Tony Jordan's TV diary

Tony Jordan's TV diary

By Tony Jordan,
Friday, 29th July 2016
Tony Jordan (Credit: Red Planet Pictures)
Tony Jordan (Credit: Red Planet Pictures)
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Tony Jordan moves on from Dickensian to Dubrovnik, but still thinks the BBC allowed a special show to slip through its fingers

Start the week with a meeting in Dubrovnik about a new project we are working on. Although I can’t say much about it yet, I can say that Dubrovnik is incredibly beautiful, despite people constantly pointing at places where scenes for Game of Thrones were shot. 


Returning to my desk in the London office, back-to-back meetings all day, including looking at Red Planet Pictures’ slate of digital projects. It’s an area I’ve had to learn about quickly, but it’s stuff all my kids already know, so it’s making me feel a bit old. End up with three new, very exciting ideas. Can’t wait to get started. 


A quick sandwich, then a minor meltdown as I realise that I have to find time for a trip to LA to talk to potential co-producers and a trip to the set of the sixth series of Death in Paradise in Guadeloupe. Already starting to plan which movies I’ll watch on the plane.  

This afternoon, we’re discussing potential directors and casting for Babs, an upcoming BBC film I am writing and exec producing about the life of Dame Barbara Windsor. 


Months after the BBC decided not to bring Dickensian back for a second run, I’ve still got 83 emails about it. They are a fairly equal mix of furious teachers and professionals at schools and colleges who had seen young people being driven back to the books. 

They also include members of the public who don’t understand why it’s not coming back and are moaning about it. I do think the BBC had something very special with Dickensian and let it slip through their fingers. 


Another afternoon of meetings alongside Red Planet’s newly appointed joint MDs, Alex Jones and Belinda Campbell.  

Also manage to squeeze in time late in the day to read finalists for our annual Red Planet Writing Prize competition. I am once again impressed by the talent that is out there. I know better than anyone that it can be hard to get into this industry. 

I am very proud that we are committed to this competition and helping aspiring writers to gain a foothold in the industry. 


At last, a writing day. In my shed in the garden, ready to start writing a new script. Spend the first hour playing solitaire while I work out how to start my first scene. Write four different versions, hate all of them and start again. Realise I’ve spent almost an entire day writing three pages. 

Siobhan Finnigan, one of our brilliant development execs, comes up on the train to talk about a new proposal we are working on for ITV. I love talking about my new projects with smart people. She gives me loads of ideas. 

Sib heads off and I’m back in the shed. I finally crawl into the house at the end of a very long day to watch rushes and answer emails. There are not enough hours in the day. Maybe I should cut out the solitaire. 


Back in the office for more meetings this morning and to view the latest cuts of our new Sky 1 show, Hooten & the Lady. It is a big budget, fun action-adventure drama starring Michael Landes, Ophelia Lovibond, Jessica Hynes and Jane Seymour. 

What more could you want? It’s looking brilliant. We’re all super excited and can’t wait for it to air later this year.  


Hit the weekend and decide to work on Saturday. Back in the shed, I’ve got three pages under my belt, 62 to go. I intend to eat the biggest Sunday lunch known to man and play Call of Duty. I fall asleep on the sofa trying to watch all the new TV shows I’ve recorded through the week to catch up on at the weekend. 


Tony Jordan is a showrunner, who runs Red Planet Pictures.