A very strange experience; I've just been interviewed by BBC Somerset Sound, the local radio station. I was quietly minding my own business, walking through Taunton, sandwiches in hand, just wanting to get back to the office so that I could sit down here and eat them. I was going through the alley way in Bath Place when the young woman walking towards me made every sign that she would like a quick word. At first I thought she might be about to ask directions or something but then she produced a microphone from her coat pocket and asked whether I could spare a couple of minutes. I thought she was about to interview me about my book, though she would have needed a truly amazing researcher to have been primed on that, but, no, she wanted to talk to me about beards. I have a small beard.
She then asked me a series of questions: How long have I had the beard? How I would describe it. Have I ever considered shaving it off? She did compliment me on the fact that she felt the one I have actually suits me, which was flattering, and then went on to ask who I would consider to be a good beardy role-model. She also asked whether my wife or partner (neither of whom actually exists) approved of the beard I have.
And that was more or less it. You will notice, dear readership, that I have not included any of my answers here. You will need to comment for those.
I just can't help wondering how well beards actually work on radio.