Friday, February 03, 2006

Imagine there's no writers, it's easy if you try...

Poor old Alan Yentob. Obviously having a wonderful time on The Incredible Alan Yentob Show!!!, but so busy larking about in the style of various sitcoms, that when he got to the fabulous Peep Show, he completely forgot to mention the names of the writers. Silly old thing, I bet he was terribly embarrassed when it went out and he realised what he'd done.

So, for the record, Peep Show, which he rightly lauded for its originality, depth of characterization and general goodness, was written* by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong. There's an interview with them over here.

The blog is currently a tad moribund, apologies, but I'm working on the final polish of the book before it goes off to the publishers, which makes it draft 6a. And if it does get picked up by a publisher, the first thing they'll do is make that 'sucking in through the teeth' noise and say 'of course, you realise it needs a lot of work...'.

Quick hello to The MIghty Evan, whose birthday it was earlier this week. I gave her a small purse as a present, only for someone else to turn up with a present of a purse that was a) slightly larger, and b) had more presents in it, thus outclassing me at every turn. I'll be putting up a photo of my christmas present from TME at some point, because mere words cannot do justice to its carved wooden glory (clue: rhymes with 'biking' and has a place to put an incense cone).

* as in 'made up by', you fat-handed twat.


Danny Stack said...

There was no mention of writers at any point in Yentob's programme. Sure, there were some writer/directors - Graham Linehan, Armando Iannucci etc - but no sole writer (his failure to mention the writing team on My Family was a particular oversight especially his cheeky introduction in the bed with Zoe and Robert, how wun-derful). At least Green Wing had an interesting segment about the editing and how they lay it out but why no mention of the writing? Anyway, we know the sitcom's not dead so everyone can sleep easy now.

James Henry said...

Yeah, I think GW did okay, nice to see someone going into the process of putting it together, but the general lack of interest in the writers says a lot about the attitudes prevalent in the upper echelons of the BBC. This isn't misplaced rage by the way, I felt ably represented by Vic in the GW bit. But to not even mention the writers behind Peep Show, jesus...

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the "Peep Show" bit, but then I did have to switch the programme off before the end as I couldn't take any more of Yentob's pseudo-intellectual claptrap. I'd always thought the "Private Eye" column "Me and my Spoon" was a bit wide of the mark...until I saw the Radio Times blurb for next week's "Imagine" in which Botney discusses his favourite...chairs!

Somewhat belatedly, I also want to tell you that the question on my Monty Python trivia calendar for 27th Jan. was:

"Ken Clean-air Systems if the great white hope of the British boxing world. In his training regimen what does he do for lunch every day?"
Answer:Ken crouches down in the road and RUBS GRAVEL INTO HIS HAIR"!
Clearly, great comedic minds think alike.

David Hadley said...

I haven't got around to Yentob's musings as yet (I taped it, so it'll be a year or so before I get around to taping something else over it), but here's something not that interesting.

Peep Show
Green Wing
The Thick of It

I stop watching all of these at almost the same time, around halfway through the first episode. I - and I know many others too - get really pissed off by camera gimmicks - speeding up slowing down, wobble cam and all the other stuff like that, and all that kind of stuff.

I just wonder if the use of such gimmickry - the fashion for it should, I hope, pass soon - is the reason why some of these shows, all with great potential never really get the mass audiences they deserve.

James Henry said...

I can sympathize - I couldn't see why all the speedy up stuff was there when I saw the original GW pilot, But if you stick with it, I think it genuinely enhances the show. It's about the little moments in life being as important as the big ones, and needing to be savoured as much, if you want to get pretentious about it. Same with Peep Show - I love the way what they are thinking is often completely at odds with the characters' actions.

On The Thick Of It though, it just gives me a headache.

I think there is a move back to simpler, more traditional stuff: see the IT Crowd, which I like a lot. It'll be interesting to see how that goes down, although people won't like it/dislike it because it's filmed in a 'traditional' style. All that matters is whether it makes me laugh.

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered. Is Yentob his real name or is it his name spelled backwards?