Thursday, 30 August 2007

What is the point of MGEITF??

Shocked by this article in today's Broadcast magazine...

Doesn't this anonymous tit realise he'll never work in TV again if he carries on at this rate?

"Last Bank holiday weekend the most powerful people in British Broadcasting assembled in Edinburgh for their annual TV Festival, to sleep with each other, take drugs and participate in backslapping pastiches of well known TV programmes like Jim'll Fix It and Top Gear.

Why they needed to travel all the way to Edinburgh to do this is unclear.

In the most prescient festival of recent years, with scandal rocking the industry, MGEITF’s woeful inadequacies were fatefully exposed. Here was an ideal chance for us all to pick over the carcass of TV and face some uncomfortable home truths. Or at least be grilled by a tenacious audience – not a bunch of sycophantic producers too paranoid to open their mouths in case it jeopardises their next commission.

Despite Peter Barron’s best efforts to inject more journalistic purpose to proceedings (eg. News 24 studio) the festival remains lightweight, inadequate and representing all that is bad about the industry - nepotistic, socially and culturally homogeneous, blisteringly arrogant, and full of wankers.

Edinburgh TV Festival is sold as THE place to mix. Where an ambitious assistant producer can perhaps get some face time with a Commissioning Editor. Or a passionate researcher can actually tell the BBC2 controller what they'd like to see on their channel. But who are they really supposed to network when all the important people are secure over at fortress Soho House, far from the shop-floor?

Let’s cut the pretence and admit what the festival is really for: An opportunity for social climbers to self promote, ambitious freelancers to line up their next job opportunity and independent chiefs to cement relationships with their channel clients.

Why not just call it a Trade Show and be done with it?

The Guardian sponsored event feels like a very closed shop indeed, run by a a quasi-Bilderberg Group.

Here's how it works: An Executive Committee 'appoint' one of their own each year to head up the festival, session ideas are thrown around in clandestine monthly meetings by an 'advisory committee' who are made up of all the same predictable people peddling the same viewpoints, the sessions are then filled with available TV whores who agree to be involved in return for free festival passes.

So what happened this year? Were any awkward questions asked at the meticulously controlled ‘Sessions’ and ‘Masterclasses’?

Did ITV Director of Programmes Simon Shaps (resplendent in a Gary Davis medallion-man look) have to sit on a stage with Paul Watson, the (perhaps unwittingly) original architect of 'reality' television - and face an uncomfortable grilling about what really went on behind-the-scenes on Malcolm and Barbara?

Did Stephen Lambert and Martin Davidson explain exactly how THAT trailer was allowed to be used to flog A Year with the Queen all over the world?

Was Jana Bennett grilled over the inherent structural flaws of the BBC’s commissioning process?

Did Channel 4’s Hamish Mykura/ Ralph Lee or Jane Root face analysis over how Bear Grylls was allowed to fake an entire factual TV series?

Was David Frank called to defend how his brand of ‘formatted factual’ had mutated into an uncontrollable monster?

Did Michael Grade have to face the anger of young (and experienced) producers who he ignorantly blamed for TV’s current problems?

Of course not.

No-one was brave enough to stick their head above the parapet.

Except perhaps Martin Durkin from WagTV.

In a session curiously titled 'Fuck Off I'm a TV God' his was the only lone voice that dared to challenge Daisy Goodwin's preposterous claim that Grand Designs (made by privileged people for other privileged people) somehow had some higher social purpose.

Sadly, however, everyone glossed over the fact that Daisy had recently met with David Cameron's Tory Party to gain backing for a new Channel 4 traffic congestion social experiment, thereby being complicit in promoting another political agenda wrapped up as 'factual entertainment'. Why do producers of low-rent factual features suddenly have a god-complex to rival the cockiest of documentary big hitters??

A session which promised to uncover 'the guts and innards of the commissioning process' was an excuse for filmmaker Lee Kern to make a name for himself as a Louis Theroux replacement. Real insight? He wouldn’t dare.

The McTaggart was entertaining but if Paxman wants to be our moral conscience then he should start with what he does best and invite Jana Bennett on Newsnight, armed with a copy of the BBC’s budget for last financial year.

Instead of hoarding 2000 telly-types up to Edinburgh to live in a bubble for three days, perhaps we should look at News International (yes, I'm serious) and what they do with the senior editorial staff at The Sun. Bus them to Butlins at Weston Super-Mare for a long weekend to mingle with their readers.

Me? I spent my Saturday in a Fringe Festival tent until the early hours getting drunk and talking to a kid from Dundee about TV fakery.

It was the first real person I had the pleasure of meeting all weekend.

WOW!! Who is this person?? My phone rang off the hook with speculation about the author's true identity. I have my own suspicions..... step forward Andrew Newman.

(PS. Annoyed that my session or T-shirts never get a mention. Does Herring bother to do ANY press work on my media brand these days?!)

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

The Youth Channel +1

Sigh. Back to the media scrum this morning. Rocked up to the 6th floor to find Anthony had moved some of my office plants. Not best pleased.

My head really fucking aches. I knew I shouldn't have had that half a can of Stella on the train back to London...

Also faced with 18 Level One proposals waiting for my perusal, 12 memos from the interactive department proposing a "re-skin" of the website, and 287 emails in my inbox needing an urgent reply.

Double fucking Sigh.

Staring through the glass I could see Fifi strolling past arm-in-arm with Elaine looking very refreshed and pleased with themselves.

Locked the door and hid away to mull over my strategy for the next few months:

1) Rebrand the Youth Channel stings at great public expense (I'm sick of those claymation things anyway, aren't you?)
2) Start laying the foundations for a healthy, vibrant, shouty Youth Channel through spunky drama and entertaining factuality.
3) Launch The Youth Channel+1, my very own timeshift service allowing viewers to catchup on missed episodes of my important forthcoming commissions: Anthea Turner: Perfect Lay (sex advice series with a twist) and Life on Mars: Back on Earth (behind-the-scenes obs-umentary).

I simply must put this strategy in motion ASA-fucking-P if I am to successfully compete with my main rivals (ITV2, E4, Living) on more of a level digital footing.

Have decided to make a very public plea to Thommo at the Corporation's Controller Summit, happening next month in a spa hotel somewhere in Oxfordshire.

It's time he saw what I'm capable of.....!!!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

My Edinburgh networking night of hell

Late last night, in The George, a very drunken Jonathan Stadlen (from Remy's new company) tried to bear hug me (in full view of everyone), slurring "If it wasn't for you TVC, we would still have Celebrity Big Brother to endure next year. Thanks!"

Thankfully I'm not sure anyone else heard him. Silly idiot might find he struggles to sell me any ideas over the next few months...

Got cornered by that cloying Sarfraz bloke trying to flog me a Bruce Springsteen biopic - again. Then ambushed by some TVYP 18 year-olds who insisted on quoting their favourite Little Britain catchphrases at me before demanding my business card.

Daisy G introduced me to her daughter (!?) and suddenly I felt very fucking old indeed. Thankfully, she didn't stay long, dragging the startled poor child away to some Warhol art shindig.

Running around like a bunch of girls on a hen weekend, high on alcopops, was Lisa Opie (in full Dynasty makeup) and her pathetic little gang (Leach, Barnes, Johnson). Now I know why Hincksy has dubbed them 'The Bitches of Eastwick'.

I was annoyed to see Bedell leave for Soho House without fucking inviting me (not that I would want to spend my evening with her anyway). At 1am I couldn't get a taxi for love nor money and ended up having to share a rickshaw with Ben fucking Gale, snuggling up together under a blanket.

How embarrassing.

Soho House was in full debauched merriment when we arrived. The great and the good in various stages of schmooze: Andrew O'Connor trying desperately to chat up a bored looking Camilla Lewis. Holly Pye in a revolting dress that advertised her cleavage like a slab of sirloin. Roly yawning and checking his watch every 5 minutes.

In a far corner Lygo was in deep conversation with notorious agent Perry Mansell so I tried to manoeuvre my way over to earwig.....only to be suddenly confronted by a crazy-eyed drunk curly-haired Scottish man. In a kilt. It was Hamish from IWC. He prodded me in the chest - "what's yer fecking problem I hear with scotteesh independents, eh laddie?"

I shrugged past him but he still made sure to shoulder barge me! (It fucking hurt!!)

Muriel Gray tugged his sleeve: "Leave it love, he's not worth it"

Jesus. What had I done to piss off the Mad Scotsman?? He's worse than fucking Cosgrove after a few pints!

Paranoid that things would deteriorate I stayed just another 10 minutes and slipped away.

On the way out Clive Anderson - swaying unsteadily on his feet - brushed past and spilled his red wine on my sleeve jacket. Instead of apologising he muttered "clumsy cunt" or something under his breath!!

Why is there so much needless testosterone in TV at the moment??

Saturday, 25 August 2007


The Meet Me session was a total triumph. In a nutshell: Distinctive, clarity, purpose, evolution.

Tonally I'm v pleased with the mixed flavour ecology of it all - and I even managed a bit of flirting with Kathryn too- result! (Now I know my shows will get an easy ride from her for the next 6 months or so).

I come off the stage buzzing, pumped up and feeling energised - is this what taking drugs must feel like??

Elaine Bedell rushed up to air kiss me afterwards and said it was "quite possibly the best session of the festival so far".

But then things starting going badly wrong.

Two young college kids were standing outside the EICC with my brand new Itchy T-shirts struggling in vain to give them away to the cynical punters. All this hard work and for nothing?! I saw Richard Woolfe walk past and sneer.

[What the fuck am I supposed to do with the T-shirts now?? I texted Herring who responded "sorry, not my problem". There are currently 786 T-shirts piled up in boxes in the corner of my room.]

My "itchy" T-Shirts

Where the fuck is Alex Zane?? I turned up at The Malmaison at 7:45am and he never showed. The skinny arsed little punk is now permanently blacklisted from My Channel - no-one fucking treats me like that and gets away with it.

Not a great start to my important day. To make matters worse, I'm really unsure about this weird fucking T-shirt idea Herring has concocted.

He says I need a cutting edge viral marketing campaign to help raise the profile of my session appearance this afternoon, to "harness the potential" of the event and "seed" my 'itchy' channel message in the media subconscious.

(I barely understand 1 word in 10 when he's in full flow like this...)

"T-shirts attract eyeballs. Eyeballs attract viewers. And, presto! You're front agenda material"

As I write, a shipment of 1,000 'ironic streetwear' t-shirts are winging their way across Edinburgh to the conference centre.

Still haven't seen them yet... and starting to get very fucking nervous.

Herring even wants Kathryn to wear one in my session as she's quizzing me about the Youth Channel's shouty forthcoming Autumn schedule.

Let's hope The Dark Lord knows what he's fucking doing...

Friday, 24 August 2007

Fashion victims

Jesus wept, am I the only man alive in British Broadcasting that has a grasp of what is trendy and fashionable nowadays?

The delegates this year all look like the end result of an Oxfam closing down sale in Notting Hill.

Jane Root (in flat black strappy leather 'sneakers' and shapeless jeans) seems to have gone native with a Soccer Mum style, whilst Andrew Newman has decided that looking like a Butlins redcoat transported to 1950s Tennessee is 'in' this year.

Has everyone gone fucking mad?! Even The Smurf has ditched his trademark pinstripes and adopted The Impoverished Regional Indie disguise for the weekend.

Luckily, thanks to the ever-lovely Head Girl's last minute sartorial advice, I am dressed for understated impact in a dark blue blazer from Peter Jones and matching jeans.

I'd like to think that I look effortlessly shambolic and suitably 'down' with the delegates in a way that others are trying to emulate- but failing miserably.

And what the fuck is going on with Barron and his Martin Bell inspired attire? I almost thought he was a linecourt official from Wimbledon who had accidentally stumbled into the auditorium.

Have instructed the hotel to press my Paul Smith suit for tomorrow to be ready for a super busy day at the media coalface.

PS. During the MacTaggart James Herring texted to say "be wary of Maggie Brown- she's got an hidden agenda this weekend".

Phew, it's good to know The Dark Lord is on my side.

Stuck on a train with Dave Gravy

Huge cock-up with my train reservation to Edinburgh.

Instead of 1st class forward facing my idiot gay PA Anthony has only gone and accidentally booked me a 4-seat (with table) in cattle class...

As a result I have a very gormless, unattractive American couple in their 40s sitting opposite me, gawping at everything I do. Very unnerving. Strewn across the table is enough M&S snack food for them to survive a cold harsh winter in Belgrade.

When I whip out the Blackberry to fire off a few emails, they exchange looks as if I'd just pulled out my Little Piranha and started waving it around.

To make matters even worse, I'm sure the nauseating Dave Gravy is sitting in the next row in front of me. I can hear his grating scouse accent on the phone banging on to some lackie about "wanting more emotion from the daughter" and needing to "push fucking hard for her big breakdown moment this weekend".

I'm flabbergasted that Gravy is still up to his old tricks. Has this man not seen Channel 4's new Trust Guidelines?

To make sure The Lazy Cunt doesn't see me (and God forbid start up a conversation) I have slunk down in my seat as far as I can without slipping off.

But it's too late.

"Hi TVC! Didn't see you there! I'm going to the bar, do you fancy sharing a couple of tins of Tennants?"

I give a polite shake of the head, and flash a weak smile.

Christ. How many more hours till we get to this 'Scotland' place, please???

Thursday, 23 August 2007

MGEITF Itinerary

V excited about my Edinburgh trip and looking forward to rocking up at the Conference Centre with my new Corporation posse. Yeah!

Anthony has sent through an itinerary for my weekend away. A little bit furious about the travel arrangements, but Anthony tells me that only "Thommo, Byfield, Paxman and Fifi are being flown up this year, and that the rest of you must take the train to do our bit for carbon offsetting" [whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean].


08.00 - Depart Kings Cross (GNER First-Class + full English breakfast on board. Don't worry, you can have Kosher- I have checked)
13:00 - Arrive and check in @ The Witchery (Ref: 6e74f01. You're booked into the Guardroom)
15:00 - Late lunch with Sharon Horgan @ David Bann (best vegetarian in town!)
20:30 - Post McTaggart dinner with Barron, Fifi, Paxman et al
22:00 - Free time

08:00 - Breakfast with Alex Zane @ The Malmaison re: his spunky format ideas for The Kids (Remember to listen to XFM podcast on iPod beforehand. Call Alex to confirm 07828 456899)
10:00 - Controller Session prep time @ hotel (Herring will call to give final pointers on how to manage the Q&As)
12:00 - Early lunch with Hincksy (Venue TBC) re: squash weekend in November
13:45 - Meet Kathryn Flett & Neale Simpson in the 'Blue Room 3' upstairs (ask any steward where this is)
14:00 - Controller Interview (Remember to take Coldplay music to play before you go on stage)
19:00 - Dinner with Abi Titmuss @ Martin Wishart to discuss Naughty Nurses: A Mischief Special and Being John Leslie's C**t
21:00 - Soho House party (then possibly meet Lauren Laverne 11.30pmish in Pond. She will call you to confirm)

07.45 - check-out of hotel (not forgetting to sign the hotel guestbook!)
08:00 - Breakfast with Lauren Hennessy at The Caledonian re: Vernon Kay travel show idea
09.00 - 2nd Breakfast with James Herring @ The Scotsman
10:00 - 14:00 Free Time
15.20 - depart Edinburgh Waverley, arrive Kings Cross 21.48 (sorry, no first-class left, and engineering works mean you have to change at Peterborough, then get a bus to Hatfield and wait until 21.20 to get fast train into London. But at least you'll be doing your bit for the environment, and I'm proud of you for that!)

[REMEMBER: Take full credit for the success of Last Man Standing and HAVE FUN! Anthony x]

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Final reminder to Kathryn Flett

TO: Flett, Kathryn; Simpson, Neale

Dear Kathryn and Neal,

Looking forward to our session on Saturday. Can I just reiterate some of the things we've been talking about? Feel free to call if there's anything you'd like to query.

Warm regards

PS. When can you send me the approved names of front row audience members?

1) Big Brother (or any sort of debate about the merits of "reality TV")
2) Race-related subjects (eg. Trevor Philips initiatives or internal diversity schemes etc)
3) Sex...with Mum & Dad, Help! My Dog's as Fat as Me, Touch me, I'm Karen Taylor, Conning the Conmen, or F**ck Off I'm a Hairy Woman (all misunderstood programmes which would take far too long to discuss properly)
4) Viewer trust (I am happy to talk in general terms about the challenging times we face but due to the ongoing internal investigations you will have to understand that I cannot give conclusive yes or no answers about anything)
5) The state of my relationship with Fifi and Kleiny (as reported in Ariel)

1) My first 100 Days in office - the highs and lows
2) 'Itchy Reality' and 'Factlite' (how I originated the concepts and what the take up has been like)
3) The Young Board of Public Trust initiative - and why we need to engage with viewers in an unconventional way
4) Autumn schedule lineup (esp. noisy new comedy) and my holistic 360 degree Channel strategy
5) Anything to do with Lilly Allen and how well she fits tonally with my Bebo demographic

Lonely at the Top

Many, many years ago when I was just starting out on the road to becoming a creative maverick, my old mentor Goldberg told me: "It's surprisingly lonely when you reach the top, so don't be in any rush to get there, my boy."

Of course I scoffed at the time, but as the recent months have gone by I know EXACTLY what he meant.

Opening my inbox is like unleashing a shitstorm of personal doubt and worry (I notice last night that Fifi personally emailed Kleiny at 11:23pm to congratulate him on Tribe calling it "the best factual series currently on the Corporation").

It would be reassuring, just sometimes, to be emailed by Fifi in this way.....


Or for Execs and P/Ds to email and say how much they enjoyed and benefited from working for me.

It would be even more satisfying, on occasion, for my contemporaries [like fucking Higson, for example] to just admit ONCE IN A FUCKING WHILE that my shows consistently deliver noisy appointment-to-view itchy as fuck grenades that punch through the schedule!!

In my melancholic state, I called Peeptoe Jo into my office:

"I need you to massage my feet Jo. It's been one of those mornings."

She gave me dagger stares, made me kick off my polished brown brogues and got to work, very reluctantly.

Meanwhile I leaned back in my leather chair and focused my eyes up on my chaotic Thought Map, thinking dreamily 'Why oh why did I use use so much red pen???'

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Edinburgh here I come!

Some nobody from the Edinburgh TV Festival has had the bloody cheek to email and invite me to appear on a last minute session called 'Racism House: Inside Big Brother's Big Problem'.

Told them in no uncertain terms that 'I would consider it'.

I have already formulated a 'holistic' channel vision powerpoint that I am v v excited about presenting at my Edinburgh Meet the Controller session on Saturday.

There are some brand new buzz words I cannot wait to unleash on the Broadcasting world:

Canapé factual. As in our viewers do not want to feel bloated after a night's viewing so thus, we should offer them more choice in bite-sized morsels.

Vapour. As in the channel brand should feel 'cool' but also mysterious, hard to pin down and identify - like a vapour mist.

Indigestible. As in 'fuck me did you see the latest episode of Rob Brydon's Anally Retentive? It was chewy and indigestible.'

[The Youth Channel definitely needs more vapour-tainment if we're going to fight off The Wolfster and his mob at Sky One]

Monday, 20 August 2007

Steven Seagal Night

I just had to sit through a two hour yawnfest with Youth Channel scheduler Dan McGolpin trying to flog me a Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Weekend.

All the episodes in one sitcom gorging, schedule busting, comedyfest.

(I knew the success of Neighbours Weekend was going to come back and bite me in the moobs.)

We can no longer "do things by halves" he told me. "Crisps Weekend is solid 'Event TV'" that will "guarantee to breakthrough the 0.5m ceiling"

"Point 5 million!! Are you fucking joking me?!" I said in a high pitched girly voice.

He frowned, "That's the slot average for something as ambitious as this"

I swivelled around in my leather chair to face him.

"Fuck me. We could just run a Seagal film and get half that. Just run TWO Seagal films back to back and we'd have the ratings with none of the hassle. Call it Steven Seagal Night"

He sat back looking a bit stunned. My superior logic had won through. With all due respect Danny boy, I might know a thing or two about what editorial content works for My fucking Channel!!

Master of the Dark Arts - my arse! Now run along and go play with your abacus or something.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Teen Guru

Nearly came to blows with a smug Elaine Bedell in the Corporation canteen yesterday.

She was snarling like a wildebeest on heat.

I stood my ground, glaring at her - Anthony even had to hold me back!! (When I asked him to, that is).

What's made me so upset? She's only gone and hired a Teen Guru without even consulting me!!!

I run the fucking Youth Channel!

I've got my finger on the PSPing generation!!

I know what they eat (Kentucky Fried Chicken), I know what they listen to (Dizzee Rascal), I know what they like wearing (dayglo retro t-shirts) and I know all about their problems (TxTing RSI thumb, bingedrinking, daisychaining etc).

But no, she's only gone and hired a real twentysomething Kid from Will McDonald's bizarre outfit who probably still goes clubbing, shops in Size? and engages in enviable pre-marital sex with girls who like watching T4 on a Sunday morning.

This Kid might be the Young Pretender but I'm the wise gunslinger around these parts!

And I'll have no hesitation in putting a .40 calibre bullet between his spotty little eyes if he DARES to undermine me!!

On the sly, I had Anthony get in touch with Tina Wells, youth culture’s ‘It’ social anthropologist, as recommended by Daisy G.

I need to arm myself with some youth lingo and street speak A.S.A-fucking-P!!!

I hastily went online and bought myself a pair of new trainers.

Rocking up to work on Monday in Adidas Adicolor Superstar II G5 Camo Material trainers is going to send all the right messages to any jumped up little cunts in the building who have one eye on my youth crown.

I will not be toppled without bloodshed!!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Happy Birthday Channel 4

I see that Mentorn are making a 25 Year anniversary film about Channel 4 - "a witty, fast-paced and at times unorthodox journey through one of the most interesting periods in British broadcasting and contemporary history"

It's going to be an irreverent celebration of the highs - and occasional lows - of Channel 4's 25-year output and how it transformed the broadcasting landscape.

How exciting!

This is my chance to set the record straight. Re-enforce my legacy at the Channel, and explain to everyone how important a piece of work The Games was in the bigger scheme of things.

I've always fancied myself as a bit of a pundit!

I had Anthony call up one of their lackies - Jenny Borthwick - and instructed her that potentially I would be available for interview from August 20th to October 6th (but not Edinburgh bank holiday weekend).

Can't wait.......what should I wear for my big TV debut??

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Fuck Bear Grylls...I want this guy

I have found the new saviour of TV fakery.

Step forward David George.

Yes, that's right. Mr average, dull, boring suburban name. And a backward farmer by trade.

Yet this man is incredible. Seven (SEVEN??!!) whole days up a tree to avoid being munched to death by a bunch of man-eating evil crocs! Wow.

What I like about this guy is that he's for fucking real. Real death-defying bravery and balls.

None of that Edward Bear Grylls fake-SAS-background bollocks. I'll NEVER let Diverse TV make anything for me again after yet another expose (smoke machines to simulate volcanic fumes?! Jesus. Whatever next? Location Location Location admits phonecalls to estate agents were faked by Kirsty and Phil?)

I am having Georgie Boy fly over to London on a Qantas business class ticket A-S-A-fucking-P (Christ, the poor man could certainly do with some luxury after what he's just been through) so we can sit down and brainstorm some ideas together.

I am thinking of making history by being the first channel to shoot a survival-in-the-wilderness documentary entirely using the very latest mobile phone technology with NO editing (so we can be completely immune from bear costumes, fake raft building and four-star hotel stopovers).

Bring it on!!

PS. Is it cold today or is it just my new pubic topiary??

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The Ben Silverman

Nervous. Following Lauren Hennessey's advice, tonight I'm going to try out The Ben Silverman.

I have the Phillips beaver shaver...

I have the hand-held mirror...

I have the soothing Body Shop cocoa butter...

I might drink a quick half of expensive exported larger to build up the courage beforehand. Then onwards to Hollywood domination!!

24 hours with a twat

Some jumped up posh little runt has instructed his agent (his agent?!) to get in touch with me about a new "concept (hyper)reality entertainment stunt" series.

Who the fuck is this guy???

Well whoever he is, it would appear that he's strutting around thinking he's fucking Eisenstein now, claiming that [according to his agent] he's "reinvented" the chat show. Now he wants to try out something "even more epic".

Not on MY Channel you don't.

Got Hincksy on the phone who laughed and said this Jamie character had got "a good shit-dunking after that smug piss-poor Nick Broomfield rip-off he did for Newsnight".

[Now I remember. This must have been during Peter Barron's Trendy Filmmaker Phase 2004-2006 when "Jamie" was partnered up with some other annoying geek fruitcheese chasing Gary Glitter around fucking Cambodia or somewhere]

Anthony plugged into his source at ITV Network Centre (Ali Sharman's gorgeous new PA!) and she reckons the Express have got David Gest admitting that he only spent 3 hours with Campbell instead of the full 24 his recent series claimed.

I think I'll have Ben Gale deal with this one.

I don't meet with small fish anymore.

Frankly I don't have the time, nor the inclination, to entertain him... and his overinflated sense of self importance.

Monday, 13 August 2007

More 'F**ck Off' films, please

Just been told by Dan, my Nazi senior scheduler, that we need to re-commission another round of "F**k Offs" ("Even though the titles got under the noses of the Trust, our research shows the C1s still lap them up")

Christ. Please no. Here is me trying to shift the Youth Channel up a gear, and here they are, television's true Dark Masters commanding me to repeat Julian's dirty tabloid factual past (you can tell he was never a 'Head of Documentaries').

I sighed and waltzed back to my office. I found McDonald on his phone texting (during work hours no less) so obviously got him something very important to do instead: "Oi slack arse. I need another 10 or so F**k off titles within the next hour."

McDonald moaned back: "But boss? I thought we'd ditched all of that crap?"

[How arrogant and downright lippy!]

Peeptoe Jo suddenly appeared out of nowhere and intervened: "I can come up with some new titles, a little more female skewed if that's helpful?"

McDonald looked peeved. This is what I like. Rivalry and competition. I get high on it. It's my only drug of choice. [And the only drug I know].

So I decided to throw both of them a little further: "I don't really care which one of you does it. Just make sure you DO IT." I placed my hands on my hips for further emphasis when I said that last bit (NLP coaching coming to the fore yet again).

Divide and conquer - it's the only way to run a tight fucking team.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Thommo on the war path!!

Fuck! There goes my weekend in the sun!

Just picked up a red flagged email from Fifi. She said to "drop everything" because Thommo wants me to urgently outline the Youth Channel's 12 month plan to "engage with diverse contemporary historiographical, theoretical, cultural and performance frameworks within the digital landscape."

I have no fucking clue what he's on about....

I don't 'engage' with anything - that's the Yawn Channel's job and Entwhistle's problem. Not mine.

My job is to entertain The Kids. With comedy. And witty contemporary comment on society, like Pissed & Pregnant; wafer thin argument wrapped up nicely in a pseudo-scientific context (with some fit birds drinking Jacob's Creek).

That works well for me.

I mean, really, does Thommo - AKA the Ginger Assassin - want me to write any old crap so he can justify himself to the bleeding Dinosaurs at The Trust??

Grow some bollocks, man!

Called Daisy in a panic: "I think Thommo has plans to kill off My Channel afterall. What do I do?!"

"Calm down sweetheart", she purrs from her Dorset shagpad, "You forget that your channel gave birth to Little Britain and Sex...with Mum & Dad (amongst others). That makes you untouchable. Sit tight and let the storm clouds clear. Got it?!"

God, I love Daisy when she gets all bossy with me!!

Friday, 10 August 2007

A day in the life of a zeitgeisty channel

I could get tension myositis syndrome replying to all these emails - 143 yesterday, 111 today... Phew!

Here's a quick sample of yet another super duper busy day as a leading creative visionary of Britain's foremost zeitgeisty digital youth channel:

1) Thommo has sent us all an email: "You may have read press speculation recently that the Youth Channel or the Brainy Channel That Nobody Watches may be axed in a radical new cost saving operation. Rest assured that we will be in full consultation with you regarding these hypothetical radical solutions to our miserable budget shortfall. Carry on as normal."

There is no way Thommo would axe The Youth Channel with my 3 year holistic channel strategy in place. Entwhistle better polish up his CV....

2) Seb Scott writes: "Dave Gravy and I have put our heads together, (b)itchy reality is hot right now with Big Brother. Can we interest you in something similar? 1 Yacht. 10 class-A Paris Hilton rich bitches. 1 eligible rich guy. Who's 70. It's Anna Nicole meets The Batchelor, but not..."

I reply tactfully saying,"Interesting Seb but not quite right. Thanks for thinking of me, TVC".

3) Dan at Scheduling and Planning is pushing for a meeting to discuss more Big Events following Neighbours Weekend: "I've got a bloody good scheduling solution for the underperforming Tuesday 8pm slot." Why do schedulers act like they run the fucking place??

4) Daisy: "I'm thinking of buying this bed. What do you reckon?" I replied indifferently, saying "looks v comfy and stylish, but can you really afford it?" [because I fucking can't].

5) Anthony informed me that Hincksy has cancelled squash AGAIN. He's been sulking since Salopes got the chop. Hope he bloody gets over it soon...

6) Roly wants to meet for lunch to discuss our "channel synchronicity"... but what the fuck does he really want??

7) Gary Reich, the bloke responsible for that horrendous Little Miss Jocelyn asks: "Hi! The 10-minute pilot Julian commissioned for 'Wassup Nigga?' is all done and dusted. When can I come in and show it to you?"

[Seriously - does he really think I can get a title like that away, especially in the current climate??? I'm all for being provocative for the sake of it, but Reich...come on man, and wake the fuck up!]

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Meeting Noel Edmonds

V excited.

Gavin Henderson at Endemol West emails:

"TVC, I hear you might be visiting my humble neck of the woods? Our south west office keeps going from strength to strength. Can I interest you perhaps in a little tour of the Deal or No Deal HQ? Noel is dying to meet you? Best, Gavin"

Fifi is adamant I ignore the indies and brief the regional Corporation staff.

But to be honest, given the choice between a slap up meal with Noel, Gavin and some sexy young producers OR a gourmet cheese and pickle sandwich in the Bristol wildlife department's canteen, I know which one I'd rather fucking choose....

I've always wanted to meet Noel. He has serious potential to take over the reins on the Eurovision Song Contest. Wogan's time is up (especially after his latest wage demands) so this is the perfect opportunity for me to make my move.

Imagine rocking up in Fifi's office with Noel signed up! Fincham would shit in a river before he saw this one coming!

Plus, according to Gav, "There are convenient transport links that can get you back to London within 2 hours".

Instructed Anthony to stop sulking and sort out my Tour of the Regions itinerary A.S.A-fucking-P!!!

Boyzone are Back for Good!

Finally, after years of pitching me weak celebrity drivel Nick Bullen from Spun Gold (previously known as Spun Shite) has come up with the goods. It's an exciting, headline grabbing 10-part series for My Channel that will confound my critics and give me a solid feelgood spine at 9pm.

Boyzone: Back for Good is a revealing access-all-areas camp-umentary following the Boyzone boys reforming and is certain to be a genre defining piece. Nick has promised me all the dressing room fights, the Guinness-fuelled shenanigans, the legendary Ronan-hissy fits - we'll have it all.

I've submitted it to Programme Finance and we should be up and running by the end of the month [Scheduling are also v excited - Boyband Weekend already penciled for mid November!]

This is a prime example of when Nostalgic Factlite works best for me. We'll be tapping into a generation that not only grew up with the Boyzone boys (like me!) and were empowered by them - but who also fantasised about having a threesome with Ronan and Stephen Gately (not like me!).

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Has Daisy lost the plot?

How do I break this gently to my longterm pal (and all round posh frocker) Daisy G?

She's got a huge bee in her bonnet and keeps banging on about knitting being the new property boom AND parenting paranoia rolled into one.

I give her one of my serious looks, "But Daisy, the self help ecology is fragile right now..."

She flashes her big puppy dog eyes up at me...

"Has it got the right level of insatiability I need for My Channel?"

She raises her eyebrows like a naughty school girl...

I shake my head.

She cocks her head to one side and sticks her bottom lip out...

"Oh, alright then. I'll talk to Fifi about it next week"

She grins and hugs me. Ten times!

Deep down I know knitting is the ratings kiss of fucking death. It wouldn't get an audience in a million years. And you don't need to be a shit hot young Controller to figure that one out.

But how else do I deal with someone so used to getting their own way?

Sometimes I despair.

Ever since she left WalkoutThames she's been peddling a raft of substandard castoffs: confused so-called comedy dramas (featuring end-of-pier panto soap stars), lukewarm formats (without enough scale and ambition), soppy book shows and crass popular entertainment that I can get at half the price from the likes of Granada.

I'm beginning to think she may have lost her midas touch. Especially as she's spent most of the past year writing her 'memoirs' [who the fuck does she think she is? Jackie O??]

Maybe it was Ben Frow keeping her afloat all those years after all!?

I promise to practice my cross-stitch and give her three pecks on the cheek goodbye.

Oh, how the posh and privileged have fallen...

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Tour of the Nations & Regions


I've only just rocked up at the Corporation and Fifi is packing me off to the nations and regions. She says it is vital that I am visible within my first few months of arriving, and that I "deliver my channel message" face to face.

But, I tell her, I'm very worried it's going to take me "out of action" for the best part of two days. She simply says: "You have a Corporation Blackberry don't you?"

I'm starting to suspect that a big part of succeeding in my new job is the ability to side-step these kinds of public service mumbo jumbo initiatives. In this case, a renewed drive to "connect up the dots" of the organisation and show we're listening. Frankly I couldn't give a fuck about listening to what the regions have to say anyway.

The tribal outposts are staffed by over-the-hill company lifers who are put out to pasture and asked to deliver safe, predictable formatted rubbish.

Not on My fucking Channel you don't.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Itchy my arse

Kleiny has pitched me what he called his 'itchiest' project yet. I like the way he's getting into the spirit of things and embracing my new buzzword de jour, but it somehow did not sound right coming from his old-school Tory lips.

He wants to take a group of disabled Iraqi refugees on an amazing journey around the country in (and this is where he lost me a bit) a fucking converted old London routemaster bus. With Rod Stewart and his band.

"What, are they roadies or something?" I ask him.

No, Kleiny says, this is the Youth Channel's way of doing the Iraq war - very contemporary, very now, but with some cool music too.

I shut my eyes and tried to picture a scene. Rod belting out "Maggie May" as the bus pulls into Runcorn, before deliberately decamping the refugees into a 2* hotel that isn't 'fit for purpose' (i.e. not enough disabled ramps, lifts, etc). Lots of tears, raw emotion. Great soundtrack too.

"Okay Richard, I like it. Have you thought about casting yet?"

Kleiny says that he was 'definitely onto it', but was waiting on a greenlight from me before getting his lackies too involved in the project.

I stand up. "Fair enough. Right, this is what I want you to do. Produce for me a 3 minute taster of the 10 characters we'll use. I want the possibility of disabled sex on the bus so ensure we get the right mix of Iraqis. They must also ALL speak English. And I want some blind people too. There is something strangely compelling about watching them fumble about."

Kleiny looks gobsmackingly delirious that he had got this one away with me. "I will not let you down," he stutters, and tries to high-five me.

How fucking embarrassing, especially coming from a man of his age.

What a twat.

Perry Mansell tries to bully me

Have just been rudely woken up at 4.40am after my Blackberry bleeped.

It was Perry Mansell, the notorious uber-agent to stars like Dickinson Moss and the like.

"Just agreed a new deal with Fincham for Dickinson. He's said that we can have cart-blanche for a series in the new year on your poxy little channel as part of the package. So fuck you, you weedy little glasses-wearing prick!!! Lots of love, Perry"

Jesus. What the fuck is going on here?

How dare Peter strut around offering commissions for the Youth Channel without fucking talking to me first? My Channel is not, I repeat not some paperweight to clinch deals with.

I make the deals around here thankyou very much! I am not a dumping ground for indulgent tagged-on projects just so the Corporation can hold on to its leading names (plus I happen to think that Moss is getting a little bit past his sell-by date anyway).

How am I supposed to develop My Channel as a stand-alone destination for viewers if I'm constantly being undermined by having shit like this forced upon me?

Tried to get some shut eye but couldn't. So switched on News24 and within minutes I was happily snoozing again.

Friday, 3 August 2007

I now own half of RDF!!

Last night I had dinner with a very good friend of mine who makes triple my salary working in hedge funds (what a lucky bastard, you should see the house - and Polish au pair - he's got in Ladbroke Grove).

Anyway, over a glass of sherry he suggested a good idea for me to "make a quick buck" by "investing wisely in the misfortune of others".

So today I embarked on my share dealing adventures.

Following one of my hero's lead (John De Mol, creator of Big Brother no less) I purchased 50,000 shares in the RDF Media Group.

The price is rock bottom now after the kicking they've taken from ITV and Thommo.

Like my mate said, "Bloody good time to buy, my boy".

How exciting!!

I've joined the big boys playing the City game (hello Michael Grade and Greg Dyke!)

In my enthusiasm I nearly emailed Lambert to tell him I would have him sacked at the next shareholders meeting, but thought the joke might be a little wasted on him in these deeply depressing times.

Just wondering who to 'invest' in next?



This is much more fun than when I used to play Celebdaq....

[Even thinking of coming into work on Monday wearing red braces, chomping on a big fat cigar and carrying a black leather suitcase!!]

The diversity police

Someone has had the fucking temerity to email me to enquire "what percentage of multicultural representation" did my department conform to?

Was it the necessary 12.5%?

How the fuck should I know?

I don't hire people because of their ethnicity, I hire them because they're cheap. And they can deliver hit shows. If you need to up the quota hire another 'diverse' newsreader, but don't come around fucking with the magic of The Youth Channel. I write back politely, "we have a proven track record in multicultural programming (Little Miss Jocelyn amongst many others!) and the department is complimented by a wide range of diverse perspectives".

But it won't fly with the diversity police. They inform me that an Inspection Team (headed up by that scary woman) will be visiting next week.

PS. I hope to hell McDonald's Scottish roots count for something...otherwise we're fucked.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Return of The Beaver

Lunch with the lovely Lauren Hennessy at Shoreditch House.

Her: cleavage-hugging white blouse and shapely split black skirt with strappy wedges (... gulp.... my memory still troubled by our last meeting).

Me: simple blue cotton shirt showing off my manly chest rug and khaki trousers from John Rocha.

Recently returned from LA, she wasted no time in giving me a hug and saying, "Darling, the press dislike you because you're so delightfully young and brilliantly successful."

I give a shrug. I'm hurt and she can tell.

"Listen sweetie, you really need to focus on what's important. Image. Why don't you follow the example set by the LA media movers and shakers...."

I'm all ears.

It turns out ALL the top US network presidents, VPs and senior VPs are shunning Sunset Tan for something a little bit more risqué:

'The Ben Silverman'

"What the fuck is The Ben Silverman?" I ask

She rolls her eyes, "That's when you pluck all your pubes out and leave only ONE super duper long hair curled around your sausage and beans"

Sausage and beans? Holy crap!! I was not expecting this. I thought she was going to recommend a visit to Saville Row or something...

Lauren tells me in no uncertain terms that to join the Big Fish I must first trim the Little Piranha.

I ambled back to the office, deep in thought, and then immediately got Anthony to book me an appointment at Simon Warwick for a beard trim.

And buy me a Philips Bodygroomer.

Hollywood here I come!

Reading the NME

To make amends for yesterday's embarrassing Beth Ditto faux pas I strutted into the Corporation with a copy of the latest edition of NME tucked prominently under my arm. I wanted to show once and for all just how fucking down with 'Da Kids' I really am.

I will not be fucking caught out like that again.

Gave a 'respek' sign to the security guard (bet he's into that London 'rap artist' Dizzee Rascal...)

Walked the long way around to the Stage Door lifts ensuring as many staff as possible spotted my freshly-acquired reading material for the day.

I had the swagger of a man who damn well knew his Oasis from his Blur!!

In the lift I turned my iPod up to the max (hoping that everyone was impressed that I was enjoying the new Snow Patrol LP)

[Listen, I'm the kind of guy who can appreciate Charles Dickens AND the rap singer Dr Dre if I wanted to.]

Feeling fired up, I bashed out a quick email to Jonny (no 'h') in the Manchester outpost and told him straight:

"Thanks for your time yesterday. I've had a sleep on it and sadly on this occasion I've decided The Legwarmer Revolution isn't quite right for me and the Youth Channel. Best, TVC"

I'm not going to have some Northern wanker tell me what's hip and cool.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

The Legwarmer Revolution

Oh dear. In-house Manchester have just been down and spent an hour pitching their half-baked northern fact-ent ideas. Normally I would have dismissed them outright with a few nonchalant shrugs and some condescending compliments but NO, instead something disastrous happened:

A bloke called Jonny (no 'h') led the pitch, saying their Big Itchy Idea was called "The Legwarmer Revolution" (whatever this means) "an ironic weekly fashion transformation show with a difference" that would "rival How To Look Good Naked."

Yeah, right. Crass AND copycat....yawn.

I carried on checking my Blackberry every 15 seconds just in case anything important came through (had Thommo reacted well to my 'Board of Young Trust' idea?)

Anyway, 'Jonny' continued to bore me for at least two whole minutes before I swiveled my chair in his direction, wiped my glasses clean, and cut him dead with the tricky question: "What talent is attached?"

Quick as a flash he shot back: "We've managed to get Beth from The Gossip to do a 4-minute stateside package each week! MTV wanted to sign her exclusively, but we've snatched her. She's all signed and sealed up."

Beth who???

Jonny gave his colleagues a raised eyebrow and pulled out his mobile to show me a picture of a horrendously overweight lady dressed in a blue leotard. I immediately started to feel violently sick.

"She is so hot right now and really speaks to the Youth Channel audience," Jonny enthused. "Totally the opposite of posh, aloof and untouchable 'rexy'-types like Kate and Sadie."

I was seething.

Why the fuck had I been caught out like this?? I need to keep me finger on the pulse for exactly this kind of horrible scenario. I run the fucking Youth Channel!! It should be my business to know who is fat and hip at the moment.

Why hadn't Anthony informed me about this?! Every since he was re-instated following that unfortunate Memo Mishap, he's been moody, distant and sloppy at best.

To cover my acute embarrassment I immediately gave Jonny and his team a thumbs up and The Legwarmer Revolution is now in development to the tune of £6K.

Lucky northern cunts.

Uncle Dale: The Enforcer

I've heard worrying whispers in the corridors of the Corporation that Peter Dale is to be brought over from Horseferry Road to fill the newly created role of Editorial Enforcer across the whole of Vision. His powers will be unprecedented. In effect, sweet Uncle Dale will overnight become the Dick Cheney to Thommo's Dubya.

Jesus wept! The last thing I need is my old mentor coming over here to kick my skinny white arse. Only last week he called me up asking for a job... and now this?!

Looks like Fifi is walking a P45 tightrope leading straight to the Chiswick dole office.

Thommo has cancelled her holiday for the rest of the year, curbed her powers, and ordered her to personally head up a 9 month 'Rebuilding Trust: One Vision, One Love, One Audience' review of every single fuckup in the Corporation's history. Every coked-up Blue Peter presenter, every adulterous Director General, even every Alan Yentob expense account fiddle.

Called that geek Andrew Newman up at Channel 4 right away: "What the hell is going on with Dale, funnyboy?!"

He popped his head over the cheap open plan office dividers and said he could see Uncle Dale sharpening his antique 18th Century Cup Hilt Rapier (with wire bound shark skin grip) - getting ready for "some serious action".

Shit. This is not good news.

Sucking Fifi's cock is bad enough; but now I'm going to have another arse to lick.