Tonight, I was Patrick-Leon Emile’s guest on Radio Aligre, which friends explained to me as Radio Bo-Bo.
‘Everyone listens to it on Canal Saint Martin,’ I was told.
Fantastic. My key audience.
Before the interview, Emile told me he’d been in a bookshop an hour before the show when someone asked for a copy of my book. I was delighted. It help ease the pain when I discovered I was going to be talking on my own for an hour, broken only by two songs.
‘Help,’ I said to myself. ‘I haven’t got nearly enough anecdotes prepared.’
In fact, the interview turned out to be nothing like I had experienced before – we covered everything from whether I had plans to write another book, to how I found time to write Schzophrenie Francaise.
‘I took my inspiration from your prime minister,’ I said. ‘If he has time to write for an hour before checking in to run the country, I told myself I can do it.’
For the first time, an interviewer was interested in me, rather than what I had to say. It was quite un-nerving as I was totally unprepared. But very pleasant.
Created in 1981, Radio Aligre claims to be one of the last independent FM radio stations in the Paris region. It spurns advertisements, existing on hand outs from cultural benefactors, including, bien sur, the government (via the swocial affairs ministry). The studios were grotty in a kind of underground sort of way, buried in Montreuil, a corner of the 11th I didn’t know. If the cafe-concert going on at the metro station when I visited is a regular event, I’ll be back.