Monday, 25 June 2007

More weirdest telly moments...

Two weeks into my first job in tv I was stealing master tapes of the show I had just landed the glamorous position of junior-assistant-entry-level-deputy-researcher on.

Well, when I say 'steal', I mean 'save'. The edit company was going bust and, baptism of fire, the boss rang me at 6am and told me to "get my bony arse" into the West End double quick as I was the only one around who could help her 'save' the show. At 9am the doors would be bolted and the show, on air every Thursday, would be locked in there until the creditors got their money.

So me and her, in my tiny red rusting Fiat Uno, raced into London's glamorous Soho and got 15 episodes of our show (on around 200 tapes - that's telly for you) out and into the car. She said she'd drive to the new edit company (way out in North London), and flung my wee car all over the place, the tapes bouncing off my head and scattering everywhere as she cursed the 900cc engine for being gutless.

We got to the edit just on time and the posh director didn't even seem to notice me as him and the boss sat and watched the rushes of the show. Yours truly walking from edit to car to edit laden with tapes over and over again...

It hadn't occurred to me at the time, but maybe if the bill for 17 edits had been paid there wouldn't have been that crisis... still, the boss said I was "a star" and rewarded me with an extra hundred quid a month. On the condition I spent it on finance for a better car. "That Fiat", she said, spitting out latte as she enunciated, "is a disgrace. I've seen vibrators with more power!"

The room went a bit quiet as myself, the director and the editor caught each other's eye and all thought the same unseemly thing. My boss, bless, didn't notice as she was boiling with rage at something she spotted onscreen; the director had dubbed on some bizarre choir music over the opening shot, the music she'd specifically told him never to use again, and she went loopy.

I left to do my actual work as the screaming match began. My car, obviously, had been ticketed, haphazardly parked half on the pavement and half on the road by the boss. Evil Finance Lady back at work refused to pay that, despite my protestations.

I got a new car in the end too, some safe'n'stodgy Rover. I managed to sell the Fiat for twice what I paid for it, even though the body was dented and rusty and falling to bits, by covering the decrepid panels in hand-made mud (soil, water, errr.. that's it) and saying it was a wee bit dirty.

Great days...

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