirs and it would be good to just, like, give it back and then go, “There you go. Bye.”

Who’s the most surprising famous person you’ve been in a lift with? And which I mean, you can’t have gotten into the lift with them; they had to be in the lift you were in.

Christopher Biggins. Yep, Christopher Biggins. It was at a hotel – again, on the Milton Jones tour – so, you know, a bigger deal for me when I saw celebs then. Nowadays, don’t give a shit. Back then… I remember the doors opened, Biggins standing there, early morning. Hed got up just in – we’d both got up just in time for breakfast. We’d both done the thing where you leave it as late as you can and then go down to get the breakfast. Door opened and he was staring. He clearly thought, and he also did that thing we’ve all fallen for where you’ve pressed ground floor, on the way down someone else pressed it but you haven’t. You think it’s the ground floor so you step off, like, confidently like its the ground floor and then you realize, Oh no, this is floor three. This is a load of bedrooms. So I need to get back on the lift. And so I got to see Biggins do a little panic. Walk off all dazed with a little tufty in his hair, realize this is not the breakfast bar, and then get back on the lift with me. I said hello to him and he said hello back but in a very good way that let me know, “I’m not in the mood.” So I was like, Yep, fair enough. *RH notes he would have thought that Christopher Biggins was the type of person who would have just gotten off the lift to save face, rather than admit his error.* I think if it was another time of day and he wasn’t going down to get breakfast at the last minute he wouldn’t risk it, but I think that the second, like, time was of the essence. If he had just gotten off that lift and started out, he could have been looking at being refused service. Actually, I rarely take the lifts now on tour because I am getting so little exercise on tour that I just, like, any chance I get I’m exercising. So, always the lift, and Joel Dommett told me that Bruce Lee never took lifts. He always took the stairs. So every time I’m taking the stairs I always think to myself, Bruce Lee always took the stairs. Like I’m Bruce Lee now.


This episode was live-streamed via Twitch, with RH and guest in each of their own homes due to COVID-19/coronavirus.

RH was meant to interview JA at the O2 forum in March 2020, but this was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. O2 Priority paid for this episode.

This is JA’s third appearance.