BBC interviews with TV writers on the craft of writing


I don’t know if any of you caught last night’s edition of Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe on BBC4, but it was really insightful and worth a watch by pretty much anyone interested in how writers work. Charlie Brooker is the guy who writes “Screenburn” for the Guardian, in which he is just generally hilariously scathing about TV programmes, and Screenwipe is usually the very funny TV counterpart of that. (Charlie Brooker also angered Mac users and magazines a year back when he slagged off Mac users as being w*****rs or some such, but anyone who’s read his column or seen his series will know that there was a good pinch of wind-em-up humour in those comments.) Anyway, last night’s Screenwipe was given over to interviews with a lot of the UK’s top television writers, including Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, who write the excruciating but brilliant Peepshow (one of the best comedies on TV in the past few years in my own estimation), Graham Lineham (writer of Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd), Paul Abbott (writer of Shameless), Tony Jordan (writer of Life on Mars, Eastenders, State of Play and Hustle, among others) and Russell T. Davies (writer of Queer as Folk and the new Doctor Who). The questions and answers covered such topics as outlining vs just writing and seeing where it gets you, characterisation, picking names, how first drafts are always rubbish (and the number of drafts these writers get through), writing good dialogue and a lot more.

For the next few days, the program is available on BBC’s iPlayer here: … Episode_3/

Highly recommended!

All the best,

Wish I could, but unfortunately they only allow people to view it from inside the UK.

Unless there is a known work-around…

Move to the UK?

Come on matt, was that really so hard to figure out? :stuck_out_tongue:

Missed it first time round, so thanks Keith!