My record-breaking noise fest
This week I had a very strange experience. I found myself backstage in the performers' Green Room of the Royal Albert Hall alongside 90 other celebrities, actors, stand-up comics, presenters, journalists and musicians - what seemed like every household name in the country. We were all clutching a musical instrument, about to go on stage in front of a capacity crowd; 3,910 to be exact.
We'd each been given a kazoo - that smile-inducing small, buzzing wind intrument. In fact every single person in the hall was clutching a small red kazoo, hoping to obliterate the world record for the largest ever kazoo ensemble, currently held by 3,861 Australians. And the entire proceedings were presided over by my childhood hero, Basil Brush.
I was not on hallucinogenics. I hadn't had a hospitality glass of red too many. It was for Comic Relief, part of Radio 3's Big Red Nose Show. Our kazooing was to accompany the BBC Concert Orchestra.
As the conductor lifted his baton, I stood sandwiched between the majestic David Morrissey and charming Sanjeev Bhaskar who, with our fellow 3.910 kazooers, waited for the first note to be struck as a signal to start.
We were informed that, to beat the world record (and raise the maximum cash) we had to blow the kazoo continuously. If anyone dropped it, or took it from their lips at any point, the game was up.
I do hope that Wagner was turning in his grave
I was plutzing. If anyone was going to cock this up it was going to be me. When told not to do something, I involuntarily do exactly that. In my first week of filming Eastenders I was given a tray of very expensive champagne glasses to hold. The props man warned me: "Under no circumstances drop that tray, babe. They are the only set of glasses we have. " On ACTION, I promptly dropped the tray.
What can I tell you, I'm a klutz.
The baton came down. It wasn't the deafening sound of nearly 4,000 out of tune kazoos; it wasn't seeing some of my closest mates nearly expiring from blowing the life out of a small red tube; it wasn't even the spittle that was flying everywhere; they weren't what nearly did for me and the record.
It was spying my fellow Hebraics, David Baddiel, Steve Furst, David Schneider, Andy Nyman, Jon Ronson, Emma Freud, Rebecca Front, Sam Spiro and Gaby Roslin, and realising that the tune we were so gleefully kazooing away to was Wagner's The Ride of the Valkyries, that nearly lost me the kazoo.
Oh, the delicious irony. If Wagner was looking on, the bulging eyes and puffed, blowing cheeks of us Semetics probably backed his assertion that Jews are repellent in appearance.
But as we returned to full glamour minutes later, I do hope that he turned in his grave in the knowledge that we had the final revenge.
Because not only was the Jewish contingent out in full force for charity and looking good, it was also murdering his finest tune in the process.
The Big Red Nose Show will be broadcast on Radio 3 today at 7pm