13 July, Mongolia – ‘All Over The Place – Asia, part 2’
I’d never witnessed “throat singing” until today, and I tell you, you’re missing out if you haven’t. Just round the corner from our hotel is the main centre for throat singing here in Mongolia, and pretty soon Ben and I were standing in the low ceilinged theatre in front of a man making noises I’ve never heard coming out of another human being.
To throat sing you basically turn yourself into human bagpipes, forcing air up through your throat to hum, then adding a tune on top by contorting your tongue and whistling through your teeth. It took our teacher 13 years to perfect it to the standard he does now, so we had no chance. He was quite impressed with my initial attempt, but then I started trying too hard and it all went to pot. Also present was a contortionist, and after she impressed us by literally bending over backwards the two of them became talent show judges for our parody of ‘The Voice’ – ‘The Throat’.
Ben and I both attempted to throat sing the theme tunes to our CBBC shows, and whilst we were both appalling, I was deemed to be marginally better and crowned the winner. Having shot half the item the other morning we now found ourselves in the rare position of having half an afternoon off, and hit the main department store to clear it out of tourist tat and cashmere clothing. It’s a third of the price than back home, and cashmere is THE greatest thing to wear when you’re filming in the winter back home, so now my suitcase is fit to bursting with socks, hats, gloves and jumpers. Just what I’ll need in tropical South Korea next week…