Booking a funny man… Thursday, July 18, 2013

Booking a Funny Man…


So we are planning on producing a big, noisey International Festival of Creativity and Performance. Why wouldn’t we? We are in Stratford on Avon where people from all over the world gather to watch people being creative and performing.


Question is, how do we drive people to come and enjoy the shows and events and how brave can we be?


Well, first we need to set a standard. No disrespect, but even some Mums can’t find it in their heart to like the work of their offspring when performing in AM-Dram or grade 3 flute.


So, we have decided that our ‘benchmark’ for the events we put on will be international. If at least one artist isn’t known in Bogota and Bootle (if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere), then we will be just a little bit too much like all of the rest.


And we have decided that all acts should, at the least, be nationally renowned – basically, Ace.


Final point before I actually get started; we have decided that nothing is off-limits when it comes to creativity. So, if we find the man or woman who designed the widget that made the thing move which turned the lever that saved a bit of fuel in the car I drive – well, we will book them and put them on in a Petrol-Head tent. Creativity lurks all around us.


But we also need a few headliners to confirm they’ll come. Quick-wins we call them…and we think Comedy will work to impress many a bod to head on over to the Bard’s town next summer.


But who?


And when?


We should make sure we are a smoothly-oiled machine and do a trial pre-Christmas run…so we are.


A Comedy Christmas Cracker in December 2012 (see what I did there, subtle, creative…original – a benchmark) will kick-off our July 2014 festival. Summer in December, next year in this year. How creative is that?


We like Al Murray – his latest ‘The Only Way is Epic’ tour features him at his best and people are flocking to see it. I snuck in to see the show at the back of a tent in the Spring and loved him. Didn’t pay either…whose going to sue now? Hah!


Now, how do you (as my American colleagues say) ‘reach out’ to Al? Ordinarily you find out who is agent is and drop him or her a line. They are generally of the mind that they are doing you a favour talking to you so you do have to steel yourself for a raft of condescension: ‘What, you think he would want to appear there? And for you? Well, I’ll ask….but I’m not sure.’


However, I know the uber-boss of the agency where Al Murray is represented so I can pop ‘Jon’ (not his real name, or is it?) a little note saying, ‘please be kind, it’s me, and tell the agent to be kind, too.’


Doubtless that won’t work but I like to think I am wired and influential and until Uber-Boss replies I can hold on to that notion.


Of course, Al Murray may already be busy, bored with Stratford, abroad – who knows. He just might fancy a day off…so I need another equally sound plan.


I reach for my phone and see comedians whose career I helped. Rhod Gilbert’s first TV gig? With us. Rufus Hound’s first TV show, produced by us. Ged Alexander’s first comedy chance? With firstlook.


Who is Ged Alexander? Well, not everyone works. And I still maintain it was the audience’s fault…singing songs backwards whilst balancing a spoon on your nose is a major skill.


So, phone in hand, I hover over the key pad. Texts have been sent…watch this space.


And in the meantime, if you see Al, tell him we think he’s ace and ask him to keep Christmas free.



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LKO Studio

FirstLookTV is an innovative television production company, with an eclectic approach to programme making. FirstLookTV focuses on making high quality, good value television programmes for the domestic and global market. It has recently launched two new TV brands, both Crime documentary series, completed a BBC ‘special’ called 1966, introduced a new format of ‘Late Kick Off’ to BBC Sport. Established by Will Hanrahan and Gill Carter in 1994, FirstLookTV has made many hours of programming for major UK and overseas broadcasters. Ranging from top end factual documentaries, ground breaking entertainment series and live event based programming, FirstLookTV caters for a varied range of worldwide channels. The company is based in Stratford on Avon, with offices in London and many filming partners worldwide.FirstLookLive is a boutique live entertainment company. We produce high-impact Investigative shows, devise new formats for studio and location and broadcast in over 80 countries.