BACKBITE

I’m writing a screenplay. It’s called the Media Mire, a glossy mini- series, BBC2 territory. It’s going to be a media man’s version of that 80s classic of method acting, Campaign (see Diary, 26 April).

I’m writing a screenplay. It’s called the Media Mire, a glossy mini-

series, BBC2 territory. It’s going to be a media man’s version of that

80s classic of method acting, Campaign (see Diary, 26 April).



The thing about the old BBC series, currently luxuriating in re-run on

UK Gold, is that media people don’t exist. Too grubby back in the mid-

80s, I suppose. But with media driving the advertising engine now, it’s

high time its figureheads had their own 15 seconds.



Now, the script is pretty straightforward and duly stereotypical. Lots

of sex, preferably adulterous - a great opportunity for all those actors

usually relegated to playing sad, middle-aged men to finally get their

kit off and wiggle about a bit with younger actresses.



Alcohol will feature heavily, as will expensive designer suits wrapped

around paunches. There’ll be plenty of exotic locations: Florida, Rome,

Monte Carlo, to reflect the demanding number of free jollies - cue more

bars, yachts, bedrooms and beaches.



Then there’ll be the high drama of media sales, which will draw on the

actors’ full repertoire of (double) facial expressions and will mean we

can introduce some slapstick too - a few phones thrown at walls, lots of

swearing, then a bevvy of beer-swilling down the pub.



Casting will be great fun. Lionel Blair is favourite to play the

managing director of Carlton UK Sales; Joanna Lumley could do Zenith’s

chief executive; Pierce Brosnan will be the media-literate managing

director of Leo Burnett; Colin (Mr Darcy) Firth would head TMD Carat;

and Corrie’s Percy Sugden would be front-runner for the chief executive

of the Media Centre. I’d need a bit of a know-all as a consultant on the

minutiae of the business, so I’d probably try to rope in John Billett as

an advisor.



The only problem is trying to convince the Beeb that my script is not

pure fantasy. It’s definitely put them off the whole idea of jacking in

the licence fee in favour of advertising. Oh, and I’ve also been advised

that I’m heading for a few libel writs. I tried to protect the innocent

- but I couldn’t find one.



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