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Never enjoy other people’s failings…

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There is much talk at present lamenting the standard of the British sit-com. I haven’t seen Ben Elton’s new effort – The Wright Way – but knowing Ben’s work and having read his books, I suspect it is better than the detractors are saying – who incidentally all seem far too celebratory and gleeful to me in its impending doom and cancellation.

And all of this woe comes on a day of revelation to me. The day that I finally got to hear a real life actress recording words I have written for a sit-com I wrote six years ago.

This is how long it has taken to get to this stage- and all being well, WARREN UNITED will air on ITV this autumn.

How I came by this gig are two salutary lessons learned.

I have never been a networker. PR as a profession absolutely appals me, probably because I am useless at it. I have approached famous people I know (friends?) for help in propagating my books – but it rarely bears fruit and is usually humiliating.

But I did stay in touch with Tim Searle – a man I met when I was the warm-up man for HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU.  Tim is an animator, (on the left in above picture which is pathetic I know), a great bloke and we stayed in touch. Tim was approached by a Canadian theatre producer with an idea for an animated sitcom and did Tim know any funny writers?

The show is loosely based on football – and the producer needed to see a sample of my work. Something other than stand-up – and something to impress him and make him laugh.

Step forward THE RIPPLE EFFECT. My second novel (before it was published, my publisher sacked me!) and the book promptly withered on the book shelves. But the producer loved the novel and I got the writing gig for two episodes and began tapping away. I didn’t know at the time that it would take 6 years – but there we are – it is what it is and I am very happy to be in the room yesterday.

So lessons learned from this blog.

Don’t enjoy the failures of other people. It is always ugly and it feeds nothing. Comedians slagging off the success of Michael McIntyre are morons. If you want similar success to Michael – then just be as funny as he is – and if that is too subjective – then just make people laugh as much as he does and then you too can fill stadia. It is a simple equation.

Stay in touch with mates and not because you never know…

And finally – there is no such thing as wasted effort. All endeavour is always good.

Here endeth the lesson.

Bless you all – my children.

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