Tuesday, February 18, 2014

H Is For Home (California Soul Remix)

So, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has been Stateside for the last few days, attending the twenty fifth annual Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles. That was nice!
Mind you, the trip got off to a really bad start the night before yer actual Keith Telly Topping left. In an effort to use up all of the perishables in the gaff, he decided to take the last potato he had and make some chips with it (together with scampi and a nice masala and onion sauce, obviously). As usual when this happens the second that yer actual Keith Telly Topping gets a potato peeler in his hands he always ends up var nigh cutting his sodding thumb off. There was blood everywhere all over Stately Telly Topping Manor, dear blog reader (including the laptop keyboard when he immediately went on to Facebook to seek some sympathy). Seriously, it looked like a scene from CSI: Newcastle in there. And to prove it, here are those very chips (and, indeed, the thumb) in question. If you've just had your tea, dear blog reader, it might be an idea to look away now.
Anyway, for those who don't know, Gallifrey One is an annual convention - multi-media, mainly SF-related but primarily based around Doctor Who - which is held every year in Los Angeles over President's Day weekend in February. It attracts lots of guest from inside the industry in both the UK and the US. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping, along with his then writing partners, Paul Cornell and Martin Day, by a strange series of malarkey and shenanigans managed to find ourselves invited to what was, then, the ninth annual event in 1998. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping enjoyed his very self so much that he went back the next year. And the year after that and, indeed for the following ten years until 2008. At which point only financial circumstances led to him stopping - something he was, frankly, goddamn miserable about. Particularly in the first couple of years. Fast forward, then, to last year and Shaun Lyon, who - along with the wonderful Robbie Bourget - has run Gally pretty much since the start, asked if Keith Telly Topping would like to come back as a guest of the convention. Since this year was the Twenty Fifth annual event and they wanted to bring out some of the old regulars who, for one reason or another, haven't been for a few years. This seemed like a right good idea to yer actual Keith Telly Topping - particularly as it would be occurring on a cold weekend in the middle of February, in the UK. (One which, in the event, included hurricanes and three quarters of the country, seemingly, being under water.) And, especially, as it turned out, because a number of regular attendees from the Doctor Who Virgin and BBC book eras - Paul, Gary Russell, Peter Anghelides, Stephen Cole - were also going and, there is nothing that yer actual Keith Telly Topping enjoys more than hanging out with Doctor Who writers in the bar singing 'Perfect Day'. That's a joke which may, possibly, be understood by anyone who was, either, at Gallifrey in 1999 or who has read Keith Telly Topping's BBC novel The King of Terror. So, that'll be about four of you, I guess. Don't sweat it, dear blog reader, it's not important (or, even, particularly funny).

Thus it was that last Thursday yer actual Keith Telly Topping did the 'big silver bird/mighty blue ocean' thing, on British Airways, from Newcastle, via Heathrow, to LA.
The flight(s) were, mostly, fine. A delay of an hour in leaving Heathrow because some arsehole didn't want to get out of duty free, notwithstanding. But, a desperate horrorshow (and drag) of a trip was hugely enlivened by yer actual Keith Telly Topping sitting about eight rows behind the Goddamn Modfather his very self, Mister Paul Weller and his family. He was in First Class, obviously. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping very much wasn't.
Paul was looking great, incidentally, he's obviously been working out of late. I was about to ask him, as I passed his seat on the way to the lavatories, whether he was out there to bring a bit of culture to the Merkins but then I noticed his kids were with him so, I figured, the reply was likely to be 'no, we're going to Disneyland.' Fair enough, we've all done it. I can, at least, now say, hand-on-heart, that I have shat in the same netty as Paul Weller. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is, thus, able to die happy. Of course, typically, Keith Telly Topping had taken tons to read with him as a ten and a half hour flight can be so boring. But, for once, the in-flight entertainment system was terrific. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping got to see Gravity and Rush (and The Day Of The Doctor and three episodes of House Of Cards into the bargain). As usual, the good was followed by the horrible; clearing customs at LAX is a trial and a pain at the best of times but on this occasion, the three quarters of an hour standing around in a queue which didn't seem to be moving for long periods was, at least, enlivened by the fact that yer actual Keith Telly Topping was fifteen people further up the queue than fellow Gally guests Phil Ford, Scott Handcock and Richard Dinnick. I had it tough, dear blog reader, but they had it tough for just that little bit longer.
I have to say, here and now, that I always loved Gally the mostest in the eleven years that yer actual was a regular attendee. But, it's taken this six year break to remind him exactly why. He was reminded of it literally within seconds of arriving at the hotel. It's because Doctor Who fans, when they get together in any numbers, have the capacity for creating the most beautifully generous and warm atmosphere imaginable. They are wholly inclusive. They come to share their devotion to this, frankly, daft little show about a mad man in a box and they do it with no cynicism, bitterness, or jealousy. (Incidentally, it's probably worth mentioning at this point that almost seven and a half thousand dollars were raised during the Charity Auction for Gally's chosen charity, The Aimee Hoff Memorial Scholarship Fund.) Like I say, these people are my people and I won't have a word said against them. It's just three thousand people (three thousand seven hundred and eleven, actually) in a hotel saying, in effect, 'this is who I chose to be. You can sneer if you want - and, you probably will - but, for the next few days, I'm with friends. You should join us, we're really nice and we have a very good time.' Yer actual Keith Telly Topping would be there every year and I mean every single year, if finance permitted. But, equally, this could be - 'could be', not 'definitely is' - my last Gally ever. If it is, however, I am so glad I went this year of all years because yer actual Keith Telly Topping needed the pick-me-up more than he ever realised. Just walking into the gaff on Thursday evening - before the con had actually started, remember - and being accosted by many old friends whom I hadn't seen, mostly, in six years, was beautiful. Here's me, for instance, with  my old mate David Deddo in the lobby about five minutes after I got there.
On the first full day - the Friday - I took part in the opening panel, Glorious: Twenty Five years of Gallifrey One, with Paul, Shaun and Robbie and staffers Dan Sandifer, Cathy Beckstead and Joyce Hooper. Which was a look back at some of the highlights we'd all remembered from previous years. That was a really nice way to get things going and it was followed by the first of three autograph sessions over the weekend, in which yer actual Keith Telly Topping had a lot of fun trying - and failing - to match Peter Anghelides and Stephen Cole in terms of smooth and winning patter with the punters. And having a very nice chat with Dominic Glynn about a shared appreciation of Orbital. There was also a Kaffelklatch, a small gathering a few old friends in a side room (Roberta, Chas and Heather, Teri et cetera) asking me questions, mainly, about British folk music, Motown, Peter Capaldi's Two-Tone-inspired costume, Nick Drake ... oh, and Doctor Who as well.
And, then my last gig of the day was Overrated & Overlooked Film and Television in which yer actual Keith Telly Topping shared a panel with Lost and Charmed scriptwriter Javier Grillo-Marxuach (along with Steve Cole and Graeme Burk) and tried to justify his belief that Downton Abbey is, actually, a right load of old over-rated snobbish spiteful toot to a room full of very doubtful American fans. Including Javier, actually. You know when you've said the wrong thing.
After that, yer actual Keith Telly Topping needed food and alcohol. So, that's what he got. Seemingly, in the TARDIS console room judging by the very odd lighting under the table at the restaurant we ended up in. My old friends Tony and Jane and Clay and Kim, of course, took it all in their stride.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping had a really very nice chicken curry with steamed rice for anyone that's taking notes. And, if you are, stop it at once.

People did ask me a few times during the weekend what were the biggest changes that I'd noticed since yer actual Keith Telly Topping was last at the event. Apart, obviously, from the simple increase in numbers (which, in and of itself, isn't that noticable when you're in the middle of it). Gallys which yer actual Keith Telly Topping attended in the past usually had audience attendance figures of around seven to eight hundred over the three days. The last one he was at having leaped to almost eleven hundred. Since then, with the explosion of popularity of Doctor Who in America, we're talking three times that figure. There are, I suppose, two real significant differences, which this blogger took away with him. Firstly there's the huge increase in social media at the convention. In the old days (he said, sounding like somebody of his parents' generation remembering The War), Gally meant everyone attending was absent from their blogs and from rec.arts.drwho and Outpost Gallifrey and Facebook for a few days (Twitter wasn't around then). And, if you weren't at the convention - or, even if you were - to find out some of the things you'd been missing, you'd have to wait a few days till everyone got home and a semi-coherent and exhausted blog such as this was published. This time, however, everyone - and, I do mean everyone - was walking around with one form of hand-held communication device or another in their collective mitt commenting on what they were doing or seeing as it was actually happening. Even the complete techno-Luddite that is yer actual Keith Telly Topping was a part of this process, having borrowed Jane Kenealy's dinky little Acer laptop for the duration. And thus, he spent many happy hours when he wasn't on-stage or in The Green Room scoffing beef sandwiches and sausage rolls, sitting in the lobby at the Marriot using the free wi-fi (yer actual Keith Telly Topping really does feel like Jimmy Nesbit when he says that, dear blog reader. It's not a nice feeling). However, all this messing about this technology did have its drawbacks. For instance, take the following posting which yer actual Keith Telly Topping made to Facebook early on Saturday morning: 'Keith Telly Topping is sitting in the lobby at the Marriot using the free wi-fi with Ben Adams, Tony and Jane Kenealy. Which is nice. Last night, had a splendid chicken curry and rice at the Hilton next door with Tony, Jane, Kim and Clay Eichelberger. Which was - also - nice. Spent a productive twenty minutes online yesterday, talking to Ben (who was sitting about ten feet away from me at the time) and Teri Sears (who was sitting about ten feet away in the other direction). Proof, dear friends, that actual conversation is dead when you can do Virtual Talking instead.' It got to ridiculous extremes at one point when Keith Telly Topping and David Howe were, literally, talking to each other on a Facebook thread when they were sitting next to each other and, were commenting on that fact, on the thread. Instead of just, you know, talking to each other. Some people might call it an example of post-modern Zeitgeist. I call it ruddy scary.
Anyway, here's me and Ben Adams being interrupted during one of several lengthy conversations about yer actual rock and/or roll music with a picture taken by the very excellent Tim Tucker on Ben's phone. More flaming technology.
Though, it must be said 'I'M IN THE LOBBY!!!' did become something of 'a trending phrase.' Or whatever it's called by The Kidz these days. And, speaking of The Kidz, the other huge change yer actual Keith Telly Topping noticed was the number of people in costume. And, the number of very young people at that. The concept of 'cosplay' really has changed the vibe of the convention, whereas, in the old days you'd have maybe a handful of people dressed as a Doctor and a few companions or monsters, this year, it seemed three quarters of The Kidz were all dressed up with somewhere to go. Mostly, as Matt Smith it seemed.
Or, indeed, as Osgood from The Day Of The Doctor - I'm thoroughly indebted to Shagg Matthews for the photo below, which I have nicked to illustrate one of the great moments of the convention for me.
Bizarre things overheard at Gally this year. Number One: 'There's sixteen Osgoods in the lobby. But only five Amys. That's a ratio of three-to-one.' 'Three-point-two-to-one, actually.' True story, dear blog reader.
Also a true story was Keith Telly Topping coming round a corner in the lobby to find two River Songs (in the same outfit, which in any other social context would have been really embarrassing for both) standing waiting to use the ATM machine behind the third Doctor. Whilst, a few metres behind all of them, a Clara (in a Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS costume) was taking a photo of two other Claras (wearing the Time Of The Doctor 'tartan miniskirt and black tights' ensemble). It was all very ... fun, actually. And, most fun of all were the TARDIS dresses. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is fully aware that he is as a fifty year old man talking about, in most cases, teenage girls who are young enough to be his granddaughter, so he's quite prepared for any, probably well-deserved, backlash this next comment may provoke. Nevertheless, yer actual Keith Telly Topping really does like the little TARDIS dresses which are, suddenly all the rage. Keith Telly Topping found the following photo on Google Images. I think it's actually from last year's convention but I'm using a small version of it to illustrate what I'm talking about to anyone who has never seen a lot of ladies in TARDIS dresses. They're rather alluring. Which could be, and probably is, wrong on so many levels. Gosh, when did the sexual politics of fandom get so complicated?!
Saturday was a very full day. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping had three panels and another hour of autographs. The panels were He's My Doctor at 10am, The Wilderness Years at 3pm and Have They Used Up All The Good Ideas? at 5pm. In the first, he found himself moderating a discussion with - in no particular order - Rob Buck, Aaron Cistrelli, Pat Miller, Leah Fairchild, Isa Gunther and Keith Telly Topping's auld mucker Chas Martin. We had six fans each with a different favourite Doctor whom they all - brilliantly, let it be said - put up 'a defence' for. Keith Telly Topping then added a seventh and, with the audience, we also talked about the other three, plus Uncle Grumpy and The Next One. The general consensus was, 'we've all got our own favourites but, really, they're all good. 'cept, possibly, Colin.' Although Aaron's counter-argument to that was so enthusiastic even yer actual Keith Telly Topping almost changed his mind.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping also used the opportunity to tell his 'have you noticed children are having to relearn to count after The Time Of The Doctor?' joke. 'It now goes: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, war, nine, ten, ten, eleven-that's-really-thirteen, twelve-that's-really-fourteen.' That got a laugh. A small one. To be honest dear blog reader, this might have been my favourite panel of the whole weekend. It was really enthusiastic though, for a first time moderator, yer actual Keith Telly Topping thought that he talked far too much. The idea, Keith Telly Topping, is that you're supposed to let the other panelists have a go occasionally and not hog the limelight yerself.
Navigating The Wilderness Years: Doctor Who 1990-2005 (or, 'How Paul Cornell Saved Doctor Who') was also a lot of fun and was very much enjoyed by both those watching and those taking part. Here's a photo (again, from Shagg Matthews's trusty camera), showing Paul, Gary Russell, Peter Anghelides, Stephen Cole, Rob Shearman, moderator Felicity Kusinitz and yer actual Keith Telly Topping sitting, frankly, in awe as Terrance Dicks speaks. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is also auditioning for Vic & Bob's The Ponderers, seemingly.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping had intended to use his final panel of the day, Have They Used Up All The Good Ideas? as a platform for a rant (for the full hour and possibly beyond) about what an abomination the very ideas of an American remake of Borgen is. It was, however, then that he found out he'd be sharing this platform with three of his heroes: Magic Jane Espenson (who is every bit of lovely and funny and lovely and funny as you'd expect from her Buffy episodes), Jorden Rosenburg (from the Lost writing team) and Star Trek legend David Gerrold. That might, just, have been one of the best hours of Keith Telly Topping's life although he did wonder what a shit-kicker from the council estates like he whose only TV writing experience are two pilots stuck in virtually permanent 'development hell' was doing on that particular panel. But, whatever. It was good and Keith Telly Topping got to talk about some UK shows that the audience weren't familiar with like The Fall and Line Of Duty as well as sharing a significant appreciation of House Of Cards with Jordan that went on both during and after the panel. Before that, Keith Telly Topping had also taken in possibly the most controversial panel of the weekend, and one of the very best at that, Sherlock Morris & The Case Of The Missing Episodes. It's a subject which Keith Telly Topping has flitted around the periphery of as an interested - sometimes amused, sometimes appalled - spectator. As previous From The North updates will testify. But, this panel featured three good friends of Keith Telly Topping, the BBC Restoration Team's Steve Roberts, Jon Preddle and Greg Bakun along with Damian Shanahan, so Keith Telly Topping thought he'd show his face for half-an-hour and see what it was like. He is really glad that he did. Now, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has seen a lot of comment on Facebook - and elsewhere - about what, supposedly, was said in this panel, including the claim that it was 'officially revealed' by Steve Roberts that Marco Polo has been recovered. Well, yer actual Keith Telly Topping was there and he can assure you, dear blog reader, that was not what was said. When asked to speculate on whether any more missing episodes of Doctor Who had been found (by Philip Morris, or anyone else for that matter) other than what has already been announced and released, Steve, Jon, Greg and Damian all said that, on the balance of probabilities, they thought it was likely that something may well have been found. (Yer actual Keith Telly Topping checked with all four of the chaps afterwards just to make sure that he wasn't putting words into their mouths and they all agreed that was, pretty much, exactly what they'd said.) And, they also said that any hypothetical missing episodes which are found would, eventually, be returned to the BBC and, hopefully, released on iTunes or DVD or whatever. But that could be one episode. No specifics of any kind were mentioned, or even alluded to except that, simply, no one knows. And people who claim they do know are either lying or misinformed. It was a great panel.
Since then, of course, Doctor Who fandom being what it is, a number of people have been getting rather worked up about it. Because, as we know from some experience, for a portion of Doctor Who fans, a day just wouldn't be a day without something to complain about. As someone tweeted at one point during the weekend 'use the hashtag Free The Steve Roberts One' after some, no doubt perfect, specimen of humanity had described Steve as 'an asshat.' Don't you just love The Special People, dear blog reader? They're so reasonable. Meanwhile, away from all that, here's a picture of yer actual Keith Telly Topping and his good friends Clay and Kim, looking happy. Because, it takes less muscles to look happy than it takes to look sad. Okay, yes dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping does know that oft-quoted 'fact' isn't actually true, he saw that episode of Qi as well. Just like the 'fact', claimed by someone on Gallifrey Base that Planet Of Giants episode four is among the material recovered by Mister Morris in Nigeria (or, was it Cloudcuckooland? It was difficult to be certain) also isn't true.
On Sunday, for the third day running, yer actual Keith Telly Topping was driven - driven, he says - from his stinking pit at some unchristly hour of the night by the horrors of jet-lag. This time, however, it was 6am rather than 3:30am as on the two previous days. So, a nice hot shower later, he left Tony and Jane sleeping the sleep of the just and went down to the lobby with the laptop for some quality blogging. But, he didn't get very far. It was quiet and rather beautiful just sitting there people-watching next to Starbucks. Keith Telly Topping also had a very nice early-morning chat with an equally jet-lagged Paul C about 'the good old days' (and, rather randomly, The Seeds Of Doom). Then, Ben Adams came along and it was 'rock pedants go head-to-head, volume two.' Also, things overheard at Gally, number two: 'I think I need a brain enema. A brain-ema.' Harsh and horrible torture would not force this blogger to reveal who said that. Ben. Honest. That was rapidly followed by things overheard at Gally, number three (though, admittedly, this one is second-hand and, almost certainly apocryphal). Someone to Arthur Darvill at the autograph session in the dealers' room: 'Didn't you used to be Arthur Darvill?' To which, one assumes, Arty replied, 'No, you're mistaking me for Arthur Darvill!' Eventually, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self was done for the convention. After the final panel (The British Are Coming, which he did with Richard Dinnick, Jennifer Adams Kelley, Stephen Prescott and Mick Schubert), along with Paul Cornell, he did a podcast with them lovely chaps from radiofreeskaro.com - Warren, Steven and Chris - which you can hear at this link. Number 409 is the one featuring us, dear blog reader, and we start at around the thirty seven minute mark, immediately after Shaun's interview.
Keith Telly Topping posted at that point that he was just killing time before the closing ceremonies and then it was the last night dinner, a final evening of drunken debauchery and the dreadful thought of what the next day - and the return to Heathrow - would probably hold.
It had been emotional, dear blog reader. But then, it got more so. Keith Telly Topping went for dinner with Tony, Jane, David Howe, Sam Stone, Terrance Dicks and Frazer Hines among others at Thai Dishes, the traditional end-of-convention location for me for many years. And, which was as good as he remembered it to be. It should also be noted that in any restaurant he attends, you can usually spot yer actual Keith Telly Topping because he's to be found with a large white arrow sticking out of the top of his head.
Now, not for nothing, but spending a couple of hours in the warm and generous company of the man who made yer actual Keith Telly Topping want to be a writer as sickly, bronchial ten year old on a family holiday on the Isle of Wight in 1974 when reading his novelisation of The Day Of The Daleks was yet another of life's delicious little curve-balls which it throws, occasionally, in your direction. I've met Terrance a few times over the years - he usually remembers me as 'young Paul's friend, Keith', I think he even used that description on one of his DVD commentaries in relation to The Discontinuity Guide once - and I corresponded with him, briefly, over shared characters in The King of Terror and ... whichever one of his novels was out at that time (Players, I think). But, this was the first time in many years - if, indeed, ever - that we'd really chatted for a decent period. About writing generally. He is a gentleman in every possible way imaginable. Terrance, when yer actual Keith Telly Topping says 'I'm not worthy' this is one occasion where such a comment, genuinely, is not flippant or trite or hyperbole. You are The Man.
Then it was back to the hotel for the staff and guest poolside party and saying goodbye to many old and dear friends (and some new and dear ones too). If asked to sum up his first trip to Gally since 2008, yer actual Keith Telly Topping would use the following words: 'Tiring', 'emotional', 'fantastic', furious' and 'tinged with sadness'. And, possibly, 'Osgoods'. It was properly fantastic to, finally, meet Toby Hadoke in person. We've corresponded, intermittently, for several years and have a number of close mutual friends but it's the first we've ever been in the same room at the same time. And, when he said that, in its own small way The Discontinuity Guide had influenced Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, well, yer actual Keith Telly Topping spent several minutes floating around the Green Room like he'd been smacked in the mush with a sponge soaked in warm custard. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is still an incurable fanboy at heart. So, there you have it, dear blog reader. Keith Telly Topping would have written some of this earlier but the 'net connection at Heathrow was like trying to wade through treacle and, after spending a couple of quid getting nowhere, it was really starting to grate yer actual Keith Telly Topping's effing cheese. Anyhow, yer actual said to someone at the Marriot shortly before leaving that, if everything went according to plan, he'd be home by 2:30pm on Tuesday (UK time, obviously). As it happened, because of fair winds and planes landing early rather than late, he beat that estimate by a good twenty minutes. Last day at Gally, the highlights: Room check out at 11:30; saw Tony and Jane off slightly earlier, then hung around the Marriot lobby till about 1:30, having a great conversation which, at various points, included Jon Preddle, John Molyneux, Greg Bakun, Jeff Ovik, Steve Roberts and Sue Cowley. Said goodbye to just about everyone Keith Telly Topping needed to (though, not, necessary, everyone he wanted to), including Shaun, Kathy Sullivan, Tara O'Shea, Suze Campagna, Dan and Steffnee Sandifer. Got the shuttle to LAX with David, Sam and Frazer probably, with hindsight, a bit earlier than Keith Telly Topping needed to. Got off at the wrong terminal - typical - and had to walk which made up for the 'arriving earlier than expected' cos it was bastard miles. Clearly dementia was setting in by this stage. Cleared customs with a charming British smile and then went to Panda Express for a very decent bit of pre-flight nosh (including Shanghai Angus Beef with spring onions and ginger that fair made yer actual Keith Telly Topping's eyes water). Felt vaguely human again. Then walked halfway around LAX trying to find a pay-Internet place where he could tell you all this semi-coherent bollocks, dear blog reader. Tragically (or, possibly, thankfully) there didn't seem to be one. There was at Heathrow but, as noted, that was worse than bloody useless. Then, he flew (there's a Wee Bobby Thompson punchline which Keith Telly Topping could use at this juncture. But he won't). As noted, he was on the same flight as Paul Cornell - five rows behind. Not as good as being eight rows behind Paul Weller but, at least Keith Telly Topping was in the same class as Cornell - and Terrance as well. Keith Telly Topping managed to sleep for most of the flight though he did get to watch The Wolverine. Although, to be honest, he'd've probably been justified in sleeping through that as well. He woke up in time for landing and navigated a tricky ninety minute changeover at Heathrow without incident. And, eventually, arrived back in Th' Boony Toon in the middle of a thunderstorm and got a taxi home to a very cold house.

This, dear blog reader, was 'what he did on his holidays' by yer actual Keith Telly Topping (aged fifty and a bit). And that's without even mentioning ('cept here, obviously) Billie Piper and Colin Baker, Paul McGann, Debbie Watling and Katy Manning and most of the rest of the, ahem, 'proper' guests, some of whom I got to talk to, briefly, in the Green Room. (Keith Telly Topping had wanted to remind Debbie of a moment they shared walking arm-in-arm through a town in Mexico twelve years ago. But the opportunity never, quite, seemed to present itself.) And, on that bombshell, dear blog reader ... bed for yer actual Keith Telly Topping, I think.
For the latest Keith Telly Topping's A To Z Of Groovy Tunes dear blog reader, H is, of course, for yer actual Isaac Hayes. Rite on brothers and sisters.
And, it's also for 'Home Newcastle' from the late Ronnie Lambert's Busker. Obviously.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping never thought in all his life that he'd be featuring that as a Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day - and, in a completely non-ironic way an'aal. That's what Gallifrey does to you, dear blog reader. It messes with your head. Now, I think I'll watch my copy of Planet Of Giants episode four. Don't tell anyone.