Well, despite still being nearly six feet tall, it seems I've become a small businessman.
Cut adrift from the cushy BBC local radio racket I wrote about on these pages* where the whole nation chips in through the licence fee to keep us all comfortable, I am learning to live on what I laughingly call my wits.
I'm not cut out to be a hustler - I've always been a gentleman broadcaster and journalist - but forgive me if I now resort to blatant pluggery.
Now that I am more or less retired from radio, if you enjoyed what in my Radio Two days we used to call "a lively blend of music and chat," the only place you can hear it these days is on my podcast, although that's more of a blend of chat and filth.
There are one or two free samples at the foot of this column. It's a subscription service, and a hundred or so misguided admirers who have been with me for years, bless them, pay for it. Sorry to those who think it should be free, as it once was, but these days it's not so much a calling card as a living.
It's me and my "comedy" sidekick Edouard LePaglie, and at times I think it's passably funny. I put quite a lot of work into it, and reckon it's worth a quid a week.
It's also an unimpeachable news source, so if you're still buying newspapers, you can quit for a day, pay for the PPP, and you haven't lost anything. There are also odd bits of audio in there from my extensive archive. Details of how to subscribe are here
. Welcome aboard if you do. And please get in touch with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the web site.
My other project is Screen Break, a version of the sport on TV column I wrote in The Guardian for several years. The column appears on the respected, award-winning sport website sportingintelligence.com
and, last I heard, gets more than 10,000 views, growing every week.
It also gets lots of mentions on Twitter and Facebook, and quite a few plugs on my sport-on-tv "review" on the Hawksbee and Jacobs show on Talksport. It's currently being sponsored by The UK Concrete Show
(don't ask), but we would happily welcome another sponsor.
Your company's logo will be included on the column, you will be associated with a website visited by readers who love sport, you'll have lots of currency with my 26,000 Twitter followers, and you'll be helping keep an old man out of the under pressure care system.
Just email me if you're interested.
When I was a kid, the chap who lived at the top of our street had a sign on his door reading "no trespassers, hawkers, or canvassers," so I'm pretty sure after this I would not be allowed in his house (just as well, as he was a pretty dodgy guy). So do forgive the hawking and canvassing, but needs must.
It feels quite bracing to be out there as a sole trader in the big, cruel world. It's a steep learning curve for me. I know some of the people I left behind in BBC local radio management would have difficulty coping if they got to a meeting and nobody had cut the crusts off their sandwiches, so I'm quite proud.
Here's a free sample of a recent podcast. Includes the truth about Lulu
courtesy of Dora Dale
Here's another one
. Includes a lovely story from Andy Kershaw
. Includes our "tribute" to Ali, and some stuff from Dora about J***y S***le
You know you want more, so do subscribe. We podcast faithfully every week.
Finally, you might want to have a read of the piece on these pages, The Backsplash.
Or, if you have an hour and a half to spunk away, to listen to this
*My Sacking - And a Plausible Plan for BBC Local Radio. In this piece, I mention how you can become a non-person in the curious, cossetted world of BBC local radio. I hadn't realised it was quite such a strict rule, until a one-on-one 55-minute interview I did some months ago with the murdered MP Jo Cox was broadcast on the day after the tragedy, with my voice edited out of the broadcast.
Because it was a Desert Island Discs type conversational format, there were lots of points at which we talked over each other from which my voice was cut. I'm told this led to an uncomfortable listen with breaths either disappearing or appearing in the wrong place. It is indicative of what passes for management at BBC local radio, that in the wake of the appalling incident on its patch which must have demanded a deal of extra work, time and effort was put in re-editing what I recall as a friendly, reasonably revealing interview, purely for internal political reasons.