So that was it. My very last official day at the BBC.
No one expected me to film anything (although I did take the precaution of ringing in at 7 o’clock, same as usual, just to make sure) so the schedule was up to me. I had a few bits of admin to do and then I was going down the pub where I would attempt to stay upright and coherent at least until Karen poured me into a taxi.
First up, handing back my camera and stuff. I had a relaxed start, walked round the corner to the BBC’s engineering base and hauled the stuff out of the locker.
Couldn’t resist one last selfie–if I can call it a selfie when someone else actually took it.
The maintenance manager and I stepped through his list and he didn’t grimmace too much at the occasional ding or evidence of <cough> wear and tear. I even had everything on his list still in the kit.
Job one, <tick>
At New Broadcasting House later that afternoon I handed back the laptop that I’d never edited on. I tried to hand in the phone but they told me to keep it until the number got transferred to my new handset.
Job two. <tick>
Then–the surprise. The assignments team took me to one side and produced tea and cakes; a few then someone made a short speech thanking me for my efforts. At that, Louise Croft produced a card absolutely crammed with good wishes, a bottle of what I am assured is top notch wine (Chateauneuf du Pap) and two magnificent cut glass goblets to drink it out of.
I was stunned speechless. (and not for the last time that day either but we’ll get to that) It wasn’t something I was expecting and I was rather touched. <sniff>
Then: the pub. I got there a bit after Karen did having got slightly wrapped up in tidying my BBC network area but she bumped into a producer she knew slightly
That was about half the number who came. I won’t name them all; they know who they are. Thanks.
The highlight of the evening though was the present from Karen. Entirely unbeknown to me she’d commissioned a couple of paintings from one Liam O’Farrell. They show the Old Bailey and the Royal Courts of Justice with a tiny cameraman in the foreground.
That was when I was really, truly struck dumb. They will have pride of place on my walls for ever more.
We got a cab home (courtesy of the app on Sara Shepherd’s phone) and collapsed into bed to sleep it off.
And just so you know, I didn’t have that much of a hangover.
‘Poo from Bobski Prabhu and craft ale from Sara.
Many, many thanks to everyone and I may see you again at future events.