Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good food and other stories

One day I'll remember my username and password to get on to this thing.

If I could've remembered it yesterday, I'd have told you that the site I mentioned the other week, BBC Good Food, is up and running in every sense: I've seen the stats for the first few days and it's just boomed into life. Please add to their good fortune by having a look at, especially if you're a foodie.

There was a launch party for it in London last night, lots of drink, lots of food and - you're already wondering this, I was wondering it, everybody else on the list was wondering it - yes, the food was indeed good.

But I also wanted to talk to you about the Radio Times feature I mentioned without actually saying what it was. I've delivered it and it was one of those that's so much fun you hate handing it over, but I think by not saying what it was about I either looked coy or grandiose. That or rude, I'm havering. But it's habit, sorry, a longterm habit that comes from how you never know what will happen to a piece.

For instance, I was commissioned for a magazine feature in summer 2005, wrote it, got paid quite nicely, and it's never run. I was asked to update it this summer but fortunately it didn't run then either because I completely blew the assignment.

And it happens. You haven't told me what you do: is this the same for you? It's rare that the piece vanishes, it's more often that you get chucked off it - though that's only happened to me twice and I found it much, much rougher when I was an editor and had to fire a writer - but it's routine that something changes. With this latest one, for instance, that's for Radio Times and it's tied to one specific episode of a series so if BBC2 bumps that episode to January, my feature goes with it. (And BBC2 has been making an amazing number of schedule changes lately; the delay for production on Top Gear set cats amongst pigeons.)

Plus, if that show does air in January, it might be up against bigger shows and my feature shrinks to a paragraph. I expect I'll have a byline on this one but there's plenty in RT that I do which doesn't; I think now that I've finished with it but even today there was a call about a detail so I never regard it as really finished until it's on the shelf at WH Smith's.

And I never, ever say what I'm writing about.

Except now. You read this far, how am I at tantalising? The BBC2 programme is an edition of Imagine... celebrating the 70th anniversary of television and I've honestly forgotten when it's supposed to air but it's soon. And RT is currently intending to run a feature about how Radio Times has covered TV since the start. That's it.

But, grief, I had a good time doing it, most especially when I found a little unexpected connection. You think Radio Times came before television, because radio came before television, and, er, you'd be right, but wait till you see what I found.


1 comment:

Piers said...