It’s been an unusual week (for a start, Monday wasn’t a Bank Holiday!) because I found myself saying “I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life”twice in as many days.
So, on the second day I said it, I fibbed, because I had heard something so ridiculous in all my life the previous day. That’s when ITV’s female Head Of Comedy (who knew they needed one?) announced that for too many years, the majority of successful sitcoms and comedy dramas had been written by men.
With immediate effect, all comedy scripts written for ITV will be divided 50-50 between male and female writers.
Yes, we’ve had many brilliant male writers like Galton and Simpson; The Pythons; Muir and Norden; Croft and Perry; and the great John Sullivan.
But we’ve also been blessed with many female comedy writers – including Carla Lane; French and Saunders; Victoria Wood; and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
If ITV commission comedy scripts based on the writer’s gender rather than whether he/she is capable of creating memorable characters and brilliantly funny lines – and maintaining that quality over many years – what does the future hold for ITV comedy?
Then, the following day, I read an article by writer Daisy Goodwin who blames the BBC’s Saturday night repeats of “Dads Army” for helping to promote Brexit!
Her reasoning? The 50-year old sitcom portrayed a ‘cosy view’ of Britain defending itself from foreign invasion. What’s ‘cosy’ about bombs dropping on your house?
I avoid commenting on Brexit in my articles because it’s very comfortable up here on the fence – and I love the smell of creosote.
But does Ms. Goodwin, who wrote the ITV series “Victoria” which often played fast and loose with historical facts in order to make the old Queen’s life more interesting for viewers, really believe that the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit were influenced by the tiny audience of 2 million who tune into the “Dads Army” repeats?
Answers on a postcard please. Not to me.To the Head Of ITV Comedy…