I’m now in love with Lochwinnoch and everyone in it and every house, shop, pub and paving stone. Especially the pubs, though. I was last in the village for the arts festival there and you would be forgiven for thinking I either bribed, hypnotised or drugged the editor of the local newsletter, Chatterbox. Bill Bryson is my hero and inspiration. I just hope he doesn’t spot this.
When I was writing The Red Light Zone, I imagined one of my chums going into a book shop, leafing though a copy, finding their name, reading that bit and then … not buying the damn book. That’s why there’s no index at the back. I know my friends too well. Cheapskates, the lot of them.
However, there are two questions I’ve been asked most frequently since the book was launched just under two weeks ago:
- What do your old bosses at the BBC think of you spilling the beans about them?
- Do I get a mention in the book?
Let’s deal with that first question. I really have no idea what my old bosses are thinking. I’ve heard differing reports, but they range from a sense of mild annoyance that I have dared to laugh at some of the bizarre goings-on I encountered over the past 25 years (and I suspect the bosses in London would be most annoyed by that) to, well, total ambivalence. I’m guessing that with a new TV channel about to launch at the end of this month, the executives in Glasgow have a lot more important things on their mind.
As for that second question. Well, this little video captures just about every name mentioned in the book, including those of pets, The Pope and Santa Claus. Yep, they all do get a namecheck. Of course, I haven’t made it easy. If your name is there, it might pass in the blink of an eye.
“Before we left Hamburger Hamlet, I went to the restroom and looked at myself in the mirror. I was wearing glasses, a baseball cap and a Hollywood t-shirt with the logo of a silent era camera surrounded by stars. I looked a little like Michael Moore, but I looked much more like the character they always arrested by mistake in movies about serial killers: not the killer himself, but the creepy, fat guy that lived in his mom’s basement eating Twinkies – the wrong guy. Not Michael Moore and not even the main psycho. That guy!”
-The Red Light Zone
On this website we’ll be adding pictures and video content releated to the book, The Red Light Zone: An Insider’s laugh ‘n’ tell of BBC Radio. In this post, author Jeff Zycinski, explains – and apologises – for the misleading title of his memoirs of a career in the BBC and commercial radio.
The Red Light Zone? Yes, I know. it’s a bit misleading, isn’t it? I’m sorry if you came across this site thinking it might be an edgy expose of Amsterdam brothels, Edinburgh massage parlours of Lochwinnoch tearoooms (we’ve all heard the stories). But no – it’s all about my book on radio, which is sexy in its own way, of course.
It’s The Red Light Zone because much of my career has been spent in sound proof studios where the red light signifies a live microphone and a reminder not to cough, sneeze, swear or blurt out any honest thoughts about the Government, Opposition parties, Ofcom, the BBC Director General, awards committees, football teams, and accordionists, But now that I’ve left the BBC, that red light is off and I can say what I like about all of those things.
So let me tell you about how I sold my mind and body to broadcasting and about the people I met, the places I visited and the programmes we made, Friends have asked if this is going to be one of those ‘kiss ‘n’ tell’ memoirs, but I don’t think my air-kissing encounters with luvvies would justify that description. However, there were lots of laughs so maybe ‘laugh ‘n’ tell’ is more appropriate.
There are movie stars, one car chase and some nudity. Not much sex though.
Again, sorry about that.
The book is published in January 2019, but you can pre-order by clicking the link below to amazon.co.uk.
Buy Book Here