Wednesday, 13 June 2007

My Oddest Telly Days

A chat with an old friend this morning has made me smile all day. We laughed about some of the really odd moments we had in tv together. It made me think about the absurd situations I've been in for the sake of the tellybox. So here's a random list of weirdities...

a children's show for CiTV
I sat in the corner of a smelly old warehouse past the crackdens and whore alleys in King's Cross. The centre of the huge rattly space had been made into a huge one-room set of a fancy posh hotel room. Well, a fancy posh hotel room (a) in the eyes of ten-year olds, and (b) with a very small budget. So lots of shiny fabrics stapled to the wall and red velveteen. Our children's sitcom-cum-magazine show was halfway through the run and it had been a total nightmare. My Big Boss wanted anarchic and dangerous, pushing the envelope of children's telly. My Immediate Boss wanted safe and fluffy, not to scare the wee'uns. The channel wanted... err, actually they never said. They were totally bemused by our show anyway.

So I'd been up since 6am, sitting with my mate The Fat Writer, feeding him cans of Super (8%) - very easily obtainable in King's Cross then - as we desperately rewrote what script we had to reflect the totally opposite requirements of Big Boss and Immediate Boss. The fact I was Titular Boss was neither here or there.

At around 4pm, me and Fat Writer were treated to the site of Dale Winton chasing Bob Holness around the set hitting him with a shoe, only interrupted by Ant and Dec leading a horse into the bathroom, as East 17 sat and played with a train set in the far corner. And just when it couldn't get any more surreal, the pet dog - who'd sadly gone blind inbetween filming episodes 1 and 2 - was dragged past on a skateboard. It was the only way we could get him to move. He was very lazy.

Me and FW sat and sniggered. Nothing we'd done before had been quite as weirdo as this. My favourite episode will always be this one - although Big Boss thought it was "too kidsy" and Immediate Boss thought it was "too unstructured". Other series' highlights included Boyzone singing a lullaby to the sleeping cast (our ancient Irish director listened to the whole song and as everyone applauded said "OK boys, now can you sing it in fecking tune?"), 2Unlimited talking in Dutch and swearing away as we sat by blissfully unaware, and a man making an ice sculpture for no apparent reason.

It starred Ronnie Ancona and Mark Heap, don'tcha know. Funny how they don't mention it on their CVs heheheh.

Next time, covering everything in tin foil to indicate The Future and watching lambs being born with Leslie Ash.

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