Monday, 20 April 2009

POEM9: Girls in TV

Girls, in my tender youth
I have often thought about
what it must be like to be a lesbo
And then I realised I like men
Who enrich my busy life
and take me by the hand
Who give me a big sparkly wand
to wave at the people below
as I sit on my fluffy cloud
With the big sky above
and the little people so far below
and then I disappear-
-with a poof!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

C4 smeargate scandal

Oh-My-God dear readers....! I've just had the fishy Dark Lord -Mr Herring- on the phone asking me if I've seen the TVC smeargate emails running on media monkey...? What emails? How could I possibly be so out of the loop on this? I instucted Zac the hunky new runner to print them off for me on the new carbon neutral recycled bird poo A4 paper I've started using, and I couldn't believe what I was reading:

RE: Channel4 smear memo

Anthony, please do the necessary tweaks to this and disseminate to all the usual sources esp. Press Assoc, Sky and James Herring.

To: AllTVC; AllWC; All Studios; All Commissioners; All Execs; All Media; All Regional
RE: What to do about Channel 4?

Dear All

I think it's time we seized our opportunity to destabilise Channel 4 in this current time of economic uncertainty. I want everyone to think about the things Kev, Julian and the team have done badly this year, and then let's arrange some blue-sky-thought showers in the department pods to decide on the best ones. These will then be planted in the mass media via the BBC News service. A free Sky+ box to whoever comes up with the most damning criticisms.

To help get those rusty brains working - What is it about their factual output these days? Their Cutting Edges feel old, they can't commission a film without 10 weeks of development by which time the access has gone cold and ITV have stolen the idea. Entertainment is weak and dilluted by their over reliance on pastiche studio shows. [And what is Chris Moyles doing back on TV? I thought Chris Evans had done everything in his power to kill off the big fat gobshite?] and then we have their specialist factual department which seems dominated by David Starkey and sperm racing. Yawn.

[NOTE to the diversity department - how many Asians do we have compared to them?]

Look forward to hearing you ideas.

Fifi, your commander-in-chief

blah blah blah usual fake outro...

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

POEM 8: Now You Have Power

Now you have the power
I am coming in and closing in
Now you have the power
I feel my ideas resurfacing

Now you have the power
I'm needing you to believe in me
Now you have the power
Ben G we have something special
burning away

Five and me and you will be so
blown away, torn away
Five and me and you will be so
special and totally invigorating!

Now I have the power
you will come to me in your special specs
Now I have the power
of amazing transformational programming ideas
Now I have the power
you will lunch with me and I will lunch with you
Now I have the power
you will beg me to give you my brightest clues!

I will save you from desperate mess
the weakest clues, the weakest links
Ben G we will rule
those sacred slots, those terrestrial blues
Ben G we will ride
the highest mountains that we can climb
Ben G we will be
on top of the greatest TV mutiny!!

Friday, 13 June 2008

The Soiree invite

From: The Headmistress
To: 'Sue Murphy'; 'Elaine Bedell'; 'Lisa Edwards'; 'Tanya Shaw'; 'Smith, Layla'; 'Julie Gardner -Wales Drama'; Alannah Richardson; Deborah O' Connor; 'Tessa Ross'; 'Alex Mahon'; 'Janice Hadlow'; 'Dorothy Byrne'; 'Dominique Walker'
Cc: Liz Warner; 'Lucy Lumsden'
Sent: Sun 13/06/2008 14:56
Subject: The Soiree


I thought it might be fun to hold an evening for girls who work in TV. Everybody is welcome so long as they are female.

No agenda beyond shoes, handbags and a little light gossip. No Tupperware, no sex toys and absolutely no pitching. I suppose for the more serious among us it would be a chance to talk about the work life balance, glass ceilings and the dearth of straight single men in the industry.

I was going to hold the first one at the Headmstress HQ in West London. But if it works we will do future ones somewhere in central London. How does Wednesday July 2nd work for everybody. 7-9??

I will be knocking up a few things for us to eat from Delia's new How To Cheat book, and my husband has kindly offered to serve us drinks whist we relax and chat in the drawing room. He wears a pinnie rather well, you'll be pleased to know.

I can't wait to see you all.

TV's Favourite Headmistress xx

It's been a tough list to draw up, but I think you'll agree I've gone for the absolute pinnacle of ladies who hold positions of power in this male-dominated world of television ruthlesness.

Let me explain a few of my choices to you. First up, I didn't want it to feel like I was just drawing on my contemporaries (who own their own companies, are in direct competition with me to grab commissions, etc). So I've limited those girls to just Liz and Alex. (Alex doesn't really count because she's a numbers girl; Liz and me go back way some, and besides I know she'll be rolling drunk after half an hour so will pose no positive threat to me once the conversations get serious).

Everyone else is a commissioner or a controller, or both. I'm a little worried, however, at how the hard-nosed whisky-drinking Dorothy Byrne will 'blend' with the utterly gorgeous but a little bit delicate Layla from ITV. I have a worry dear readers that those two *won't* see eye to eye on those important things I want us to focus on (shoes, earings, holiday destinations, etc). But so be it. I might just have to pre-brief my old deputy and get her to play the polite go-between, thus to avoid any fracas.

POEM 8: Tease Me Tease Me Tease Me

Tease me
tease me
tease me
tease me
Till I lose control
Tease me baby till I lose control

Pinch me
pinch me
pinch me
pinch me
Till I lose control
Pinch me baby till I lose control

Smack me
smack me
smack me
smack me
Till I lose control
Smack me baby till I lose control

Over my boy and soul


Monday, 7 April 2008

Tampon TV


This morning, just to prove to you how little I need Arthur, that skulking, brooding judas who recently left to join StudioLimpet, I have coined a brand new phrase to describe the aspirational TV output I am going to make in 2008: Tampon TV.

It's warm, it's emotionally enagaged and intelligent, but it can also be raw and bleeding if I need it to be

(If you don't believe me, just witness the end of my new BBC3 varicose vein removal format for obese teens.....)

I am really confident that I can be the main exponent of this new type of lifestyle television - and have the likes of Ben G eating out of my lilly-white manicured palm. Which reminds me, I simply must make sure I am the first person Ben calls when he's looking for big glossy feelgood factual to fill his schedules next year. A couple of D&Ds (dinner and drinks) at Claridges should do the trick.

Before I go, here's my favourite tampon-inspired poetry by the marvellously talented Julie Hull

Love and Maxipads,

HM xxx

Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Boy Who Stops The Rain

Good news dear readers, Yusmany the beautiful peasant rain child I was telling you about finally arrives from Venezuela next week thanks to some seed money from Andy Mac.

As soon as he gets to rainy England (!) I'll pop him on a National Express coach up north to start filming a pilot for my new hit idea The Boy Who Stops The Rain, Channel 4's answer to Springwatch and Jesus of Nazareth.

[Lucky people of Rotherham you can see him perform his naked rain-dance at the Wickersley Working Men's Social Club Tuesday afternoon. Tickets are only a fiver. Senior citizens can get in for half price. Anyone who works for the MET office can take advantage of the buy 2 tickets get 1 free special offer.]

It's just a pilot dear readers, so you may never see the results. But when the series is eventually greenlit (who could live with themselves by turning it down?) and Yusmany becomes a national hero in Rotherham, I will have him visit other dreary places like Huddersfield, Wigan, Cleethorpes, Swansea and then finally Horsham-on-Sea to wave his magic weather wand to stunning results.

I am so excited at the prospect of this happy super weather-bending child making it as a bonafide star in this country that I have already trademarked his name so as to protect him from the capitalistic cynical vultures who will no doubt be circling him. Yusmany™ could be the brand that launches a thousand umbrellas and even wakes up the nation on BBC Breakfast with his weather map reading skills. With his dashing latino looks (hands off - he's mine, I say!!!) who knows where the height of his fame will take him?

In anticipation of our great success together I have already jotted down a rain inspired poem that we could co-publish together and release to promote the series....


When a storm begins in the clouds,
it sometimes may look frightening.
You see a quick electrical spark -
Flash! goes the lightning!

Long and thin and streaky and fast,
its glow is oh so brightening.
Watch for the electric spark -
Flash! goes the lightning!

When a storm begins in the clouds,
it truly is a wonder.
You hear a rumble loud in the sky -
Clap! goes the thunder!

Lightning bolts are heating the air,
over clouds and under.
When the air expands enough -
Clap! goes the thunder.

The Headmistress xxx

Monday, 24 March 2008

Planning a Soirée

Dear Ladies (but only those who work in TV - sorry!)

I'm sure you'll sympathise with me when I say this: I simply haven't enough hours in the day to run a successful independent TV production company, inspire the people around me, pen poems for my new anthology, create life-changing TV formats for a cynical and world weary audience AND run my enormously hectic (but fulfilling) home life.

Just this evening, as I was knocking up a wonky willy organic choccie tart for the kids' lunchboxes tomorrow, I remembered that I still needed to:

1) Double check the aupair had cleaned the mansion properly and ironed my sexy powersuit for work tomorrow
2) Write a thousand words for The Spectator on the subject of 'female circumcision'
3) Watch as much of Hamish's output on my Sky+ as I possibly can before our meeting this week
4) Write a few letters (by hand, of course!)
5) Not to mention entertain my husband with the freebie naughty Ann Summers gear my Deputy Headmistress had managed to get from that silly Sex Coaches for the Over-50s format I've got in with C4.

(sigh) We females in TV have so much to deal with on our plates.

Yes, I know I can't complain having made a few sexy pounds being the all-singing, all-dancing, all-dieting, all-world conquering creative television entrepreneur that I know I am, but nothing compares to how limited and held back we are in this dreadful industry compared to men.

Not only are we expected to take care of our husbands, wash and feed our kids, flirt with channel controllers, pour over the women's weeklies to originate knock-out creative ideas for a female demographic AND suffer the indignity of period pains, but less talented MALE execs simply swan into meetings, wave their winkies in the air and strut away with all the big expensive commissions.

So I have decided that to help us girlies stick together I'm going to throw an exclusive tupperware soiree for the 21st century thoroughly downtrodden and struggling TV lady.

It will be a stress free, all-female friendly evening of wine, song, dance and poetry. I'm sure I can teach a few of them how to knit, and perhaps if all goes well - and after the odd glass of chardonnay - the conversation can turn to important issues like how to balance the work/life dynamic, breaking the glass ceiling, and perhaps most important of all, where have all the sexy, strong, single HETROSEXUAL male researchers gone to?

I know my many critics out there will seize upon this soirée as evidence of an all-female Bilderberg Group of well-to-heel TV execs with nothing better to do than bitch and bemoan their enormously successful and well paid lives, but if the likes of Hincksy and Pete 'Red' Barron can get together and bond over crap Status Quo cover songs, or Grandad Grade can do all his deals during high stakes Texas Hold 'Em poker and cigar nights, then what's stopping me from doing the same??

But who to invite dear reader? I don't want to offend the girlies in TV, but not everyone is important enough to come.

Who do you think should make my RSVP list?

The Headmistress x

Sunday, 2 March 2008

POEM 7: Hamish my Hero!

Dear Reader,

For some reason my BlackBerry was not working whilst we were in North Africa, so I had missed the important news that the man they call 'the History boffin' has been appointed to run the Channel 4 documentary team overseeing the other super-clever boys and "Ms" Angry Mulvey.

To be totally honest, I am deeply worried about having to deal with a man who stole away my Deputy Headmistress earlier in the year, and someone who frankly looks like he should be running a provincial library rather than a cutting edge documentary department. This unfashionable bit of Channel 4 simply has no glamour, what with Meredith's farmer market cardigans and Simon's ill fitting chino trousers. From what I've seen Hamish actually dresses worse than dear old Angus McQueen ever did - which takes some doing!

Ivan, my financier has set me strict goals for 2008 to "diversify my revenue stream" away from the glamour of Sue's features department and to spread my fluffy wings and branch out into other parts of the broadcaster if my business is to survive (hello Andy Mac, have you missed me?! x)

But how can I be seen in the capital's best restaurants with the badly dressed Boffin by my side? What will the chatterring media classes have to say?

Oh well, nothing like a challenge! I remember fondly the last Head of Documentaries who I spent 9 months grooming, letting him wine and dine me, letting him get close to the intoxicating Headmistress midas touch, enjoying me, wanting me, needing me, loving me....

Sigh, now it all starts again:

I want to be your Ocean
I want us to ride the choppy seas
I want to build you a hurricane
of stunts and concepts that will make amazing TV
I want to be your Tsunami
that glistens and makes huge waves and roars
I want to build you a great island
that rocks and pillars all our shores

You challenge the idea of Diana's assassination
I just want to know what she was wearing that night!
You spend time with people like Starkey
I want to know how he'd cope in one of my play fights!
Oh Boffin, oh Boffin I want to dress you
in Hugo Boss and take you out all on my own
To seduce, enthrall and capture you
so we can make documentaries that make us both moan!!


Thursday, 28 February 2008

Hello from Morocco!

Dear Reader

It's half term and I have thankfully swapped the hubub of London for the ethnic delights of Morocco with my 4 demanding children (Herbert, Mathilda, Giselle and Siren), husband Nicholas and Magda, the lovely 19 year old Polish aupair.

Everything was going swimmingly well until we arrived last night in Marrakech to be greated by the world's most horrendous kerfuffle from the balcony of our exclusive riad:

Yes, grown men openly brawling in the street - how very North of England! These people are so aggressive and angry all the time and I think I know why... the traffic. It is so oppressive I cannnot breath somedays from all the exhaust fumes and smog-craziness.

I feel like I am taking my life into my own hands on every sightseeing trip I make (unlike the reassuring safety of driving my own 4x4 back in London, say). This afternoon I even refused to visit the valley of flushing water in Ourika, and instead spent some much needed time rehydrating my tired feet whilst Magda occupied the children.

I am more certain than I have ever felt before that this country desperately needs my help. As I write this, thank goodness my (soon-to-be) award winning congestion series is airing in the UK. Dear, dear, poor people of Morocco, I can help you stop your car related street violence!

For the next 3 months my plan is that everyone - even the tourists - must leave their cars at home and travel in one of these:

I have texted Arthur back in London to dig out his filofax and track down the owner of Radiodiffusion Television Marocaine, Morocco's state television network, and government minister in charge of public transport. This deal I can do on my own, without Ivan or Freemantle's meddling.

Nicholas was furious when he caught wind over breakfast that I needed to "pop out for a quick meeting"

My top lip quivered vulnerably, and I flashed him a bit of cleavage:"But darling cheeks, the people of Morocco desperately need my help!"

He rolled over like a puppy.

Must dash dear reader- I have a special tummy tingle (no, it isn't excitement it must be the mutton and preserved lemon tagine we had for supper last night!)

Much love until next time,

TV's favourite Headmistress xxx