Tag Archives: tv

lingo #3: she’s all that

12 May

I know I really should write a lingo post which actually helps people…but to hell with it, I’m going to write about something which amuses me about the stereotypical producer.

the way they talk.

particularly with female producers.  you can hear them coming a mile off: their laughs, darlings! and air-kisses reverberate around studio cafes as they sweep in and out avec entourage.

they either have generic London accents, or are cultivating them (I mean the London-Surrey kind, not the London-Essex kind, god forbid). they exaggerate. they mostly have long black hair which gets thrown around a lot in a kind of confident, business-like way.

you can tell whether or not they approve of the guy they’re talking about, by noticing if they refer to him as a boy or a man, regardless of his age: it’s either oh, she broke the POOR boy’s heart. such a SHAME, such a GORgeous boy, or, oh my god, I saw that VILE man in the cafe queue earlier. the one we didn’t cast, I KNOW! you’re going to HAVE to pick up my lunch from now on, I just CAN’T BEAR it.

similarly, ladies they get on with are lovely girls, and those they don’t are ghastly women.

the stereotypical producer makes sure she demonstrates just how creative and intelligent she is by use of flamboyant vocabulary, constantly. things can’t just be disappointing, they’re horRENdous. the pitch last week wasn’t slightly rushed, it was a NIGHTmare.

when I first started working in the industry, I was 18 and reserved in a kind of dismissive way.  like you have to be when you’re 18.  I listened to these people, who were able to simultaneously bark and drawl, (a seemingly impossible feat) and wondered why they felt the need to be so damn affected.

but after a month, phrases like woefully inept, completely abysmal, the most atrocious behaviour, and, I could have died were slipping out of my mouth, too.  I found that gushing, oh, thank you so much, you’re an absolute star! at some guy we needed a favour off gave a 60% higher success yield than simply saying thanks, I really appreciate it.

of course, I had to be careful not to speak like this around my school friends.  at a time when we all wore variations of the same outfit from Morgan, and where boyfriends were won or lost according to how well you pulled off a house party,  I would have sounded far too self assured.

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what really goes on at the BBC…

11 May

my brother works in post-production at the BBC. he often gets asked to find stills or archived footage, and forwarded me this email that he’d received the other day:

Hi All

Urgently looking for a still of Richard E Grant, naked, clutching a fish.

If anyone can help please could they email me asap.



although I don't have a clue what picture the poor girl was searching for, I did find this shocker of actress Greta Scacchi molesting a fish. I hope she finished with it before it suffocated

what I love about this is its outstanding lack of irony in the face of absolute and complete obscurity.

the girl is clearly panicking, she’s probably had an intimidating producer airily fire at her, “oh, and darling, get me that still of Richard E…you know, the one where he’s holding a fish…”, and, not wanting to appear moronic, has nodded like this was the most natural request in the world, sat back at her desk, hyperventilated, then wept, then banged out a terse email to similar lowlifes who will understand the predicament she’s in and preserve her job for another day by finding the wretched thing.

the choice of the word “clutching” is the icing on the cake.

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politics: always more compelling when you’re drunk

11 May

I’m writing today’s post while watching Gordon Brown leave 10 Downing Street.

my dad has even cracked open some champagne. he and my mum live in Conservative / Lib Dem country, out in Surrey.

they’re a bit drunk.

Alistair Darling comes on TV: “and you can stop grinning like a Cheshire cat, you white haired monster”, mutters my dad.

“oh, shh, Derm” hiccups my mum.

now Brown’s appeared at his front door. his two kids look so sweet and eager – it gives him a humanity, stood there as a father rather than a prime minister, and I feel terrible that one day they’ll know practically the whole country hated their dad.

my mother shatters this moment of empathy: “I expect Brown and his cronies had a good old party in number 10 last night. what’s the betting they’ve left it just like they’ve left the country: trashed, and with no champagne in the cellar?”

my dad pisses himself laughing at his. until Ed Balls comes onto the screen. his face contorts. “Oho, Ed Balls, you can piss off as well.”


“Well, he’s a bastard. A right pain in the arse”.

I wonder how my parents have seemingly become political maestros overnight: their programming is usually limited to The One Show and New Tricks. it’s probably the brandy they’ve just opened.

my mother is now incensed there’s no police escort for Cameron driving to Downing Street. “you could shoot him dead. a machine gun, tchtchtchtch… it does make you wonder…I mean who’s that guy?” (her voice rises in tipsy panic) “what’s Cameron doing, why’s the car stopped? (the guy next to the car is actually not an assassin, but a photographer. probably to the disappointment of the BBC, whose ratings would have been off the hook had there been a live execution). “it’s worrying” laments my mother, “really worrying”.

“get this scottish sod off my screen” growls my dad, reaching for more cognac.

if only there were a free bar in the house of commons…oh hang on, that’s Endemol’s new reality series, “Toff Quaff Stand-Off”. bringing politics to the masses.

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