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I have never thought of myself as the most photogenic of men - the camera always seems to distort my rugged manly features - so when I was told, 'Jon, we need to get some promo shots done', I wasn't that enamoured with the idea. The thought of some creative type with a Kangol hat telling me to make love to camera was not really my idea of fun. It was something I needed to do though and so I reluctantly agreed that today would be the day.

Things didn't get off to the best start when I refused make-up. They wanted to cover up my birthmark (that's the round thing on my forehead). 'No thanks,' I said, 'it's part of me.' And it is. As the name suggests it has been with me since birth. It makes me who I am. The Sky remote has a red button; I have an orange coloured birthmark. Realising there was no way I was going to go anywhere near the mascara, I was then plonked on a stool in front of three cameras. The 'chief photographer' - I think that was his official title - was a Swede called Edvin. I suggest that's the Swedish variant on Edwin. I was pleased to see that Edvin was sans Kangol hat. 'First we shall do some exercises', he said. 'Okay,' I replied, jumping off stool and getting into a press-up position. 'No, I mean facial exercises. It relaxes the muscles.'

Edvin then asked me to pull faces for fear, determination, shock, sadness and many other scenarios that I have now banished from memory. Usually I am quite happy looking like a prat but when you have a Swede documenting it, it's not so easy. After five minutes of me stretching my face muscles we got down to business. My job was simple. Sit there and do what Edvin told me. Look up, look down, tilt your head, smile, take off your shirt.

200 photos - yes, 200 - later we had finished. My jaw actually hurt. Invited to look at genius work, I was told that - once I got going - I was something of a natural. Unfortunately, I only got going when we got to number 180. Thank goodness for digital cameras. There were a few in the first 180 that would escape the recycle bin. Number 006 was 'very good and a typical promo pose'. I'll be sending it to my Mum later. Number 041 showed my 'comic side'. I'll be sending that to The Beano. Number 023 showed 'what can go wrong when you try to be too wacky'. This one will go to Specsavers. Number 019 showed 'someone who looks like they'd rather be at home.' This one will be going on my 'Wall Of Truth'. All in all though, it was a job well done and an interesting experience.

The bad news is that this was just a trial run. Next time the birthmark is going. And with it a little piece of me.

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  1. hello handsome ;-)

  2. cheeky git lee, that is not amber!!

  3. Why am I marrying you again?

  4. Babybird one hit wonder! Great blog. Jen in Liverpool. x

  5. @Nick: I assure you that the second one was not me.
    @Amber: Are you talking to me?
    @Anon/Jen: I am glad someone got the reference. Thanks for reading and thanks for the kind words.

  6. The Real Amber!!15 May 2009 at 14:05

    very funny blog!!