Tuesday, 15 February 2011

New blog

I'm now doing a new blog. It's a bit more experimental... and stuff.

Please find it here: http://bigfib.blogspot.com/

Please come and see


Tuesday, 20 July 2010


August 9th, at 9.30pm, just after a repeat of Gavin and Stacy.

is when the Inn Mates pilot will air.

I'm rubbish at this blog aren't I.

just so busy seemingly doing nothing. Presently writing non-jokes for Mencap.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Right... well the pilot has been shot. And edited and is now in the hands of the people who will decide whether or not they like it.

It was a hell of a process. A good hell. And a real eye-opener.

I'm going to update this more fully later, but enough for now to say the show will be aired on BBC3 at some point. Not sure when.

It was filmed on location at Corban's Gallery in Halebarns, for the pub parts and Overdraft in Manchester, for the nigh club scenes, as well as some various bedrooms in the Hume area.

Castwide it features:
Brian - Neil Morrissey
Josh - Joe Tracini
Kaney - Bev Rudd
Chiz - Andrew Ellis
Blue - Rachel Rae
John - Jonny Dixon
Sharon - Poppy Jhakra
Pete - Liam Garrigan
Maisie - Charlene McKenna
Gina - Rachel Elizabeth
Mad Keith - Kevin Davies
Elf - Aisling Bea

will update very soon, inc detaiks of how i failed to get aa part.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

secret squirrel

lots and lots of things have happened and been happening with the production of Inn Mates.

we had the read through yesterday, the cast seem great, the director is superb and the producer is brilliant.

this isn't how it's supposed to be... surely.

Filming starts next week. Will update more soon. I'm just not sure what I am and aren't allowed to say. It's all a bit secret squirrel.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

scarf man

bloody hell... now that is snow.

here is the view from the office this morning... it's not actually that blue. I think that's either the early morning light - 8am, or my phone camera is jiggered.

hope you had a nice chrimbo and a happy new year. I am currently engaged on a new year detox which basically means now booze, no bread, no red meat and no potatoes. And nothing processed.

It's five days without booze today. I honestly can't remember the last time I went that long without a drink. Got to be done though, for the sake of the liver. Poor thing. It had some hammer over christmas. Actually it's had some hammer over the last 20 years so my new years resolution is to be nicer to it. that and to wear more hats. Although I don't suit hats, so I might have to re-evaluate that one.

There are people who do suit hats, they are people like Brad Pitt, Tom Baker, Samual L Jackson, my mate Matt and Sir Ian McKellen.

Other people, like me, don't suit hats. And I have tried. I've tried beanies, but I look l.ike Cartman. I've tried a flatcap, but it just made me look desperately northern. I used to wear a Kangol, backwards... for about a week. Then I think the style police took it away for my own safety. I've evern tried one of those Nepalese things that come down over your ears but I look like a Blade Runner fugitive. First hat I had was aged 10... I think. It was a Stetson with 'I Shot JR' emblazoned upon it. It was from a market somewhere in the mists of time, a present from an auntie who said: "that's your birthday present," six weeks before my birthday. I didn't even really want it.

I'm not brave enough to try a fedora, or a trilby, they either trap my ears or just perch up on top making me look like a pretentious Mr Potato Head.

No, I'm more of a scarf man.

Anyway, off to the kitchen to make a nice plate of salad. Just what you need on a day like today, then back in here to start doing my tax.

Oh happy days.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Inn Mates


the cat is out of the bag, I have been bursting to say something, but I am very happy to say I have been commissioned to make a pilot for the script - cuirrently called The Inn Mates, which I developed as part of the College of Comedy.

Click here for the story in Broadcast

I'll let you know more on casting and the like as we have it, but for the moment a little bit about the idea.

I grew up in a pub, a very small pub on the edge of a council estate from the age of 4 to 21. I started work behind the bar when I was 16. The characters I met when I was there still inform my comedy writing to this day and I think they always will.'

I always wanted to write a sitcom about a pub, but was always a bit too terrified to try as Craig Cash and Phil Mealy did it so bloody well in Early Doors, and Al Murray did it studio-style in Time Gentlemen Please. Tony Roache did the hyper insane World of Pub and with pubs playing various roles in various sitcoms throughout the ages I was struggling to see how I could come up with anything new.

Then I had an idea... pubs are all about the people who go there. what about a sitcom set in a pub where you never see the bar. So after a lot of brainache I set it in the dining area of a harvester style pub where people go for their Sunday lunch.

It's moved on a bit since then. It's not just going to be in the pub, but the pub did give me the focus to create the characters and I'm now having a lot of fun taking them outside.

It won't be anything like Early Doors. I'd never dare try to imitate something I love so much. It's just a world full of characters I love who make me laugh. I just hope it does the same for everyone else.

There's a long way to go and this, now, even after all this time, just feels like the beginning of the journey. If you want to know what happens along the way then I'll keep you posted. Fingers crossed.

Monday, 19 October 2009

shaking dog

work, work, busy, busy...

I'm very happy to say I've been commissioned to write a script for a mainstream sitcom idea I pitched a month or so ago. My first proper original commission. Okay, so it's not a series, it's not even a pilot, but it's a proper grown-up commission and I'm very happy about the fact. It feels like I've reached a personal milestone.

On a shelf at the far end of my office - which is a converted garage - there used to be a bottle of Champagne I'd been saving for when I finally get an original series commissioned, but as this script commission coincided with my mum's birthday it seemed like a perfect time to crack it open. Plus it meant I didn't have to go to the shop.

It's not easy this script writing malarkey you know. The most difficult bit is coming up with good original relationships and characters who react in believable ways to drive the story forward. I know that's stating the obvious, but it's true.

I was lucky enough to be asked to write a script for an existing show a while back, it was a real seat-of-the-pants job and needed to be done in two weeks. But it was easy because they gave me a 'series bible' with an intricate breakdown of who all the characters were, the tone and theme of the show.

but coming up with original stuff... I always find it a struggle. I have already done a first draft of this new project and completely binned it. I honestly don't think there's anything I can use from it other than the opening scene. But that's what they're for. It gave me an idea for the structure of the storiesand I could see the characters starting to come alive.

I know the tone I want and I have a rough idea of who these characters are. From that point I find there's nothing I can do other than write it, because it turns into a sort of symbiotic process of story and character feeding each other as I write them and slowly, coming alive.

I'm now working on a second first draft which begins about half way through the original first draft, has done away with a character and two locations. I am going to really go for it this week and try to get this finished by Friday.

My self imposed deadline for getting it over to the Beeb is November 10, because that's when Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 comes out and I am genuinely excited about getting my hands on it.

Elsewhere what the commission means iis I've had to put the Big Bear script on hold for a while. I finished a first draft which I wasn't particularly happy with - but not madly unhappy with, it was definitely getting there - and sent that over just to show willing. I'm looking forward to seeing their new sitcom Big Top when it goes out on BBC1 in December.

It's been nice to start seeing my name in credits at last. the new Dragons Den online series on BBC2, Gigglebiz on CBeebies both had me in the same day last week. I know I'm the only person in the world to either know or care about that, but it was nice.

I sent some stuff over for Armstrong and Miller, which I haven't heard back from and I've been very busy getting completely ignored by Funny or Die.

Anyway, must crack on. The dog is shaking - she can see a squirrel.