Monday, November 03, 2003


I'm not really a convention goer. And my lovely boss (the most powerful beard in BBCi) was completely baffled by it.

He turned up on the Sunday to find us cowering at our BBCi stand, blocked off from actually meeting the public by two rows of desks twenty feet away. And then he started to laugh. "Are you often stuck behind the gents loos?"

He'd genuinely come along to meet people and talk to them, and was rather annoyed that this didn't seem to be the purpose of our stand (which, when people could get to it, was actually in the middle of an autograph queue, so was used as a place to leave tatty plastic bags and, on one occasion, a small child).

He was even more bemused at seeing crowds of people queuing for four floors of spiral staircase on the off-chance that Katy Manning (the only unsealed postbox in London) was still below. Vaguely surprised no one hurled themselves down at her.

He actually got angry when it turned out that no-one, not even Beech, could explain whether or not the Shalka episodes that he'd brought along were even going to be shown, when they were to be shown, or why, if they were being trailed, it was being done as "?!".

That said, seeing children sitting cross-legged in front of the TV screens watching Shalka made me feel all gooey. Even if most of the children were 35.

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