SUMMARY: Episode 1 of 4
cut n pasted from the BBC website
Duration: 30 minutes
With the London games of Twenty Twelve successfully delivered, Ian Fletcher starts a new chapter in his life as head of values at the BBC. Ian's first challenge on arriving at New Broadcasting House, on his brand new and much-improved folding bike, is to find somewhere to sit in a building aggressively over-designed around the principle of not having a desk.
Ian finds himself holding the hottest of hot potatoes when Mebyan Kernow activist Nigel Trescott complains that Cornwall, and the Cornish, are shamefully under-represented on the BBC. Things get worse when BBC Spotlight South West presenter Sally Wingate goes public with her feeling that her failure to progress to a national presenting role might be part of the BBC's institutionally anti-Cornish bias. Ideas of how best to limit the damage lead to PR company Perfect Curve's Siobhan Sharpe suggesting Sally should do something on Snog, Marry, Avoid or some kind of Bake Off.
Meanwhile, producer Lucy Freeman is having meetings with head of output Anna Rampton and entertainment format creative David Wilkes about a forthcoming new flagship show - Britain's Tastiest Village - which, according to David, is 'kind of Britain's Got Talent meets Countryfile with a bit of The One Show thrown in just in case'. Anna wants a progress report and there's good news and bad news. They've virtually got Alan Titchmarsh on board now, but the very bad news is that it looks like they've lost Clare Balding - 'words you never ever want to hear' - as the dates of How Big Is Your Dog, a new show she's doing for ITV, have changed at the last minute.
TV-style. Ian on this bike. Big band, upbeat music - from the 1950s/60s. An announcer says the BBC is announcing former head of Olympic Deliverance Ian Fletcher as its new head of values. There are shots of the cast inter cut with an image of the production studio. Lucy hiding in the elevator; Siobhan making a selfie.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 1
00:35 - Ian rolls up to the BBC building on his bike.
Narrator: It's a Monday morning. And one-time head of London Olympic Deliverance Ian Fletcher is arriving in central London. He's about to start a new chapter in his life.
Ian's voiceover: 'It’s a big change for me. Obviously it’s a big job, a huge challenge. It’s a bit like the first day of being at big school. I flashed up on a new bike, so that’s all good.'
Narrator: He’s come to New Broadcasting house on Upper Regent St to take up his position as Head of Values at the BBC, a key and very a senior new post, specifically created in light of recent learning opportunities at the corporation.
He's struggling with this bike.
He finally meets with Will but has been sitting right beside him. They're talking on their cell phones in close proximity.
Ian's boiceover: ‘There’s something about the place as soon as you come in. You’re aware that you’re at the centre of something genuinely important. And the really exciting thing is to think that part of my job is going to be trying to establish where that centre is and exactly what it’s in the middle of.'
They ride the elevator up and discuss Will being an intern. Ian: 'So what does that involve exactly?' Will: Yeah, say that again? Ian: 'You want to end up working in this area, eventually'. Will: 'You mean like, as a job?' Ian: 'Well, yes'. Will: 'Well, yeah, cool'.
The elevator announces that they're arriving at the next floor. (Cranky lift.)
Will tells Ian that he has to take him to Ian; Ian asks Will who Issy is and Will think that he's asking about their relationship (foreshadowing.)
They bump into Simon.
Narrator: Simon Harwood is the BBC’s Director of Strategic Governance. And underneath it all is probably on the corporation’s most strategic directors.
There's an awkward moment when Simon dismisses Will and then insists on fixing Ian's bike. It's ambiguous what their relationship might be - in terms of working relations.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 2
04:18 - external view of the BBC. Cut to Ian and others facing a large screen that images a man directly in front of them with talk-to-text running below. 'And so the question we asked ourselves was: How would it be is things didn't have to be the way they actually are, yes?' (elliptical and opaque) What would a world look like if it were different?
Narrator: New Broadcasting House was design and built virtually from the ground upwards. And there are regular digital handshake sessions for new staff. Today's is run by Senior Technical Services Choreographer, Adam Brady.' And then he differentiates between 'intuitive' and 'intelligent' technology. He introduces the Synchopatico... the sign on the screen says, 'No Signal'.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 3
05:40 - External shots - BBC sign - big band music
We're in a meeting and meet the team. JOKE: Tracy 'And the angle we're going with this is, if Paxman can fall asleep on air, what's it like for the viewers.' boring There is a discussion about 'What we're saying - that he wasn't asleep. No, we're saying that he was concentrating on his answer'.
Narrator: Meanwhile, in Tommy Cooper, the Daily Senior Team Damage Limitation Meeting, chaired by Director of Strategic Governance Simon Harwood, is already underway.
Will and Ian arrive. Ian apologize for not being able to find the room. Ian gives Will his bike. Will doesn't seem to know what do to with it. hot potato
Narrator: On the Damage Limitation Team, Ian will be joining Head of Output Anna Rampton, recruited last year from her roll as Head of Output on ITV, current Controller of News and Current Affairs, Neil Reed, Senior Communications Officer Tracy Prichard, who as well as having having been with the corporation for nearly 20 years is also Welsh, and two other people.
There's discussion about the 'nut case' from Cornwall, who feels that Cornish views are generally underrepresented. There's a discussion about Rick Stein.
Tracy: 'I'm not being funny or anything but this is like finding a spot on your what's it. Better to deal with it now than ignore it an see what happens.
Simon slings it to Ian - connects it to values - Ian smiles and nods in earnest, 'Absolutely'. Simon concludes by saying that he'll mention this to Tony this afternoon.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 4
08:12: Ian walks into a space filled with computers - open-office plan.
Narrator: With a gap before his next meeting, there's time for Ian to explore some of the possibilities offered by the open-plan work environment in New Broadcasting House.
He sees computers with signs on them before waiting for X to get off the phone and asking about a computer. There are some shoes underneath - they've been there for four days - he's in drama. Unidentified person echoes that he's in drama. There's banter about Ian Titchmarsh being the sexiest man - head-to-head with George Cluny. There's discussion around whether or not it's true - turns out it was a survey. JOKE: Ian asks - 'Well who the hell was voting?' and Lucy responds, 'I don't know, maybe it was out of two.'
Narrator: Producer Lucy Freeman has been with the BBC for eight years. And as such, is still an experienced producer, and still there. (Joke could apply to self.) Following an unforeseen rationalization within her department, she's recently been invited to work on the sort of program she never dreamed she'd be invited to work on when she originally joined.
We cut to her in a meeting with David Wilks.
Narrator: 'BRITAIN'S TASTIEST VILLAGE' has been theoretically devised by entertainment format developer David Wilkes and is to be theoretically hosted by the dream team of Alan Tichmarsh and Clare Balding. And it's been commissioned by Head of Output Anna Rampton and she's asked David and Lucy into her orbit for an update.
Ana is negotiating dates with her secretary (?). There's discussion about whether or not they've 'done the deal' - (are things confirmed) Have they? Haven't they? JOKE: There's speculation about whether or not Alan is much happier in his life now (but it's not revealed why this might be the case.) And then there's an issue with Clare. JOKE: Can I just say this is so not our fault.
Narrator: But there's bad news. The dates for 'HOW BIG IS YOUR DOG' a major new ITV show to which Clare Balding is already committed have changed at the last minute due to genuinely bad luck. JOKE: David echoes 'bad luck' in his muted utterance.
So they've lost Clare Balding. JOKE: David: I know, it's words you ever want to hear. (beat) Apparently, you know, the most common words that pilots say before they crash is 'SHIT' (David is then asked to shut up.)
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 5
11:36: Band music plays stop motion of London and also of inside the building
Ian is meeting with Simon and they joke about the interactive space. Simon seems cavalier - 'Have a seat if you can be bothered.' They meet with Ben and Jerry. JOKE: I know, real names.
Narrator: Director of Strategic Governance Simon Harwood has invited Ian for an informal chinwag. 'Just to get a sense of how you want to play things and what all our lives are going to be like in the Fletcher era.'
Narrator: A key part of Ian's new role as Head of Values is to establish a new, 'WAY AHEAD' task force, with a remit to think big thoughts and to clarify the purpose of the purpose of the BBC in a digital age.
Ian asks if people have seen his path finding document which is in the 'shared priorities' folder on Syncopatica. There's a discussion about things being on paper and Ian is surprised. Izzy comes in and does here magic: she delivers hardcopies.
Narrator: With the renewal of the BBC's Royal Charter on which the future of the corporation depends due in 2016, finding an answer to the question, 'What is the BBC for?' before then, could potentially be important.
Izzy asks about coffee and Simon decides for everyone that they're all okay. Ian tries to interject but gives up.
Narrator: But as well as thinking what the BBC is for, it's clear that Simon is also keen to think some big thoughts about Cornwall.
Simon steers the conversation to the 'Blood Truscott guy' and asks Ian what he thinks they should do. Ian suggests that sometimes with these people it's a good idea to reach out them and make them feel as though they've been listened to. Simon puts words in his mouth, 'You think you should meet him?' And then goes on to ask him Ian has been talking to Tony about this because Tony is the king of the personal approach. (Like Seth from 2012 - Tony is the Director General.) Of course, Simon doesn't want Ian talking to Tony at all, and so this is disingenuous. Ian then goes on to say that it would be good for him to have a coffee with Tony himself at some point. Simon looks at him, there's a beat, and his response is, 'Yes, absolutely. I think that's a great idea. We should certainly think about that'. But it's clear no action is going to be taken. Everyone stands around nodding their heads at each other.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 6
14:12: Band music plays aerial view of the BBC building and then pulling away to bigger picture of London
Establishing shot - not at the BBC but in some cafe...across town? There's a meeting happening with Carole (?). We're supposed to know who she is.
Narrator: Meanwhile, elsewhere, it's a different day altogether. And somewhere in central London, Anna Rampton, David Wilkes and Lucy Freeman are meeting Carole Vorderman for salad.
Lucy begins by struggling to describe what the show is in at nutshell, and suggests that David talk about it. David Declines So there's an interesting approach to description...so-and-so meets such-and-such. JOKE: David: 'No one has actually ever done this before.' Carole: 'No, I'm not surprised.'
Narrator: With Anna due to formally announce 'BRITAIN'S TASTIEST VILLAGE' next week, they know that after the unavoidable loss of Clare Balding, this is their chance to save the show and change the face of Sunday evening television for either better or worse.
David: JOKE: There's a riff on what's better or worse. (Connects to value and evaluation.) JOKE: They're still finalizing the details--obviously. David: Just being in a restaurant with Carole Vorderman is enough. (woo-ing)
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 7
16:20: Sound of traffic and exterior shot.
Narrator: Meanwhile back in W1A, (x) Nigel Trescott has arrived to be taken seriously. (There's another riff here that's tough to follow.)
Ian and Nigel shake hands in the lobby and then walking through the BBC - Nigel is complaining about the excess of Scots 'usually women' and the dearth of Cornish presenters.
Narrator: If Ian's job is to make him feel listened to, the initial challenge is to find somewhere in the building where fewer people can hear him.
Ian and Nigel walk in on some people trying to fix some AV equipment; then they walk into an office with Salman Rushdie and someone else arm wrestling.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 8
17:00: Sound of traffic and exterior shot of the cafe where Carole, David, Anna and Lucy are meeting.
Carole starts by saying that she's not stupid (she knows what's going on) She's been in the industry a long time. David: JOKE: Yeah, ages. She guesses right that someone has dropped out and says that's okay. But she want's confirmation that he's attached and the best they can do is, 'Yes, yes...pretty much.' adamant but also noncommital And then she asks Lucy to ask David to shut up.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 9
19:08: Establishing shot of outside of the BBC.
Ian and Nigel have finally found somewhere to meet. They're on a sofa behind the large glass windows.
JOKE: Ian's ass is there for Nigel to be a pain in. (This is about Nigel knowing that he's a pain in the ass.) Ian reassures Nigel, telling him that he's going to make it his business to be on top of the situation. And he appreciates Nigel coming to him - Ian will come back to him with a response. Reference is subsequently made to Ian having 'done' the Olympics and the lack of Cornish athletes - four- they all lost. Ian: 'Well that wasn't really my area.' Nigel: 'Cornwall never is'.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 10
20:00: More stopmotion. More band music. Ian arrives on his bike.
Narrator: Eight o'clock on another morning. Ian has been in his new job for nearly two weeks.
Simon rocks up and easily packs up his bike while Ian struggles.
Narrator: With his honeymoon period behind him, today is a big day. Today sees the first meeting of the 'WAY AHEAD' task force with Ian in the chair. There is more discussion about Tony, because Simon is always talking about Tony. They take the life up together and it surfaces that they've decided to including a branding person on the task force. Simon: 'You've already got Fred Estair. What do you do, you get Ginger Rogers.' Siobhan Sharpe appears.
Narrator: For Ian, the first 'WAY AHEAD' meeting is his first opportunity to consolidate whatever authority he might have in his new job as well as to think some big thoughts.
Ian asks will to get him a cappuccino from downstairs. Will: 'No, yeah, a latte' Ian: 'No, a cappuccino and then if you could bring it into me in the meeting.' So they're all sitting around a table.
Narrator: Of the many meetings that he's been to in his first two weeks at the BBC, this is one where Ian finally has the chance to put the value of values literally on the agenda.
One word that Ian wants them to talk with them on the journey ahead is 'confidence'. BBC - greatest broadcasting corp in the world--big and great idea. (JOKE:?)
People mobile phones all start going off. They're interrupted. The switch on the TV and there's a discussion about the 'anti-west country bias' There's discussion about this being 'our own' - the BBC for fuck's sake. So that's happened and the implication is that they blame Ian for not getting Trescott under control. Simon: 'So that's happened...great.'
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 11
24:47: Will is texting while looking at Izzy who is working at her desk and asks her if she wants anything from the cafe on the ground floor - and then he muddles latte and cappuccino again.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 12
25:23: Back to the 'WAY AHEAD' meeting, where Siobhan is wobbling on and the focus is on the Cornish issue.
Narrator: Meanwhile back in Frankie Howard, such is the gravity of the situation that they've now been joined by head of output Anna Rampton, which means thing have got very serious indeed. There's already been an email from Lord Director Tony Hall asking for clarification on the corporation's handling of the Sally Wingate issue.
Tracy calls for 'strategy' and Ian suggests that's Simon's area. But Simon turns it back over to Ian...who then broaches it with Anna (silos and territories) Will walks in with a latte, says 'Crap' and leaves again. Ian is conciliatory. Ian suggests that maybe Sally would be good for VILLAGES; Anna is having none of it. There's a some nice banter right at the end, when one can feel Ian's frustration.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 13
27:06: Izzy is working at her desk. And Will leaves her the drink without saying anything because he seems confused/concerned that it's the right one. He then gives the other one to another office worker.
EPISODE 1 - SCENE: 13
27:03: Stopmotion and the changing of day to night.
Simon: 'This is such rough luck for you. I mean, you must be thinking, "I've barely got my feet under my desk"' Ian: 'I don't have a desk to get my feet under, yet.' SPACE ISSUES
Narrator: But broadcasting is a world lived in real time. And whatever that means, by the end of the day, events have already been taken over by other events. There's now been an email from Lord Chris Patton, Chair of the BBC Trust, asking for asking for an urgent response to Director Tony Hall's earlier email seeking clarification on the BBC's treatment of Sally Wingate.
Tracy has got Ian on 'Woman's Hour' in the morning. It's actually the perfect forum. JOKE: Ian: 'What about ask me, though?' Tracy: 'Asking you? No, they don't need to Ian, I said "YES" on your behalf.' There's some good banter about what Ian is going to say. The show is in Manchester.
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