Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday 16 November 2010


Tuesday 16 November 2010

It is very cold again.  Even in my apartment.  Ordinarily the cold does not affect my flat but this year it appears to be doing so.  I haven’t had to put the heating on for a number of years now, maybe this will be the first one.

Getting up there are a couple of knee-jerk stories in the Daybreak news of how our schools have too many CCTV cameras in them (including the toilets).  Maybe our kids shouldn’t be such little fuckers.  Maybe our nation should be made up of better parents.  The other story is how the British government is about to pay out million in out of court settlements to people who are not necessarily from this country that wound up in Guantanamo Bay.  Good move Cameron.

Soon I am emerging and pulling myself together.  Without doubt the cars are going to be frozen outside this morning so I exit equipped with a bottle of hot water.

With chops I clear my car and getting rolling on the day.  I love the way I throw the water over my car, it must look like I am dowsing it in petrol with view to lighting it up.  Maybe I will one day.  From here the journey to the station is smooth and nondescript, not necessarily a bad thing.

Before long I find myself on the train winging its way to London and another day of awesome.  Perhaps.

Once into work it is a pretty decent day with no real stress.  It looks like the October accounts have been accepted and all but signed off now and so are ready for the bank deadline on Friday.  As a result work should now be relatively leisurely for the remainder of November (prior to the panic that I am expecting in December).

I receive an email from Tom today and even though he will have sent it on a Monday at the end of it he is wishing me “have a good weekend”.  Now that is forward planning.

After a brisk morning soon lunch arrives and with it cheeseburger and chips.  Nothing special, nothing new.

From here I polish off the afternoon as I potter with the October balance sheet schedules.  These are laborious.

Again today the boss lets us out at 5PM which works perfectly for me as I need to be at the Prince Charles Cinema by 6PM for The Thick Of It writers event.  From here I rush down to Leicester Square and to the cinema only to discover that even though the ticket says it begins at 6PM it in fact now begins at 8PM.  Suddenly I have two hours to kill and I find myself wanting.

Trying to work out a plan I wander towards Trafalgar Square to see if the Norwegian Christmas tree has been put up yet.  It has not.  Then I remember I still need to get the new issue of Dodgem Logic so with the time still not even 6PM yet I head up to Forbidden Planet.

Inevitably I eventually wind up in Fopp without the intention of buying anything until I discover a copy of the Deluxe Edition of It’s A Shame About Ray for only £6, the version that comes with a DVD.  From here I proceed to buy more 90s CDs that I don’t need in addition to the first Hold Steady record.  Then I add a couple of books to my haul and exit with more baggage attached to my life.

I decide to head to Starbucks on St Martins Lane where I get my latest Eggnog Latte for a sit in to kill some more time.  With cup in hand as I search for a seat and ask some dude if a chair near him is free he is frighteningly accommodating.  Is this coffee shop etiquette?

Once sunk when I step outside and walk past the Duke Of York’s Theatre where Ghost Stories is playing I find myself passing David Cardy who plays the night watchman in the performance just casually bowling up to the venue.  It cheers me immensely to spot him arriving so cool and nonchalantly.

Eventually I head back to the Prince Charles and I am still early for proceedings as I spot The Thick Of It writers only just arriving themselves.  Suddenly I feel like a stalker as I stand outside the cinema staring in at them.  Looking around at least I am not alone.

Finally the doors open as I step inside and downstairs into the bar where immediately I bump into Sofie.  It is genuinely nice to see her (definitely nice to see a familiar, smiling face).  We proceed to have a really nice catch up while getting crushed in a very busy bar.

Not before time the doors eventually open and we manage to grab some good seats in the third row.  This is magnificent.

As we take our seats the line-up is already out, sat awaiting its audience.  It’s a strange setup which ARMANDO IANNUCCI later likens to a grieving family making an appeal at a press conference for a loved one to return home.

Tonight the line up is Richard Bacon interviewing ARMANDO IANNUCCI, TONY ROCHE, IAN MARTIN, SIMON BLACKWELL and JESSE ARMSTRONG.  In comparison to the talk on Friday night this one is a much more relaxed and fun event.  I think the key is how Bacon proves his worth teasing out the best answers from the writers and keeping the night flowing in general.  For some reason even though similar areas are covered, this evening there is more sparkle and edge.  Not bad for a person who I used to regard as a complete and utter stupid prick when he was on Blue Peter and later The Big Breakfast.

Again tonight they mostly discuss the machinations of the show and how the book came about with them soon stepping into reading extracts all while having to share a couple of microphones.  Once more the distracted post-it note suggestions of Julius Nicholson provide sharp jabs of humour while the Malcolm Tucker rundown of political television presenters isn’t only funny, it is spot on.  Even if such people took offence to their descriptions realistically and sensibly they would be unable to challenge them.

From here talk moves onto the movie and great stories from IANNUCCI of working with James Gandolfini and HBO before leading to a mention of their next project currently called Veep based around the life of being a female vice president.  No prizes for guessing who that role is based on.  Early word is that Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be involved in the show.

They then look towards the future of The Thick Of It discussing the gift (and nightmare) that they have now been handed of a third wheel party to write and crowbar into proceedings.  Having not started writing the new series yet they almost admit to being in a state of still scratching their heads on the evil necessity.

With this news focus reverts back to the book as the writers do more readings from the book before the night gets passed out for the eventual audience questions which thankfully tonight are pretty decent.

Early on they find themselves being questioned about the missing Hugh Abbot and the situation with Chris Langham, which is a subject that naturally tends to get avoided by interviewers (much to the relief of the panel I am sure).  To the credit of IANNUCCI he gives a spotless answer (which he has probably rehearsed many times) as he proclaims a gratitude towards Langham for his contribution on the show.  He makes no judgement on his personal life and the scandal that ensued saying that they kept the door open for Hugh Abbot to return for a long time until ultimately it failed to prove feasible.

The really shocker of a question arises when an American lady stands up and addresses the concept of their future project Veep.  She says as a supporter and admirer of Hillary Clinton that she is actually disturbed by the notion of the programme and as she speaks her voice actually sounds disturbed.  A guffaw fills the room as many of us turn to catch a peak at the possible crackpot as IANNUCCI with a smile attempts to downplay and alleviate her concerns more or less trying to comfort her by stating that the conceit of the show be more to address such a situation rather than to mock the individual.  I can’t help but feel the lady leaves unconvinced.

Later a telling question comes in asking who everyone on the panel voted for.  Initially people appear tight-lipped.  I feel I can confidently say nobody voted Tory; it is just that nobody wants to admit to having been duped by the Lib Dems.

Discussion moves onto ideas both future and unused at which point they briefly mention their “Sex Rig” episode that in the end failed to prove workable (and probably up to standard).

The night ends on a question regarding Alan Partridge and the optimistic enquiry of a movie somewhere down the line.  IANNUCCI doesn’t say “yes” but neither does he say “no”.  Political to end.

With this a good night comes to an end as Sofie, her boyfriend and I head to Leicester Square station where I leave them at Holborn and pursue the usual route over to Liverpool Street.

I get home.



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