Happy talk… Or why being nice can help make everything better

It’s funny when you finally get to speak to those personalities who you’ve always been aware of.

There’s something magical about being able to tell friends and family which known names you’re speaking to this week, but when it came to Griff Rhys Jones, it was beyond ‘interesting’ and entering ‘legend’ territory.

Of course, as a known face, I’d my assumptions about him in place.

The man, the legend

Speaking to him the first day back after the new year break, I was acutely aware of his quick wit and often acerbic comments and I have to admit to being a little uneasy.

In that situation, there’s nothing better than investing time and effort in as much preparation as possible, because knowing your topic well generally means they’re pleased to invest time in your chat.

In the event, I needn’t have worried.

From the off, the Cardiff-born, Essex-raised comic, actor, presenter, author and all-round British icon was a delight.

Funny, interesting and chatty beyond any limits, it was tough to keep to the topic – his ITV programme A Great Welsh Adventure with Griff Rhys Jones – when faced with such a great wealth of material, including anecdotes and observations from his many decades in showbiz.

It occurred to me after we chatted that perhaps the way I approached it was all wrong.

After all, someone who had a snappy temper and was difficult to draw out in interviews would hardly wind up with such sizeable success over a long period of time.

Or, as my mother always says, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Read the piece here


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