Wednesday, 4 July 2007


How wonderful to wake up to hear good news for once. Alan Johnston, the BBC correspondent who has been held hostage for 114 days, has been freed (in case any of you live on a different planet).

In this age of dimwitted celebrity icons, it’s heartwarming to see Alan so calm and composed, despite his ordeal with his captors whom he described as ‘dangerous and unpredictable’. I shudder to think of what he went through, and how it will affect him in the long term, but the important thing now is that he’s free. (Will he go back to his previous job?) We can only imagine the joy of his family and friends.

I was working at WTN while John McCarthy was held hostage, and got to know his girlfriend, Jill Morrell, who worked round the corner at ITN. I became involved with the Friends of John McCarthy and can well imagine what the BBC have been doing backstage in order to get Alan released.

I had been made redundant and was working in a shop in Fowey when he was finally released, and heard of his freedom on the radio when I’d nipped over the road to buy an apple from the greengrocer. He looked somewhat alarmed when I burst into tears and rushed out, without apple, to leg it to the nearest phonebox so I could ring WTN.

Alan Johnston seems to have been captured because he worked for the BBC; a good way of manipulating the British media? His capture was certainly guaranteed worldwide coverage. At least, thank God, he’s safe. Let’s all celebrate.

And talking of the media, Flowerpot is to be on television. Before you get all excited (and Himself is, very), there won’t be much of it. And it will be on Westcountry so all of you further up the country and in warmer climes my miss out on this exclusive bit of coverage.

It’s an arts programme, where a panel of four (yours truly being one) will take part in a chaired discussion on a selection of Westcountry authors – John Betjeman, Agatha Christie, Mary Wesley, Daphne du Maurier and Thomas Hardy. They will film for about an hour and edit it down to 4 minutes. Probably less, I would imagine. I don’t know who else will be taking part, but it could help my writing – er – somehow. Who knows what may come of it? Probably nothing, but my friends and family will all have a good laugh. I will, too.


debio said...

I shall try not to be too impressed with your celebrity staus, flowerpot, as celebrity-worship is against my religion! (In truth, I am well-impressed; huge, mega congrats!).

Woke up to Alan Johnstone's freedom - a good day today, yes?

debio said...

Or even, 'status' (!)

Akelamalu said...

A great day for Alan Johnstone and his family and supporters. Nice to have good news for once.

Re your TV appearance - can't you somehow get it onto Utube so we can all watch it?

Flowerpot said...

Oh me! I should add that the panel is to consist of lay people NOT experts so that blows any credibility I might get from it. though who knows who might be watching....

akelamalu - if I knew how to get it onto utube I would. Still they're not shooting till September so I've got time to find out!

Elaine Denning said...

It was fantastic news :)

And wow! I can now say that I know a celebrity! Don't forget to let us all know nearer the time exactly when it's being aired. I'm sure you won't!

Flowerpot said...

It's being shot at end of September so don't expect it will hit our screens till end of this year/some time next, but will be in touch!

Good luck with your interview, missu - keep us posted.

Cornish Dreamer said...

The first time I turned on the news in a long while was yesterday (it's usually so full of bad news). It was excellent to discover that Johnstone was free, and what a brilliant day for all of his family. I can't imagine their relief.

RE: you tv appearance, ET and I can't wait to see it.