Over the last week or so, my name’s popped up in a couple of places. Firstly, in Sunday’s Observer I was quoted in a feature on television’s propensity to remake old series.
My quote, taken from a much longer conversation, rounded off the article:
Scott Matthewman, assistant editor of the trade paper The Stage, who writes its TV blog, explained the sudden vogue: “A lot of these are the dramas that people commissioning at the moment grew up with, so it appeals to them. Doctor Who transformed from being the butt of so many jokes to become the BBC’s highest-rated drama, so they are trying to match that. Also, with the severe financial pressure broadcasters are under, they are going for productions that will generate the ratings.
“But you wonder if all this means better, newer ideas out there won’t be produced – there’s only so much drama that can be commissioned at any one time.”
There was a lot more I said — stuff about how it’s important to have a strong creative vision (Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica) or things could go seriously wrong (Minder, for example). None of that made it in to the piece, but I would have my opportunity to say it…
On Sunday, I was in town to see Josh and friends in Proud to Say I Love You, when I got a message, via Facebook, from someone who said they were from LBC and asked whether I’d be willing to come on their Breakfast show on Monday morning to talk about the subject of TV remakes.
A couple of phone calls later (themselves somewhat miraculous, as my mobile’s battery life was negligible at best), it was all arranged — I would be a guest, by phone, on Nick Ferrari’s morning show sometime after 9.30.
I have to admit I don’t listen to LBC – not actually living in London kind of puts paid to that – but I knew of Nick Ferrari: I think he’s a great broadcaster, even though I don’t always agree with his opinions or the spin he puts on some news stories. As talk show hosts go, though, I could have been subject to a lot worse.
In the end, I was following another phone interview with a legend (and one of my heroes), Peter Purves, on the same topic. I’d been imagining that I’d be put up against someone with completely divergent views, but Peter is a very reasonable man (I met and interviewed him back in February) and made some good points.
After that, it was my turn. After listening back to it, I realise I say “Um” far more than I thought, but ultimately I got my points across reasonably, had a fun bit of banter with Ferrari, and didn’t make a complete arse of myself.
Which I think counts as a tick in the “win” column. But judge for yourself below: