Friday, March 31, 2006


I've been mocked for boasting that I've got nine bylines in this week's Radio Times.

And you have to agree, I boasted. I deserve mockery.

But I was also doubted, can you believe that? There I am, minding my own business, very full of myself and big-headed, when this geezer mocks me and adds "Besides, I could only find eight."

For the record, the new ninth byline is on a feature about BBC4's 1973 season but then there's the usual seven of me for On This Day and one last 'un for the TV Stat on the letters page.

And wow, that Stat is a bugger to do. I've had nightmares about it, quite seriously.

Anyway, hi. How've you been? As I write this it's Friday night, I've just delivered a half-hour sitcom script to that same doubting geezer (he, I and a few others have challenged each other to write a sitcom from scratch in two months), tomorrow I'm dancing and doing more On This Day; Sunday I'm a photographer at the NEC for a Sewing for Pleasure show.

You see? I tell you everything. Now, 'fess up, what's happening with you?


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

In the new Radio Times

Can I tell you about this? I'm particularly pleased with a feature I've just had published in Radio Times. It's the issue that came out today, covering 1-7 April, and with the Coronation Street cast on the front.

Which reminds me: that cover's got RT a lot of attention today and has a video of the cover photography shoot. I've only been to a couple of shoots for anyone, just a single time for RT, so I find that video fascinating. If you've been to a million, your mileage may vary.

But could we get back to me? On page 27 there's a piece about BBC4's 1973 week. The week's pegged around a repeat run of the drama Life on Mars and BBC4's done quite brilliantly to cover every angle of this year.

My job was to research a) 1973 and b) BBC4's plans.  The former was easy enough, the latter harder because - as I understand it - plans and schedules were being negotiated for quite a time so in theory anything could drop out or be added.

I had a really good time doing this. But I'd been warned that the feature would be primarily a photographic one; in the initial stage I purely delivered a list of items I recommended we get pictures for. (Did you know the Toy of the Year 1973 was the Mastermind board game? Nor did I, but I do now.)

Later it was changed and I was asked to provide effectively picture captions for a sequence of these shots. I wrote the amount I was asked for but with the expectation that it would be cut down to fit the room left on the page.

It was. But hardly anything was cut at all, I'm amazed how much the production desk squeezed onto this page. 

That's it. I think the piece is funny, though if it is it's because BBC4's schedule is well done and the subs desk at RT added a nice gag for me. But I wanted to tell you while the issue was on sale.

And hang on, I'm in the issue for my usual seven On This Day pieces plus the TV Stat short so this week I get nine bylines in Radio Times. Blimey.