I have a difficult decision to make.
I've picked up an email on my BlackBerry from Danny Fenton at Zig Zag who wants an immediate answer to whether I'll commission a fast-turnaround film from him on this whole Madeleine McCann thing. I have already turned down Michaela's take on this messy affair which was tonally wrong for me, but Fenton claims to have a "killer 'in'"( Hmmm, unfortunate turn of phrase) to the whole story and promises a "definitive, exclusive and uniquely authored investigation into whether the parents killed Maddie".
Apparently, he has one of his Execs Jes Wilkins embedded with the GP parents, and reckons his testimony holds the key to whether or not the parents get prosecuted.
"We have some cracking handicam footage TVC, especially of Gerry and Jes playing tennis together. My boy got his girlfriend Brigid to film it. Terrific revelations!"
This is a typical dilemma for me: good idea from the wrong producer.
Can someone like Fenton (and his football hooligan reputation) pull off a film of this magnitude? He's hardly known for his current affairs credentials is he?!
And who the fuck is Jes Wilkins anyhow?!
Plus, according to the Mexican press, the News of the Screws have already got hold of the story, so I don't feel it is that "exclusive" enough for me.
I'm not stupid. I know what Danny Fenton's gameplan is here. He would snatch a Channel 4 or BBC1 (or even ITV) commission in a heartbeat, so why the fuck is he fishing in my digital domain?
I'm not going to be drawn into a bidding war for this project. I immediately email Fenton back and say:
Thanks for this.
Obviously I'm interested but I will need to know an awful lot more before I can give you a proper response. I imagine Legal & Compliance at the Corporation will need to be across this too. I'm currently away, but will get back to you properly first thing next week.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device
I'm sure that will suffice for a couple of days whilst I finish topping up my tan.