An Open Letter

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For many years now, Greg James has been a staple on my radio dial. From driving home from work, to getting up in the morning – his show, without fail, always brings a smile to my face, no matter how I’m feeling or what is going on in the world.

A couple of days ago, Greg put a post up on Instagram:

To which, pretty much instantly, someone replied with something along the lines of 

Get a hair cut”.

Greg clearly saw this, and commented that that reply was perfect timing for his point about humans being a complete fucking nightmare.

I got angry – not at Greg, but at this person who, without a thought, blurted out their opinion directly. So, Greg, this is for you.

Dear Greg,

Take this open letter as a thank you – not just from me, but from, I’m sure, the millions of people who wake up every morning, with you. 

I won’t lie, you keep me company in the shower throughout the week. 

Some mornings, I wake up feeling like absolute shite – don’t we all? I’ve either had a bad nights sleep (anxiety, cat, toddler, take your pick) or I’m worried about something, most recently, damn Brexit (I never thought politics would keep me awake, but then I never thought I’d witness our country turn in to such a nasty beast). You’re just the same as us – you get us – you openly talk about taking care of your own mental health, and how important it is that we do the same – I’m sure some mornings you wake up feeling just as we do, yet you get to work at stupid-o-clock, put the headphones on, and work on cheering the rest of us up with, what I can only describe as, childish tomfoolery.

And I’m here for it.

I’ll be honest with you, Greg….I never thought I’d enjoy listening to someone opening yoghurts. I didn’t think I’d get so invested in helping you escape from a locked room. I wasn’t expecting to waste hours on Google Maps looking for where you were playing hide and seek. Not for one minute did I imagine anyone would send a Pasty around the country, and I certainly didn’t expect to laugh at the hype caused by a single pencil.

I never thought I’d be singing along to the PlayDays theme, or getting so irate at “ask the nation”. Hearing Maximo Park on the 10 minute take over *literally* makes my day.

I tuned in for the Gregathlon – I was devastated that you couldn’t finish – not because it makes good radio, but because I could tell you were truly torn apart by it all – the stories from the listeners, the people you met. It became more than “just” a charity bike ride – and your determination to finish when you could was sparked not by the urge of completion, but by your incredibly good nature. You finished that trial not just for your own well being, but for the people who opened up and shared their stories with you. 

You did it for us.  

I follow your social media – I see the idiots spouting off their unwanted opinions because, well, they feel like they can. Because you’re famous, or, most likely, because they’re not actually thinking that there’s a real person sitting on the other end of the phone. 

I have no way of thanking you for what you do directly – so this is my thank you.
A thank you for putting a smile on my face – like a mate that I’d share a few pints with after a shite day at work – someone who appreciates that, when crap happens in the world, you simply don’t want to talk about it (you avoided Brexit brilliantly, I don’t know whether you did it on purpose, or what, but it worked). You touch on a subject, you know people are triggered by it, and you move on. 

So, please, Greg – ignore the negatives. You’re providing a service to millions, some of whom will never truly realise how you feel, and the struggles which you go through (hell, I don’t know what you go through, this whole thing is off the back of a comment about your hair)

There’s a pint here (Norwich) with your name on it – as a thank you – and I’m pretty sure there’s many more around the country waiting for you.

Keep going, keep talking. 

Thank you, Greg.

Mark – 36 (and 1 month)

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