With three other freelance hacks, I listened last night to the episode of Ed Reardon's Week where he chairs a stupid panel game called Cheese Cricket.  And we all thought: how does the BBC run this magnificantly accurate account of the way it behaves, and not consider changing its behaviour?

Everything was right, even down the the fee Ed was offered - £85. That's as BBC a fee as ever I've heard. It's exactly what I get, when I'm lucky.

Then there's the process of unashamedly going down the contacts list. A few weeks ago I got a call from Michael Crick. Would I go on Newnight?  But the subject was one on which I couId not have disguised my ignorance, so I tutrned it down, even though I knew my fee was be £5 more than Ed Rearden was getting for that panel programme. 

Could I suggest anyone, said Michael.  I tried a few names, but Michael said: "No, he's away, she feels she's unable to talk on it given her new job, he's..." It turned out that he'd tried every single person I could think of before finally ringing me.  Doesn't do a lot for a chap's confidence.

Then there's the blacklist, openly talked on on Ed Reardon's Week.

And it's producers, who say "Soz" when they mean sorry.

And it's talentless pet proteges, who mustn't be offended.

And yes, I do identify with Ed Reardon.