Phil the Shelf

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Some of you may know Phil Rickman as the author of a series of novels about Elizabeth I’s court magician Dr John Dee. You might also know him as author of the successful “Merrily Watkins” series (recently dramatised on ITV). Merrily is a Church of England vicar in the border country between England and Wales. She is also a “Deliverance Minister”. Or, as we used to say, an exorcist. Oh yes, they still exist, and every diocese has one.

Now, as an idea, Merrily is such a brilliant one as to turn one mad with rage and jealousy. Fortunately Phil is a very nice bloke, and I was very pleased to be asked to appear on his “Phil the Shelf” programme on Radio Wales. We had a good old natter about “The Venetian Game” for about 25 minutes, and Phil asked some very perceptive questions. : for example,  yes, Arcangelo is, basically, Count Dracula…I wrote all his dialogue with Christopher Lee’s voice in my head. I’m fifty years old and I can write my own Hammer film if I want to!

I also spent part of the interview beneath a towel. No, really. Apparently it helps with the acoustics if you’re speaking from a place with hard surfaces. I started to asphyxiate after five minutes and threw the damn thing off. If you notice a sudden difference when you listen, do let me know…

The interview, I believe, is on BBC Radio Wales at 13.30 this Saturday, repeated on Sunday at 18.00. It’ll then be available on iPlayer for a month. At any rate, I’ll post a link when I have one.

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