Monday, 21 May 2007

Madeleine: too much even for me

It's just gone 8.30am and I've picked up an email from Michaela, with 'Madeleine' in the subject line. Following on from her aborted and frankly amateur attempt at securing access to the McDonalds Murder a few weeks back (I see Todd Austin now has this on his One Life slate), I wasn't expecting much.

But what I read made my stomach churn. After all we've been through she has seriously misjudged what I'm looking for - and more importantly, what my viewers want.

Here's the email in full: wrote at 08.11:

This whole dissapearing girl in Portugal story has completely grabbed everyone by their heartstrings. It feels to me like another watershed moment in the way we mourn - a bit like Diana.

It's every parent's worst nightmare. You're on holiday. Abroad. Can't speak the language, and don't know the local laws and customs. And then the unthinkable happens. Your child vanishes. Neither you nor me could fully comprehend the horror of what this must feel like...

I'd like to make a really poignant, heartfelt film about the agony - as parents - we must go through when this happens. Imagine it - your child goes missing, presumed dead. (Do you think it would help if I could get access to previous stories of child murders abroad? In fact shall we call it Child Murders Abroad?)
I could even get an approach in to Madeleine's Dad who I understand is back from Portugal, albeit for one day.

Robert Boner is coming off '7/7: The Nurse's Story' for ITV and I think he's perfect for this.

Can we talk?

Love as always,

PS - Aaron's shock doc about daughters who have sexual feelings for their Dads is on Sky One next Wed at 9pm. Don't miss!! x

Jesus. What is this woman thinking? Maybe she's deluded and assumes I've turned into Jeremy fucking Kyle? For one thing, she is completely missing what demographic My Channel is aimed at, and another thing she's got me totally wrong. Yes, I Iike stories from the heart, but no, I don't want to be seen to capitalise on grief in such an obvious manner. As a Channel Controller I have high fucking standards.

I am personally offended, if not a little sickened, that she thought I'd appreciate this blatant attempt to cash in on one family's personal tragedy. Who does she think I am? Trevor-fucking -Tonight-McDonald?

This woman is quite clearly 'off message'.

I replied: wrote at 08.22:

Hi M,
Thanks for this.
This sounds very interesting but I don't think it's for me.
Warm Regards,
PS. Talk to Anthony and we'll get something in the diary soon

I'm worried Michaela has lost her magic touch. This is terrible timing.

I'm relying on her to deliver some new hit formats for My Channel.... so why-oh-why is she going down this road with me?

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