Wednesday, 7 March 2007

OK, so no-one knows anything and the tv business is odd and badly run. Here’s an illustration why. It’s my second ever job interview in telly. The first one was frankly disturbing, involving a semi-famous yoof tv presenter doing a poo in the boss’s desk shortly before I got there. I’ll tell it later obviously.

I applied for this job for no good reason whatsoever. I was doing fine, heading development for a medium-sized independent tv production company, doing pretty much what I fancied most days.

“Indies”, as these companies are know, are the lifeblood of tv. There are thousands of small ones (with no work) and ten huge ones (with all the work). My job was to think up ideas, write ‘em up, sell them to my boss, rewrite ‘em up, pitch them to channels, rewrite yet again, and then oversee production of the show if someone was fool enough to buy it.

I worked across everything, from daytime to kids, gameshows to entertainment, even some comedy and drama. One day I’d be writing up Afternoon Country, a show, er, for the afternoon set in the country (“Today, it’s lambing time on the farm. And Leslie Ash makes a thing with a doily”); the next I was writing a gameshow; the day after a soap set on the Moon.

As I mentioned before, my mates had all legged it, all but one. He was about to run off to make millions on the interweb. It could be argued maybe my friends wouldn’t have all left if I’d got lots of interesting series commissioned for them to work on but let’s not go there.

I’ll stop the anecdote here to interject with another tv secret, one so important it’s just come to me:-

tv secret #002:
few people last more than six months in any tv job

We usually count the duration of jobs in dog-years. I’d been at this place for nearly twenty dog-years and was therefore like Brucey, The Chuckle Brothers or Helen Wagner. Google her, go on.

Anyhow, my one remaining friend was leaving the next day. So I sent off for this ridiculous job of being dead senior in a brand new channel. No chance whatsoever but - hey - what’s the harm? My CV must’ve looked good as I got a call the next morning and they wanted to see me that afternoon. But it was also my mate’s leaving do that lunchtime, and I had to go to that. Oh dear.

05 things I did to prepare for my big important interview

1 Drank a pint of beer;
2 Drank another pint of beer;
3 Had a half of beer - hey, I might get a new job later, careful;
4 Thought fuck it, and had another pint of beer;
5 Had a vodka and coke to take the smell of beer away.

As you can imagine it was an eventful interview... ah, and have to end here as I've got an actual workthing to do and everything.

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