UPDATE: Anonymous reminds me it's a comedy 'showcase' not a comedy 'lab'. Channel 4's comedy 'lab' is that one that commissions a script, gets me to rewrite it three times then never contacts me again, the rest of my money turning up eight months later with no explanation or anything.
I had a meeting with my agent the other week, which went like this:
AGENT: You haven't had anything on telly for aaaaaaaaaages
ME: I KNOW.
Except I hadn't really been thinking about it, to be honest, because I've been having a jolly old time writing scripts, the last couple of which have got to the response of 'well, we like it, and will pass it to Top Important Person', and gawd knows what he or she will decide, but in the meantime let's get something else off the ground'. Which is good, because it's work, and money and stuff, but sometimes it's easy to forget the objective of the exercise is to actually get live actors reading out your words in the right order, pulling the appropriate acting faces at each point, on television.
Also a couple of things that were going to be quite solidly on television didn't go as planned, one being a kid's fantasy thing that, don't get me wrong, looks awesome, but the final result was quite far removed from the thing I'd set out to write, and the idea that had got me excited about in the first place. It was still good, but despite numerous attempts to change gear to accommodate the new version, I never quite meshed. So in the end, after quite a lot of rewrites, I decided the only honest thing to do was take my name off the script, and let someone else crack on with it. The other thing was a quite slick BBC show that got cancelled just as I was about to crack on with my episode, bah.
Fortunately, the remaining projects, which were completely mine, are still ticking along quite happily, hurrah, and Campus, the Comedy Lab pilot I co-wrote along with my lovely Green Wing chums and a couple of new people, who we all bullied at first, but eventually learnt to grudgingly respect, is coming out in November some time, hurrah!
Campus is a one-off comedy, set in a university. If it goes down well, we hope to get a series. Then, a couple of days ago, we discovered there was another one-off comedy doing the rounds, that was set in a university, and hoped to get a series. And this one stars Ian McKellan.
It does look damn good actually (and I haven't seen ours, only read the script, which traditionally bears the same resemblance to the final result as Hitler's drawings of himself doing number two's in Stalin's office had to the outcome of the WWII). And it's got Ian McKellan in it, as in Magneto and Gandalf. Shiiiiiiiit.
Fortunately, ours stars Andy Nyman, who fought zombies in 'Dead Set', had his leg taken off in James Moran's 'Severance', and is Derren Brown's producer. And a magician in real life.