Your feedback on Digi Live has been invaluable. I worked very hard for months on trying to conceive of a version of Digitiser that would work as a live show, but I had no idea whether it was going to succeed.
I knew I wanted a communal feeling, I wanted to break down the barriers between the performers and the audience (that's what the Pac-Man intro and Antique's Roadshow were all about, and why they were near the start of the show), I wanted everyone to feel involved. But... I'd never done anything remotely like this before, so it was all being done on instinct, rather than experience.
Your laughter and applause on the night went a huge way to convincing me that we'd achieved it, but up on stage we couldn't really hear or see the audience; it's kind of like being in one of those sensory deprivation tank things. I could hear the audience a bit better backstage, but there I couldn't really hear or see what was happening on stage.
So, my experience of the show itself was sort of weirdly incomplete, until I started hearing from all of you, and seeing your photos and videos.
But! Your tweets and letters this week... man... I think we actually did it. I should never really underestimate the Digi audience's capacity to share my sense of humour, but it always surprises me, because I know it's a weird, niche, sense of humour.
There were things I hadn't even imagined might happen, such as the social aspect for all of you, quite how much the show gave so many of you a confidence boost, and shine a little ray of light in your lives, how well Chunky Fringe went down...
We just wanted to put on a funny show, but it became so much more. I think I speak for all of us - me, Larry, Sarah, Paul, Sanya, everyone else behind the scenes - when I say it means so much that our hard work had such a positive effect.
Anyway. We've got a lot to get through. Along the way I'll try and give some behind-the-scenes insights. Let's go!
If you'd like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, or you've got a picture of a bin you wish to share, please send your filthy emails to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for Digitiser Live? I don't know, I'm still mostly at the shock & denial stage. Except for Even More Beautiful Boy, obviously.
The Chunky Fringe page has been tweaked to reflect the fact that the event is over, but I have kept all the public details of the exhibitors, hosts, and panellists up there for future reference. Hopefully, some of them will be back for the next shambles, and thanks to the many visitors for making this one thoroughly worth our time. Video recordings of all the panels will be published soon, one way or another.
Did anyone accidentally come back with an extra pair of headphones? If so, please get in touch with Chris Bell.
Peter Kwan has also mislaid a cardboard box labelled teletext. Please note: this does not actually contain teletext, even though the contents are similarly not worth an enormous amount.
Is it even worth asking who left the fabric goujons on a string?
Hope the headphones and box turn up, David!
What a great day last Saturday was! I went to Chunky Fringe first, and I must give huge appreciation to the hard work of David Walford for putting it all together.
Hats off also to his dad, who was a thoroughly nice bloke and did a great job as MC for the panels, as well as chipping in elsewhere when needed. The fact that free food was laid on was a ridiculously kind gesture and just added to the general sense of friendship and warmth that ran throughout the whole event.
The panels were even better than I had expected, and I was so impressed by the knowledge and modesty of the people on them.
Particularly amazing to me was the work of those who have been saving old teletext pages from VHS tapes, Jason Robertson and a non-panellist called Alistair who had created the software. Saving an entire lost medium is something for which they deserve so much credit, and I made sure to tell them this. Amazing stuff.
I really must mention Chris Bell, who I believe was also involved in the organisation of Chunky Fringe. His knowledge of Digitiser is unbelievable - when even the most obscure stuff was mentioned in the panels, he knew all about it. I had a brief chat with him and he's really just a top bloke.
I also managed to grab a few words with Mr Hairs who I'd narrowly missed at a travel show last year - great to see him present on Saturday, and he was very funny on the panel. Mr Hairs = legend. Be great if he was more involved in the Digi website!
As for the Digi Live show, I probably can't add much to what has already been said. Hours of sublime nonsense, properly funny (Man's Daddy), touching (Octavius' song) and awesome throughout.
The time just flew by. I particularly noticed just how much Mrs Biffo (can we call her that?) seemed to be having a really great time - I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to thank her for the work she put in making things happen on the night. I hope she enjoyed it as much as we all did.
For train reasons I was straight out the door when it finished, which was probably for the best judging by some of the things i've read since. I'm so sorry to read that some attendees had some problems on the night - a day of so much fun and amity didn't deserve that.
Hopefully future Digi-events will let everyone have a day as good as mine was last Saturday. Thanks to all those involved, and particularly you Mr Biffo, without whom none of it would have happened. This year Harrow, next year Wembley stadium! Or Harrow again!
We know we've got a high bar to pass next time, so there'll be a whole different set of pressures. Sorry to bring them up, but the feeling I'm getting from Digi Live is what happens during and after a Marillion Weekend.
They're as much social event as a series of concerts; a chance for likeminded people to meet up every couple of years, always a lovely atmosphere, and year after year they manage to top the previous one. If you like Marillion - and, frankly, given that I've gone with non-fans several times, even if you don't - they're very special occasions.
So, that's what I'm going to be aiming for. We're going to top it. But we have much to do before we can even consider another live event.
Digitiser Weekend then?
Thank you. Saturday was an amazing show that blew my mind in ways I didn’t think were possible!
From ‘Found Footage’ through to ‘Digitiser’ I’ve been an avid fan, and seeing the effort you and the team put in has helped restore my faith in the whole YouTube, Kickstarter, and Patreon side of things. I’m proud to have supported this, and look forward to supporting future endeavours you all partake in.
I’d loved to have come and said hello after the show but:
a) You looked like you were being swamped and could have done with rescuing.
b) Social anxiety kicked me in the nuts, making it incredibly hard to actually speak to people.
But that said; every person I did meet, from Slopes to Horsenburger, were beyond lovely. You have such an amazing community that follows you, and I feel incredibly lucky to be part of that.
To absolutely destroy a quote from classic comedy:
‘Biffos not the Messiah, he’s a very beautiful boy’.
TJ (Weekend Lollygagger & Video Game Basement)
Firstly can I congratulate you on a bloody superb Digitiser Live on Saturday?
I loved it. It was honest, anarchic, bonkers, funny and a great tonic for the soul. So glad you got Larry retching in there too!
If you ever do it again, what would be the one thing you would change? Would you even change anything?
The Porridge King
You all know by now that we did have one slight problem with an audience member, so I think we would - just for general safety - have security next time. Also, I think we'd factor the Chunky Fringe and the social stuff a bit more into our own planning. It'd be nice if you had somewhere to hang out that wasn't a carpark.
In terms of the show itself, I probably wouldn't change anything. I was very, very pleased with how it all went. Maybe we'd start a bit earlier, given our tendency to overrun? And from the feedback, there are some sections you've responded to more than others, so that definitely gives a bit of a steer. Really though, I'll just be guided by instinct again next time.
Also, I would like to be able to pay the behind-the-scenes crew and the performers. The tickets were priced deliberately cheap - and any money we did make went into the show itself - but I'd like to find a way to be able to pay the core team, even if that means having a merch stand or something.
I dunno how feasible it is, given the size of our audience, but if we were able to make money on live events, then we might be able to justify putting them on a bit more regularly.
Not too regularly though...
Some of my Digitiser Live musings:
- How do you get to Harrow Arts Centre? Just follow, at a respectful distance, the Youtubers!
- Marillion aren’t exactly happy go lucky are they.
- Thank you to Andy (? Sorry, I’m terrible with names) from Reading (but really good with details) for coming over and talking to me and sorry if I scared you by being a bit of a tag along.
- Oh yes, it’s actually finally happening!
- Tears of laughter.
- OMG, please don’t throw the pipes into the audience, please don’t throw the pipes…..
- Poor David Braben.
- How can I even start explaining Even More Beautiful Boy’s “Gift” to anyone. How? HOW?
- Oh no, this finale is actually happening!
Just wanted to add another thank you to you all for what was obviously a lot of hard work. An unforgettable show!
I just wanted to drop a quick email about Digitiser Live.
My wife and I travelled down from Yorkshire and stayed overnight in Harrow. The journey, although long, was definitely worth it. The show was excellent, very funny, entertaining and obviously well planned. Even the slight hiccups were well managed.
Thanks for everyone's effort putting this show together and also the YouTube videos.
Did you ever get around to playing Elite back in the day? I seem to recall it was pretty awful and terrible to control, but for some reason a lot of people remember it fondly.
Cow Areola, 34
PS. My cat is glaring at me impatiently as I type this message.
I was wondering if you had any information regarding Ian Bell and whether he's gone and done a piss or not?
Ian Bell has done a piss,
Well, apparantly he has!
How're you feeling after Digi Live? Physically and mentally back to normal yet? How were the mushroom crisps? :D Thanks again for such an amazing night.
Also, with all the love and respect in the world, I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR THE DAVID BRABEN SONG. It will not leave my bloody head. My brain keeps inserting the lyrics into other songs, too. YOU ARE A MONSTER, GOOD SIR.
For all its chaos, Digi Live wouldn't have worked if we'd just improvised the whole thing. It was actually quite tightly structured, I thought a lot about the flow of it, the balance of it. I didn't want it to just be something that the audience watched passively. It was the thing I was most worried about, that you wouldn't interact, or would just sit there in silence.
I actually had a comment from one of my patrons asking us not to go overboard by trying to get the audience to singalong during the show, and it troubled me a bit, because that was sort of the antithesis of what I wanted. We didn't want to make a play that you just sat there and watched; it was designed more like a rock concert.
In fact, a big part of the inspiration for the show was Blue Man Group. It's a really interactive show, and one that I know is very popular in the autistic community... so I was hoping that people would get swept along on the night regardless of their anxiety.
And you did!
I ate the mushroom crisps on Sunday, and they were nice. Not quite as nice as the Ukrainian ones I had, but close. So, thank you. Even though they were out of date.
You only went and did it. I always knew we were in for a once in a lifetime treat with Digitiser Live, but even so, I still wasn’t quite prepared for how joyous, how much of a triumph, how communal - or just how jaw-achingly funny it turned out to be.
It was relentless. From the intro video right until the end of the climactic Molyneux, I laughed, and laughed, and laughed like there was no tomorrow. It was beautiful. And packed! Those extra 40 minutes were an unexpected bonus - for you all too, I guess!
The first couple of days following it felt like coming back from a festival. The sense of elation and renewed faith in humanity, coupled with the incomprehensible tiredness, was very similar to how I’ve felt every time I’ve returned from Glastonbury. It was that special. What a serotonin rush. Thank you so much for all of it.
And tiredness? Well yes! I had a busy day! Chunky Fringe was a wonderful success too - thanks so much to everyone who came along to check out the exhibits and see the panels. I had a great time, and it seemed to go really well. The turn-out was way beyond expectations. David did a superb job organising it, and everyone I met there was lovely.
And now a series of random memories as they occur to me:
- Arriving at 1.30 and there already being a gaggle of people hanging around outside the Chunky Fringe venue, waiting to come in. When we opened the doors at 2pm it instantly felt like we had 30 or 40 people with us, and by the end of the final panel the place was PACKED. What a brilliant result!
- Quang struggling with the intro video, and it going back to the start was so hilarious that it felt like it was scripted. Seeing the video go back to the start and quickly spin through what we’d already watched was sublime, I had no idea it was a genuine technical cock-up as it was exactly the kind of thing you’d have dreamed up!
- The Bronk tribute was perfect. Just... perfect. What a way to open the show - I keep thinking about it and smiling. Which is of course just what Bronk would’ve wanted.
- Octav1us’ Digitiser tribute song - so touching, a true anthem for the Digi community, taking in all the key moments. Made me proud to be a fan!
- The OTHER anthem. You know the one - DOODAH! DOODAH! When the crowd started singing it again unprompted a cappella it gave me shivers - what a moment!
- The moment during my Chunky Fringe panel when Tim was in the middle of a thoughtful answer, and suddenly the audience starts laughing really loudly, seemingly not at anything Tim had said. I looked at the projector screen behind us, and OF COURSE it was a Digi page featuring Peelbacca they had popped up on the slideshow. It happened again later with the Hugh Grant pinup - lovely spontaneous moments!
- “I can’t find my funny comments!” - again made me laugh so much I thought it was scripted!
- You being unexpectedly “yanked” uncontrollably by your Segway kart and the look on your face!
- The audible sharp intake of breath from the entire audience when it was revealed the Multi Mega was bought for £2.50 in a carboot sale.
- The Even More Beautiful Boy appearing and not knowing whether to laugh or be terrified
- Sooz Kempner in general - how lucky were we to have her, she fitted into the chaos so brilliantly well!
- Joking along with The Man’s Daddy was LOVELY. Another communal moment that just felt so good to be part of. Reading out the jokes and the punchlines hitting us as we did so was just hilarious
- “Why did you choose THAT outfit, Paul?”
- “Invent the British games industry! Invent faster!”
- Sir Clive getting a lap dance. Oh boy. Surely too erotic for the polite environs of Harrow Arts Centre.
- The aghast screams and comments from surely the uninitiated when the Sonic vore video played.
- The finale of Molyneux with the whole cast and crew on stage joining in - Chris Jerden-Cooke and Gaming Muso being guitar heroes, Sooz being a vocal diva, and the rest of you frolicking about and generally causing chaos - it was truly life-affirming
- Meeting all the lovely people through the day - and having a real “no way!” moment at Chunky Fringe on realising I was talking to John Whyte himself!
I could go on. I’m sure there’s plenty more - but I won’t take up any more space.
It was everything I hoped it would be and so, SO much more. You all surpassed yourselves, every single one of you. I can’t thank you enough.
If there’s ever a Digi biopic, the end of Digitiser Live would be the final freeze-frame moment at the end of the film. It was the ultimate feel-good moment.
I’m so proud of you all. I’m so proud of US.
You bloody legends.
It was perfect.
Something I've always been haunted by - and I don't think I've ever told you this, Bellston - but when Knife & Wife was going to be on Channel 4, you posted something on Super Page 58, or somewhere, hyping it up and being very excited, but I knew in my heart that the show wasn't what I wanted it to be. The worst thing about it was all the people saying nice things afterwards, when I knew it was actually a bit rubbish and disappointing.
But... after Saturday I can say I've finally made something which was exactly as I wanted it to be, more so than Biffovision, more than Found Footage, more than Digitiser The Show. I'm actually excited at the thought of trying to top it somehow.
So, Digitiser Live has now been and gone, meaning that the first season of "Digitiser: The Show" went out with not a whimper, but a massive, chaotic bang!
As I said to Quang after, I thought that Digi Live was an absolute shitshow (in the best possible way - which pretty much was what it was supposed to be), and loved it!
As one of the backers at Executive Producer level, I really felt that everyone involved did a great job with Digi Live, as well as "Digitiser: The Show" itself, and I'm looking forward to seeing more in the future, in whatever form that takes. It's bound to be an absolute joy, even if I don't understand all of the jokes!
I would also like to say that it was great finally getting to meet you in person, after talking about it for so long, and although it was a relatively short time, as you said it was "lovely to have a little moment". I was hoping to have a couple of words with Tim as well, but alas, it wasn't meant to be this time.
Despite the post-show chaos, I'm glad I got to meet you and a few new faces that I only had "met" on Twitter (although I didn't get to meet everyone I wanted to, be that properly at all, but there is always next time), so I think events like this are great to get people together because it allows everyone to see what a lovely community we truly are.
Granted, there was somewhat of a dark spot for many people (including my friend), due to a certain someone, I still felt that overall, things went great!
And as far as things go, the next time you put on something like this, you'll have a better idea of how things will go; this show was both a learning experience and also a triumph of sorts, and in a way, this is the sort of (series) finale that "Digitiser: The Show" needed to have, and it was pulled off wonderfully (in the Digitiser way)!
Early on, I felt that I made the right decision to back this project on Kickstarter, and many months later, I still feel this way. I was glad to be a part of this journey, even if it was primarily behind the curtain.
Either way, I'm extremely proud of what everyone in Team Digitiser has accomplished! Overall, Digi Live was a magical experience, and I think that that's the most important takeaway from the night; I do hope that despite certain circumstances, everyone else had a good night, and now that things are resolved in that regard, people can feel happier and safer.
In any case, I think that with what you have done so far with "Digitiser: The Show" has been nothing short of amazing; before the Kickstarter I admit that I wasn't aware of Digitiser at all (due to being in the Republic of Ireland) until the Kickstarter campaign, but I quickly came to respect you highly, and admire what you do as well; I also feel that you're effectively an "underappreciated gem"!
Lastly, if I can, I'll try to support the show financially again in the future (or I might just start doing stuff monthly, need to work things out in that regard), one way or another, but if there's any additional support that I can provide, let me know and I'll see what I can do!
Warmest regards, and here's to the future of Digitiser!
Andrew Kennett (StormkeeperGU)
Couldn't let the opportunity pass to thank you and your (magnificently willing) cohorts for the miracle that was Digitiser Live. It felt a bit like the conclusion of a weird pilgrimage that began not that morning, but when I was having my breakfast sometime in 1993.
I think the best possible compliment I can give you is that it was inspirational. There's something indescribably wonderful about seeing so much effort invested in something so utterly ridiculous. I tried to explain it to a workmate, but the best I could do was "like Noel's House Party, but about poo and video games". I don't think he understood.
PS. The set looked amazing, by the way. That desk!
PPS. Would love to see a commemorative T-shirt design added to the store!
I saw you put out the call for Digitiser Live-related Friday Letters, so thought I'd contribute. Some may have already seen my blog post that I wrote immediately after the event (https://www.patreon.com/posts/oneaday-day-227-28527736) but I wanted to reiterate some of the things I said in that here.
In short, I wanted to thank you and everyone else involved with both Digitiser Live and the Chunky Fringe event beforehand for creating an incredibly welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for everyone who attended. In doing so, you helped people like me to step a little outside of their normal comfort zones and have a chance to meet creators and performers they admire.
"People like you?" I hear you ask. (I have a vivid imagination.) I have Asperger Syndrome -- diagnosed a couple of years ago, but in retrospect, something I have been dealing with my whole life -- and this, among other things, tends to make the prospect of social interactions somewhat terrifying.
Whenever I'm presented with the opportunity of interacting with someone, my mind tends to whirl through all the possible ways it might go, usually ending up assuming that some sort of negative outcome will result: the person will think I'm boring or annoying, or they'll outright hate me and just want me to go away as soon as possible.
Something about Chunky Fringe prior to Digitiser Live set me somewhat at ease, though; perhaps it was the easygoing atmosphere of the whole thing, perhaps it was the incredible variety of different people who attended or perhaps it was just that everyone involved just seemed like such thoroughly pleasant people.
Emboldened by how oddly "safe" I felt, I decided that I wanted to try and speak with the good Mr Gannon, who was selling Cheap Show magazines and blind bags of tat. This is something that I wouldn't normally contemplate, but such was the supportive atmosphere I felt myself in, I found myself having a pleasant (albeit brief) chat with someone whose work I enjoy a great deal.
The feeling of safety and comfort continued throughout the show itself. The whole thing was delightfully good-natured, poking fun at things without being mean about it -- and the way you all embrace "failure" is an important part of creating that atmosphere, too. It's okay to balls things up, your performances say; it can be funny, you can learn something from it, and it can even bring people together.
I was incredibly nervous after the show because I was hoping to have a chance to shake the hands of the performers and thank them for the entertainment, joy and comfort you've all brought me, and these feelings grew when there was no sign of any of you for a while.
Eventually, my wife went out for a smoke and upon her return she said that Octav1us was outside; I knew this was "do or die" time, and that however scared I felt, I'd regret it if I didn't take a chance here. So I wandered outside, spotted Octav1us, waited for what seemed like an appropriate moment, and (hopefully) politely addressed them.
They were incredibly supportive and put me at ease almost immediately, and were good enough to let me show them my Atari 400 that I'd brought along for the Antiques Roadshow segment (but which sadly didn't get picked!).
Once again emboldened by a positive (pleasant!) interaction, I returned to the bar, and after a while I saw some pictures on Twitter that indicated that you, Biffo, were somewhere in the corridors.
I had another wander and managed to track you down; you were good enough to make some time for me to shake your hand, and you even recognised my name when I introduced myself. I was incredibly grateful for that -- particularly as, I subsequently discovered, you'd been dealing with some... shenanigans. But we won't get into that now.
Besides entertaining me and my wife for the day (and getting that sodding David Braben song stuck in my head for all eternity), you all helped a ball of anxiety and stress like me feel safe, welcome and at ease, and left me with some wonderful memories that I'll be able to draw inspiration from next time I'm in a similar situation.
I want to thank everyone involved, from the bottom of my heart, for such a wonderful, positive, invigorating and entertaining day.
Here's to the next one.
Nearly a week now since the live show, and I still have bloody David Braben and Horses in my head! Topless Larry also still haunts my dreams.
I must say, being born in 1999 I do not remember the early days of Teletext, or Digitiser in its glory days (I did use Ceefax towards its demise in the digital switchover... Digi on analogue, hmm). Everything from the Kickstarter right up to the live show has been an absolute blast!
Never have I learned so much about old videogames and the early days of the internet from a medium that, let's be honest, wasn't exactly designed to soak much in, more than rot what was left of my brain.
I headed to the Chunky Fringe bit beforehand, tried out some Thomas the Tank Engine action-adventure game on the ZX Spectrum and listened to the Digitiser talk. That proved a great grounding for the history of the page for someone who wasn't there, learning about where Digitiser came from, a few of the controversial bit, the loss of Mr Hairs and 2003 which I presume is not something we talk about.
Now the live show itself...
The first half was enjoyable. We got Paul Pac Ganman running around the stage, the Antiques Road Show and Tell and a few earlier skits. Nothing grand, but left us in stitches regardless. I feel that looking back now, the second half was always going to be grander.
DAVID BRABEN DID A POO, DOO DAH, DOO DAH! Now that's how you open a show's second half. We got to learn all about the history of UK Computing and Gaming in 100% authentic fashion with the people behind it themselves! This had us all breaking down in tears with the amount of laughter there was in the venue.
Octav1us and her Digitiser song was an absolute blast and maybe the most audience-engaging part of the show (well, that or the cleanup at the end. Who needs a backstage team when you can tell your audience to pack up and ship out in nine minutes! Many thanks for the rubber baton too!!!).
There really wasn't anything that I could fault that Saturday. The people behind it were amazing (and surprisingly approachable at the end! Reading Biffo's post earlier in the week, if I was one of those that maybe got too close towards the end, I can only apologise), the show was engaging and the one guy who tried to bring it all down with his misogyny? Sod him!
Thinking about it, I should also thank the Harrow Leisure Centre too. The last-minute addition of two rows at the front meant that spare tickets came on sale. I only pledged on Kickstarter for The Man's Daddy joke book, meaning if this did not happen and I never spotted the Instagram post stating there were spare tickets, what was the highlight of my summer would not have even happened!
Many thanks, Biffo, Gannon and team, here's to another Digi Live!
Michael 'Drawyah' Hayward
Again, like a rock concert. Kick off with a high-energy opening, settle down a bit with a few familiar tunes early on, and then bring out the big guns and get the whole audience singing along towards the end. I'm so glad it worked.
I like traffic lights, but only when they're green!!!
How about you???
Jon Clay, Taunton, Somerset
Dear Sirs and Madams,
I just wanted to put on virtual paper the beauty of the most beautiful boy that was witnessed by a lucky few on Sunday evening.
He was so beautiful. A beauty to behold. I will always be in awe.
Loved it, I hope it becomes as regular as a plum eaters bowel movements. Can you give us any insight into any rejected skit ideas that you had, or are you planning on holding onto them for some fine tuning and so you want to keep schtum?
J Is Manchild, Tunbridge Wells
I did also want to do Destruction Derby for Real, but that got dropped almost as soon as it was conceived.
I'd hoped to have DJ Trendy Peanut and Chart Cat on stage, but alas the performers were unavailable. I edited together a Chart Cat video - which I'll put out at some point - but it went on a bit, and slowed the momentum.
And the finale game went through about 50 different iterations, before I settled on the version you saw. The egg game at the end was the biggest headache: finding a delivery method for squeezing out the eggs was very difficult; we tried bicycle inner tubes, tube bandages, sausage skins, before realising on Thursday that condoms would make the perfect egg sacs.
Think that's about it, really!
Thank you for a lovely show at the weekend, myself and Mr. J (the wife) enjoyed every moment of it. The chaos and mishaps could have all been totally planned for all the extra entertainment they provided! The temptation was there to write a cheque (which would have probably bounced) for £200 to keep the show going.
It would have been lovely to shake you by the hand, but we thought we'd best dash as long drives were involved, and we were hungover from the bottle of rum we got through the night before, and it sounds like you had an exhausting post show anyway (and judging by the rowdy excitable audience we did think that something like that would happen) and you wouldn't need the extra attention.
Some personal experiences and observations from the event:
I spotted your lovely wife a few times dashing about backstage, at one point asking some girls if 'they'd seen your (theirs) dad'. She was a proper trooper that night.
During the interval (when the above happened), a curious hold up in the mens lavatoriums! A queue had formed for the urinals but no one was brave enough to enter the open cubicle, I've never seen that before!
At one point an extremely beautiful boy leered at Mr.J, and I was concerned that I may have been going home alone. He says he's sure he was winking at him with his papier maché-esque eyes... or that may have been a hold-over from the hangover.
Nostalgia Nerd reverse parks his car very slowly.
Paul Gannon does seem to whiff of cigarettes and poo (or someone did).
A poor lady got smacked in the back of a head by a PacMan ball thrown by my seat neighbour. She seemed to not mind too much, and Paul Gannon was falling over a lot which is always comedy gold. He should fall over more often. If she reads this I hope she can vouch for her health!
I still don't know who or what Bronk is.
I now know what Sonic vore is and wish I didn't.
I've attached a gif of Larry having a dance, during a segment that can only be described as what felt like watching a school play, but actually entertaining and not involving the distressing sound of singing children.
Mr.S and Mr.J (the wife)
Next time screw your journey home: COME AND SAY HELLO.
Well that was a thing wasn’t it? As my scrambled mind tried to piece together exactly what I had witnessed on stage that eventful night. More so afterwards as I lay trying to sleep in a Harrow hotel and the next morning on the train ride home. Finally, after getting back into the drudgery of my working week, does it start to take some semblance.
What a joyous occasion it was and a true spectacle to behold! My ribs still ache from the laughter and palms numb from the clapping.
I’m one of the strange few that didn’t grow up reading Digitiser. Shameful, I know. Despite being a child of the 90s it was something that passed me by, like most games media back then, I suppose. Magazines were expensive, and Teletext?... Wasn’t that what boring adults used to look at for news and weather?
I was content with just playing the games I had, and who, what and where these games came from - and what adults thought of them - seemed inconsequential. It was not until I was much older that these mysteries were more interesting to me.
I forget now what exact sequence of events led me to discovering Digitiser. Some kind of YouTube algorithmic nonsense possibly involving the Ashens -> Larry -> Octav1us route I’d imagine. Yet one day there you were promoting a Kickstarter for some kind of whacky 90s inspired videogame TV show. Intriguing, I thought to myself before promptly forgetting all about it.
Fast forward several months later and I’m perusing videogame websites and up pops an article on Eurogamer. Dubious 90s video game legend Dave Perry had a new show on YouTube. The article was less than flattering and upon viewing the video myself I understood more why. As I am wont to do from time to time I decided to read the comments section and there it was.
A comment reading along the lines of if only someone better had recently started a 90s inspired gaming show with the link to the video and the tag line, Moc-Moc.
Now here I am after thoroughly enjoying the first series and all the minis that have come since. The announcement of a live show had me very excited. I’d be coming alone, but it didn’t matter as I would be among friends.
The live show truly was spectacular! An irreverent mess of ideas bordering on just the right side of insane. It may have overrun but hey, that meant just more time watching you guys and at almost 3 hours the time just flew by. Says something about having fun I believe. Also, I’m very glad Sanya convinced you to keep in the ‘Even More Beautiful Boy’. As that segment started and the door to my left opened, I could see a reflection of the horror (or joy?) in the glass before you even came in.
Yes, that’s me looking very smug directly to your left in the picture of the EMBB uploaded on the Digitiser website! For it was the gifts you placed directly into my hand that afforded my smugness. I shared some with the young lady next to me but I think she was too terrified to be coherent!
I would have loved to have stayed and helped/hanged out afterwards but the sheer volume of people felt like I’d be more of a hindrance than help. Plus, I tend not to communicate too well in crowds. From the sounds of it you were all shattered anyway and it sounds it may have become a bit overwhelming at points for you guys.
Well this is getting far too long as I know you’re a busy man and writing is not my strong point. Though, getting someone like me to write a letter is an achievement in itself!
So, what’s the point of all this rambling nonsense? Well just to say thank you really. That’s it, no salient point or notable conclusion. Thank you. For bringing some joyous entertainment and raucous laughter in a world that can sometimes feel increasingly bleak. For bringing together a group of geeks and misfits for a night of wild revelry.
Of course, thanks also goes to Larry, Octav1us and Paul, the other guests, the backstage crew and of course your lovely wife. I know you’d be quick to pass the thanks onto them yourself anyway and make mention that your ‘vanity project’ of Digitiser would not exist without them and that is true. Yet it also wouldn’t exist without you Paul. So, thanks again, get some rest, take a holiday and I’ll still be here waiting to enjoy your content!
Dear Mr Biffonly Fools and Horses,
Well Digitiser Live was a glorious triumph, but I feel the need to bring events after the show to the attention of the public.
In the dark half-light of the car park I witnessed two particularly alluring young ladies approach a man and, after a brief interlude, hand him a Whimsy Rodgers.
As I said it was dark, and I don't like to gossip, but I'm pretty sure the man was Charlie Brooker.
Love, hugs and kisses,
There's not much I can say that you haven't heard from tons of people already, but if you'd like to hear it from one more person - thank you so, so much to you and all the Digi-crew for last Saturday. I can't even find the words to describe how much fun we had and how much we laughed, it was well-worth the drive from Cardiff.
My friend who came with me had never even heard of Digitiser before and loved every second. Everyone I show the Bronk video and pictures of Even More Beautiful Boy finds them hilarious. My face was in actual agony for a few hours after the show because I'd been laughing so much.
Unfortunately didn't get to say hi to you and Gannon afterwards, but shout-out to Ashens, Larry and Octavius for being so nice and patient with us when we spoke to them.
Here's to the next Digitiser Live, may it be even crazier!
Digitiser live came at a time when, after discussion with my doctor, I was finally comfortable with the idea of coming off my anti-depressants.
As someone who has struggled with anxiety issues in the past, I found the Digi community to be amazing. I spoke to, and formed small bonds with some really interesting people, which I haven't done in some time, I truly felt I was among my own kind and was super comfortable the whole time.
The show of course was incredible, constant laughs as things both planned and unplanned landed with the exact comedic timing they required.
Digitiser Live was the first step in the next part of my journey through mental health, for both it's content and significance to me personally, it's a night I'll never forget.
Thank you cast, crew and fans.
Tom Chapman Xx
Digitiser live sounded like it was a huge success! Why not come to the second city (Birmingham, that is) and do it? I’d be happy to help arrange and sort venues, I know it well, promoters and locations!
The MAC would be a good shout…
I’m looking at these green screen on lighting sets on eBay. Would you recommend a light box style or the umbrella style? I’m not really looking at moving around, just setting up a room in the house as somewhere to film. I’m determined to do something creative.
Stu (36, Birmingham)
I'm the wrong person to ask about lights and filming. Have you seen our videos? The lighting changes from one shot to the next!
Many people might remember the Alien Trilogy title that was released on the Playstation 1 in 1996. This actually was a best seller over here in England.
As of now, in 2019, we have seen quite a lot of Alien games - especially Alien Marines - and I am wondering if we will ever see a developer do what they did with Alien Trilogy and somehow if both Disney and 20th Century Fox will agree in working with a talented developer to combine all the best features of the past alien games into one amazing and enjoyable game?
I'll admit that the chances of this are minimal at best, however a lot of Alien games have been made, so this is one reason why I am hopeful we will see a very impressive Alien Game. Perhaps an Alien Trilogy 2 could be made which would combine 3 of the best Alien games ever released after Alien Trilogy into one impressive game.
The movies currently have had titles on the Sega Mega Drive so perhaps there could be some updated ports of the classics to give people some nostalgia or these originals could be added as bonus extras in a newer Alien game for people to be able to play again.
Gamertag (gaz be rotten)
No doubt one of many letters this week on Digi live.
Congrats to all involved. A thoroughly brilliant evening and a great job of translating the show to a live stage. Looked like you were all having a blast.
Maybe David Braben is by now aware of his involvement and has spent the last week with the same song stuck is his head as the rest of us.
PS. Did you get away with not getting stung for the £200?
Rest assured Biffo, not everyone loved Digitiser Live...
The usherette next to me looked ABSOLUTELY BAFFLED by the entire thing!
I've already blurted out words in several places, but I still have Digi Live in my system and I wanted to say thanks to you all, Digitiser team and guests and background helpers, one more time.
So much of my time on the internet is spent in communities that I'm never quite sure I fit into. And then there's Digitiser and its community, which in some weird way feels like home, and the uncontrolled and idiosyncratic weirdness of Digitiser and its vast internal language and devil-may-care attitude of "yeah a lot of people won't get it, but it's what we want to do so it's what we're doing."
Which means a lot to me as a guy who makes stuff that definitely only works for a niche audience.
Digi Live and Chunky Fringe was a phenomenal event, being a part of everything, getting to be The Man's Daddy and singing along to songs about poo and metal chuffs and the like; when the Kickstarter launched I didn't pick the Live tier, because I didn't think I'd get down to London for it, but next time I'll be right on it even if you pledge to host the next one on the moon.
I promise my next Friday Letters Page submission will be me complaining about some obscure pop cultural artifact again.
Sedric and Charlie
Just wanted to say thanks (again) for a wonderful time last Saturday. I did shake your hand and say thanks on the night but I'm sure you got a lot of that when you were completely shattered after the show, so I wanted to explain why it was so special me. You might want to make a cuppa first, I'm afraid it's a bit of a long email :/
Without getting into too much gory detail, around seven years ago my wife Jools was diagnosed with (inoperable) cervical cancer.
Obviously, this has made things ridiculously difficult, has torn our family apart (literally, two of three adult kids are no longer speaking to us, heartbreaking for Jools, and all sorts of other awful stuff I won't go into) and I've been through several bouts of depression trying to juggle full time work with being a sole carer - draining me to the point of physical collapse.
This all happened shortly after losing my dad to pancreatic cancer, so you can imagine how much of a number it's done on my previously cheerful mindset :/ (Keep it light, Rob!)
(I try to be as open as possible about the problems I've faced, in the hope it helps anyone else going through a similar hell - like Octavius' chats about mental health stuff, I feel the more people talk about it, the less stigma there is and the healthier people will be.
Now, obviously there are some people out there who aren't as nice as the usual Digitiser fan and there's the possibility that discussing such things can attract trouble and this is why I dislike the trolling 'characters' like Top Hat Gaming Man.
I feel he and his type ('comedy character' or otherwise) undo the good stuff the retro community brings, iykwim, and whether they mean it or not, they make people think they can act like arseholes, but we've had enough of talking about them lately, haven't we? Well done on the way you dealt with that. Whereas your stuff makes people realise they can be DAFT and FUN, without it being at anyone's expense.
Anyway, to (try and) get to the point, due to physical & mental exhaustion from caring/working/trying not to freak out over the horror of it all, getting to go out and socialize isn't something I generally get to do; I honestly can't remember the last time I went out anywhere for a drink and a chat with anybody.
But the chance to do that with 400 Digi fans, including a bunch of good people I've known on Twitter and YouTube for years but never actually met? (And, importantly, we had months of notice, so I could hopefully get stuff organised beforehand?) Sign me up!
That said, I almost didn't make it as my cover for caring for Jools dropped out the weekend beforehand, but by that point I'd already said I'd give Mentski a lift and was damned if I was backing down from that and leaving him in the lurch. Fortunately, a good friend was able to drop everything and stay over the Saturday night, enabling me to escape for the weekend.
And, well, wow. Aside from thanking you for the show, I'd like to thank everyone else there for being so lovely and friendly and making the whole day such a joy.
If it had just been the show it would've been great, but getting to just chill out (in the baking sun), having a few drinks (I had *2* whole alcoholic drinks, as much booze as I've had all year - needing to be on alert and ready to drive to hospital at any point means I rarely drink anything) and having a natter with so many great people really meant the world to me.
On my return home people were commenting on how happy I seemed - to quote the friend who covered for me on Saturday "I have never seen you so happy as you were on Sunday when you came home. it was as though there was a light lit within you."
So, it may have 'just' been a daft night, filled with childish/scatological humour, but for some of us it was exactly what the doctor ordered and I wanted you to know that. Just that one day has refuelled me as much as a week's holiday and I'm going to be looking back at it and remembering all the daft/fun stuff that went on whenever I feel like I need a boost. Which can be quite often, tbh.
I know this is far too long winded and rambling for a Friday letter (not to say late) but I just really wanted to say thanks again, and I look forward to Digi live 2020 ;)
Can I say thanks again? Yeah, I think I can,
Much love to both of you.
401 - (getting there) The most popular games in the world are mostly MMO games where most of the fun and enjoyment seems to come from emergent gameplay enabled by the games' mechanics rather than being planned. Do you think that some element of this is required for a game to become a truly global success?
402) What British regional accent do you think should appear in more games?
403) Does the Witcher Netflix adaptation present a chance for games to be taken more seriously by other media? It is, of course, based on the books rather than the games but it's clearly the games' popularity that is behind the programme being made. I'm not saying that it matters, or that it should, more that this might be one of the first great adaptations of a game to screen.
404) Which developer had the best eponymous series e.g. Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix?
405) What was your favourite Microprose game?
P.S. Digitiser Live was a really good show that exceeded my expectations. It was a genuine pleasure to meet you afterwards and you and Sanja deserve a break.
402) Hah! Scottish.
403) Isn't the TV show based more on the books, with some influence from the games? I don't know if anybody will care that it was a game series too, apart from people who enjoyed the games.
404) Blimey. I'll say Ubisoft with all it's Tom Clancy stuff. Not all of it is great, but the games are usually pretty solid.
405) Had to look up what they did. I'm going to say it's a toss-up between Midwinter and Rollercoaster Tycoon. Also, I really liked Gunship 2000.
Just wanted to drop you a quick-ish message about Digitiser Live - it's first letter I've managed to write to you even though I probably bug you more on Twitter than I really should.
Saturday was, to briefly sum it up, bloody brilliant. I must admit that I really didn't know what to expect as the day approached, but it somehow managed to greatly surpass anything I considered might get thrown into the final mix.
Even my better half (who has usually left the room for bed once I've put one of the Minis from YouTube on) commented that there was a few funny bits despite looking bemused whenever I glanced over - not sure if she's fully converted though, but possibly slightly less confused over what Digitiser is. That's something, right?!
Anyway, thanks for a glorious night complete with a lovely atmosphere on the whole and here's hoping there's similar gubbins to come at a later time. Also, it was lovely to briefly have a chat with you too, so thanks for that - it's only recently where I realise how much influence Digitiser has had on me, so that was a nice bonus personally.
The main thing I thought I'd drop you a message about is how Digitiser has managed to weave its way into everything that's happened to me ever since this week so far.
Firstly, the day after the show we went to visit her brother & had a nice family day full of sunshine & catching up. Well, it was pleasant up until it got to the evening and the kids had asked me to see them to bed and read them a bedtime story, which is fairly typical whenever we visit.
However, on this occasion the first thing I noticed as I go into the bedroom to start reading is a familiar-looking soft toy at the end of the bed - Sonic The Hedgehog. Of course, this instantly brings horrific, inappropriate flashbacks of certain content from the show to mind. So yeah, thanks for the quick & painful introduction to vore. Come to think of it, I haven't played Sonic Mania the same since either...
As I tweeted you on Monday, I also then found another Beautiful Boy in the form of an exhibit at Burlington House after it enticed me from the street. Later on Monday during the train back north, we were playing a word game called LetterPad on my phone which, through the letters available for an answer, allowed us to guess 'Bronk' (RIP). It wasn't correct, sadly.
Finally, on Tuesday the guy I'm currently reporting to for work asked how my weekend had been. I'd mentioned Digitiser to him previously as in talk about weekend plans, which had given him a spark of nostalgia, so he was seemingly happy remembering "The character who [he] was taking about - Mr Biffo!" over the weekend. He was also intrigued at my description of it as 'as if Monty Python got lost in the world of Nintendo/Sega back in the 90s'.
Well, I honestly don't think things will be the same again. Until next time at least...
Andy Thomas (@antom)
They made an effort, when they didn't have to, and you could feel the audience appreciated that. Given the Pythons' history doing live shows, I don't know why it surprised me. But I am surprised at how well Digi seems to work in a live setting. Feels oddly natural.
I wanted music to be a part of our show from the off, I wanted the audience to feel involved, and I wanted a show that was appropriate for the size of the venue. I mean, Digi is a weird mix, in that we just use games as a jumping-off point. It's not really about games anymore, but the references are there for those who appreciate them.
I had intended to do a proper review of the show, but I simply haven't had time so rather than that, I will briefly express my impressions of what unfolded in Harrow. I attended much of the Chunky Fringe and was really happy to meet Chris Bell of Super Page 58 fame - a man whose importance to Digitiser surely needs no elaboration and who was kind enough to help me fulfill my 'guerilla question' aim.
Then on to the show itself. I must confess that despite looking forward to it, I had one fear, namely that the presence of a 'soft' crowd might dull the cast's edge somewhat.
Mr Rose and the crew have a history of over-delivering and always trying to please the fans, but they must have known that, under the circumstances, they could easily have gone on stage, read out Das Kapital, sworn a few times and would still have received rapturous applause on the night.
As unfounded fears go, this was surely close to the Millennium Bug in terms of worrying over nothing. The humour that is shot through Digitiser was present but modified subtly to suit the live setting. The cast all performed well and struck a near-perfect balance of dramatic progression with organised chaos. Importantly, all members played a significant and more-or-less equal role in events.
One of the very minor criticisms I had of series one was a couple of episodes being light on certain presenters - that was not the case here. As good as the Mr Biffo show would have been, I think that he himself worked better having the others to play off (and vice-versa) and everyone had a chance to shine.
There was one slightly-uncomfortable moment for me as a spectator, which I was unsure if it was great acting or if it was just a joke that didn't work, but otherwise the show flowed really well and never dragged.
I promised to be brief so I will pay you the biggest compliment I can think of, which is that I cannot remember laughing so much, without contrivance, among people who were there not only to see a show but to be there for the cast also.
My friend who accompanied me has no interest in games (although was happy to recognise Burger Time in the intro video) but afterwards she told me that she had a sore jaw from laughing so much - I don't know what more I can say than that. To you and all involved, I simply say thank you - whether you ever perform live again or not, you exceeded all of my already-high expectations.
I hope that you don't mind my paying tribute to your wife Sanja, too. I don't know her, but I am aware of how much time and effort she puts into everything Digitiser-related and I wish to thank her for being integral to the show. I would have said this in person, but I suspected that me walking up and saying "Hello, I send your husband lots of letters" might not have gone down well.
This was much longer than expected - I'll do a proper review next week, if that isn't missing the boat.
Much respect to you all.
As for there being an equal balance among the presenters... sad as we were when Jenny no longer wanted to be involved, it comes from us now being four instead of five. It was sort of a blessing in disguise.
Plus, everyone is now that much more confident, and all understand much more what their role is within the mix - and what Digitiser is. That also allows me to let go a bit more, and just trust everyone to be brilliant.
Now I want to know what the uncomfortable moment was...
Hiiiiiiiiii Mr. Biffo!!!!!!
How are you, hope you are well and everything. I am fine thank you.
Anyway, as you may or may not be aware, I spend a lot of time on my jxd7800b (google it on the YouTube) playing the Roms and all that.
Recently I’ve been mostly playing obscure MAME arcade Roms and a thought crossed my mind (no, not a sexy thought!!!); why the eff had some of these quite good arcade games never got a home conversion?
Honestly, I’ve stumbled over a few gems from the early 90s that games publishers were too stupid or stupid to not try and get the license and I’d think to myself “Blimey! This would’ve been MASSIVE on the speccy/c64/ST etc.”
Say for example, Data East’s ‘Boogie Wings’ would’ve been ace and not that difficult to do. Kind of makes you think of other games that should’ve made excellent ports, know worramean!?
Anyways, as usual, I’ve talked shite long enough now, glad Digitiser Live went well. Do a tour next like them rock bands off the top of pops yeah!?
Keep on doing the funny vids and all that,
All your base etc. etc. etc.
It was from being included in the Plug Zone that David Walford found me. He has been encouraging me since then. And it was David who asked me to show my latest ZX Spectrum work at the Chunky Fringe. Getting ready for this was a lot of work and anxiety. Probably traveling on my own to London, to do the Fringe and then stay overnight, after having spent the day with people I haven't met before, is beyond my inherent capacity.
But I had the most incredible day. People who attended the Chunky Fringe were willing to try to engage with my project even though it's text heavy. I received introductions to teletext luminaries, and encouragement and support from strangers and friends who had come out of their way to surprise me.
The Fringe wrapped up, my tasks complete, I took my seat in the theatre. To get ready for the Fringe, I had been preoccupied with my own deadlines, and I wasn't really prepared for the emotional impact of seeing the show. For years I had read Digitiser everyday.
Your sense of humor and creativity was so present in my life and thought lost. Now returned. And somehow I had stepped through the screen of my tablet and were now in this room. With us all together. Cheering, laughing and singing along. And it was overwhelming. I know you were able to be there, so at ease on stage, because you've had people to support you and bring you out of your shell.
And this support you share.
I was there because that support extends to me as well. In the letters page we can talk to you and each other. And you share some of the space you have made to push us forward too. I want to say thanks especially to you Paul, and to David Walford.
In the show you push boundaries. But that's part of it being a live show. That it's something we go through together. You don't have to pander to us. We were there to see what you would come up with.
You say it's a one-off.
I understand that with no promises you have the freedom to move on to whatever's next, and I want you to be able to go where ever you feel that is. I think you really pushed the boat out, and we got to see some proper Biffo stuff. I wanted to say thanks to everyone who came out of their shell to be there. Along with me. And every one who is supporting other people in what ever way so they could collaborate with you or just be there too. It means a lot to me that everyone was there with me.
Although, I felt like I was the only one trying to make weird noises with their mouth when given the chance to be the Man's Daddy for the night. Was that not what you meant?
Afterwards I hung around in the corridors and car park chatting to people I'd just met that day. As a mortal I never dreamed I would get so close to a beautiful boy or the very organ that dragged along the amiga keys.
The next day the return home begins. For those who follow such things I encountered toilet paper that was curiously small. And hilariously, I tried to buy a London bus ticket with actual money. Which may have well been magic beans. Enhancing the feeling that I was a time traveller who'd strayed too far into the future. By Sunday evening I had climbed back out of the magic mirror to the other side of my tablet and the real world. Or is it? Has something been changed?
You can see in Jaws 19's video a hint at how many people in attendance are on their own creative journeys, and I want us all to have the opportunity to be introduced to each others work. I can't be the only one who has been clawing at hashtags in a vain attempt to go back through the portal back to that place.
With new friendships made, it can't be long before we all hang out again? Maybe I will meet more of you next time? And if you didn't make it this time you're included too.
Also: don't worry. Digitiser Live was a one-off in as much as it'll never be done quite that way again. It was a unique night, and we won't try to replicate it. But we will, I'm sure, try to do something even better, which gives you all that same feeling of being included and entertained.
Thank you, Simon.
What a time to write my first Digitiser Friday Letters page entry, than at 3am on Friday morning? I’m currently sitting up in the canteen at work on break, trying not to fall asleep (night 3 of 6 back, after the 4 days off I had for Digi Live).
Speaking of Digi Live, what a weekend! It was what I expected of a live version of Digitiser, and more! One of my favourite moments was not even 5 minutes in, when, in true Digitiser fashion, the video messed up!
At points, I couldn’t breathe properly from laughing so much! It was definitely worth the 1200+ miles round trip from Skye! (We don’t talk about the industrial action which caused my flight back north to be cancelled on Sunday, meaning I had to stay in London another night... or the fact that my Digi Live journey started 6.30am Friday morning after I finished an 8.5 hr nightshift...)
One of my highlights from Saturday however, was not just the show itself, but the socialising before and after. In some cases, it was lovely to finally meet people I’ve only ever chatted to on Twitter; in others, it was great to finally get a chance to properly chat, after having met them at CheapShow Live last October. Everyone was so nice and friendly, made me feel part of the community, and even helped quell some of the anxiety I had on the day.
Events like this, are always that little bit more special for me, due to where I live, as I can’t always make these events because of the distance I have to travel, which can make for expensive travel and accommodation costs. And then there’s also the travel anxiety I get with travelling long distances on my own...
Getting the chance to meet people I’d otherwise only get to chat to online means a lot also, as it might be months before I’m able to see them again!
On a final note, to everyone who signed my Digi shirt, and notebook, thank you! They both look awesome! I’ve yet to read all the messages in the notebook, as I’d get about 2-3 messages in, and start getting emotional from the memories...
And to Biffo, Gannon, Larry, Octav1us and everyone else who was involved, thank you for putting on an unforgettable evening! ️
Rhianan (@skyegirl1998 on Twitter)
And also: the Iron Brew humbugs are now my new favourite sweets.
I meant to write my first Digi-Letter this week, but I forgot, and now it's (after?) the last minute and my brain has got nothing, so rather than just leave it, I'm sending you a letter to tell you I've got nothing to send you a letter about.
Sorry for the 30 seconds you've wasted reading this, which you probably could have spent doing something more creative, or maybe even relaxing for a bit. Oh no, I'm still going on. Sorry.