Friday, 30 November 2007

Paperback Writer

Where's the month gone? I had it in my hand just five minutes back.
Most of it has gone in book research and then a chunk of it in long emails and 'phone conversations as I start arranging interviews. It's with some alarm I realise I'm about to meet some of the most talented and wealthy people in UK TV over the next two weeks including a couple of personal heroes.

One of the personal heroes I would have dearly loved to talk to properly for the book (we spoke incredibly briefly once at a conference) has of course just died. A number of the people I'll be talking to are women who've reshaped the TV industry, and there's no denying Verity Lambert led them from the front. Her Thames career alone produced some of the landmarks of TV drama, now remember she was the first producer of Doctor Who and what she achieved with her own company, GBH, Jonathan Creek, Eldorado (no, read around, after its tricky start it ended up a very good show.

Talking of meeting personal heroes, last week I did have a brief chat to Terrance Dicks at the National Media Museum, shortly before he had a very long and entertaining chat on stage with Tim Neal, the co-author of The Target Book a guide to those Doctor Who novelisations that so influenced the imaginations of a generation of excitable young men before video recorders went and spoilt it all.

Terrance says half the TV industry seem to tell him his Making of Doctor Who book was partly responisble for them ending up in it! Somehow I don't think I'll be seeking to confirm this with my interviewees, though I bet one or two of them have given it a flick through. I also had the ridiculous pleasure of reintroducing myself Andrew Pixley again, who I've been bumping into on and off since about 1984 when we were both in Sheffield. He was kind enough to praise my chapter in Time and Relative Dissertations in Space about... the making of Doctor Who which drew heavily on his incredible research into the making of Doctor Who.

There's a pattern emerging here.

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