Starting the year with my unusual sunny enthusiasm, I thought a few
predictions of a positive nature might be in order. With all extremities
crossed so that my knack of spotting a trend holds true, here are a few
changes that I’m confident we will be seeing in the year ahead.
I rub my crystal ball and the picture clears. We’re at the ITV Network
Centre in Grays Inn Road. I see two colleagues, heads bent together over
a marketing proposal, nodding and smiling as they work side by side in
pursuit of a common goal. It’s Martin Bowley and Mick Desmond, allies in
the ITV cause, sharing a joke. In the shadows rivals quake at the
prospect of a united ITV.
Now we’re transported to Long Acre, it’s the end of March. It’s very
hot, there’s a babble of voices, is it excitement or panic? It’s joy -
everyone’s been retuned, half the nation has switched on to watch
Channel 5’s opening night, the phones are jammed by penitent media
buyers desperate for airtime.
Nick Milligan is a hero.
I see sun, sea, sand. It’s the Monte Carlo TV conference. The conference
hall is full to bursting. Senior media figures are debating, resolving,
acting and going to bed before midnight. Meanwhile, at another
conference hall slightly closer to home, the Incorporated Society of
British Advertisers is talking about TV trading.
ISBA is actually making a difference, clients suddenly realise you don’t
get something for nothing and agree to raise remuneration levels. Bob
Wootton is a hero.
But what’s this? My crystal ball must be on the blink. (Damn that C5
retuning man.) This is crazy ...
I see a big door marked exit in a Paddington warehouse - a lingering
whiff of cigarette smoke and a stray tuft of cardigan wool are all that
is left of Christine Walker’s reign. I see a shiny pate, hear the cackle
of an Essex twang, the mists are clearing. It’s Graham Duff as Zenith’s