BBC Sketch Show

What’s wrong with this picture?

Click this one, make it bigger. Go on, we’ll all wait for you.

What do you notice? Anything odd?

Apart from me being the star.

I’ll give you a clue … no I won’t, I’ll just fucking tell you. I’m bored of this game already.

12 new from £10.65          2 used from £19.99

Apparently, right now, you can buy a brand new copy of The Wrong Door for £10.65 and then sell it immediately for £19.99! You can make … um … carry the one … hang on, I need some more fingers … nine pounds and thirty-four shiny pence profit from each and every DVD!

Buy ten DVDs and you’ve made ninety-odd quid. Buy a hundred and you’re nine-hundred pounds up on the deal. Buy a million and the mind boggles!

That’s right, buying some toss I wrote (a bit of) will actually make you rich!

What’s more, if you buy a million Wrong Door DVDs and become fabulous wealthy, with my royalties I’ll be able to afford to buy a copy for myself!

It’s win/win, no one loses and everyone’s happy!

Or it could just be a mistake, I’m not sure.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, The Wrong Door, Things I've Learnt Recently | 3 Comments

The Wrong Door on DVD


The Wrong Door, on DVD, today.

Can you believe it?

Two years after it was first broadcast on BBC3, The Wrong Door has finally arrived in the shops.

The Wrong Door, the CGI sketch show I wrote a tiny bit of which had the highest ever audience on BBC3 for a new sketch show.

No one watched past the first episode, but that’s beside the point.

I tell a lie, some people did watch every episode … and then came here every single fucking week to complain about it.

Why not buy the DVD, watch it and then relive some of the abuse here?

Or you could copy some of the more hardcore comedy fans out there and send me a death threat, that was fun. Not quite so much fun as the guy who offered to rape my (then six month old) daughter to ‘teach me a lesson’.

He seemed like a lovely chap.

The Wrong Door! The sketch show The Times called ‘hilarious’ … and then the next day: ‘laboured and directionless’ – both comments aimed squarely at the same sketch … one I wrote.

Fuck it, it’s out on DVD and they’ve even put the characters from my sketches on the front cover.

According to Amazon I actually starred in it too. As well as the Magnificent Seven, Clarissa, Python and (astoundingly, given I was minus 29 at the time) The Road to Morocco. Oh that Bing, I tells ya.

Anyway, The Wrong Door, on DVD today.

Buy it or don’t, your choice.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, The Wrong Door | 2 Comments


So here we are at the end of the year, hell at the end of the decade and …

Actually, when does the decade end? Is 2010 the end of this decade or the beginning of the next one? Tricky number, zero. Still, fuck it. If the Romans couldn’t get to grips with it then why the fuck should I? I mean, they built roads and shit while all I’ve ever done is push buttons on a keyboard … and even that I do pretty badly.

Mind you, have you seen the roads in Rome? Shockingly bad. Fuck knows how those people supplied an empire.

But I digress.

Did you have a good Christmas? Did Santa bring you everything you wanted? I asked for World Domination and some French Fancies but the fat git failed on both counts. How was 2009 in general? Mine went almost exactly like this:


I realised we were living in the 21st Century … nine years after the fact.

Discovered Oli stops reading when he reaches his own name and then talked briefly about magic puppies with Lego faces.

Tries to get someone to hold my hand.

Learnt, once again, communicating by email results in appalling scripts and that the more notes someone has for you, the better the script is.

Revealed I had a BIG IDEA … with no time to write it.

Had a pile of work, so massive and so daunting … I decided to fuck everyone off and go to Disney Land instead.

Didn’t go to Disney Land, just knuckled down and attacked the pile of work.

Talked about a Writer’s Vision – basically how to lie in order to get money.

Revealed to the world that Satan talks to me through the TV and told me I have to leave Pipex and sign up to Sky Broadband or he’s going to make me rape, kill and eat next door’s babies.

Fielded an email from an American Production company looking for something almost exactly like the BIG IDEA. It’s right easy this marketing lark – you just sit there and wait for them to call you.

And then saw Seven Pounds and got depressed because I can’t write like that.


Had a pointless conversation with an Air Hostess in the middle of a forest.

Got bored.

Decided, more or less on a whim, never to speak to anyone ever again.

Named and alphabetised my T-shirts.

Decided I didn’t want to be in Battlestar Galactica.

Revealed my obsession with Creative Screenwriting Podcasts.

Got confused about Easter.

And got bored once more, this time by Benjamin Button. Fuck it, if he doesn’t pay any interest in his own life, why should I?


Failed to blog about THE A TEAM V DAD’S ARMY and DAISY DOGNUTS. No, I have no idea what that means either.

Talked about the technical difficulties involved in writing a script … although for the life of me I can’t remember which fucking script I was talking about. I may have been making shit up to make myself seem cool.

Shit a solid gold brick.

Explained why this:

Made me into a writer.

Discovered a clone of me from the future used to stalk me in the past.

Got attacked by a T-Rex and rescued by Spiderman.

Got nominated for a Rose d’Or. Sort of.

Met up with Lara Greenway and Terry Wogan in Madam Tussauds.

Got emails from actors asking if they could be in a film I didn’t write. Only to find out I may have written bits of it, sort of.

Realised I could carry all my scripts around on my phone, all the time.

Got annoyed about mugs and companies who sell themselves as cool without actually telling you what their products do. Like Apple.

And offered to buy people lunch.


Got nominated for a BAFTA. Actually, this has nothing to do with me.

Dropped an imaginary phone into an imaginary vat of home brew at Dan Turner’s imaginary house.

Wrote a script to an extremely complicated and prescriptive set of rules. Rules which the producer who set them immediately complained about.

Karma Magnet came out as a DVD extra.

Pimped some stuff for someone else.

Got fucking angry about the media’s ‘information’ about Swine Flu and declared it was all fucking bullshit and no one was going to die from it. Bird Flu, anyone?

Warned people their ideas would make a 90 page script into a 180 page script. They didn’t listen, I wrote the script, they got upset.

And filming started on a sitcom pilot … so I hid in Crouch End.

Wow, nothing really happened in April, did it?


Got annoyed about story drops – the point in a film/TV thing where you could stop watching and not feel like you’d missed the next hour.

Got really unreasonably upset about MOMENTS LATER. That must have been a particularly bad day.

Just for the Record began filming. I went to hide in the Caribbean and got sucked off by an air steward in First Class. There was a video of that and everything … but I seem to have lost it.

Got a phone call from the Mail on Sunday who wanted to talk to me about not being in Cannes.

Took a meeting in a room chock full of little rubber pigs – every single one of which bore a sticker proudly proclaiming: THIS IS NOT A TOY

Went to Nuneaton. Never again.

Apparently I went on holiday somewhere, but for the life of me I can’t remember where.

Oh, and I bought a new laptop:

Touchy touchy!


Came over all positive for a moment and said some nice things. Hopefully that was just a phase.

Launched Jack Tweed’s movie career. Great.

Went to the Screenwriters’ Festival and drew some sperm:

Muttered something about being forced to promote stuff even when I thought it was shit

Saw a preview/promo for Fleeced:

Saw a trailer for Just for the Record … which has since been removed. Damn.

Saw a poster for Just for the Record … which has since been binned.

Tried to make sense of Spatulas, Iguanas and a fruitbowl.

Attacked a man on the bus so I could rip this page from his paper:

Because of this paragraph:

Which is about a sitcom pilot I co-wrote.

And came over all nice again and promoted other people’s short films.


Finally explained about the movable goalposts of excitement.

Held a meeting in a street which was on fire.

Attended a screening of Splendid. It was.

Got hassled by an all female Squad of pissed up Motown fans. One of whom insisted she was a natural blonde with the landing strip to prove it who went on to kick me in the chest with a spiked heel. I quite enjoyed that day.

Got angry about morons giving James Moran a hard time for writing good telly.

Did this:

For these people:

Deleted more than I wrote.

Ran out of ways to procrastinate and very nearly had to do some work.

And saw the trailer for the sitcom pilot I co-wrote:


Oh, and a music video from the same:

Another trailer for Just for the Record. This one’s still there!

Took part in a three-way conference call between New York, Barbados and Crawley. (I was in Barbados, but strangely my car was in Crawley).

Was told I wasn’t allowed to photograph an imaginary gorilla and used it as an excuse to show this trailer again:

Finally realised (but haven’t fully accepted) that NO ONE FUCKING CARES ABOUT SCRIPT FORMAT.

Confessed I frequently imagine I’m Steve McQueen.

And tried to work out what I wanted out of the SWF.


Are we all still here? Are you as bored as I am yet? Yes? Good, moving on.

Saw a trailer for Exposé.

Signed contracts and received feedback for the BIG IDEA. Wait, did I mention I sold the BIG IDEA without trying? No, not to the American Production company, but to a different American Production company. Actually, my friend sold it for me without my permission or knowledge. Suits me, as long as I don’t have to do any work.

Made some cats out of blue icing.

Talked about two adaptations and how they’d missed the fucking point. Since I’m now working on two adaptations I look forward to people throwing that blog back in my face.

The Dutch gave me some money, via the BBC.

So did Sweden, Denmark, Italy, America and Russia.

And, for reasons which escape me, babbled about furniture for far too long.

Is that it? Is that all I did in September? Was it a short month this year?


Hooray! This is nearly over and I can go and do something more interesting!

In October, I lost my rag with Microsoft.

Got suckered into thinking this was a real school orchestra:

Got stuck in a rant about designing cars and then bought one to cheer myself up.

And … that’s it? That’s fucking it? What the fuck was I doing in October?


Went to the Screenwriters’ Festival – fannyed around, didn’t really make the most of it and met a lot of nice people. Like Hayley McKenzie – she’s lovely. Oh, and I compared cock size with Simon Beaufoy. I’m not telling you who won.

Masturbating monkeys … I still don’t really want to talk about that.

Tried to sell my car via my blog. Bizarrely, I actually sold it in absolute darkness, during a storm and a power cut to two Eastern Europeans who paid cash and didn’t want to test drive or even inspect it.

Got all mellow and wibbly over stuff like this:

Wrote an open letter to directors.

Wrote an open letter to writers.

Wrote an open letter to producers.

Hmm … looks like I did more in November than October but still, come on! Have I really been too busy to blog?

Yes, I have as it happens …


 Moaned a lot about writing constantly without actually writing any scripts.

Pointed out the target audience for a script is the producer and the director, not the people who pay to go and see a film. That’s the target audience for a film.

Spoke to a wall.

And that was it. That’s the entire fucking year.

I can’t help noticing the beginning of the year involved a lot more blogging than the end of the year. I’m sorry about that (unless you hate my blog, then I’m happy for you) but I have been exceedingly busy. I’m currently working on four feature scripts as well as keeping all the other plates spinning and blogging has become an expensive luxury.

January and February 2010 promise to be absolutely fucking mental and possibly completely impossible – but hopefully once this lot is out of the way, normal blogging service will be resumed.

And by normal service I mean me talking shit in extremely long-winded, ill-thought out and ill-advised posts.

Happy New Year to you all, see you in the next decade!

Or maybe the last year of this decade … depending on how you count it.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, Bored, Career Path, Exposé, Festivals, Fleeced, Industry Musings, Just for the Record, Karma Magnet, LVJ, My Way, Progress, Publicity, Random Witterings, Rants, Sad Bastard, Software, Someone Else's Way, That Band, The Wrong Door, Things I've Learnt Recently, til Death, Two steps back, Writing and life | 1 Comment


Another year over (nearly). How was your 2008?

Mine was suspiciously like this:


George MacDonald Fraser died. I was a bit upset about that.

I set out to write a feature in six days (due to some ridiculously bad time-management skills). I actually managed to write it in three … and it was shit.

I found out I had no idea what blue pages actually are. Or rather, I knew what they were, but not exactly what they looked like and how to do them. I’m still not 100% sure but I’ve come up with my own version and no one’s complained so far.

Whilst on location for ‘K‘ I managed to work out a cheap way of throwing an actor off the roof.

I got fired from a film and inexplicably became obsessed with tin foil as a direct result. Looking back on that, it might have been a teeny tiny nervous breakdown.

I learnt how to write a sex scene which won’t upset actresses, then got called a sexist by Piers for using the word ‘actresses’.

Weirdly, someone asked me to put more swearing into a script. I’ve never been asked for that before or since.

K‘ started shooting.

I began a new script and immediately tried to hide under the tin foil again.

I bought my first ever calendar.

And to wrap January up, BBC Three announced the airdate for ‘The Wrong Door‘.


I learnt how to keep actors happy. Or happier, anyway.

I finished the first draft of the new script and for some reason felt the need to post a video of my friends and I massacring ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’.

IMDB made me happy.

After a couple of years of faithful service, I abandoned this room:


And moved into this one:


Which has a sofa for me to lie on whilst wrapped in tin foil:


And a light switch shaped like a nipple:


All to make space for my soon-to-be-arriving daughter. My old office looks more like this now:


And then I got memed. I didn’t like it.



I decidedthe new script was going to be my last low budget film and from now on I was going to concentrate purely on some TV specs.

I started work on two more low budget films. Since I can’t remember what they were, they obviously went the way of most low budget films and imploded on contact with reality.

I wrote a lot of shit about strategy.

Adele Silva completely failed to mention me in Hello!

I learnt taking meetings when your brain is in a different time zone is a bad idea.

I got invited to a mysterious gathering.

I learnt I used to live in Croydon – or at least that’s what the Croydon Guardian believes.

I worked out how to introduce a character without having her in the scene.

And then I got dressed up as Captain Kirk.




Wow, are you still reading? Really?

I went to the thing I got invited to – a BBC shindig and chance to meet the producers of the BBC’s New Comedy Unit. Where I stood in the corner for a few hours, got very hot, very angry and completely failed to meet any of the producers of the BBC’s New Comedy Unit.

I realised there are very few female sidekicks.

I picked up even more low budget film work.

Abi Titmuss completely failed to mention me in The Sun and then promised to continue to never mention me in public. I decided not to believe she existed.

Karma Magnet turned up online. People seemed to like it.

Abi Titmuss made good her promise and failed to mention me in Closer.

I confirmed, once and for all, actors don’t really have sex in sex scenes. Unless it’s porn.

I got to write for Doctor Who. Not the show, or even the current Doctor, but for Sylvester McCoy and that’s good enough for me.

I decided some actors needed punching in the throat.

And then the new script started shooting, so I went and hid in the Caribbean.



 I finally gave in and went on set. It was fun. I made tea.

Shouted at people for getting upset about not winning competitions. If you’ve entered the Red Planet Prize this year, you should read this post again.

I had a day off. That was nice too.

Someone said something nice about me on IMDB. I immediately became suspicious.

I had another shout at people for being idiots and starving themselves to death whilst failing as a writer. Get a proper job, for fuck’s sake.

Had my first, and so far only, guest post.

Wrote a short guide to dealing with notes which basically involved a lot of swearing and some minor violence.

Hmm … May was a bit rubbish, wasn’t it?



I decided to murder my old spec scripts and just deleted them.

I rescued  my old spec scripts from the recycle bin and hid them where I couldn’t find them.

Fleeced‘ started filming – that’s three features so far this year.

Got another black belt – also my third.

Went on a bit about loving the treatment I was writing. I wish I hadn’t now.

Shouted a bit about questions and then took two weeks off because:


Seriously, who gives a fuck about the rest of the year?



Oh, you’re still reading, are you?

Fine, come on then.

Shall we just have one more photo of Alice?




In July I organised a museum heist.

Got invited to a screening of The Wrong Door.

Went to the screening of The Wrong Door, met loads of people including Doctor Fox, Sarah Morgan and her boyfriend, didn’t make a tit of myself (except with Doctor Fox) and managed to steal a T-shirt:


Two days later, I had to give the T-shirt back. A handy tip – if you steal something, don’t mention it on your blog.

Learnt how to be constructive with my criticism rather than just scrawling SHIT on the script in red ink, wiping my arse on it and sending it back.

Met Gordon Robertson after knowing him via email (not in the biblical sense, that’s impossible) for a few years. He’s a nice bloke.

And then waffled on a bit about random shit to avoid having to do any real work.



Crap. Still working on that fucking treatment.

Got asked an annoying question.

Got offered a shit load of imaginary money.

Got asked if I wanted to run a sketch writing workshop. I didn’t. Then I thought I might. Then the guy stopped talking to me. So I didn’t.

Didn’t have dinner with Gordy Hoffman.

Bought a new computer:


It has touchscreen. I like touching it.

Discovered cats and touchscreen computers don’t mix.

The Wrong Door got a lot of publicity in the run up to the show – 12 of the 14 reviews I read were very positive. 2 were very negative.

The Wrong Door kicked off. So did a guy called Ben Randall who was so upset he didn’t find a programme funny he came all the way over to this blog to call me names.



The Wrong Door had the highest opening of any show on BBC Three (about four people) which seemed to greatly upset a handful of Internet loonies who went on and on and on about it for fucking ages.

I made the mistake of suggesting the people coming to my blog to call me names because they didn’t find a TV programme funny were a bit mental. Several people took great exception to this and went far out of their way to call me names in an effort to prove how mistaken I was about their lack of sanity and a real life.

Got my first death threat. Actually I got two death threats and one offer to rape my three month old daughter to ‘teach me a lesson’. That was nice. Perfectly sane behaviour that, I thought.

Still working on that fucking treatment.

Had a superb meeting where people offered me lots of money. I didn’t, and still don’t, really believe them.

Got offered another low budget feature film. That’s more like it.

Yet more abuse about The Wrong Door. One guy has taken to posting insults then changing names and agreeing with himself. He doesn’t seem to be able to grasp concepts like IP addresses, I can see it’s all one guy. I assumed this was a guy because I like to think women have better things to do.

There was a new trailer for LVJ. Again.

An old project threatened to spring back to life … and then didn’t.

Finally finished that fucking treatment.

Oh and a bit more abuse about The Wrong Door.

On a serious note, all that abuse was a bit wearing. You write in the privacy of your own room for years until someone decides they want to make your work. You’re pleased, they’re pleased, the show comes out and generally people either like it or turn it off. Then a small contingent of morons think it’s perfectly acceptable to come and call you names, threaten your family and generally behave like cunts because – horror of horrors – THEY don’t like it. It’s depressing and it’s demotivating. I expected to be slagged off in papers if the critics didn’t like something I’d written. I expected to be slagged off on forums or other people’s blogs – all that’s fair enough; but the sheer persistence of a few individuals who felt the need to come here and spout off about it did actually get me down.

Until Oli sent me a cartoon. Which explained everything and really cheered me up. I decided I would find some way to repay him, somehow.

I completely failed to do some writing and in a gargantuan procrastination session, I redesigned my website.



I revealed the one true secret of screenwriting THEY don’t want you to know.

The Wrong Door finished.

The abuse didn’t.

Took on far too much work and struggled to cope.

Found out I didn’t have a second act. Bit of a bugger that one.

Had a dream about Jason Arnopp, James Moran and an over-ground submarine.

Fixed the second act thing and discovered it no longer matched the ending.

Wrote a whiny post about writing treatments in the hope a certain producer was reading and would let me off for not turning in a treatment he was expecting. It didn’t work. Turns out he can’t read.

Wrote a writer’s vision for a sales pack – I don’t have any vision.

That guy’s still answering himself on The Wrong Door posts.

Found out I’m a celebrity.



Is anybody still reading?


Are you fucking mental? Go outside and play.


The second-act-less treatment went to script stage. Bugger. Now I have to write the fucking thing.

Saw some footage from Fleeced. Was pleasantly surprised.

Found out I’m an anal bastard.

That loon is still at it, still posting bile and answering himself. It’s been three months!

Didn’t get an email from Kristen Kreuk.

Made Alice do some writing for me:


She’s better than me, so I banned her from using the computer.

Got horribly busy.

Actually did some work.

Ate some soup.

Got upset about writing the first ten pages of a script.

Painted the lounge, got high on paint fumes, wrote a load of shit about writing sketches. I have no idea what my point was.

Got a request about re-writing. Wrote a loooooooooooooooooooooooong post about it.

Got sacked from a project I didn’t know I was involved in.

Learnt that A and B are the same thing.

Talked about bookcases and wallpaper. No idea why. Probably trying to avoid working.

Got all arsey about the word ‘what’.

That lone loon’s finally stopped commenting. I miss him, the crazy bastard.



Hooray! December! This post is finally over and we can all go home!

Assuming any of you are still here.

Met some more writers in the pub: Paul Campbell, Danny Stack, Lara Greenway, Michelle Lipton and Oli … as well as the normal crowd. They were all nice. I told Danny and Michelle the secret which isn’t really a secret – just something I don’t bother telling people. Danny immediately left the pub, Michelle wanted to hug me.

Got angry with ten imaginary people because there were ten of them.

Panicked. Finished the script.

Cut out every other word in the vague feeling it might make it exciting and mysterious. It didn’t.

Told people how to wait. Not sure why, probably avoiding some other work.

Declared my love affair with Apparitions. Which I still haven’t seen the last episode of. I’m a fickle fucker sometimes.

Had some fun. It was fun.

Met James Moran. Told him the secret which isn’t really a secret – he seemed to find it funny.

And there you go. That was 2008 for me. How was it for you? 

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, Bored, Fleeced, K, Karma Magnet, LVJ, My Way, Progress, Random Witterings, Rants, Sad Bastard, The Wrong Door, Two steps back, Writing and life | 18 Comments

Wrong Door – Bondo

Last episode of the series tonight:

Commander Bondo of the Clown Secret Service is tasked with thwarting a dastardly Ninja plot to assassinate Captain Goitre, leader of The Train Pirates.

Melanie’s relationship with Philip the Dinosaur reaches breaking point and Xotang the giant robot’s holiday plans are ruined when he forgets his passport.

There’s a vague possibility that some of the Bondo stuff is based on a couple of sketches I wrote. I say vague because it’s equally plausible that someone else submitted a similar idea and it all sprang from that, or possibly several similar ideas arrived at the same time and were merged together.

By the sound of it, the sketches were all handed round for rewrites a few times anyway, so even if my sketches were part of the original inspiration there’s only a very slim chance any of the lines survived to the final version. Maybe some of the words might have made it in? You know, like ‘the’ and ‘of’ and ‘cockface’.

I guess I’ll find out tonight: 10.30pm – BBC Three.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, The Wrong Door | 9 Comments

Wrong Door – The Wizard of Office

It’s Thursday again and time for more from The Wrong Door: 10.30 pm – BBC Three. Tonight’s exciting installment …

When Dorothy Tempest’s office is hit by a tornado she is transported to the far-from-magical land of Oswestry, where her desk lands on Justin Beales, the Regional Sales Director for the East.

There’s more disappointing magic when Louise and Tom visit the so-called Magical Wood; the world’s most dangerous restaurant gets a visit; and Transformo and Perky Girl audition for Superhero Tryouts.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, The Wrong Door | 2 Comments

Wrong Door – The Train Pirates

Thursday again and there’s more Wrong Door tonight. This week’s episode:

The Train Pirates strike fear into the hearts of Britain’s commuters. Britain’s most eccentric military boffin, Commander Kevin Cheeks, shows off his latest gadgets; masked vigilante The Raven puts in an appearance; and Melanie introduces Philip The Dinosaur to her friends.

Originally this episode was supposed to be episode one, but someone somewhere decided what was supposed to be episode two was stronger and switched them all around. Unfortunately tonight’s episode has a lot of the initial set-ups for the recurring characters – and although it doesn’t exactly ruin everything, it does kind of mess it up a little bit.

Personally, I think this episode is much stronger – but that might just be because it’s got Brian Blessed dressed as a pirate and shouting a lot. I think the opening sketch sums up the show too and would have been the perfect introduction to what it’s all about.

Still, there you go apparently this sort of thing happens a lot.

Tonight: BBC Three, 10.30pm

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, The Wrong Door | 7 Comments

Wrong Door – The Smutty Aliens

I’m kind of bored of mentioning this since I guess anyone who’s going to watch it already knows about it by now; but at the same time I feel like now I’ve started talking about it, I have to carry on or it’ll look like I don’t care any more.

So, tonight, BBC 3 – 10.30 pm: The Wrong Door episode 3 (or episode 4, depending how you count it) – The Smutty Aliens:

Chief Inspector Barnes struggles to balance his budget, while the offices of Baum Technologies find themselves with an unusual pest control problem.

Lisa finds out her boyfriend can make himself invisible, Trampoline Transit Ltd demonstrate an innovative commuting alternative and Susan is abducted by the Smutty Aliens.

Hmm … smutty aliens. I’m guessing that’s not going to help win over anyone who finds the show juvenile.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, The Wrong Door | 8 Comments

Wrong Door – Njarnia

You’d be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing else going on in my life at the moment except The Wrong Door; but the truth is the other stuff is fairly work-a-day. I’m just fiddling with treatments and bits and bobs of re-writes. I was hoping to have everything out of the way for the weekend – I’ve got a meeting tomorrow which is pretty important and will probably swamp me in more work – but hey-ho, I haven’t quite managed it.

So in lieu of a blog about some of the other stuff, none of which is particularly interesting just yet, here’s a reminder about tonight’s episode of The Wrong Door. This is what it’s vaguely about:

Ed and Lucy buy a cheap self-assembly wardrobe only to discover that it leads to the fantastical-but-rubbish land of Njarnia. Back in the normal parallel universe, we meet unfortunate superhero wannabe Rocketman and the monster who lives in the office stationery cupboard.

Philip the Dinosaur tries his hand at bowling, plus an intriguing new weight loss cure and a watercooler moment you probably won’t want to share.

Ten-thirty, tonight BBC3.

I look forward to the demented telling me how shit I am afterwards.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, The Wrong Door | 4 Comments

The Wrong Door – Aftermath

It’s been a few days since The Wrong Door opened, so what was the reaction?

Well, pretty good really. There’s an article in Broadcast here about the ratings. The basic gist is the show got the highest ever ratings for a new comedy on BBC Three. The pertinent sentences are:

“BBC3’s new comedy sketch show ‘The Wrong Door’ attracted 546,000 (3.5%) at 10.30pm last night, the highest ever audience for the launch of a comedy on the channel.”

and, perhaps more importantly:

“The half hour programme peaked in the final 15 minutes on 564,000 (3.8%). The first episode of the six-part series was just behind the channel’s slot average of 558,000 (4.1%).”

To me, the fact it got high ratings for the first episode reflects the level of advertising beforehand, rather than an indication of how much people liked the show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get those kind of ratings; but if the audience comes back this week I’ll be much more impressed.

The fact the ratings went up as the show continued excites me more – I think that means people not only stuck with the show throughout but more people tuned in. Mind you, I have no idea how it all works and it could be we lost all of the original viewers and then inherited a totally new set in the last few minutes because something popular finished on another channel and there was nothing else on.

Who knows? Okay, so half a million viewers is not a significant proportion of the country; but it is when you consider how many people actually know BBC Three exists, can receive it and have the inclination to watch it. I’m sure someone will be along to correct my tenuous grasp of ratings and audience share; but it looks good to me.

The show got some very good reviews. True, there were a couple of bad ones; but the good far outweighed the bad – with the average review giving it 4 out of 5 stars. I only saw two bad reviews as opposed to a dozen or so positive ones so I’ll take that as a generally good sign.

Of particular interest to me was when Mandy took Alice to baby yoga the next day, the yoga teacher started telling her about this great sketch show she’d seen the night before. Being a proud wife, Mandy pointed out I’d written one of the sketches and after the usual blank look (seriously, people don’t seem to realise TV shows are written by someone. There’s always a pause while people try to work out what the hell you’re talking about: “do you write the words or just the story?”) she asked which one I’d written. Mandy told her and apparently there was another pause, followed by a quiet “Yeah, that one was … okay.”

If you were to trawl the Internet for opinions, you’ll find quite a lot of negative comments; but that’s to be expected and mostly comes from frustrated writers who believe they can shit better sketches in their sleep than anything anyone else writes. Strangely, their prodigious talents go unrecognised by the powers that be because, obviously, there’s a massive conspiracy designed to keep them down. Presumably because they shit themselves whilst sleeping.

There’s a simple rule here: sane people change the channel if they don’t like something. Anyone who watches a show to the end and then makes the effort to write a scathing review online has far too much spare time, presumably down to not having enough friends. Let’s be honest, if anyone listened to them in real life they wouldn’t need to express their opinions via the Internet.

Um … obviously, this blog is different and provides a vital service which would severely damage the world should I ever stop. Everyone else though is mental.

A brand of insanity I find particularly amusing is the people who’ve gone to the effort of finding this blog and slagging off The Wrong Door in the comments*. I mean, what were they hoping to achieve? Bearing in mind I only wrote a tiny portion of the show and have nothing to do with commissioning, filming or casting, what response are they looking for? Do they think I’m going to realise the error of my ways and break down in tears?

I was toying with editing some of the negative posts so they’re much more positive, you know, something like:

“Dear Phill,

I realise now I was totally incorrect when I was rude about The Wrong Door. The truth is I love the show and am extremely jealous. Sadly, I was born with a small cock and feel the need to bring others down in a pathetic attempt to make myself feel even slightly superior. I apologise whole heartedly and unreservedly.


Arthur Medleycott

PS I love you, please adopt me”

But in the end I decided I quite like the fruit loops raving about the show on my blog. Their constant checking for responses drives up my blog stats and the repeated mentions of The Wrong Door list this blog higher in Google’s search results which only generates more publicity for me. So I say, keep it up, you mental weirdos and God bless you. I get paid the same whether a handful of random loons like it or not. In fact, given these people will probably watch every episode in seething resentment, just so they can bitch about it with authority the next day, I should probably thank them – they’ll drive up the ratings and guarantee a second series.

The bottom line is nothing is universally loved or hated; people like different things and have different senses of humour. I don’t like every sketch in The Wrong Door – but then I don’t like every Monty Python sketch and still love that show. Funny is a subjective term, it’s not a fact or a definitive property. You can’t measure funny on any scale and just because you don’t find something funny doesn’t mean it’s shit – it just means you don’t like it. I didn’t find the Royale Family funny; but that doesn’t make it shit, because I know it was exceptionally well thought of by thousands of people. I may be a raving ego-maniac; but even I know my opinions don’t define the world.

I love the majority of Wrong Door sketches and I’m proud to be part of it. It makes me laugh and that’s good enough. The fact it had good ratings and reviews is just the icing on the cake.

I think the reviews in The Times sum it up for me. On Thursday, the four star review mentioned:

“… the hilarious X FACTOR rip-off, Superhero Tryouts.”

Which is the sketch I wrote.

The next day, the same paper gave another four star review and singled out the same sketch as an example of a ‘miss’, saying it was:

“… laboured and directionless.”

Which just goes to prove you can’t please all of The Times all of the time. I can’t wait to find out what people think of the next episode.


* I’ll exclude Dave from this category on the grounds he made a genuinely funny comment about bourbon biscuits and Hitchcock.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, The Wrong Door | 27 Comments

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