Friday, January 11, 2008

Moving Wallpaper/Echo Beach

I've currently got a teen drama series, set in Cornwall, in development with the BBC, and am waiting to hear if a series is going to be commissioned or not. Last night, ITV premiered 'Moving Wallpaper' and 'Echo Beach', their double comedy/drama thing set behind the scenes/in front of the camera of a teen drama series set in Cornwall. Obviously I sat, quivering with worry, a notebook on my lap poised to make notes on every detail.

No I didn't, I forgot, and was playing Warcraft while trying to stop the cat eating my Tate St. Ives carrier bag (the sort of local colour and detail that only someone who actually grew up in Cornwall would think to add, please note BBC) until Agent Matt texted me halfway through Echo Beach, the rest of which I watched exchanging texts with aforementioned agent, which might be the most showbiz thing I've ever done in my life, it was brilliant. Anyway, it turns out the only thing it has in common with my pilot script was:

a) it has teens in it, and

b) it's set in Cornwall.

So I think it's okay, although who knows how the minds of senior commissioners at the BBC work?*

(if I'd remembered, I would of course have watched via the guardian liveblog, sorry Anna)

ALSO: I do have one small note for 'Echo Beach', which is that having been to a number of Cornish beach parties in my teenage years, I can say with full confidence: they don't start until dark, no-one dances, and people tend to wear more layers. In fact, standard procedure is to wrap up in big holey jumpers and sit glumly round a beach fire made from burning tyres, swigging Thunderbird, while a tinny stereo plays the whole of The Cure's 'Kiss me Kiss me Kiss me' album in the background. But perhaps things have moved on.

ALSO: when I arranged events and interviews and stuff at Waterstone's in Canterbury, I tried to warn Dennis Waterman about Martine McCutcheon. I'd done a Q&A with him about his new autobiography, and at the end, asked him what he was going to do next.

'I'm going to be in a musical with that Martine McCutcheon', Dennis said.
'Ooooh', I said, worriedly.
'I'm very much looking forward to it', said Dennis.
'Hmmm', I said.

And aficionados of musical theatre will know that I was Quite Right. Although these days I'm sure she's a delight to work with, allegedly, etc etc. Maybe that was the most showbiz thing I've ever done in my life? Oh, I can't keep track

* The answer, if they're reading this is 'with great insight and professionalism at all times actually, creep creep'.

UPDATE: ooh, five million viewers! Not too shabby.


Oli said...

"while a tinny stereo plays the whole of The Cure's 'Kiss me Kiss me Kiss me' album in the background."

That sounds like an accurate description of the Cornish party experience. Sadly, the album that got played right through mine was often "(What's the story) Morning Glory" rather than The Cure. Times change, but not always for the best.

James Henry said...

Eurgh, Oasis, eurgh.


Sometimes we'd play 'Under Pressure', and Alex McKetney and I would argue over who'd sing along to the David Bowie bit.

kaiki said...

i recall listening to the smashing pumpkins on chapel porth beach and refusing to leave the warmth of the cars.
rock n' roll!
james, i remember thinking the same thing when i watched the cornish party scene in the film 'blue juice'which appeared to have been beamed straight from the mind of pete tong.

Oli said...

"Eurgh, Oasis, eurgh."

I know, I feel dirty mentioning it.

Boz said...

For us hardened inner-city kids it was a bottle of cider in park. After dark. Behind locked gates. Ooooo.

Probably, er, listening to, er, Elastica or Suede or Gorkys or something.


James Henry said...

People should *pink* more often.

And aw, I have a very soft spot for Blue Juice.



dum diddly um dum, Smuggler FM

Tim F said...

When I met Dennis Waterman, he told me the reasom he hadn't made it big in Hollywood was because he's not Welsh and he can't play the piano.

And Hayling Island parties sound pretty similar, except it was more likely to be New Order. And Micky Warren got his headlight kicked in.

I think I feel a substantial Echo Beach post brewing...

Anonymous said...

The Cumbrian teen party experience seemed to be based on the consumption of Merrydown cider in someone's mum's caravan in the woods to a soundtrack of The Smiths. Surely if you are going to sit around glumly in holey jumpers (and of course you are, in fact that's exactly what I'll be doing as soon as I finish typing this) then "Meat is Murder" is de riguer... "The Queen is Dead" for when things perk up later on plus added bonus singing along to "There is a Light that never goes out" with mutual assurances that it will be played at each other's funeral.

Am afraid to watch Echo Beach as I LOVED that song back in the day, and cherish many happy memories of dancing ironically to it as "my job WAS very boring" and I WAS, in fact, "an office clerk". What if they ruin it???

tgjsharpe said...

I couldn't be sure, but I think I was the only person to get the WoW-writing analogy when you came down to Falmouth.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Thunderbird. The only time I ever tasted it I was very very drunk at a party and I still rejected it for being nasty. I was too drunk to remember what was on the stereo but it was probably The Cure. Or early Pulp. Those were the days, when I went to parties and almost no-one talked to me and I sat alone (ooh, now I remember I had a holey jumper that I'd nicked from a boy) and didn't get off with anyone. Though I did have to persuade a friend that no, it was not going to be a good idea to get herself run over on the motorway. Gah, that sobered me up. It was cold outside.
I'm glad I'm old now and don't need to do that any more.

Anonymous said...

I only ever did my social life indoors so can't really comment, although Dexy's Midnight Runners used to feature a lot, along with U2. As to the Echo Beach thing, it just reminds me of 'Home and Away' albeit in sunny Cornwall. I like Moving Wallpaper though and it is interesting to see how they've joined the two together.

Fat Roland said...

Echo Beach was terrible; all Moving Wallpaper did was undermine it. I was so annoyed. I liked the concept, but...

Ah well. At least I've still got Paramount Comedy 2 for double-bills of May To December and Brush Strokes.

Anonymous said...

For the Midlands beach party equivalent spend a lot of time in a field or by a canal with lashings of 1993 Boo Radleys or Blur with some Rage Against the Machine in there too. Think Diamond White and Cadbury's Twirls, the occasional dyed hair, a lot of over-sized band t-shirts and boots for those from the grammar schools. Brilliant and rubbish all at the same time.

Am just glad I was (am!) a girl so I couldn't have gone through the terrible aerial-pie-chart-hair phase.

Anonymous said...

"standard procedure is to wrap up in big holey jumpers and sit glumly round a beach fire, swigging Thunderbird."

I think this sums up every beach party I've ever been to.

Including one at Portmeirion.