Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Thanks to...



A big thanks to all of you who made it possible (in no particular order):

James Herring for keeping my identity hush-hush, Steven D Wright for all his indiscreet emails (don't worry I won't show anyone), Fiona Lennon for the iced skinny lattes, James Silver for his great advice, Rowena Gray for being a saint, Michael Gove for staying stum (thank you!), Kevin L for encouraging me during my darkest days, Lucy Lumsden for first rejecting it as a sitcom, Addison for coming up with his own storylines, David Flynn for sorting out the 'Itchy Reality' t-shirts in Edinburgh, Marty Durkin for all those inspiring rants, Andrew O'Connor for teaching me how to play poker, Jemima K for always fighting my corner, Murray for keeping me sane, Martin Davidson for being totally straight with me, Ro Newell for the birthday cake, Will Self for never knowing who I was (and not caring!), Dan Mazer for being a top man, Kufena for offering to sleep with me if I went on Screenwipe, Helena Peacock for the rollerskating lessons, Graham Smith for being a great sub-editor, Jo Shinner for the Anthea insights, Bear for being a pussy, Dan McGolpin for getting drunk to celebrate his mention, David Glover for the NASA contacts, Stuart Murphy for agreeing to play the villain, Rob Thirkell for lending me his signed McGee book, Camila Lewis for having the bottle to wear her old Word outfit in a Brighton hotel room, Danielle Lux for the Pret muffins, Kleiny for keeping me in on the loop, Nigella for taking it on the chin, Charlotte Black for the inside scoop on the "E4 years", Neale Simpson for getting me into Soho House, Ben Gale for showing me his REAL bathroom, Hannah Barnes for the gym story, Wayne Garvie for the anecdotes about Fincham, Gary Reich for the encouragement, Lambert for sexing it up just for me (thanks man, I owe you), Adam Freeland for never pandering to me, Peter for the MGEITF invite, Jon Ronson for his patience, Chris Curtis at Broadcast for being the first hack to support me, the constant smirking from Peter Salmon that kept me going during the early days, Robert Popper for taking the first hits (sorry mate), Mahoney for putting up with my kinky boot fetish, Steve Gowans for our early conversation about myspace, Dom W for giving me her opinions whether I liked them or not, Elaine Bedell for feeding me home-made hummus when the going got tough, Dan Chambers for all the proof reading (slap on back well deserved), Jay Hunt for flirting with me without realising who I was, Dan Hine for the late-night emails, Sue Murphy for the corduroy fashion advice, Yentob for the Groucho cocktails and gossip (I owe you big man), Julian B for his words of wisdom, Riley Anderson for never doubting me, Hincksy for letting me beat him at squash (and the pic of his car), Grimsdale for passing on his literary agent's details, Ben Silverman for being so Hollywood, Jana Bennett for blanking me (twice), Henrietta for introducing me to Dave Gravy, Ralph Lee for asking nasty questions, Simon Shaps for not being in it (no matter how hard he tried), Daisy Donovan for the coffee and salad, Grace Dent for worrying on my behalf, Peter Moore for his (very) dry anonymous comments, Duncan G for his invaluable help with the meaningless commissioning jargon, Claire Grimmond for the long lunches, Remy for being robust but charming, The Wolfster for giving me Murdoch's feedback on the blog, Daisy Goodwin for the encouragement (and help with Mexico), Suzanne Gilfillan for the watch, Tara Conlan for being an absolute star, Lisa O for laughing out loud at her cameo, Holly Pye for the access, Julia Wrigley for spending more time on the blog than on facebook, Andy Mac for thinking I worked at Tiger Aspect, Stephen McCrum for being very bitter, Peter Dale for finally understanding what email is for, Liz Warner for the DVDs, Charlie Brooker for snubbing me, Anna Blue for the cough medicine, Richard Bacon for the story about Ant & Dec, Simon Dickson for using the word 'organic' a record number of times in one pitch meeting, Jay Rayner for worrying that I was going through a midlife crisis and blowing the biggest break of my career, Danny Fenton for the beers and scoop on Jez, Reemah S for brainstorming buzzwords with me, Meredith for the sushi and bitching, Claudia Emery for being so supportive (will you marry me?), Helen Veale for the cycling maps, Lorraine H for inspiring me to write my favourite post, Roy Ackerman & Amanda C for the 'early years' stuff, Helen Bullough for forwarding those emails, Andy Newman for being my ultimate Libertine, Peter F for having a good sense of humour, Ben Frow for the anecdotes (I miss you- please come home), Dawn Porter for supporting me in the press despite the conflict of interest and DC for pretending not to read it. You're a legend. Thank you all and goodnight x

Love, Dominic Vallely xx

Sunday, 4 November 2007

The Observer Q & A with the TVC

Journalist James Silver (left) probing the anonymous blogger. Picture courtesy of Rex features.

The Observer: Why did you start writing the blog..? Was there a particular moment or incident..? Was it general exasperation? Describe the origins, where the idea first struck?

TVC (puffing on cigar): I started to get increasingly frustrated and annoyed by the state of TV and some of the attitudes of execs and channel controllers to ordinary programme makers. I started thinking about how many ego maniacs run the industry and yet are completely unaccountable for their actions. Satire was the best way of bringing to light some of these personalities, their monstrous working practices and apathy for the ordinary viewer on the street.

The industry was lacking any kind of satirical comment, especially about the mercurial way channels are run and the dirty habits of how commissioning editors treat their producers. I’ve always enjoyed the irony of how TV channels are obsessed with chasing youth and yet they are mostly all run by middle class, middle of the road, middle aged white men. This inspired me to create the ultimate character who is obsessed with youth, and yet has no clue what the kids really want.

I remember sitting through a Channel 4 briefing when Hamish Mykura said he wanted more programmes that felt like "scaling the north face of the Eiger". Anyone who is seduced by jargon like this is in danger of disappearing up their own arse. Jana Bennett is a prime example of this awful Harvard business school-approach to talking about and making tv, and it is something we should try and resist. And so the concept for 'itchy reality' was born. So, indirectly, we can all be thankful for commissioning editor bollocks speak which has been a big inspiration for my writing.

The blog never intended to create such a fuss, it was merely supposed to be a playful 'poke in the eye' to some of the industry's big self-obsessed egos and a way for me to vent my spleen after a bad day at the office. I would highly recommend starting a fake blog for anyone who wants to engage in a cathartic up yours to their own industry. As long as you can keep your identity hidden, of course.

The Observer: What are you trying to achieve with it...? it strikes me as far more than that just a funny read/office entertainment? Is the aim for it to become, in a wonderful hall of mirrors type way, a Larry Sanders style sitcom..? Is it all one big pitch for a show!?

TVC: Well it's certainly not a pitch for a TV show. I'm not self promoting or trying to make a name for myself. To be honest, the blog just evolved over the first 6 weeks and grew organically. Writing the blog is a very 21st century way of communicating directly with my peers without the meddling influence of publishers, editors or channel execs telling you what to do and how to do it. It has been a cathartic and liberating experience.

The Observer: Why are you calling it a day?

TVC: I've been writing this now for 6 months straight updating it virtually on a daily basis which is quite a hefty amount of time and energy writing about the manic world of television.

Not to mention keeping my identity a secret which is almost a full time job in itself. I have lost count of the times my colleagues have asked me who i think is behind the blog and keeping things hidden is quite a stressful burden to carry.

I feel the time is right to take a rest, park the character of 'TVC' and his world for the time being and go back under the radar until it’s time to re-ignite things next year. There’s still a few more surprises left in store for 2008 and beyond.

The Observer: What is it about the TV industry that is so ripe for satire right now?

TVC: I started the blog in April 2007 just before the fakery scandal and crisis in viewer trust broke; little did I know the blog would become a fantastic off-the-record news source for what was happening inside White City at the time. I certainly didn’t join the bandwagon of self-flagellation going on at the BBC or use this blog as an excuse to attack Mark Thompson. I’m not a bitter disgruntled programme maker. I think history will remember Thompson as someone who made the right choices, ultimately. Job cuts are hard but so is working in an overstaffed bureaucratic-heavy organisation where lifers work with impunity no matter how useful their job role.

At the time when i started the blog it felt like no-one was pointing out how overblown, melodramatic and, frankly, ridiculous the TV industry can be or the nitty gritty of how programme makers are put under tremendous pressure to create 'narrative jeopardy' where no jeopardy exists to begin with.

If you'd have come to me 6 months ago and said that Stephen Lambert would one day be out of a job because he sexed up a trailer for a fly-on-the-wall film about the queen I wouldn't have been at all shocked or surprised. My early postings about Lambert showed him to be no longer interested in making programmes for the youth channel and snubbing TVC regularly for the warm bosom of Peter Fincham's higher profile channel. It's very easy to see how this arrogance led to the Crowngate scandal.

The Observer: The world you describe is like a seething basket of vipers. Is it as bad as the way you portray it?

TVC: There are things I've witnessed and wanted to write about but have resisted because it would have compromised me and led to my identity being outed. TV is such a bizarre, neurotic and schizophrenic place to work. It often rewards people whose erratic behaviour and bullying attitudes just wouldn't be tolerated in any other working environment.

The Observer: Your depiction of the meetings, empires, petty behaviour at the BBC is particularly sharp - instantly recognisable for anyone who has worked there - ie VEPVMC in your latest post (i) surely you must have worked at the corp at some point, perhaps you are there now? (ii) what is it about the BBC which so intrigues you as a writer?

TVC: I have worked at the BBC before, but the truth is that I've not had the type of top-level access that I fictionalise in my blog. I don't go to lunch with Mark Thompson or Jana Bennett. It's very much written from an outsider looking in and yet some of the scenarios I write about do obviously happen. When the queen stuff exploded, for example, I wrote a post about Fincham and Lambert waiting to be dressed down by Jana Bennett as 'naughty boys waiting to see the headmistress'. A day later and the media guardian reported it happening exactly like that. Everyone assumed Jana had exploded and she was quite annoyed by this suggestion when questioned at Edinburgh.

The BBC is a bit like a posh public school, anachronistic and old fashioned at times, brilliant and inspired at others. It always amazes me how a company with a guaranteed income of £3billion can be run in such a chaotic fashion. We all fund the BBC so we should care about who runs it and how they go about making programmes, much more so than ITV or Channel 4.

The Observer: Why did you pick Danny Cohen as a (semi-fictionalised) subject..?

TVC: I don't know the guy personally and I have drawn inspiration for the character of ‘TVC’ from lots of TV executives in the industry. I've got nothing personal against Cohen at all and I’d be very surprised if he had taken any of it very seriously.

The Observer: Some have criticised you for anti-semitism. How do you answer that? Why have chosen to make this character Jewish? Would you, as [Stuart Murphy] said, have made such a big deal of his skin colour..?

TVC: I'm a Jew myself so calling me anti-semitic is puzzling, and it strikes me that this is simply the only way that my detractors can have a dig at what I'm doing. If i was Sanjeev Bhaskar I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to write about an Asian channel controller.

I write from the same school of playful self-parody that Larry Sanders or Mel Brooks do. The fact that TVC is Jewish is a very minor part of his character, which is evident by how little his religion has featured in the 240-odd posts I have written.

The Observer: Similarly: How do you answer complaints that it's "bullying" (Stuart Murphy said that), "spiteful and at times downright nasty" (Owen Gibson, Guardian journalist)?

TVC: It surprises me when journalists or former channel controllers think the blog is bullying or nasty. The loyal readers who work lower down the TV food chain have never accused it of these things. It’s the same as saying that the 'Vicar of St Albans' in Private Eye was "spiteful" towards Blair and The Thick Of It was “nasty” towards Alistair Campbell. I suppose some people are too close to what I write about to understand the subtle nature of the satire.

The Observer: Why the anonymity? Would it really be career-ending, or might you not end up lauded as someone who exposed the industry for what it can be, at its shallow sharkpool worst?

TVC: I've heard that very high-powered people in the industry (some of whom feature on the blog) have not seen the funny side to what I'm doing at all. Television is a very small world run as an exclusive club and doors would certainly shut in my face after the storm I've caused. I have a successful career which I cannot risk jeopardising.

The Observer: There are those who say, so many details are spot-on that you have access to DC's diary. Can you scotch some rumours? Are you James Herring? Steven D. Wright? Are you two people?

TVC: Who I am is not important. What is more important is who I'm writing this blog for. I'm writing it for the footsoldiers of the TV industry who have no public voice, who are expected to lie to contributors, visit sink estates and persuade single mums to sell their soul, sign away their European working time directive on working hours, have no job security, slog their guts out for months on end without holiday pay and then see people like the fictional ‘TVC’ steal their ideas and take all the glory. If you look back at the over-stressed, torn-to-pieces P/D in my 'secrets of editing' post, that's who the blog is written for.

The Observer: So who are you..?! Do you work in the indy sector, tell us that much?

TVC: I am an established programme maker who has won awards and achieved critical acclaim. I love modern TV and formats, I am not some old school disgruntled programme maker with an axe to grind. I simply wish the BBC, Channel 4 and other channels were more honest about how the industry really works.

The Observer: What kind of feedback have you been getting from industry insiders? Any angry emails? Have you heard from industry bosses?

TVC: If you'd have told me that over 200,000 people would end up reading the blog I'd never have believed you. I’ve had hits from all over the world, from the Disney studio lot in Hollywood to Dominos Pizza headquarters in New York to the Houses of Parliament. The themes I address obviously resonate with a wider audience other than just the media classes.

It always amused me that lonely perverts who googled ‘sex & animals’ would regularly come across a post I wrote about a fictional animal therapy TV format from Ricochet (makers of It’s Me or the Dog) and gain this unexpected insight into the world of TV!

The level of support from well known industry figures has been surprising. I have received words of encouragement and tip-offs from indie bosses, former channel controllers, commissioning editors, producers and lots of anonymous insiders. I think the worst email I ever got was from Daisy Goodwin, who simply said: "take me off your email list". One big player - who I would never dream of naming - said the blog was "the highlight of my day" and that I was "nothing short of a phenomenon, darling".

I think that's why i was always a bit surprised when the press would use words like "despicable" or "disgusting" or "spiteful" ... That certainly wasn't the kind of feedback I was getting on a daily basis from the industry.

Friday, 2 November 2007

FUCKING FUMING!!!

Gobsmacked. I sat in silence at my desk as the rage built inside me. I feel badly let down. Distraught, actually. How can I show my face in the corridors of White City now? I have mustered all my energies into this big push, encouraged by the people I've trusted. The people who helped poach me from Channel 4; the very people who I have always placed my absolute faith in. I did everything - from meeting the great unwashed in Glasgow to bloody showing my face at these awful events.

What a HUGE fucking mistake. I have exposed my ambitions in a way that makes me a laughing stock in the industry.

Well fuck The Corporation.

And fuck them all.

Stabbed in the front

TO: Fifi01@Corporation.co.uk
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 14:18:31 +0100
SUBJECT: RE: Corporation One Controller Application


Fifi

I’m stunned. Was there anything in particular that hindered my application?? I thought you had given me assurances last week that I had (and I quote) “a very strong chance of securing the position” especially having revitalised the Youth Channel with appointment-to-view squelchiness.

Despite this admittedly devastating setback, rest assured that I will continue to do the job I was hired for and re-energise the Youth Channel going forward.

Best wishes
TVC


TO: Hincksy@EndemolGlobalUKInc.Com
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 14:21:14 +0100
SUBJECT: SHAFTED


Fucking asexual workman-like boot wearing stuffy bitch!!!!!!!!! Fifi has fucked me over for sure. And I cannot fucking believe they are even considering that Tranter witch over me!!!!!

Fuck!!!!!


TO: Herring@DarkLordPR.com
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 14:25:02 +0100
SUBJECT: (No Subject)


I would like to formally terminate our 26-month Brand New Me contract. I am aware this will be to great financial cost to myself but I cannot continue with this marriage of convenience any longer, James.

It pains me to say that I feel badly let down by you and your agency’s inability to secure me the Top Job.

Ciao, and thanks for the memories,

TVC


TO: Headgirl@silverbollocks.com
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 15:03:02 +0100
SUBJECT: RE: Swishing Format


Where were you when I needed you the most?????
TVC


TO: Roly01@Corporation.co.uk
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 15:06:24 +0100
SUBJECT: RE: good luck today!


I thought I had your backing for the Top Job? The world is changing son, and I worry that you're going to be left well behind.

Fuck you,
TVC


TO: Yentob-personal@Corporation.co.uk
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 15:07:24 +0100
SUBJECT: (No Subject)


Don't you have any fucking power left anymore? Or were you just humouring me over lunch last week??

TVC


TO: Beddell@Corporation.co.uk
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 15:08:41 +0100
SUBJECT: RE: The Wall talent sign-off


Kleiny says you’re supporting Tranter over me??? Explain. Is this some RSC fucking drama mafia connection???

I’m bitterly disappointed in you

TVC


TO: personalassistant@Corporation.co.uk
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 15:10:12 +0100
SUBJECT: (No Subject)


Anthony- get me Clifford on the fucking phone NOW! I need to get hold of some dirt on Tranter. And do NOT put any journos through to me, especially those cunts Glibson, Conlan and Norman.


TO: Rt Honourable James Purnell MP
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 15:19:40 +0100
SUBJECT: Any openings?


Sir,

I would like to be considered for any future Ministerial posts that might become available in your department. As a young firebrand creative leader, I have all the necessary skills to be an asset in your team. (I also went to school with both the Milliband brothers).

Respectfully,
TVC


TO: Applications@HarvardBusinessSchool.Com
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 15:23:01 +0100
SUBJECT: Fast track application?


Dear Sir / Madam

I would like to enquire about your Dual Semester Fast-track Advanced Senior Media Executive Consolidation and Expansion Course 2007/8. I am the Youngest Controller in British Broadcasting history (by 9 months) and I would like to find out if you could squeeze me on your new course starting next week?

Best wishes
TVC

STUNNED

FROM: Fifi01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
CC: humanresources@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 13:26:02 +0100
SUBJECT: Corporation One Controller Application

Dear TVC,

On behalf of The Corporation, I would firstly like to thank you for taking the time to take part in the formal internal application process for the role of Controller of Corporation One.

As you can imagine for such a prestigious job, the calibre of applicants was extremely high.

Unfortunately, after very careful thought, on this occasion you have not been selected to go through to the next stage of the internal interview round.

Once again thank you for your application, and we wish you the very best of luck in the future.

Yours sincerely

Fifi

still waiting...

13.10: Snuck out to the canteen. Felt all eyes were on me. Noticed Jane Tranter looking very pleased with herself. What's going on?


12 noon: Nothing has come through yet from top brass on either my email, blackberry, direct line, mobile or on the ringmain... but I know it's only a matter of hours now. Have locked myself away in my office to work on my acceptance speech whilst Anthony decorates the office with balloons and party banners in readiness for the party later on.

Richard not Judy

A bottle of MOËT is chilling in the fridge and Anthony is rushing about making frantic last minute arrangements so there's an Ariel photographer present when my appointment is announced on the Ringmain later today.

For the special occasion I am wearing a cashmere blend knit jumper (that I picked up in Scotland on my travels) and simple chinos. It is understated and says I am approachable, friendly, a safe pair of hands, and most of all - that I would never dream of fucking over The Queen.

What better way to start the first day of my soon-to-be new empire at White City than with the sun shining down and Richard & Judy announcing they are free agents? Richard is coming in to see me next week (I knew wooing Amanda Ross would pay off) and I cannot wait to float my new idea past him for Corporation One's primetime Sunday evening show called "Richard NOT Judy" ( in which Richard hosts an itchy chat show and 'virtual' Judy joins via live satellite link up from her boudoir, reclining in a black-lace negligee and sipping on a glass of chilled Chardonnay)

The grannies will love it. Fuck yeah!!

The TVC Years they'll call it (maybe Maggie Brown will write a book about me? Must lunch her ASA-fucking-P)

I put my feet up on my desk, ordered a double espresso, and waited...

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Stephen Lambert's CV

Fuck me, guess which persona non grata has just emailed!

FROM: StephenLambert@formatguru.com
TO: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: Coffee?

TVC,
As the architect (and founding member) of itchy reality factual formats, I feel you and I have always had a lot in common. We both understand what the kids want to watch (scraps, conflict, jeopardy etc). Now that I have left RDF Media I feel it is the right time to try my hand in commissioning. I'm keen to know if you could use someone at the Youth Channel with my track record in building core programming brands from creative kernels and jumpstarting teams?

CV attached.

Best,
Stephen
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Shit - there is no way on earth I can be associated with this cockcheese! What if IT were to find out I was in email dialogue with him?? Imagine the fall out for my media brand if some tabloid hack ran a scurrilous "new Mothership Controller considers Lambert for key post" headline??

I immediately hit delete and ask Anthony if its possible for old emails to be saved in some central server or something. I cannot risk there being any fucking trace of Lambert's approach to me.

Must admit though, it's funny how the mighty have fallen. Next thing you know he'll want to start making 'serious' 'organic' sob-umentaries!!

10 Reasons why I hate Glasgow

1. The helicopter ride was very fucking bumpy. I was sick twice.

2. It took over 30 minutes to drive from the airfield to the Corporation Scottish HQ!

3. Everyone looked cynical and very miserable.

4. No one laughed when I told my Aspen skiing trip joke.

5. Too many girls wearing cashmere

6. Angry atmosphere during Q+A - there is nothing worse than a shouty Scottish crowd when you've been on the road all morning.

7. Lack of ambition in their ideas for Corporation One during 60-second itchy pitch session.

8. Muriel Gray lives up here.

9. So does Hamish Barbour.

10. Even colder than fucking Manchester.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

10 Reasons why I hate Manchester

1. It's really fucking cold.

2. It rained the entire two and three-quarter hours I was there.

3. No on-site holistic therapist waiting for me at Oxford Road HQ (I felt like I needed a treatment after sitting in British Midland economy for the 40 minute flight up from Heathrow).

4. Too many small teams = lack of creative impetus and creativity. It's obvious they just sit around on their arses all day feeling fucking sorry for themselves.

5. Total lack of drive. No probing questions AT ALL about what Itchy Reality™ programming will mean for their regional quotas.

6. Lack of girls wearing peeptoe heels. I know it is cold, but you have GOT to make an effort!

7. I just don't like their accents very much.

8. They dress way too provincially.

9. I am sure I saw Mark Radcliffe sitting in on the meeting. Old school Radio 2 fart. Has no place in the future television geology of Corporation One. Someone (other than me) should have spotted him and escorted him out of the meeting room.

10. Lack of black and asian faces in the audience. This won't do.

Off to Glasgow now... let's hope they do a fuck of a lot better!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Giving to charity

On my way back from last night's very successful Oxford Union speech, Anthony soured the atmosphere in Hincksy's car by reminding me about this.

The Corporation's in-house Charity Tsar has suggested that for this year's Children In Need event, all the Controllers should engage in doing something for charity. (I hear Fifi is threatening to attempt a high NRG dance aerobics session in the Canteen, in leotards and all....gulp....)

Shit.

After that unfortunate mishap shortly after rocking up at The Corporation, the last thing I need is for this to go badly wrong for me. These events are great for my media brand but a PR disaster if you fuck them up.

The Dark Lord has emailed his thoughts and says I should take a leaf out of uber agent and party monster Perry Mansell's last charity fundraiser.

Shit shit shit!

The last thing I want is for Mansell to steal my limelight. How can I do something that is edgy but doesn't involve doing anything quite so life threatening and dangerous as the Gumball rally?

And then it hit me: instead of ME doing some embarrassing stunt I can volunteer my hapless PA Anthony and he could be my figurehead in all of this.

So I have suggested to my lackie that he should do a marathon parachute jump (six times over in the same afternoon) to raise thousands for Scope or whichever charity is 'in' at the moment.

What a chance I am giving him!

[I'll be expecting Yentob to dig a lot fucking deeper than the measly £50 he only bothered to muster for Mansell's effort. I mean, how much is he paid a year??? I'll certainly be wanting him to at least quadruple that for Anthony's multiple suicide jumps.]

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

"My Destiny" speech

Tonight I am addressing my old chums at the Oxford Union (what fond memories of my youth!)

Make no mistake about it. This is like launching a political campaign and I need to have all the trappings of a Corporation One Top-Level Executive if I am going to secure The Big Job.

So Hincksy has very kindly promised to drive me up in his car:




Here's a sneaky peak at my speech. I cannot wait for Thommo to hear this!

"Good evening.

I look around this grand, historic hall and then I look down at you. The young creative intelligent minds of the future. The people that will someday lead governments, industry and, most importantly, the media.

You, my friends, are the future. Your turn will deservedly come. Just as mine has come now.

You see, ten or twelve years ago, I was exactly like you.

I was bright, intelligent, hard-working and ambitious.

I still am.

I studied here for three years, dreaming of my future. Well tonight, I'm going to reveal exactly where my future lies.

Lord Reith once said it was the Corporation's job to educate, inform and entertain.

One day, our current Director General Mark Thompson will become a Lord, and his mantra will be remembered too: To reach out and touch the audience.

I am one of Mark's New Generation of creatives, here to implement His Vision. It is my job to boldly go where no channel controller has gone before. To always strive for what is beyond the event horizon. To innovate, motivate and creatively exfoliate, so I can be the best a man can be™.

It is the only way we can keep ahead of the curve and provide value for money for all our users.

Yes, you heard me right. User as opposed to viewer.

You see the next generation don't just "view" the media. They "use" it.

And by the same token, they can also "abuse" it.

And we have to make sure that this self abuse does not tarnish the hard work being done to harness the eyeballs of the New User Generation.

And who are these New Users? You are.

You are the ones who'll want to buy homes, find good schools for your kids, and have amazing holidays in far-flung places abroad. Television can feed these important life stages with itchy reality™ programming.

I put it to you, in an age of concern over fakery, deception and spin, that we need to ensure that the Corporation never fails its audience. Be them your parents, grandparents or your nephews.

Or you.

Because it is your generation that matters to me.

When I was your age, I used to think: Why isn't there a channel just for me?

What I want to see is the Corporation becoming this beacon of media light. It is not simply a pipedream, it is my destiny. And it is here, and it is now.

The Corporation has more difficult and painful decisions to make. Like who should be leading Corporation One, our flagship channel, into 2008 and beyond.

For the Corporation to survive and to remain relevant to its users, it's simply not enough to have young creative visionaries like myself pigeon holed into running "youth" programming. That's like saying that the people who run the Asian Network can't work in network television. Ludicrous!

The new breed of Television Executive who is in touch with contemporary culture, like myself, should be driving the future development of our broadcasting crown-jewels.

I hope you agree.

If it is my destiny, then you have been privileged here tonight to listen to my oration and I put it to you to decide for yourself whether the Corporation will be bold and brave enough to make what I think is a momentous decision.

Thank you and good night Oxford

[PS. Remember to pump right hand in the air at this point during rapturous applause]

[PPS. Remember to have Anthony video it all from the back of the hall]

Monday, 29 October 2007

The campaign

With the considerable help of Hincksy and The Dark Lord (acting as my campaign managers) we've put together a timetable for this week as I strive to position myself as the number one frontrunner for the Top Job.

Hincksy reckons I need to grow a support base in the regions as they feel neglected. Plus it will look good for Thommo to see that I'm not an exclusive metropolitan media animal.

TUESDAY:
Breakfast with Fifi @ Automat to get her seal of approval(AM)
Interview with John Blunkett from Guardian to counter-bluff suggestions I am a favourite for the job (AM)
Lunch @ Petrus with Matthew Norman from The Independent
Second Lunch with Glenwyn Benson to get her onside (grab a canteen sandwich)
Interview with in-house hack for Ariel rag (PM)
Speech at the Oxford Union (EVE)
Dinner with Thommo (VENUE TBC)

WEDNESDAY: Whistlestop Tour of the Regions
BD582 Heathrow-Manchester departs 07.05
Meet & Greet with Manchester in-house Entertainment and Factual development (AM)
Helicopter to Glasgow
Meet & Greet with Scotland drama and factual Execs (LUNCHTIME)
Helicopter to Bristol
Meet & Greet with Bristol in-house factual & features development teams (PM)
Return to London - interview on Newsnight? (TBC)

THURSDAY: Charm offensive London
Appearance on Today programme (very early AM)
Monthly Controller Meeting (AM) - Hincksy thinks I should treat this like I'm doing PMQs as Leader of the Opposition!
Interview with Chris Curtis from Broadcast (LUNCH)
Do walkabout through White City production offices accompanied by photographer to lift staff morale (PM)
Mass email to key execs outlining my 10-point plan for Corporation One (PM)

FRIDAY: Gain power!
Live appearance on Snooze24 to talk about My Plans for the Channel (AM)
Press Conference at somewhere very media like Century Club flanked by Fifi and Thommo (LUNCHTIME)
Sack Anthony and move into bigger office on 6th floor (PM)
Meet my two new sexy PAs and set down dress policy (peeptoe heels, cleavage, etc) (PM)
Dinner with Thommo to start work on 5-year plan (EVE)

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Daisy G in Tears

I've just come off the phone from a hysterical Daisy G. Jesus! Here I am, in Hincksy's sitting room, sipping herbal tea whilst mapping out the next few days of my campaign to take the Top Job, and I get this!

Daisy is all upset about the latest problem to hit her controversial child-rearing Channel 4 show Bringing Up Baby. The Times (who usually love her - even to the point of permitting her to write meandering fluff pieces about 'lifestyle' stuff) have put the boot in by questioning whether one of her experts was bonafide or not.

For fuck's sake, relax people!

Just because some kiddy nurse doesn't have a fucking BTEC in nursery school studies doesn't mean she isn't good telly. I happened to like Claire Verity A LOT and would hire her for one of my itchy parenting shows. This is a woman, remember, who has worked for people like Sting (viewers love that kind of shit).

I consoled Daisy G as best I could, but also vowed to blackmark the scurrilous hack Patrick Foster. Are there not people dying in Africa, Patrick? WMD to find? Homeless folk who need beds? Etc. Etc.

Go and do your job reporting and investigating IMPORTANT STUFF, not wasting time on TV stories trying to smear a bloody good friend of mine.

Friday, 26 October 2007

10 Good Reasons why I should get the Top Job

1. What the Corporation needs right now is some uplifting good news, so what could be better than appointing The Youngest Controller of the Mothership in the Entire History of Broadcasting? Think of the positive shockwaves that such a bold move would send around the media world!

2. I have no fucking intention of ever moving up north and running the Youth Channel from this place:



3. I live, breathe, eat, sleep my job. I am single, have no children, and have no other life outside of my career. I challenge Thommo or the Trust to find anyone else who can come even close to matching my unbridled commitment, passion and enthusiasm for media content and delivery.

4. A safe pair of hands: I will never commission ANYTHING from RDF ever again.

5. I am under 40 (by six whole years in fact). The Mothership needs the pure elixir of my youth.

6. I have laid the groundwork for the next generation of ambitious genre-defining concepts like Itchy Reality™, and it would be a huge loss for the Corporation to see them rot away on a digital channel that no-one watches or takes very seriously.

7. It would be a huge loss for the Corporation to see ME rot away on a digital channel that no-one watches or takes very seriously!

8. I could get a sexy female PA of my choosing (maybe even two) and dump Anthony.

9. I am brilliant at handling on-screen talent (such as Anthea Turner) and would look to snatch a whole host of big names straight away (like Derren Brown - perfect to host a revamped 360° Generation Game format)

10. My CV is jampacked with unrivaled experience in all forms of programming: Spunky comedy (Live! Girls! Present Dogtown), Shouty multimedia entertainment (incl my shiny floor forthcoming studio show The Wall), sensitive, thought-provoking documentaries (Help I Smell of Fish!), High Impact drama (Skins) and Noisy Reality (two series of The Games).

What fucking more does Thommo want from me??!

[I am also in the process of getting a written reference from Barack Obama, after my dialogue with him and his team earlier this year. If that doesn't swing it, I'll eat my favourite corduroy jacket!]

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Bertie gets drunk on my expense account

Had lunch with Bertie (the butcher from Notting Hill) yesterday at Tamarind.

We ended up in a heated discussion about the merits of his earnest Channel 4 Last Chance Kids versus my noisy, very shouty Leave Us Kids Alone.

He hit his second bottle of Pinot Noir before informing me that he had nailed the TV formula for doing "rough kids in inner city schools" and was planning on writing a book about it for Harper Collins. He looked chuffed with this statement, and sat back smoking an imaginary cigar. What a prick.

"Bertie, your literacy series was admirable and very 'Jamie' but it felt a bit like you'd messed about too much with the series stucture in the edit. It wasn't organic enough. My series is really tackling different things," I said sipping from my mineral water on ice.

He started twitching at this moment, and then went into an involuntary spasm. Remembering that Bertie wasn't used to any kind of criticism, I got a little worried to see such a fine master of the edit lose control like this.

"Wake up and smell the 3 act structure TVC! There are only 2 and half types of different stories to tell! How many times have you actually bothered to read the Robert McKee book I gave you??" he shouted back. The waiter looked disturbed. I made a weak smile and signaled for the bill.

"I made Jamie who he is today," he yelped as he dragged himself up from his chair (having slipped a few seconds previously with glass of wine still in hand). Fuck. I thought he was having a heart attack or something.

After this unfortunate episode, how the hell can I trust Bertie in the edit with my Next Big Gig? I've drafted him in to series edit Betty TV's constructed documentary series about teens who give up smoking, drinking, taking drugs and having sex to make sure there's enough emotional confrontation in their transformations.

Very fucking worried.

I settled up the bill and got Bertie into a cab, before heading back to the safe confines of White City trying to figure out who the other decent Series Editors were for my twitchy™ new reality show. Maybe Liz 'the mentalist' Warner can suggest someone?

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Muscling in on Docudrama

I really want to muscle in on the crowded docu-drama genre but I haven't got a fucking clue what will resonate with my young, spunky myspace audience.

They don't give a fuck about Tony Blair, Iraq, the Queen or David Blunkett's latest floozie.

But what they *do* care about is getting drunk, taking drugs, going to T in the Park and falling out with their parents because of a difference of opinion over the new Arctic Monkeys "download".

Hardly typical grandad Tony Marchant stuff, but I've thrown £5K his way on a whim anyway and told him in no uncertain terms to think up three of four "shouty docu-drama ideas" by close of play next week.

I'm missing out on this zeitgeist (why don't people use that word anymore??) and need to find something that feels right for me.

No cast-offs and failed ideas please. They've got to strike right at the heart of my "sweetspot" 19-20 year old core viewers, and I've told Marchant to ensure that each drama has at least 4 or 5 amazing YouTube moments – great television my tech-savvy viewers will want to share with their friends.

Bring me something bang on the fucking money for the Youth Channel!!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Sarah Walmsley's carcrash cock-up

I'm a bit fucking worried.

Having had my job offer rebuffed by Dominique Walker (something to do with her impending marriage to that Touching The Void millionaire and mutterings about only wanting to do "two days a week"), I decided to make a lightning quick move for IWC's in-house vixen Sarah Walmsley.

(Now there's someone who can wear boots with a bit of style!)

But I fear that I have made a grave mistake.

I have just got round to watching a tape of her crown jewel Location, Location, Location that was broadcast live on Channel 4 last week. It was without doubt the worst car-crash telly I'd seen since watching Mick Fleetwood and Samantha Fox host the Brits when I was just a kid!

Walmsley has been talking nonstop about Kirsty's sister, saying she was a "bright hope" in terms of on-screen talent for My Channel. Not on this evidence she fucking isn't.

I simply cannot be associated with an Exec responsible for anything this clunky and have made moves to backtrack super quickly.

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: sarah.walmsley@iwcscotland.com
SUBJECT: RE: Re: London meet-up

Hi Sarah,

Given the current climate, I think it probably best if we think about bringing you in possibly in the New Year, rather than now. No-one here really expected the kind of cuts that Mark is going to have to make, and I think it will be difficult to get you in right now with tension among the staff running so high.

Lets talk again soon though. PS loved the fresh move of doing Location live last week. Very brave decision to use Kirsty and Phil in that way. Was Sue (Murphy) happy with the results?

Please give my regards to Hamish and the lovely Muriel, as ever

TVC x

And now for the Northern Irish vote...

Some nobody regional commissioning exec in entertainment from Northern fucking Ireland has had the cheek to email me:

FROM: Mike.Edgar03@Corporation.co.uk
TO: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: Friday Nights

Hi TVC,

I know it's probably already in hand, but would you consider letting us pitch for the prestigious tender of producing your Friday night live entertainment show?

We've been working with Paddy Kielty's independent production company Green Inc and think we've got a real spinner of an idea for you.

Me and my team are coming to the mainland in two weeks. Can we pop by and see you?

All the best

Mike

What, the Corporation has an entertainment department in Belfast?? I suppose post the troubles there would have been a need to corporately realign the staffing (less news, more 'fun' stuff).

Anyway, I'm not going to get sidetracked from my plans for Friday night (it's now down to Hat Trick, Objective, Zeppotron and the in-house Comedy Unit) so I send this stiff but polite email back to Edgar:

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: Mike.Edgar03@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: RE: Friday Nights

Hi Mike,

Thanks for getting in touch, and nice of you to be thinking of me and my channel.

I'm afraid I've now finalised the companies shortlisted to produce the Friday evening post-peak studio entertainment format for My Channel. However, if you've got any other ideas that you think might appeal to my nationwide (let's not forget!) youth audience please feel free to email them to Suzanne Gilfillan who looks after this part of the schedule for me.

Best regards,

TVC

Monday, 22 October 2007

Little Britain Complaints Committee

At this morning's monthly yawnfest meeting with the 12-strong Vision Editorial Policy and Viewer Monitoring Committee (VEPVMC), I was forced into a corner defending of all things a fucking 2am repeat of Little Britain from last week.

Why?

Because some ignorant, dumb-as-fuck viewer (probably from Middlesbrough) has launched a petty letter-writing crusade against the portrayal of Daffyd Thomas as "the bullying of a young defenceless homosexual man living in the provinces"

Jesus Christ! What fucking planet is this guy on??

I had to wade through 27 pages from the Viewer Logs reading every single piece of twaddle this person has made against the show:

"I think that the show is disgusting actually. The insights about physically handicapped people are funny. But the bullying of Daffyd is pretty revolting. And when it starts to talk about his boyfriend and his sexual orientation . . . I've got to say the media have been outrageous to keep going on about it. Would they have done that if it kept referring to his skin colour? No. So why is it OK to keep commenting on the guy being gay? I mean what the fuck has that got to do with anything?"

Have been forced by Fifi to draft a groveling response (Kevin never made me do this kind of shit at Channel 4.)

Dear Viewer,

As the Controller of a publicly funded and accountable broadcaster, I treat any complaints about our output very seriously indeed.

Little Britain is a phenomenally successful comedy show featuring fictitious characters that has won countless awards and brought a great deal of joy and happiness to viewers.

The portrayal of Daffyd is actually a satirical and affectionate play on sexual identity in contemporary Britain. I should also stress that Daffyd is a work of fiction. Any references to real people called "Daffyd" who happen to be gay, live in Wales and wear tight-fitting black PVC shorts are entirely coincidental.

The sharpness of the character reflects how sophisticated this country has become in terms of tolerance, to the point where David Walliams (straight) and Matt Lucas (gay) - along with the entertainment commissioning teams here at the Corporation - felt able to create a character tackling sexual tolerance in the regions.

Your valued comments have been noted and I take great pleasure in enclosing a £5 Corporation token that can be used to purchase books or DVDs from the Corporation shop. (Little Britain Series 2 is 50% off right now)

Yours sincerely

TVC
Channel Controller

Friday, 19 October 2007

Give me back my £10million!

FROM: James.Silver@Guardian.co.uk
TO: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: Grade


TVC,

Are the rumours true that Michael Grade was hauled in for questioning last night by the Serious Fraud Squad and questioned over how his company was able to fleece the public of £7.8million and get away with it? And how is it that heads haven't rolled over this?

Is it also true that Simon Shaps brought in Paul McKenna to coach Grade in presentation techniques to prepare for yesterday's announcements?

James
PS. Are they going to axe the Youth Channel or not?


FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: JamesHerring@DarkLord.com
SUBJECT: Grandad Grade


Herring

Are the rumours true that Michael Grade was hauled in for questioning last night by the Serious Fraud squad and questioned over how his company was able to fleece the public of £7.8million and get away with it? And how is it that heads haven't rolled over this?

Is it also true that Simon Shaps brought in Paul McKenna to coach Grade in presentation techniques to prepare for yesterday's announcements?

Best
TVC
PS. Why haven't you squashed rumours about My Channel getting axed??

FROM: JamesHerring@DarkLord.com
TO: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: Re: Grade


I'm busy. Go away.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: Fifi01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: Youth Channel rumours


Fifi,

Slightly concerned that these vicious rumours about the Youth Channel being axed have been allowed to run in the press unchallenged. Should I meet with Press&Publicity today and draft a swift and unequivocal denial from yourself to run in Monday's
Media Guardian??

Your humble servant,
TVC

FROM: Fifi01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: RE: Youth Channel rumours


Please schedule a meeting for next month with my assistant to discuss this.

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: All Suppliers; All Commissioning; All Genre Heads
SUBJECT: Don't believe what you read in the papers


Hello.

Despite the unfortunate redundancies and across-the-board programme budget cuts, I'd like to reassure you - our valued suppliers and creatives - that I remain absolutely committed to commissioning the best Itchy™ programmes and finding the best Screamy™ onscreen talent.

The Youth Channel remains very much Open For Business!

I am available next week for face-time meetings to drill down on my 2008/9 Needs List.

Keep the faith,
TVC

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: Anthea_perfect@aol.com
SUBJECT: your idea


A,
Terrible news - have you seen the papers? I've had £10million slashed from next year's budget and until I have a chance to re-allocate my (meagre) funds, I will have to put a temporary hold on your new development: ANTHEA TURNER BATTLES THE YOSHIMI ROBOTS.
Lunch soon?
TVC x

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: personalassistant01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: crying in the workplace


Anthony,

I know these are difficult times and you're upset about your camp friend in programme finance being given the chop, but we need to keep professional about this. (And not cry all over the level one treatments for next week!)

Imagine how I feel? I've just lost 10 million quid, I've got the Trust poking their noses into all the ed specs for my Autumn 08 slate, my brand manager is refusing to answer my calls and my boss won't meet me, but you don't see me weeping about it, do you?

Your boss (and friend)
TVC

Thursday, 18 October 2007

What the Fuck is Herring up to?

Increasingly alarmed that Herring's slick campaign to raise The Smurf's profile is having a dangerous impact on my own media brand.

I can see what The Dark Lord is up to: in a perfect world, I get the Mothership job, and Murphy gets his old job back at the Youth Channel. Why else would Herring be orchestrating a campaign for The Smurf to speak out defending My Channel left, right and centre? First it was the Guardian, now it's fucking Newsnight! What next? Going on Dickinson Moss and dancing around with 4 poofs and a piano?

Where was MY fucking invite to appear on Newsnight or even The Heaven & Earth show??

How can I be expected to implement my important creative vision with The Smurf snapping away at my heels like a ferocious pug-faced little Chihuahua! Doesn't The Dark Lord think I'm old enough and strong enough to fight my own corner anymore?

I have decided that the only option I have right now is to abide by Herring's oft-quoted slogan: "keep the cunts you hate closer than the dicks you dislike" (he has this hanging up in his ensuite office bathroom)

TO: Stuart_Murphy@twofour.regional.com
FROM TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
BCC:fifi01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: Congrats!

Stuart

You and your team have successfully won our Mexican tender.

Fifi, Ben and myself thought '24hr Mexican Rave' would be a fantastic accompaniment to the next series of Last Twat Standing airing next spring. I love the way we can access the grim poverty of the country through an upbeat mix of hedonistic drugs and music. Let's meet up soon to go over how we can strip it over 2 weeks and build the jeopardy for the live finale.

Also, re: presenters. I have my doubts about Preston from the Ordinary Boys. Can we have a think about someone a bit more screamy™?

Regards
TVC

Murphy is in my sights now......

Dickinson Moss's Benevolent Fund for Unemployed Hacks

Having emailed the notorious uber-agent Perry Mansell with a request to do lunch, I get this rather aggressive response back instead:

FROM: perry.mansell@closedheadphones.com
TO: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: Re: Lunch?

I've got an idea for you, you nerdy little prick. I've just come back from a meeting with all the creatives for Children In Need. Mossy was there, as was Gervais, Norton and the rest of the cunts. They want to club together and donate a week of their fees to a benevolent fund for the soon-to-be out-of-work Broadcast Journalists that the Ginger bearded cunt is going to lay off.

Dickinson wants to know if you'd do a programme following his efforts to convince fellow A-list celebrities to do the same?

But we have to call it Dickinson Moss's Benevolent Fund for Unemployed Hacks (D.M.B.F.F.U.H for short) - none of this Save the Journos or fucking crap like that.

You have 1 hour to respond to this email or I'll fuck off and take it to ITV

Perry x

Christ! What a load of shit. Not to mention a complete rip-off of that crudely executed idea over at C4.

I emailed Perry back within ten minutes:

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: perry.mansell@closedheadphones.com
SUBJECT: RE:Re: Lunch?

Perry

Fantastic to hear from you. I'm honoured that you thought of The Youth Channel as a home for this wonderful idea. Dickinson should be knighted for his selfless actions (by my rough calculations 1 week of Moss could probably cover the salary of 13 Broadcast Journalists, so we're well on our way)

Have you considering getting the likes of Paxman, Moyles, Humphreys or Wogan involved? They earn a wedge (Paxo is on £800k a year I hear) and their involvement would be crucial to the integrity of this Big Thinking project.

I will take this immediately to Fifi and get her thoughts.

Warm regards,
TVC

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Is my job safe?

Called Anthony into the office, put my feet on the desk and barked: "What's happening in my empire, cock?"

He handed me a secret job cut memo he'd pinched from Fifi's assistant's desk. It confirmed all my suspicions about where the jobcuts will fall:

20% Staff Directors (Ego maniacs with no films who are now stuck in development at a cost of £1400 per week)

20% Producers (Feeding the bloated egos of staff directors with ideas to pitch in weekly meetings to Exec Producers)

10% Exec producers (Acting as filters for good ideas telling commissioning executives what to think)

30% Commissioning Executives (Whose only function it seems is to second guess and decipher the whims of important controllers. Like me)

10% New Media (3G content functionality wafflers and assorted techno wankers)

10% Scheduling (How many fucking people does it take to decide when to air a programme? I can do this with my eyes closed)

Has my beloved world of TV gone completely and utterly fucking insane??

Anthony also tells me that twinkle toes Andy Zein is jostling for poll position in the race for the top prize. Fifi is supporting the youthful munchkin because of his favourable links with the indie sector and ability to secure top level talent. (I immediately make a mental note to email top talent cock Perry Mansell to arrange a lunch.)

Anthony tells me not to fret, however, because he's heard that she is a little concerned about his lack of programme making experience.

(Shit! Since when has not making programmes ever been a problem for Fifi???)

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Re-branding from hell

£75 grand in 'visualising' and 'brand extension' fees and this is what Bryan and his wanky bunch at Wolff Olins have come up with...



Bryan said it was 'hyper-modern' to appeal to the myspace generation and that the images of policemen and stuffy older figures of authority was 'post-ironic'.

Rubbish!

It's a sad, pathetic red number being held by some thinning hair geriatrics. Hardly £75k worth of the best brand designers in the country.

I didn't get to be the youngest (and most talented) TV Channel controller of his generation without spotting when I'm getting bullshitted.

(Mind you perhaps I should have known better. After all the Wolff Olins gang were behind this debacle.)

Have ordered the 22 Immutable Laws of Branding from Amazon.

I'm sure I can do a lot fucking better than these re-branding media wankers.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Fuck Stuart Murphy

I feel betrayed. In today's Media Guardian, Stuart Murphy and his dark forces are gathering their troops and making the first of a series of assaults on my precious empire. Dream on Smurf boy! The top job needs something a bit special, not a kid from the north in an estate agent's suit. They need me: The Special One.

I've been trying to build a relationship with the Smurf but he seems intent on dissing what I'm doing. Reading the article (for the 17th time) I feel that Smurfy doesn't 'get me'. I can't work with anyone who doesn't 'get me' or see where My Channel is coming from.

This Sunday I was supposed to go to this Jewish speed dating event at the e-bar (for 40 and 50 something hot MILFs!) with Smurf as my wingman. Normally, I like having the cheeky northern Smurf at my side as a lucky dating mascot (he's so smooth with the ladies - despite the wicked rumours that Anthony keeps spreading around the doughnut canteen) and the last time Smurfy acted as my wingman I got the phone number (or 'digits' as Smurfy calls them) of Miranda Raison.

[I never had the bottle to actually call her, but that's not the point]

Emailed smurfy:

To: s_murphy@twofourindie.com
From: tvc01@Corporation.co.uk
Subject: the weekend

Stuart,

Nice interview in The Guardian. Love the suit. I'm afraid I will have to cancel our dating event on Sunday, as I have an important meeting with Mark Thompson on Monday to talk through my plans for Corporation One. He is very keen to hear my thoughts on taking the channel forward. I simply cannot risk getting squiffy on white wine spritzers - I know what you're like!
Regards, as ever
TVC

Friday, 12 October 2007

Chicks with Drills

Oh no, Daisy G has a brand new obsession: power drills.

She is convinced that her NBC (Next Big Commission) is going to come from this plainly ridiculous notion that women are meeting in suburban semi-detached houses across the nation to teach each other how to wield Black n Decker power tools and screw in lightbulbs.

"It's the return of Tupperwear parties!" she screeched down the phone at me. "And another thing TVC. You simply must come to a swishing event I'm throwing next week when I get back from Woodstock."

My heart froze.

Finally, after years and years of secretly dreaming, Daisy had invited me "to swish".

I've studied all the documentaries on swishing (usually aired late night on Five and Bravo) and have always wanted to throw my keys into a pot and take my chances.

"Daisy, I don't know what to say. Am I ready for that sort of thing, do you think? Can't it be a bit, er, embarrassing?"

"God no TVC! Unless you have terrible taste in fashion... which you don't of course!"
(she quickly added)

Fashion?!

I immediately swear Anthony to secrecy and instruct him to pop to Ann Summers and pick me up some saucy jock-strap undies and a cock ring.

Mr Know-It-All then points out that 'swishing' is substantially different from 'swinging' and did I know this?

Hiding my embarrassment I say "Of course I know that, cockface" and ring Daisy up to cancel. Phew. Close call.

It turns out thet Daisy is talking about some crazy new trend where you swap clothes with your best mates. And then these PowderPuff girls turn up to do your hair (sounds very girly and incredibly dull).

Not exactly the kind of itchy™ & squelchy™ formats My Channel needs to commission. How the hell can I tell Her Royal Poshness to raise her game without pissing her off for good?

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Taking over the No.1 job

There's a reason why I've deliberately refused to make any kind of official comment yet on the constant speculation linking me with the Mothership Controller's job.

Yesterday, soccer mom Jane Root, daytime drama queen Alison Sharman and the old professor himself Roly Keating officially ruled themselves out of the job.

Yeah, right!!

I am planning a far more surreptitious and canny approach to landing the top job rather than mouthing off to the likes of Tara Conlan at the fucking Guardian.

Or for that matter confiding in Fifi (she's a dead woman walking, and to be honest I want nothing more to do with her. I made my intentions clear by completely ignoring 14 emails from her yesterday).

Upon my instruction Anthony lunched with Roly's very sexy PA and came back in high spirits: "I knew it! I knew it!" he gushed getting all excited and mincing around his work terminal. "Roly ABSOLUTELY is going for the top job. What should we do, TVC? What should our plan of action be?"

Very alarmed of his use of the word "we", so I made him sit down and said: "Anthony, I am totally in control of the situation. Thank you for lunching with your PA friend for me. Your assistance shall not go unrewarded. Now get back to your work, cock."

This is how I intend to woo the DG:

Next week I am due to address members of the Oxford Union as one of its more prominent alumni. Beforehand I shall enquire whether Thommo (being a local lad) wants to enjoy a v discreet supper at this place (highly recommended by my old pal Jay Rayner so it must be good).

And that is when I shall make my move.

Already it reminds me of when Blair and Brown met at Granita and created New Labour all those years ago.

Thommo and I can plan key broadcasting multi-platform convergence strategy for the next century well away from the media throngs of London, and he can come to think of me as his natural heir.

What a divine plan - even if I do say so myself!

Stick that one up your arse Roly fucking poly!!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Bored of Facebook

Checking my emails over breakfast (high fibre bran, Innocent smoothie, Uruguay blend espresso) when I received a "poke" from McDonald (one of my lackies) via the Facebook website.

Upon further investigations, I realised that McDonald has been spending upwards of 6 hours a fucking day on that bloody site!

I went to Jessica in HR, and expressed my concerns that McDonald was wasting (my) valuable time and not concentrating on his work. Surely this was solid grounds for instant dismissal?

She laughed, told me to "relax" and that it was unofficial Corporation policy that every employee be permitted to use Facebook as part of Thommo's progressive 'Work/Life Balance: Managing Creativity Effectively' policy report published last week.

Once again, this tired, bloated, fucking whale of a broadcaster has thwarted me from exercising the kind of power that is commonplace in any indie or commercial broadcaster when dealing with the smallfry (who are deliberately kept on short, insecure freelance contracts.)

Bollocks.

At least I hope McDonald's addiction isn't as bad as someone else I have the misfortune to know: Simon Arkwright III, the Biggest Fattest Gayest man in TV.

Yesterday I received an invitation to join him as one of his 'friends' AGAIN (this was the 137th time in the past month he's tried to befriend me in his virtual world)

I have NO fucking intention of publicly declaring my friendship with this cock cheese I can assure you!!

Where does he find the time? If he was Execing one of my shows, I'd be a bit fucking concerned about the amount of time he spends on Facebook.

Mind you, it comes as no real surprise. From what I hear, Arkwright's going to be needing as many friends (virtual or otherwise) as he can get quite soon.

[Goodbye Facebook. Hello P45]

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

MIPCOM madness

Got woken abruptly on the Blackberry by Hincksy. It was 6.40am and it was fucking obvious he'd been up half the night partying his white-boy posh arse off [I know he really likes to let his hair down when he does the south of France]

He said that he'd managed to secure a deal with some nobody broadcaster called Spektrum in Hungary to do Salopes Anglaises, and wasn't I "over the moon to finally see it make it to screen?"

This is just fucking ridiculous. That was (and still is) MY FUCKING IDEA!!! Christ, I put it up for a proper editorial spec for fuck's sake!

Emailed Hincksy straight back:

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: Timothy.Hincks@endemolglobal.inc.tv
SUBJECT: Re: Salopes to air in Hungary!

Dear Hincksy,

You're obviously having a ball out at MIPCOM. Especially now you're free of that posh twit Baz, but please do remember that Salopes Anglaises is a Youth Channel idea (even if I cannot get it off the ground right now) and that you should tread very carefully regarding the format rights to this project.

If I take on the Controller's job of the mothership, this is one idea that I still have high hopes of bringing back to life (possibly for Saturday teatimes), so I hope for your sake that you haven't Endemoled it to pieces and really aren't flogging the fucking shit out of it on some mega-yacht to all and sundry.

PS - can you still do squash on Thursday night at 6.45pm when you get back?

Best regards,

TVC
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

That should do it. Now back to refining that all-important mission statement.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

I need a personal Mission Statement

Surprised to read in today's News of the Screws that Lauren Hennessey might throw her hat into the ring for Head of Corporation One job.

Was I worried?

Fuck no.

In fact a shiver of excitement went through my body at the thought of going one-on-one in a heavyweight Broadcasting bigwig slugfest with the tiny (but perfectly formed) sexy little midget.

I would come out victorious, of course. Besides she's done the job before. Old school; old hat; old g-string knickers (or not).

I called up Daisy G to upload the latest titbits from the gossiping indie classes. I think I must have interrupted her Bikram Yoga session mid-stream as she was out of puff, and all I could hear were women grunting in the background.

After flattering her a bit by saying I loved the noise Bringing Up Baby was creating, Daisy warned me that to succeed I needed my own personal mission statement that clearly defined who I am to Thommo and the Trust.

It should focus on my best personal qualities (good looks, charm, fantastic management bedside manner, etc) and communicate to people how successful I ultimately want to be.

She reminded me that even the precocious art students at Leopard films have posted up their Mission Statement on the wall (printed on a grubby piece of A4):

"We sell carefully crafted ideas to commissioning editors that are HOT and FRESH"

(And this is the best James Burstall's cutting edge 'ethical' indie can come up with??! I must remember to remind Burstall that I couldn't care less how ethical his company is, as long as his ideas are 10 notches above HOT (scorching nuclear holocaust HOT?) and at least fifty times more FRESH than just fresh (line-caught halibut fish FRESH?)

So after spending a few hours consulting the Five-Step Plan for Creating Personal Mission Statements it came to me in a flash.

Succinct.

Catchy.

Encompassing my core brand values and key relationship with Da Kids:

"TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO CHANNEL CONTROLLER HAS GONE BEFORE. TO ALWAYS STRIVE FOR WHAT IS BEYOND THE EVENT HORIZON. TO INNOVATE, MOTIVATE AND CREATIVELY EXFOLIATE, SO THAT I CAN BE THE BEST A MAN CAN BE"

Genius! I doubt Taylor Herring or even Charles Saatchi could have come up with anything better than that.

Tomorrow I will instruct Anthony to print one thousand laminated copies on 3"x3" card to be distributed at all the watering holes throughout the Corporation. And perhaps I might even mount one on my office wall in frosted glass (or should it be coloured perspex?? Will ask Daisy).

The Top Job is mine for the taking mutha-fuckas!!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Cabinet reshuffle

I don't fucking believe it.

The dinosaurs are mobilising their forces to take over the fucking Corporation. Roly has been handed the reigns of The Mothership and bloody Entwistle is in the running for the Top Job with a reputation as being a 'moderniser' according to the Guardian.

What the fuck?! No mention of yours truly.

I'd like to think that when it comes to being modern, hip and scratchy™ I have that territory pretty much sewn up. There's only one TV Controller wearing fucking Carhartt in the office today, and it isn't Peter fucking Barron.

Determined not to be left behind I bash out a quick email to the Corporation's headmistress Fifi:

TO: Fif01@Corporation.co.uk
FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: URGENT

Dear Fifi

In the short time that I've been here, I hope that my key strengths as a creative leader - not to mention my unbridled enthusiasm for the job - have been apparent.

I've been at the helm of the creative renewal of a channel tarnished by the sordid brush of commercialism, and I am very proud of how the demographic has been envigorated with the exuberance of youth.

We are forging ahead with some key architecture (ie. the rebrand) and building an extremely robust Spring schedule (My web-comedy written by a ten year-old, Lily Allen's Streetz Smartz, Anthea Turner: Perfect Lay and Steven Seagal night - to name but a few)

I'm certainly ready for the next challenge and would hate to be overlooked in the current re-allocation of roles following Peter's unfortunate error of judgement.

Your humble servant,
TVC

Is this my destiny?

Boy, why did I decide to dress like Eminem today of all days?

Camera crews from rival stations are gathering outside the gates of TV Centre because Peter 'The Billionaire' Fincham has fallen on his sword and will be escorted out of the building by security at 4pm.

Fifi is nowhere to be seen, although a highly confidential email addressed to just a few key execs (like me) from Caroline Thomson says "she's safe - for now".

Down the road in West Kensington I hear a tearful Stephen Lambert is packing all of his Wife Swap awards into a cheap backpackers rucksack borrowed from a runner and making for his yacht off Le Cap d'Antibes.



All this just because of a dodgy trailer?

Cripes.

There's an old TV proverb that goes something like 'sniffing the right moment to pounce doth maketh the new controller of Corporation One'.

I lock the door to my office and get the Dark Lord up on speed dial.

"So..." I begin a little hesitantly, "is this my time? Is my destiny upon me already??"

Silence on the other end.

I get a bit more specific: "Should I be gathering my supporters around me? Mending bridges with my enemies?" Still nothing. Getting a bit frustrated, I continue: "Look, James. I suppose what I am trying to say is have I got a chance of making the shortlist to takeover the mothership: Corporation One?"

There's a long, long silence on the other end of the phone. "Hello?" I say in a bit of a nervy, girly voice. Then all of a sudden The Dark Lord breaks into a laugh. And doesn't stop. This cacophony of laughter nearly splits my eardrum. I've never, EVER heard such guffawing come down a phone line like this before.

Why do I even fucking bother with Herring sometimes?

I hang up and call my old boss Kevin Lygo - it goes straight to voicemail.

"Kev, hi, it's TVC. I wondered if you had some time next week for me to ask your advice on something über important....."

Poaching Dominique Walker

Here's me travelling into work this morning on the tube, sporting a pair of cool-as-fuck Carhartt Carpenter jeans that I had Anthony buy for me yesterday from somewhere in Shepherd's Bush, as today is Jeans For Genes day!



I am also wearing a pair of Adidas Stan Smith white trainers to complete the outfit.

(these 'trainer' thingies are really comfortable aren't they?!)

Confidently bounced all the way into TV Centre knowing that unlike last time I wasn't going to get caught out again.

My sartorial look is bound to remind the likes of Karl Warner and Fifi that I'm still totally on top of my fucking game: I know what looks good on the street, and I can wear it fucking well.

It got me thinking about someone else who always looks hot in a pair of jeans... my old friend Dominique Walker at Channel 4.

Dom is unloved, under appreciated and totally ripe for the plucking. I can't understand why Julian has sidelined her and marginalised such an ENORMOUS talent within a channel devoid of totty who are in touch with the popular tabloid female-skewed Jacobs Creek-drinking demographic.

Did he not see Jamie's School Dinners for fuck's sake?!

Time to flex my well-toned muscles I feel. I'm going to instruct Andrew Heath to be on red alert and start making the necessary arrangements. I think I'll want her to join as my new Head of Popular Specialist Entertainment and Formatted Factual Lite. If Kleiny can't grasp the meaning of 'factual with a light touch' than I shall have to light a fire up his Tory backside with DW's arrival.

I'm sure I can fast-track her through the (tortuous) interview board with a bit of expert coaching on when to mention 'public service entertainment' and her driving passion for 'holistic programming solutions' to the 'gaping holes in the schedule'.

Piece of piss when you know how.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Giving Alan Yentob head

Just woke up from a v v fucking disturbing nightmare that I feel I must urgently share with someone:

I was working late (no surprise there!) on the 6th floor when I looked up from the ninth re-write of my 'More Cuddles: The Youth Channel Rebrand Implementation' powerpoint to see Alan 'Botney' Yentob slide into my office puffing on a $1,000 La Carona 5 and a half inch cigar and looking a bit like this:


(Disgusting, I know....... to see him flout the no-smoking ban so brazenly)

The next thing I knew, he had unzipped the ample girth of his manhood from a smart Gucci suit and forced me to pleasure him for what seemed like three neck-aching hours.

The thought of this still makes me want to gag.

I could hardly eat any granola for breakfast. I'm still plucking imaginary grey beard hair from my teeth.

What can this disturbing dream/premonition mean???!

[Texted Daisy G and asked her for the number of that Polish therapist she has been seeing recently. I get the feeling I'm going to need professional help to get over this one.]

Monday, 1 October 2007

Rebranding The Youth Channel

I've got a fucking good idea for how to make people sit up and take notice of My Youth Channel. Every executive in the building is asking me how I'm going to launch my itchy new schedule on the masses.

Simple.

No, not invest in 'boring' programmes.

I'm going to hire Wolff Olins, the best branding experts in London.

Gone will be the strange claymation figures and DelaSoul "Three" theme tune - which reminds me of The Smurf and his cheeky northern days.

(Makes me feel really dirty and old.)

Their Head of Brand guru Bryan is going to Sex Up the Youth Channel with some bright colours and meaningful 'youth iconography'.

The old Three will be replaced by the brand spankingly modern NEW Three.

A number that will say to the world: Watch me, I'm relevant. I'm contemporary. I'm not full of repeats and shock docs about children, pregnancy, pregnant children, smelly people or Anthea Turner slumming it with poor dirty working class folk.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Scouse bus shelter

One of the Corporation's comedy commissioning editors has just emailed me this:

FROM: Jon.Rolph02@Corporation.co.uk
TO: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: Liverpool bus shelter sitcom issue

Hi TVC,

Bad news I'm afraid. Dave Longley's sitcom pilot set in a Liverpool bus shelter on a Sunday afternoon might need to be temporarily shelved.

I've just got word from Lee Martin, his agent, that he tried to crack a gag about Rhys Jones (the kid that got murdered) whilst doing stand-up in Liverpool and nearly got bottled as a result.

How do you want me to proceed with this highly charged situation?

Yours,
Jon

This situationalist sitcom is a cracking idea and I don't want to lose it. We have three hip, shouty, cool-as-fuck Scouse teenagers just hanging around in a bus shelter and every week their respective grandparents come by because they need to catch a bus to go to Bingo.

Often, the young people are still strung out on high-end drugs from partying at Cream the previous night. Hilarity ensures! There is no laughter track and the dialogue is very 'street' (much to the confusion of the elderlys).

Real generation gap material that My Audience will completely relate to (even if I don't).

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: Jon.Rolph02@Corporation.co.uk
SUBJECT: RE: Liverpool bus shelter sitcom issue

This is way too hot for the Corp right now. We don't need another Hillsborough or Boris Johnson fuck up. Fuck Longley. Go find me someone else who's funny and can patch this mess up.
Warm regards
TVC


It is paramount that the people of Liverpool don't get wind that the Youth Channel was ready to give Longley his TV break - that city has a nasty history of ganging up and holding grudges on the media.

(I hear Dave Gravy is one Scouser who still to this day refuses to buy The Sun)

The last thing I need is to be hated by the entire population of Liverpool!

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Poaching Jeremy Kyle

Whilst Kyle is getting a bashing in the news about his 'human bear baiting' style of information-rich daytime content, I have instructed Anthony to contact his agent ASA-fucking-P to set up a secret meeting with the talented (and very suave looking) Jezza.



With ratings-proven talent like this getting a kicking at Network Centre (I hear that uber-nervy old man Michael Grade wants to tone down his whole raison d'être) Jezza is ripe for the plucking.

My aim is to lure him to the Youth Channel at a bargain rate of £145k per year (plus appearance fees, book spin-offs, etc) and a guaranteed commissioning run of 364 episodes (he can have Xmas day off) to be made by his own indie [I'll even let him stay in Manchester if he so wishes].

He'll be swimming in a veritable semen-and-piss-filled jacuzzi of cash.

And I'll have secured the youngest and most talented shock-journalist of his generation to host a new late night talk show called, simply, KYLE!

Move the fuck to one side Paxo and Charlotte Church!!

What a coup. This will send shock waves through the industry that will even be felt in Thommo's sleepy Cotswold retreat. And it will make My Channel feel really front-agenda stuff.

You can't deny I know how to spot raw talent when I see it.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

F**king fuming with Andy Parfitt

FROM: TVC01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: AParfitt03@Corporation.co.uk
CC: legal_compliance01@Corporation.co.uk
BCC: Fifi01@Corporation.co.uk
DATE: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 13:08:31 +0100
SUBJECT: Buzzwords & Trademarks


Andy,

Firstly, really enjoyed attending the VIP Radio 1 40th birthday party the other night. Thanks for the invite and your kind hospitality.

Anyway, it has been drawn to my attention by a third party that the Insight Boards over at the Corporation's Switch HQ may contain mission-speak that closely resembles some of my programming slogans. Specifically, "make it sticky".

I must remind you and your colleagues that the term "Itchy Reality" was official registered as a trademark in May shortly after I arrived at the Corporation. On May 29th I sent out my first commissioning brief outlining my vision for the Youth Channel, where I debuted the term "Itchy Reality" for the first time. I have subsequently made the term a key part of my mission slogans (as you would know if you visited my office and saw my various mood boards), and also launched an exclusive range of Youth Channel merchandise (courtesy of Taylor Herring) at the Edinburgh TV Festival in August.

This means that I have exclusive use of the term "Itchy Reality", 'including any phrases or other adjectives that obviously link or allude to the notion of any content that is produced or formed with "itchiness" in mind at the creative point of origin. These words include, but are in no way limited, to: SCRATCHY™; STICKY™; PRICKLY™; SMUDGY™, SCREECHY™ & SQUELCHY™...

(that's all taken directly from the terms of my trademark agreement, by the way).

Look, I certainly don't want to poo all over the great work the Switch team are starting to do - after all, their demographic feeds directly into mine - but I think that stepping on the Youth Channel's toes is something you need to be acutely aware of.

I look forward to working with you on more sticky™ (!) projects in future.

Warm regards,
TVC
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Fuck Storyville

Enlightening breakfast meeting with Fifi at The Grill at the Dorchester, discussing at length what to do with the re-allocation of funds from Storyville.

[Personally I cannot wait for the extra cash to plow into innovative drama and spunky music entertainment with Zane Lowe]

She agrees with me that Storyville had long since ceased in its usefulness and been taken over by the predictable elitist artfilm wank brigade.

A bit like the Sheffield Documentary Festival.

I want my TV to be entertaining and fun and young. We should cater for The Kids, not a bunch of documentary obsessed rich Guardian-reading jacket&jeans-wearing white blokes... like me!

No!

Our output must be inclusive. Welcoming. Multi-dimensional. And have 360 degree scope.

So before you militant old school snore-umentary makers start picketing my office, please note that I am distributing a questionnaire through my alt-focus group community network of websites (Bebo, Myspace, Friends Reunited, FaceFluff etc), plugging mainline into what Da Kidz think.

They will have the final say.

TV QUESTIONNAIRE (please send back for your chance to win a PS3)
1) Do you know what The Corporation is? (for a bonus point have you ever heard of some 'geezer bloke' called Mark Thompson?)

2) When was the last time you saw a Storyville documentary?

3) Do you remember the name of it? (for a bonus point can you correctly spell the name of aforementioned documentary film?)

4) When was the last time you were at a 'banging' party and someone said the following: "yo, man, did you catch that great Storyville thinkpiece about karaoke singing farmers in the Ukraine last night, innit?"

5) When was the last time you ever met someone who worked in TV that watched Storyville and tried to get you to Sky Plus it (for a tenner and some free fags)?

6) Do you give a shit and prefer to download DVDs and happy slap your friends?

Once the results have been collated I will distribute them to prove once and for all that NO-ONE OUTSIDE OF TV GIVES A FUCK ABOUT STORYVILLE.

Now, where did I put my dental floss??