A few weeks ago, it was announced on the Boosh forum that BBC Three were having a 'Boosh Night' on Easter Saturday, and that you could apply for free tickets to be in the audience as Noel and Julian introduced a brand new documentary and six of their favourite episodes. I knew my mate Beckie would be up for it, so I just applied for two tickets, and hoped the details of money, accommodation, getting there etc could be sorted out later. It was absolutely not guaranteed that applying for tickets meant you would get them - apparently there were over a thousand applicants for around 300 tickets - and even if you *did* get tickets, you'd have to queue up early as more tickets are sent out than can be accommodated (the fact that they're free means that people don't use them, and obviously the Beeb want a full house). But sure enough the tickets did come through - and Beckie and I got our train tickets, and booked a room at LSE's Passfield Hall; uni accommodation in the Euston area.
Actually, we had to book a triple room as the twins were all gone, but that was one of a few happy accidents of the weekend. On the Boosh forum there's a member and moderator called Aoife who's from Ireland and, it seems, is *ridiculously* like me, and a lovely person to boot. She was debating whether to come over for this - the guys were only doing a few minutes of live links, remember - but I like to think it was the offer of a bed with nice people that eventually coaxed her over the Irish Sea! When me and Beckie reached the accommodation, we found that our room was *huge*! I mean, I feel sorry for the poor students who have to share three to a room, but they certainly can't argue about a lack of space. Take a shuftie...
As we were getting ready, we tried to direct Aoife from the station to Passfield Hall (very much the blind leading the blind!) by text and phone call, and finally we saw a blonde girl wandering past those massive windows we can see - crimped hair isn't massively in fashion at the moment, so I was pretty sure that was Aoife with hair in readiness for dressing up as an Electro Girl! A quick shout out of the window confirmed this, and I went downstairs to get her. As I has predicted, we got on like a house on fire instantly, and I'm so glad that we had that spare bed so that we could offer her a place! I'd brought a little speaker to play music on my mp3 player through as we got ready, and she was appreciating every track! (Aoife's met Rufus by the way.... it's hard to hate her for it though ;))
The tickets for the Boosh Night actually asked us to get dressed up - though I doubt we'd have needed much encouragement - so as I said Aoife was an Electro Girl (I keep forgetting whether it's Neon or Ultra, but it's the one played by Sue Denim, anyway!), Beckie was Techno Mouse, and I was a Future Sailor! Photos were obviously needed....
Beckie, Aoife, me; left to right
A quick and easy ride on the tube got us to White City, and just a few seconds walk from.... dum dum dummmm... BBC Television Centre! Well, that was exciting enough for me, as you can imagine... The queue wasn't as long as we'd feared at this point (we got there two hours ahead of doors opening but you never know with Booshers!!) and we quickly found some lovely folks we recognised from the forum. Everyone was hyped up, dressed up, and unbelievably cold. The atmosphere in that queue was so lovely, though - people handed out provisions, took pictures of each other, and generally tried to keep warm.
At about 6.15pm the doors opened, and we got a numbered sticker stuck to our tickets ao that we'd be let into the studio in roughly the same order as we'd been lined up. We were held in the audiences' cafe - believe me, I've never been so thankful for cup of coffee and a sit down - and for about an hour we just sat down, chatted to more lovely forummers, took more photos and began to feel a bit more human. First to be called through to the studio were production ticket holders and competition winners, and I think it says something lovely about Boosh fans that we actually applauded them as they went in. Everyone was in such high, generous spirits that it just felt like the right thing to do, somehow.
Finally we entered the studio ourselves to see those famous red curtains, and a very few floor staff looking amazed at all the costumes - from Bollo, to Bob Fossil, to Tony Harrison, to Betamax Bandit, to Rudi, to Extreme Sports Calender. Yup, really. After about half an hour a lady introduced Noel and Julian themselves, and my *word* you've never heard a cheer like it - and you've never seen two people more overwhelmed, either. For a good ten minutes, they just stood there gobsmacked by the costumes, pointing a few out. Eventually, Noel said "You could have made an effort!". Just perfect. They sorted out a little gag they wanted to do where Noel/Vince said hello to all of his fans, and we all cheered, and then Julian/Howard said hello to all of his fans and one solitary guy would say "Hey, Harold!". It was great seeing Julian try to direct this guy, and get a little comic timing out of him, and there was a collective mini-squee as Noel called Julian "Jude"... we're an odd bunch, I know.
With the gag sorted out, Noel and Julian went off again, leaving us to watch Old Gregg to fill the time before the live link. I thought that this might mean that the energy in the room dropped, but it was completely the opposite. Every line was 10 times funnier, we collectively joined in with choice lines (and there are some *brilliant* lines in Old Gregg) and all sang and danced along to Love Games. Honestly, it was a really beautiful half hour.
Next, the link, and who's that you can see in the sailor hat....?
It's me! Beckie and Aoife are to my left, and I'm loving Johnny Two-Hats on the end there! We watched the documentary there, which had some fabulous old footage, and lots of nice things said by people who's opinion you trust (Reeves and Mortimer, especially). Then it was onto the second link, and after a little bit of the usual Barratt and Fielding banter, Rich Fulcher/Bob Fossil burst through the curtains to make a surprise entrance. That got one helluva scream too, naturally! When the link ended, it was kinda hard for the guys to know what to say, but they were clearly happy with out it had gone, and thanked us all for coming out. Noel's natural gregariousness saw him through, while Julian kept himself to himself, and Rich was as wonderfully bizarre as ever.
We waited for a little outside, to see if the guys would come out, but it was actually freezing by the point, so we toddled off back to Passfield Hall, chatted, calmed down, and, eventually, fell to sleep, completely contented with a fabulous day.
On the Sunday, we had a few hours to spare before heading off our separate ways, and as I know the Leicester Square area pretty well, we headed there for some shopping and eating. Aoife knew that the cafe hosting Noel's exhibition was around there, so she took us just to have a peep through the window. But, despite this being Easter Saturday, it was open! Ahh a cup of tea *always* tastes better when surrounded by original Noel Fielding artwork! We thought our luck was in such good order that Noel might turn up, as he has done before... but not this time. One of the other forummers came along though, so we chatted to her for a while and took far too long over our pot of tea.
After a *little* retail therapy (a lot of places were shut), we left Aoife at Covent Garden tube station. It was hard not to get a little emotional - it's obvious that we are and will continue to be great friends, and as she has said, it felt like we'd know each other for years. Me, Aoife and Beckie all had a lovely, joyous time, filled with all things Booshy and good, and it's not something any of us want to forget.... hence the essay you've just been subjected to :D
Aoife's version of events can be found here...