Here at MagNet Towers, we occasionally get the odd flash of brilliance, even if we do say so ourselves. And contacting rising TV comedian Lloyd Langford, a Baglan boy made slightly-well-known by his appearances on the BBC comedy panel show Ask Rhod Gilbert, seemed to be one of those brilliant moments. We thought maybe he’d like to write an article for our website. We thought wrong, as Lloyd himself explains in a long and rambling email that could perhaps be summarised in a single, two-letter word: NO.
To: Port Talbot MagNet
From: Lloyd Langford
Subject: Writing for Port Talbot Magnet
My name is Lloyd Langford. I’m a comedian and writer.
I was contacted by a journalist from this website asking me to write a column. They basically tried every trick in the book to get me to write this article. I’ll give you a few examples using quotes from the initial e-mail:
“It would be unpaid, as most good things are these days.”
Excellent! My interest is already piqued by a bold, upfront offer of no money whatsoever.
“Now that the local paper has closed down…”
This is better. Appeal to my sense of charity. But I did a bit of research. The Guardian shut down in October 2009. That’s over two and a half years ago. I feel somewhat aggrieved that The Magnet is only now getting around to considering me for a column. I imagine the past 30 months have been taken up with pestering other Port Talbot luminaries such as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Michael Sheen, Rob Brydon, Dic Penderyn, Di Botcher, Paul Potts, Naughty Norman from Fireman Sam, Tessie O’Shea and Captain Beany to contribute their time for no remuneration. Surprisingly, it appears all of them said no.*
“We reckon if Huw Stephens can write a free article for the neighbouring town of Neath, then why on earth shouldn’t Baglan’s own funny man have a column?”
I particularly like this tactic. Play to my ego. Huw Stephens (a man who I’m vaguely aware of. I think he plays music I don’t like on a radio station I don’t listen to) has managed to dash off an article and so now Langford, the ball is in your court! A cunning attempt to try to kick off some sort of literary rivalry between me and Huw Stephens. Let’s imagine it. He starts off by championing Neath. I retaliate by dissing the GCSE grades of Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive School. Stephens counters by slagging Hollywood Park. Things soon escalate out of control. Next thing you know it’s like Biggie and Tupac all over again and I’m tragically gunned down outside the Carlton, all the shots fired from a Chevrolet with Finnish indie music blasting out from the stereo.
“[Lloyd should] have a column on our site about his glamorous celebrity lifestyle in yonder London??”
Again, this flattery will get you nowhere. I’m not sure I lead the sort of celebrity lifestyle you mention. If you’d only done the basic journalistic preparation of hacking my phone before approaching me, you’d be aware of this. I’m currently sat in my pants in an adequate hotel in Nottingham debating whether or not to go downstairs and purchase a real ale. I’m hardly Mariah Carey. Though if you do want some celebrity tittle tattle then I can tell you with absolute calumny that Rhod Gilbert owns 10 solid gold nostril hair trimmers, one for every month of the year. (Gilbert, like everyone else from Carmarthen, is a strict adherent to the calendar of Romulus.)
So in summary, as tempting as your offer is, I don’t think I can write an article for your website.
All the best
*Apart from The Captain, who obviously said “Beans!”