Horror of horrors

I’m a bit tired this morning, it was a bit of a late one last night and I’ve been up unreasonably early this morning. Even Alice thought I was up mentally early this morning and she’s only 9 months old.

Truth is I just couldn’t sleep, last night was a bit … odd.

Last night, the luscious Lara Greenway and I were in the Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussauds. For business, not pleasure.

Have you been there recently?

It’s not very scary.

There’s a kind of cafe area at the entrance with those really crappy metal tables, you know, the ones which are either freezing cold, unpleasantly sticky or both and you spend all your time wedging beer mats under the legs to try and get them stable.

Immediately outside the entrance to the Chamber of Horrors is a model of Frankenstein’s Monster, but a not particularly scary one. It looks like they’d started off with a basic Herman Munster statue and then tried to make it scary by spraying it in dayglo paint. Even stranger, they’ve made him a cyclops with a badly painted on luminous eye.

Hardly the sort of thing to curdle the blood.

Slightly scarier was Terry Wogan.

Not a waxwork, the real deal. He was there to interview Lara and I for a new TV series he’s making.

And here’s where it all starts to fall apart.

You’d be forgiven for thinking, given Lara and I are both writers, that this was some kind of ‘Up and coming British Writers’ type show. ‘New Talent’ perhaps? Or ‘The Future of Entertainment’ ? Which I am.

But no.

It’s a medical show  … sort of. Basically it’s a documentary(ish) show about unusual diseases which, given that it’s hosted by Terry Wogan and filmed in Madame Tussauds Chamber of Horrors probably isn’t going to be a sensitive outing.

Basically,  I think the premise is Terry Wogan takes the piss out of people with unfortunate illnesses. You know, freaks.

The more charitable among you are probably thinking Lara and I are far too attractive to suffer from any such freakish ailments.

The more realistic among you are probably thinking Lara is far too attractive to suffer from any such freakish ailments but the ginger one  … not really that surprising.

The truth is … and Lara, I really hope you don’t mind me saying this – although since it’s going to be on national TV (or whatever crappy Sky channel Wogan’s slumming on nowadays) it’s a bit late to get all secretive … the truth is, Lara and I both suffer from a (relatively) rare genetic disorder – Adrenal Induced Transmutational Gene Disorder*. Which is neither cool to say nor have. It doesn’t even have a snappy acronym.

I was quite pleased Lara was there and not a little surprised. There aren’t many of us in the country with this … affliction, I guess. It’s not really an illness or even a disorder. It’s just a bit annoying. I think there are somewhere between 20 and 30 people in the UK who suffer (without suffering – it doesn’t affect your daily life too much. Except when it does, which you can manage with pills) from AITGD and the chances of someone I know actually having the same problem is quite frankly amazing.

Still, me and Lara versus Wogan.

Bring it on.

So we’re sitting in this crappy cafe thing, laughing about the crappy glow in the dark Frankenstein/Cyclops/fun fair reject and waiting for the crappy crew to stop dicking about with the cameras and the lights so we can film this thing and go home. We haven’t even got to meet Wogan yet because apparently he doesn’t step on set until they’re ready to go and was off having his eyebrows primped or something.

We were talking about our various projects and Lara said she was thinking of writing something about AITGD and was talking to the film council about funding.

Which was awkward.

I hate situations like this, but I’ve got a similar project on the go and I feel honour bound to warn her I’m already writing it and am slightly further down the path than she is since I’ve already got a producer, director and most importantly, money on board. So I tell her and after a brief bit of ‘you show me yours and I’ll show you mine’ only sadly without the promise of seeing any rude bits, we tell each other our ideas.

And delightfully they’re completely different.


And mine’s better.


And then the horror strikes.

Lara has this list the film council gave her. It’s a list of horrible cliches which should never, ever be in any fantasy film … a list of things which are ALL in the sword and sorcery epic I’m waiting to hear back against.

All of them.

Every single fucking one.

My blood runs cold and I break out in an icy sweat. The script I’m waiting to hear back about, the script which may very well be the biggest thing I’ve ever written and would set me up for life, is the biggest, cliche ridden piece of shit turkey in the history of film making and Lara has a piece of paper from the film council to prove it …

And then I woke up.

It was just a dream … or was it?

* Click here for an explanation.

Categories: Random Witterings, Sad Bastard | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Horror of horrors

  1. Can you send me what you’re on?

  2. Funnily enough, the fact that there are 20 to 30 sufferers here means that there are more people afflicted with AITGD per head of the population in the UK than there are in the US, where the disease was first diagnosed.

    Some people have associated that with the radiation released by granite in such cities as Aberdeen, but this seems unlikely given that there doesn’t appear to be a particularly high number of Scottish sufferers.

    The true reasons for the onset of AITGD, and the number of variant symptoms that it causes, is still unknown.

    Still, I’m glad to hear that both you and Lara have the problem under control.

  3. Reasons is?
    Reasons are.


  4. I realise this was the nightmare of a fevered brain, but … There’s a list?!!

    Ah, crap! I bet my fantasy has all of those Fantasy Film Council banned horrible cliches in it too.



    Great. Thanks Phill.

  5. Lara

    Now I know why I have so many hits direct from your site!

    You know, Phill, you have just given me the best laugh I’ve had all week. Still, glad Wogan was there with his perfect eyebrows…

    Sorry to have broken that news to you so blatantly with the cliche list and all, mate. Glad you didn’t go all wobbly on me.

    I shall be known from this day forth as ‘She Hulk’…

  6. Lara

    Once again – I apologise. I’ll never get over reducing you to tears. Oh well.

  7. You know exactly what it means Barron, you heartless scribe, you.

    It means I’m writing a tent-pole feature that the UK Film Council won’t touch with a barge pole.


    *gnashing of teeth*

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