Monday, 14 July 2014

The Monday Sketch: Prime Time Schedule

To make a change from the recent discussions, I thought it was high time I did something more light-hearted on here, so I'm introducing a new fictitious segment to the blog which I'm calling "The Monday Sketch". This will give me a chance to play with some ideas that have been knocking around in my mind, as well as a chance to re-introduce some of my old characters you may remember from the past.

Picture the scene:

Two busy BBC executives are sat in their office, trying to make plans for the new Autumn season on BBC1. We'll call them Phil and Geoff. Phil is a young, excitable man, fresh from an assignment on BBC3 and looking to liven up BBC1. Geoff, his manager, is old school, a grizzled veteran who likes to stick with tried and trusted ideas.

Geoff: So, Saturday nights on BBC1. We've got Doctor Who, Strictly and Casualty. That still means we've got a half hour slot to fill before the News and Match Of The Day. What else can we put on?

Phil: What about something new and cutting edge, boss? Like we make on BBC3.

Geoff: Hmmm...I'm not sure about that. Sounds a bit too trendy for my liking. That's not what people want on a Saturday night.

Phil: We had some great new sitcoms on BBC3. Don't forget that's where Gavin and Stacey started.

Geoff: I didn't really like that, to be honest. Very overrated. I think the family audience prefers a much more traditional type of sitcom on a Saturday. My Family or something like that. Why don't we make one like that - you know the sort of thing - middle aged married couple, two or three kids causing them to tear their hair out, lots of contrived scenarios, bit of canned laughter. Never fails.

Phil: With all due respect, sir, that sort of thing went out in the eighties. Audiences demand more these days.

Geoff: Well, I'm not that keen on sitcoms anyway. What else can we do? How about bringing back The Generation Game? Get Norton or someone like that to do it.

Phil: I think that's a bit old hat, sir. What about a sketch show?

Geoff: Oh yes, I like it - Morecambe and Wise, that sort of thing?

Phil: Morecambe and Wise were great, sir, but of their time. I was thinking of something more modern. More like The Fast Show if you like, but bang up to date.

Geoff: Go on, I'm listening.

Phil: Well, there's this bloke, Jason Ayres.

Geoff: Who's he?

Phil: He's famous apparently. Or at least claims he is. Keeps sending me scripts and ideas for TV programmes. Maybe we should give him a try.

Geoff: Well, I've never heard of him. What's he supposed to have done.

Phil: Well he claims he used to be a superstar international DJ. Apparently he was big in Ibiza in 2011. But then he gave all that up to become a writer.

Geoff: And what's he written? Can't recall seeing his name last time I was in Waterstones.

Phil: Apparently he had a hugely popular newspaper column in The Mail. He has also published four best-selling books. I've read a couple of them. Quite funny, if you get his humour.

Geoff: So he can write - but how does that translate into a prime time TV show?

Phil: Well he's got all sorts of ideas. He's sent me several ideas for food based shows. There's "The Sausage Man", something he claims to be an expert in, and something else called "Kebabylon" - it might be better if you got him to explain that to you.

Geoff: Cookery shows are better in the daytime I think. What else?

Phil: Well apparently he's got this huge range of "hilarious" comic characters he's created. That's where the idea of the sketch show came from. We could be sitting on the next Harry Enfield here.

Geoff: Right, well, no harm in giving him a try I'd better get him in for a chat.


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