Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Parties

I found myself trawling through some old photos from a lovely end of series party the other day. Don't ask why, it's even sadder than you'd think, but it got me thinking about the 'joy' of media parties. I've been to loads of them, from tiny intimate affairs to humungous happenings with thousands of attendees. Here's a lazy awards' ceremony spoof of some of them:-

BIGGEST BASH
An Xmas party with the theme 'white' in a warehouse on London's trendy-now-but-still-shitty-really Brick Lane. Me and my little band of five staff turned up to this enormous venue, past the ice sculpter and a man painting a collage of the event on one of the walls, drinking sponsored ice vodka and eating tiny dollops of food that was white. That'll be eggs on bread then.

Upstairs, in the special VIP room, proper ministers of the realm were in attendance, as well as big name celebs off of the telly and everything. I got taken up there by my immediate boss, and sat in awe as breakfast TV presenters chatted to channel controllers, with a smattering of very pretty men and women gliding around with trays of drinks.

MOST BORING BASH
See above. My immediate boss was a very clever and astute man, and good company. Until he proceeded, as he did at any venue serving booze, to get well twatted and have to be steered away from people he didn't like. That was everyone else in the building, and he'd snarl and point and slur at them as he stumbled around. Luckily he made no sense. He eventually went to sleep, I escaped the VIP area and ended up in a nasty little boozer down the street with a mate who lived down the road. And a few staff who'd just left the company so weren't invited - we had a reet good time.

MOST DRUNKEN BASH
You know, I can't even recall what it was for - we went to a tapas bar locally for lunch and drank lots of beer then wine. My other immediate boss then went back to the office. We all stayed and drank tequila. And flaming sambucas. And more wine. Staff drifted back to work, most of whom fell asleep on their keyboards. I stayed until 6pm, surprised it was still light when I exited the bar and proceeded to fall flat on my face. Commuters stepped over me, tutting at my drunkitude. I giggled and somehow managed to get home in one piece.

MOST DRUNKEN BASH II
A party for a company I'd left years back, me being invited due to some clerical error. I went dreading it, going with someone I used to work with but really REALLY didn't like. He bored me shitless on the way there. When I got there the only people I knew were the accountant (dullest man ever), the senior management (on full schmooze-with-everyone mode and not at all interested in me) and - oddly - a commissioning editor from Sky who'd been in charge of a very troublesome show I'd produced.

The venue was the Polish Embassy (no idea why) and topless male models were offering vodka continuously. Oh dear. I drank lots and lots of it. I mean gallons of the stuff. I danced with said com.ed., telling her of all the people I'd worked with she was by far the best (a lie). I told my old boss she was the loveliest person I'd ever worked for (another lie). I got stuck in a corner with the accountant and the guy I came with and managed to leave them deep in conversation with each other, keeping them out of my way all night.

Old friends then turned up and I had a ball. I think. It got even blurrier. I snogged a lady. I tried to snog a topless male model. I then wandered home and fell asleep on the Circle line and went around several times. Someone then tried to mug me - well, went through my pockets whilst I dozed, so I had no money.

I then fell asleep again and had to be picked up from central London at 3am as I was totally lost, disorientated and skint.

Top night!

BASH WITH NASTIEST ATMOSPHERE
The end of series party for my one and only foray into ITV, it was in the upstairs room of a fairly ordinary pub in Covent Garden. The bitter rivalries and simmering tension on this show had been a nightmare throughout, especially as it was the first big thing I'd been in charge of. Even if the show was actually run by the lovely exec producer and his old Irish director mate.

The researchers hated me, and each other. The celeb booker hated everyone. The cast hated the writer. The writer... well, he wasn't bothered really, just glad to have free booze. The technicians hated all the producers as they thought we'd ruined their show. My big boss hated everyone except me as she thought they'd ruined her show.

So there was quite an, erm, atmosphere.

Booze flowed and it all went much more smoothly that I'd expected... until, of all people, exec prod and director bloke had a blazing row and off stomped the director. At least this shocked everyone into behaving well for a bit. I stayed sober for once and had a miserable time. Even more so when I found out I was expected to pay for the entire thing - it was a 'proper' telly tradition that the producer pays personally for an end-of-series thing. I pointed out my researchers earned more than me, and lovely exec producer footed the bill in the end. He was paid six times my salary so could afford to.

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So the next time you think you'd love to go to a glam media party, think again. That's the shocking err-I-can't-write-any-more-on-this conclusion to this collection of blogbits.

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