Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Last week I was invited to a meeting with a couple of actors who appear in a sketch show with an 'And' in the middle. No, not those ones, the other ones. That's them.

I'd already written a few sketches on spec, and that I was invited to a meeting presumably meant they didn't hate them, and as I was up in That London anyway, I thought I'd pop along, just have a coffee or something, dunno. A few minutes later, I got another email just 'letting me know' that the purpose for the meeting was to pitch some sketch ideas to the 'Ands'.

Which I've never done before. And the thought didn't particularly appeal. In fact, I don't really see why most meetings happen in the first place, what with no-one ever actually needing to see my face, what with me being, you know, a writer.

But I decided to go anyway, because it's always fun to meet a new 'And'. So, I sat in the reception for a bit, wondering how exactly one goes about pitching sketch ideas. I mean, nobody expected me to act them out, surely? That's what the actors do, and also, I'd probably act out my own stuff really really well, which would intimidate the Ands, rather unfairly. Maybe you just shout out the catchphrase and then list umpteen social situations which could hilariously lead up to it, that seeming to be the point of every sketch show since The Fast Show, which means they all completely missed the point of The Fast Show, which was really rather magnificent.

Two actors joined me in reception. I could tell they were actors, as they were both flipping through scripts, and the boy one had very expensive hair, while the girl one was SIX FOOT EIGHT. Now there's a rule with tall people, that we regard each other as a refuge from the sub or normally heighted, which means one thing we don't do to each other is say 'OH MY GOD YOU'RE LIKE SIX FOOT EIGHT WHAT'S THE AIR LIKE UP THERE, LOL' AND SO ON. Sorry, 'and so on'. So we smiled politely at each other, and of course all the time I wanted to say 'OH MY GOD YOU'RE LIKE SIX FOOT EIGHT WHAT'S THE AIR LIKE UP THERE?'.

Finally I got the call that I could go in. I stand in front of some people from television, clutching my notebook and swaying slightly.

AND 1: So when you're ready to-
ME: There's a lady down there that's SIX FOOT EIGHT! That's taller than me! I'm quite tall, but she was really tall! As a consequence of which I have somewhat forgotten all the stuff I was going to pitch.
AND 2: (kindly) So which part of Cornwall are you from?

PS: France was very nice, Patroclus will be making a full report later.


Sean McManus said...

Hale & Pace? Cannon & Ball?

james henry said...

They wish.

nanga parbat said...

Lea and Perrins?

I'm hungry.


Spence said...

Ant & Dec?

Mangonel said...

Peter, Paul and Mary?

Tim Footman said...

I don't know which ones I was supposed to have thought of first, so I don't know which ones they actually were.

But they went to Cambridge, didn't they?

spence said...

Mary, Mungo & Midge?

Boz said...

Cameron and Brown?


nuttycow said...

Armstrong & Miller?

delfina said...

mitchell 'n' webb?
french 'n' saunders?

Anonymous said...

You're not tall. Above small, yes. Tall - No.

I'm guessing Armstrong and Miller as well. I was supposed to do this last year but managed to get out of the pitch side of things. I was also really put of by the fact that one of them expected to be called Xander. Still did the commission though.

james henry said...

I AM TALL. You wrong bastard.

Yes it is them. I sent the second lot of spec stuff off yesterday.

Anonymous said...

I'm not really anonymous either - It's your old chum from Green Wing here - Skenwobbly.
The comments thingy didn't work when I tried to leave my name and I couldn't be arsed siging up for anything.
Hope all is well with you and yours.


james henry said...

Hello you!

William said...

dick and dom?

oh. you already said.

and now I think of it, dom was in my class at school and we teased him because he had dwarfism and a head like a bean. If he wasn't on radio 1 I'd feel guilty

nanga parbat said...

I really fancy Ben Miller.

Next time you see him you should probably tell him.

nanga parbat said...

Also mention that I find Alexander Armstrong's ears disturbingly fleshy.


Rose said...

I shall assume by thinking "Mitchell And Webb? Oh, Armstrong and Miller?" that I am your perfect audience.

Myself and a friend have a constant battle over whether Alexander Armstrong or Rob Harley has the nicest, most alluring voice ever.

Anyway, in an attempt to make this comment less pointless I shall say that as a tiny person I get distracted in a similar fashion if I see someone EVEN SHORTER THAN ME.