Sunday 24 November 2013

On a roll

Once on this blog, I put up a picture of a gate-spring who really loved being a gate-spring.

I now present a steam-roller quietly looking forward to another day's steam-rolling.

Monday 18 November 2013

Because that hack they got to do the 'Romeo + Juliet' one was terrible.

How exciting! They've released an official film tie-in book of that great Baz Lurhmann film!

Shame they couldn't get Lurhmann himself to write it, though. I hope this Fitzgerald guy can pull off his style.

Friday 15 November 2013

Ho Ho… No, No, God No!

Ah, Christmas is coming, and good old Costa coffee are celebrating with some Little Moments of Festive Fun. How heart-warming. Little moments of festive fun, such as… the bloodily decapitated body of Father Christmas.

…Thanks, Costa. Merry Christmas to you too.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Prepare for final descent.

…Well, I say news; but the hints I've been dropping have been pretty broad. Anyway, this is it officially: I am currently writing the next - and final - episode of Cabin Pressure. It will be a forty-five minute special, and it will be recorded early in the new year. 

Infrequently Asked Questions, But Which I Imagine May Become More Frequently Asked Now.

Why are you only doing an episode, not a series? 

Because that has always been the plan - at least since about Molokai. When I was planning series three, I decided that (BBC and cast permitting), I would write two more series, and build towards a cliff-hanger, followed by a special. I knew by then how important it is when writing an episode to have the ending in mind, and I thought the same would probably be true of a series.

Why are you ending it?

Well, it has to end somewhere, and six years and twenty six episodes feels like a pretty good score.    And this way I get to build towards an ending that I feel is satisfying, rather than it simply stopping one day… or worse, getting tired and repetitive. It's also allowed me to let the characters and their relationships change and develop over the last couple of series, knowing that I'm building in a particular direction, in a way that I couldn't have done if I'd had to keep them in sitcom limbo.

Besides, you can't fight the alphabet…

But there are a lot more letters in other languages!

I know. But be honest, which is more satisfying: A to Z or A to Ø? 

No, you be honest: it's because you can't get the cast any more, isn't it?

It really isn't. It's very difficult to get them all together, certainly, but they continue to be astonishingly generous about finding ways to make it work. No, this is all my fault.  

When did you say it would be recorded? And broadcast?

On the… Ah, you nearly got me. No, I'm afraid I don't know. I had, as many of you had guessed, been working towards another Christmas broadcast, but unfortunately that hasn't worked out. So, as early as possible in the new year, I hope; and I'll let you know here as soon as I can... 

Monday 11 November 2013

I'm Sorry I Only Connect.

Today, by coincidence, appearances I made on shows that were recorded about six months apart will be broadcast within a couple of hours of one another. At 6:30 on BBC Radio 4, I will be - and I can still hardly believe this - being given silly things to do on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. I've loved this show since I was a boy, and I'm astonished and delighted to be given the opportunity to be on it.  I only hope I didn't mess it up too badly.

And then at 8:30 on BBC4, I'm on the Children In Need special of Only Connect, a show I'm sure I would have loved as a boy if only it had been on then. As the scoring on this show is a little more rigorous than the other one (no offence to Samantha), I already know whether I messed up, and, if so, exactly how badly. 

Sorry I've neglected this blog for so long, incidentally - I plan to be around a little more now. For instance, I will have some news about Cabin Pressure on Wednesday.