Whilst most 11-year-olds were out discovering girls, a certain Black Country-accented – and rather camp – Mr Tom was busy nurturing the Grundy media empire.
In addition to the weekly family newspaper and radio show, I founded ‘TGTV’ where I’d hand over to myself, and back to myself, within my bedroom ‘studio’ – all with Yamaha keyboard accompaniment. CNN, it ain’t! (Though our levels of journalistic integrity are probably comparable). Highlights include: An epic magic show (including incredible Uri Gellar-style spoon bending), news & local weather, early evidence of self-righteous hippy conscience and Santa NOT caught on film.
View on YouTube here (There is an interactive, clickable timeline in the info section.)
After digitizing and restoring many hours of VHS footage, I put together a few other compilations, including a medley of numbers from my primary school band. We toured other schools in the West Midlands performing unique renditions of Barbra Streisand hits, ‘The Theme from Lovejoy’, Bryan Adams’s ‘Everything I Do’ etc…
I recall feeling particularly rock-n-roll, as – although I was offered ‘lead keyboard’, I rejected it in favour of remaining on ‘bass keyboard’. Be sure to look out for bonus footage of yours truly playing ‘Boy With Limp‘, in our splendid production of The Pied Piper. Oscar-worthy.
This video, and all of the others below, also have pull-down menus with interactive chapter points (if viewed on YouTube)…
Here are a few other highlights from my illustrious acting career at our local methodist church, where I played everyone from baby-killer King Herod, to a loan shark victim, to a pig farmer and inevitably to almighty God himself.
There is also some rogue footage of my role as Bottom in Shakespeare’s ‘A Mid-summer Night’s Dream’, where I appear to be going through my ridiculously camp phase.
Here are a few amusing tid-bits I uncovered on a recent visit home.
- “Thomas is invariably bright and cheerful, sometimes to the great annoyance of other pupils” – PSE, 1996.
- “Thomas has a lot to say, occasionally it is only to hear the sound of his own voice” – PSE, 1999.
- “…needs to be less intense” – English, 2000.
- “…needs to work upon his attention span, as he easily gets distracted (usually by computers)” – PSE, 2000.
- “…often asks controversial or difficult questions” – Religious Education, 1995
- “…especially adept at producing humourous or thought-provoking posters” – PSE, 1996
- “Remember us when you’re rich and famous” – Primary Headmaster, 1993
- “…a quiet and conscientious pupil” – Tutor, 1994
- “…a boisterous, lively chatterbox. He enjoys working with plasticine” – Tutor, 1990