Tuesday, October 06, 2015


The long summer is over (it's been over for a while, but Autumn only kicked in a couple of days ago, like someone shifted a load of recycling and found the big red button marked 'Chilly/Damp' and said oh there it is and pressed it).

I hardly managed any meetings over the summer, mainly because I was looking after two small children, and also most telly people are either on holiday, looking after their small children or drunk at the Edinburgh Television Festival. Okay, fine, some of them are actually making television programmes, or say they are, it's hard to check, because there are so many channels now. Sometimes they're drunk, looking after small children and making television programmes, which explains a lot.

I did sneak in a couple of meetings towards the end of the summer though. My favourite went like this:


I enter the room. Two producers and a script editor are looking warily at a wodge of stapled paper on a coffee table before them. It has my name on. It is a spec (speculative) sitcom script I wrote!

PRODUCER ONE: At first I thought I didn't like this script very much.
ME: Okay...
PRODUCER ONE: But then I realised I just didn't understand it.
ME: Oh.

Quite a long pause.

PRODUCER TWO: I did understand it!
ME: Huzzah!
PRODUCER TWO: But I definitely didn't like it.
SCRIPT EDITOR: I read it, and I did like it!
ME: Great.
SCRIPT EDITOR: But then I realised I hadn't read it properly, and when I went back and read it again, I realised I hadn't understood it at all, and now I don't like it.
ME: Right.

I reach over and pick the script up, even thought it technically belongs to them, because they printed it out and everything. Slowly I slide it into my bag. No-one tries to stop me.

An awkward silence follows. Finally:

ME: Okay, was this it, because this is turning out to be quite a depressing-
PRODUCER ONE: Oh, wait, we liked the other thing you sent us!
PRODUCER TWO: Yes! That was much more our sort of thing.
ME: Huzzah again!

SCRIPT EDITOR pulls a hitherto-hidden cord and lots of balloons fall from a net in the ceiling. We all jump around for ages to the sound of Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off'. Eventually we all sit down, panting, and a runner takes all the balloons away.

PRODUCER ONE: Okay, I have two things I would like to say about this idea. In which order would you like them?
ME: Do the second one first.
PRODUCER ONE: Very well.

That last bit really was word for word. And a lot of the first bit. Some of the stuff in the middle was made up to some extent.