Monday, 21 May 2007

Bad lunch at The Electric

Finally had my lunch at The Electic with Fifi - seven fucking days too late but there we go. I wore a simple grey V-neck jumper from Zara, white cotton t-shirt, and black casual Jaeger trousers. She turned up in something that would make Ruth Badger proud: primary colour blouse, power suit, stiff haircut and efficient workman like boots.

Tagging along is Juliet, Fifi's 'trusted' Executive PA. God knows who she talks to.....better watch what I say.

Fifi didn't waste any time raising the issue of my decision to axe Julian's output for 2008/9. It had clearly 'ruffled lots of feathers'. Aggressively, she said that she didn't know how I did these things over at Horseferry Road but The Corporation had well-defined protocols, meetings to attend and people to consult (etc).

I told her that I totally understood, but that I felt it was important to turn over a new leaf, and (I reminded her) when I was headhunted she had explicitly asked me to come in and take the Youth Channel to 'the next level'. That's all that I've tried to do.

Fifi jumped back in, spitting out a Sea Bass bone, saying that she totally loved my spirit and ambition, "But you have to remember, as far as Mark and I are concerned the Channel is going in the right direction. Julian has done a fantasic job and we're hitting all our targets. The Charter renewal demonstrates that."

[Did I hear correctly? 'Fantastic job' ?! This conversation was not going well...]

As I picked at my Crumbed Pollock with Sauce Gribiche, Fifi then said: "I must also mention that I had to take a very concerned call from Kevin saying that he'd heard you were in talks with Objective about poaching Derren Brown. Is this true?"

I denied everything (obviously).

Shit, this was getting a bit heavy. Fifi mentioned the dreaded 'breach of contract' and then went on to add that someone like Derren was a bit too "way out there" for us.

Fuck, this was not the kind of chit-chat I was expecting at all. I'm a fucking Channel Controller for fuck's sake!!

Surely this is what I am paid to do??!!!

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