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?


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