Monday, 17 December 2007

Express Yourself

Quick rattle through last week time- three TV producers, an inflatable bed, a fairy tale in Marseilles and one long, long National Express journey marked by a drunken Italian man with about eight sweary words of English which he used pretty much exclusively while drinking a whole bottle of vodka until he got a ‘phone call revealing his nationality. One of those big bottles of vodka, I hesitate to call it family size but it was the spirit bottle size below the ones full of coins in pubs. As a bonus, he did use the word "comment" to mean "come on" a lot which almost made the constant swearing alrightish.
The journey back was less remarkable apart from the curse of the people who read out every sign they see between London and Chesterfield and what I'm fairly confident was someone being sick into a plastic bag as I got off. No cause and effect there, I think.

Chesterfield’s a funny place- all I know about it is that it’s where the famously bent church spire and Mark Michalowski are from. I’ve lived within metaphorical spitting distance of the place for twenty years on and off, and have only ever seen it from a train, coach or car window (and that due to terrible diversions after a major accident). Because, I mainly see it at odd times of day and night and mainly see the coach station I can’t help thinking it’s entirely populated by ghosts and predominantly grey.
This may well be the case.

London gave me Tim and Mim, who I first met roughly contemporaneously around 1989. I’ve got very fat since then, they don’t appear to have changed, just quietly and mysteriously become parents and therefore adults. They gave me too much wine which was good and off I went to ask obscure questions of telly people, hoping this week none of them had been to a funeral liable to cause mild-mannered Jonathan Creek actor Alan Davies to get rattily drunk.
I can report I visited a toilet and walked along a corridor featured in Charlie Brooker’s TV Go Home book at Endemol’s HQ in Shepherd’s Bush (anything more in depth you'll probably need to pay for). I felt quite the Nathan Barley.

I also got to catch up with Ken Campbell for the first time in an absolute age and have a bit of a chat. Hopefully we'll meet up again soon in the New Year.

Manchester on Friday brought me the news that actually my BBC drama producer doesn’t hate me and all words I produce at all, having apparently heard and enjoyed No Tomatoes (I hadn’t known that), and that, oh I don’t know there maybe half a chance still in that world. I've been invited to pitch Afternoon Plays this offers round, which is slightly better than last offers round when I pitched because I knew it was on but I hadn't been invited to, so, you know, progress. I also found out we’ll know about series 2 of No Tomatoes in early January ('find out' is used here in the sense of 'discover if there’s going to be one').

After that I popped over to the University Drama department and had an entertaining chunner with David Butler there, who shares too much of my cultural DNA. Very rarely in life do you feel relaxed enough to sing Roger Limb music to people in conversation, which, you know, is good generally, but it does mean it feels great when you know you can...

Perhaps the most exciting thing to come out of week, other than a glimpse of Peter Bazalgette’s socks and the discovery of how Paul Smith of Celador got started on Zokko (one for the older readers there) was an email this morning asking if I might be interested in doing a proposed Classic Serial for Radio 4. Obviously, the serial may not happen, but if it does, it’ll be damned exciting. It’s a well known book I’d be adapting and one I’d love to explore in sound. More later on this, if there is any.

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