Christmas Lectures update

Since I haven’t posted about work for a while, here’s a quick update:

We’ve been so busy this week, I think the only time we were all in the same room at the same time was for the formal launch party on Wednesday evening. The exec, director and new series producer were rehearsing in various rooms around the Ri (mostly the exciting ping-pong room hidden away on the roof); James the AP was frantically trying to keep up with them with props; Giles the runner was usually… well, running; Tom the researcher was desperately trying to keep the DVD and website people happy, while simultaneously finding material to plug the gaps in the scripts.

That leaves me, wandering around the building trying to find somewhere to work. I spent most of the week folded into a corner of the kitchen – where my PowerBook could just about find a wireless signal – furiously typing redrafts and amendments and restructurings and all the rest. I think I wrote something like 3000-4000 words on each of Tuesday and Wednesday, which is rather a lot.

The new series producer, meanwhile, is none other than Charlie Courtauld, longtime political journo and now assistant editor of the Independent on Sunday (and their television critic). He’s quite a character, and we like him very much – partly because while it’s always flattering to be told that one has ‘an excellent writing style,’ it means so much more when it comes from an editor of a national broadsheet. Though as somebody said rather rapidly, ‘Calm down, it’s only the Indy.’

OK, so we’re busy. How’s it actually going? Not badly, I think. Four of the scripts have now converged on stories (that is, we’re tweaking and editing, but not tearing them down and rebuilding them), and the fifth is very close, and possibly already there. As a result the props lists are fairly static, and we’ve some more people on board to help out there too.

So it looks like we’ll be OK. That said, it’s a lovely clear Saturday afternoon in London, and I seem to be in the office. Dang. And I’ve a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be making props next weekend…

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