When I first began doing my show, way, way back in the last decade of the 20th Century, I was uncomfortably aware that I was what was regarded as “the talent” – the sort of fellow who sits in front of the camera and talks, but doesn’t know a damn thing about how a program is actually put together. It isn’t a compliment.

There comes a point where you have to decide which direction you want to go in. Do you you want simply to bask in whatever glory there is in grinning like a loon for the camera, or do you want to show some respect for what your crew does, learn what they do, and help where you can?


It’s sort of like a Path to Enlightenment: even just learning about microphones and how to work a camera can be liberating. Especially learning to run a camera with some proficiency, because then you can irritate the hell out of your director by suggesting various camera angles.

It’s good to learn how to work the soundboard, and even to direct. It helps to keep you humble, once you realize the amount of hard work your crew is doing, and is capable of doing.


And it helps you, not only because you learn not to make unreasonable demands on your crew, but knowing something about television can help you plan your show a little better.

When I first started out I got off on being a “star” – such as I was – but that passes quickly, especially when you realize the limits of your own knowledge and abilities.



Today’s Soundtrack

I’ve got Fever today, as I listen to Ms. Peggy Lee.



Quote of the Day

Science fiction is notoriously male. You can tell that because everyone wears uniforms and marches around talking about rules. But Doctor Who has always felt to me, rather female. It’s full of kindness and compassion and eccentricity and wisdom instead of violence. – Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat (Doctor Who Magazine, December 2016)