Wednesday 13 October 2010, 13:05
Some people are born performers. I, on the other hand, was a shy child, who it only seemed natural would then spend his career shut away on his own hunched over a laptop - working first as a film journalist, then a novelist and then a bit of both.
But life is a strange old beast - and with that in mind I suppose it makes perfect sense that I would be offered the chance to appear on at least some of the nation's TVs every week as co-host of Film 2010 alongside the wondrous Claudia Winkleman.
The novelty factor for me is, as you might expect, vast. The sum of my TV experience to date involves appearing as a talking head on a pair of documentaries about British gangster movies and, yes, Sylvester Stallone.
This time round though, not only is the audience likely to be somewhat larger - we'll also be going out live. Weirdly, I'm feeling pretty relaxed about that particular aspect - which I'm putting down to my lack of understanding about what it entails.
Do please feel free to remind me of my current composure when, shortly before episode one goes on air on 13 October, I'm found crying and hyperventilating in a quiet nook at the BBC.
The good news is that there are, thank the Lord, a crack squad of proper professionals involved with the show - and on screen there will be Claudia, who obviously has all the experience I don't and can deal with anything live broadcasting could throw at us (clearly for my part I'll have to provide a lot of the glamour for the show, but I'm ready for the responsibility).
We did seem to click back at the screen test, which bodes well. My favourite film (David Lynch's masterpiece Mulholland Drive) reduced her to baffled hysteria, but that's OK, I'm used to baffled hysteria.
She's also someone with a real passion for films, and I'm nothing if not the same. So while there will be all manner of interviews, reports and debates going on, poring over the week's new releases will still very much be at the heart of the programme. It's just that there's going to be two of us reviewing instead of the traditional one.
People have asked if it's going to be tricky giving an honest verdict on a film if one of the stars is just off-camera waiting to be interviewed, but I think I can guarantee that whatever else happens, anyone watching will be getting a straight deal from us both (and when it all kicks off, I'll be hiding behind Claudia).
That said, I hope that most of the time we'll be getting to talk about films that deserve our love anyway.
Looking ahead to what's coming out while we're on air, there's a huge amount of movies I'm genuinely excited about, some of which I've seen already, most of which I haven't (in the former camp there's the new, 60s-set adaptation of a beloved novel of mine, Brighton Rock, in the latter director Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan).
There's obviously an element of risk hanging in the air, what with a writer wandering in front of the camera on live TV, and on a BBC institution to boot... but between the talents of the rest of the team and six months' worth of fantastic movies, I think we'll be all right.
That's another thing you can remind me of when they find me gibbering with fear on the night of the 13th.
Danny Leigh is the co-host of Film 2010 With Claudia Winkleman.
For further programme times over the next seven days, please visit the upcoming episodes page.
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