When I was a young reporter I had a good contact in the local health service. I’d cultivated her and I got some pretty decent stories out of her. But we had only ever spoken over the phone.
Then one day she said she had a dossier for me to read and said she’d bring it in to the office. I met a woman in reception, assuming correctly that it was she, and said, “Can I help you?”
She said, “Yeah, I’ve got this for that new lad, what’s his name…?
“Oh, yeah, Graham Bandage.”
When I started blogging three years ago, I didn’t want to use my real name, for a variety of reasons with which I won’t bore you, and Graham Bandage seemed the obvious choice.
Since then, I’ve come out as a writer. I was shortlisted for a screenwriting award, I’ve had bits and pieces put on here and there, and I’ve had a column in a daily newspaper for the past 15 months, all under my own name.
Last night, I even did a bit of stand-up. It didn’t go well. Don’t ask. But I was on the bill – at my own instigation – under the name Graham Bandage. And it seemed faintly ridiculous for me to be going by two names when I can barely establish myself using one name.
And Gary Bainbridge was here first. You can still call me Graham or Bandage or Graham Bandage or anything crude, if you like, and I will happily answer to it.
But I won’t be calling myself that name.