Sunday, September 21, 2008

Place your bets

The Guardian says Jane Tranter is leaving. There doesn't seem to have been a confirmation yet so this may just be yet another in the long chain of rumours about her going that we've seen this year. Yet the Guardian is confident enough that it talks about who's likely to replace her as Controller, BBC Fiction.

I interviewed her once for something at BBC News, haven't the faintest idea what it was about now, but I came out of her office very impressed. And as a drama nut, really quite happy. So she's going to be tough to replace and the Guardian's list is interesting: all very strong candidates, most of them women as it happens. I feel that's a good thing but I do notice that I noticed: if the majority had been men, would I have thought to mention it?

But, anyway, I am so certain about this. So certain. Nobody's even hinted at it, and I have asked some of the people involved but they all deny it, yet I will bet you money that Jane Tranter will be replaced by Julie Gardner.

I think this will be good news too, though I also think it's great that there are so many genuinely strong candidates. Isn't British TV drama in good shape?

But it will be Julie Gardner.

Please place your bets and come back when I am made a fool of or I start typing very smugly.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Losing your Innocence

Previously: my one-act thriller, Innocence, was to be staged at the Rose Theatre in Kidderminster 25-27 September. You've already seen the past tense, now read on.

The whole thing's been cancelled: both plays in the double bill, the entire thing. I don't know all the details and some of those I do I'm not really able to tell you here, but it's gone and I'm inappropriately fine about it. A production is a production, I wanted it on my CV, but I'm sure the organisers will understand my telling you that I wasn't at all happy about how it was going.

In the end, neither was the theatre. Innocence and another thriller were being produced by a group that works with the Rose Theatre but isn't entirely part of it. And I'm told it was the theatre management who pulled the plug.

I do have one regret. I had to write a bio of myself for the programme and that'll now never be printed. (The posters were, including the mistake with my name. You have to feel for the organisers: money spent like this. And I don't know what's happening with tickets. If you bought any, let me know: I'll refund you and get the money from them.)

But it occurs to me that the bio was fun to write and here's a platform for it. So, I don't know if it's possible for a blog to get any more egotistical, but let's have a good go: here's my bio from the Theatre Programme That Never Was.


WILLIAM GALLAGHER is a writer and journalist from the Midlands. He writes the daily TV history column On This Day plus radio and TV reviews and drama features for Radio Times magazine. He’s freelanced for newspapers such as The Independent, the Birmingham Post and The Los Angeles Times and magazines from Doctor Who Adventures to Sewing Today.

He’s been a journalist and columnist for BBC News and BBC Ceefax, editor for education and computing magazines, interviewed people from Stephen Fry to Maureen Lipman and spent one crazy day having afternoon tea in the mess room on a Russian nuclear submarine. He’d tell you more about that but he’s not honestly sure how it happened and regrets calling the place a dive.

He’s produced for BBC Radio 4, researched for the BBC World Service and reported for BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio WM and BBC Hereford & Worcester.

Scriptwriting includes ITV1’s Crossroads, the UK DVD Review podcast and radio adverts. Theatre writing includes Manhattanhenge at the Carriageworks Theatre’s new writing festival in Leeds earlier this year and Time and the Conway Twitty Appreciation Society at the Patrick Centre in the Birmingham Hippodrome in 2007.

William’s portrait and jewellery photography has been published in magazines and books in the UK and America and he’s filmed “Making Of” videos for BBC Worldwide. He’s now doing voiceover work for DVD documentaries, developing radio drama projects with BBC Birmingham and independent production companies. His literary agent is currently pitching William’s first novel to publishers.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My first theatre poster - updated

It's quite a moment. As I've told you often enough now - you're very patient with me, thank you - my Innocence play is being staged 25-27 September at the Rose Theatre, Kidderminster. But now, for the very first time in my career, here's the poster:

Click it for a larger version. The theatre's website has details of both plays in this double bill and, go on, you know you're wondering about the other one. "Married to the Moby" by Martin Drury. Details of both are right here where you can also buy tickets.

I really enjoyed writing that last bit. Buy early, buy often!