Random Memory #3 – when I nod my head…

Written by Jonathan Pagden

March 21, 2023

*Now! Listen as I revisit my past*



Another in my erratic series of random memories from a lifetime of talking while pressing buttons 😎


Commenting on someone’s post today about nerves when going on stage, has brought to mind the most nervous I’ve ever been when working.

In my time I’ve done countless radio programmes, had a close-up of my hands live on BBC1, announced at the O2, played bass at the Albert Hall – I’m used to the sort of setting that could lead to huge nervousness: and it’s seldom been an issue. Except for this one time at Claridge’s…

In the 90s I did a lot of little corporate events. Presentations for 100 people or so, playing a video on cue, that sort of thing. Mostly rather dull but it paid well. So a job in the Ballroom at Claridge’s to play a video during an after-dinner speech was no big deal. Someone stands up to talk, someone else gives me the nod, press ‘play’. Easy.

Except that the person giving the speech was Princess Diana and the person giving me the nod was David Puttnam.

I’ve never in my life been so nervous. I can remember telling myself to ignore who these people are, the job would be the same if it was some random people, and as long as you do it properly it makes no difference.

‘Play’ got pressed at the right moment (with, admittedly, a slightly trembling finger) and everybody was happy.

And I have a claim to fame – I’ve been directed by David Puttnam. (And also by Alan Ayckbourn, but that’s a tale for another day.)

Consider this: can you remember being very very nervous? Were you able to step outside yourself and figure what was causing it and how to use it? Do you have a way of dealing with it, that works for you?

#corporateevents #claridges #princessdiana