I was in a little sandwich place in Noho today when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a familiar face. I spun around and it was none other than Ricky Gervais. Slightly bamboozled after having spent the last few hours at a training session for coach tour managers (don't ask), I started waffling at him about a favour; to do a guest spot on Freedmanslife.
He sort of nodded or otherwise failed to struggle, so I decided to give him some means of contact. Forgetting my business cards were in my top pocket and not my wallet, I grabbed the paper bag that had his cheese and tomato sandwich in it (thin scraping of butter, he looks like he's trying hard), and wrote the web and email addresses on the side, accidentally stabbing the sarnie a couple of times.
Either way, he muttered something about someone called Carl and whether I would accept a podcast. A quick visit to rickygervais.com reveals a podcast link in pride of place - but it doesn't seem to work! We infer that you therefore have something ready to distribute, so Ricky (or the mysterious Carl), if you're reading, send it over and give me a scoop.
Meanwhile, this is an opportunity to update the readers on the vital debate of whether you are pro-Bush or anti-Bush. After a tragic shaving accident in which I took a clump out of the north-west corner whilst trying to pluck a peculiar blond hair that had appeared, I got annoyed and sheared the whole lot off. Photos below: again, please vote on whether I should keep it or not...
OK, so that might be Mr Gervais. These ones are of me. The resemblance is uncanny. By the way, Ricky, my mum says she wet herself watching your show but I'm still funnier. I think that may be because you don't have access to as much raw material as I do by living with her.
After Ricky had left with his cheese-and-biro bap, I thought about the spare tickets I have to The Apprentice, and that I should have asked if he wanted to come with. Maybe having befriended the wonderful Adrian Chiles at our last visit, Ricky and I could take over the interview panel and Ricky could at last reveal what Freedmanslife has been thinking for some time - that The Office was recommissioned for a secret third series, in a new format disguised as this season's The Apprentice.
I have watched this season with the same cringeing sensation as with The Office, only with the realisation that this isn't meant to be funny. Some of Mani's moments of claiming to be "a world-class presenter" were uncannily similar to Brent's attempts at motivational speaking, whilst Alexa's sales pitch with the pizza was like watching the famous monkey-dance.
So Ricky, I have tickets for you and Carl to come and join us at 6.15 on Monday at the Riverside Studios, and look forward to your podcast, your own analysis of the similarities between The Apprentice and The Office, your views on the great facial hair debate, and your offering to have my mother live with you for a while to build some decent material for your next venture.