Surprise hit of the week is 100 Vaginas, in which the artist Laura Dodsworth photographs the genitalia of 100 women and then talks to them about the images and how they feel about their bodies. It’s a great film – bold and political and warm – but firmly at the art-house end of the channel’s output. Everyone is delighted when it attracts an audience of more than 1 million.
The week begins with an epic clear-out of my extremely messy home office in time for a makeover. Marie Kondo I am not. What does spark joy, though, is a small brass plaque inside one of the fitted cupboards. It reads: “Specially installed for Lynne Perrie.” This is a reminder that soap history is literally in the walls here.
My working life was turned on its head nine years ago, the summer after I became a father. Presumably out of panic, I began two projects that were meant to run alongside my normal stand-up comedy, but these now dominate the working week.
My three children seem not to mind both ventures – for now, at least – and actually help on occasion.
We are currently filming the bulk of the eighth and ninth series of Taskmaster. What started as a one-night stand at the Edinburgh Fringe took on a life of its own – and took over mine.
This week, like most weeks, has been a little busy. And when I say, “a little busy”, I mean rushed-off-my-feet-no-time-to-sleep busy. I mean, is sleep really necessary?
I’m thinking, no, not really. Apart from the Bags for Life under my eyes, I am really happy, and every morning I wake up with a smile on my face. I still can’t believe that I get paid to make people laugh. I am living the dream.
Well, I only went and won an RTS! What a wonderful, unexpected bonus after making the most important piece of TV I’ve ever made. My Family, Partition and Me told the story of the Partition of India, the brutal end of the Raj. Not only my story, the story of millions. My motivation for making it was realising, based on the reaction to my Who Do You Think You Are?, how little people know about this momentous period in history.
It’s the party season but, rather than the usual dry sausage rolls and even drier quiche, BBC Scotland’s catering team pulled out the stops for the celebration of 10 years at PQ – that’s Pacific Quay to the uninitiated – on the River Clyde.
I have a love-hate relationship with the building. I love the architect, David Chipperfield, but the vast liner on the Clyde has often felt rather austere and underpopulated.
We made The Review Show there and, most memorably this year, it was the best and most modern-looking part of the BBC’s general-election night.
To quote the Pointer Sisters, “I’m so excited. And I just can’t hide it.” This is not just because I’m having a pre-Emmy Sunday brunch with my long-time mentor and general spirit guide, Andy Harries.
Or because my best friend and business partner, Matthew Justice, is on his way from LAX to meet us at Soho House, Malibu, where we plan to spend the afternoon drinking rosé and staring at Cindy Crawford and her mates.
It doesn’t. For inspiration, I look at Victoria’s own watercolours of Christmas at Windsor. Albert wanted to recreate the Christmases of his Coburg childhood and he put up a tree for each of their nine children, hanging them from the ceiling with tables, called altars, for presents underneath. For all their cosy, domestic image Victoria and Albert, weren’t afraid of a little bling.
The general election coincides with my completing six months at the BBC. There is so much about my old job, as editor of the Independent, that I miss. But, on the whole, I am glad to have made the move, not least because my belief in public broadcasting has grown exponentially.
And for one reason above all. Part – though far from all – of my job is doing news about News.
News – the real stuff, made up of facts, and selected through wise judgement – is in big trouble.
It’s the meetings that kill you. No one warns you about the bloody meetings. Not because they’re bad – more often than not they aren’t, but they trick your brain into thinking you’re doing work when you’re not, not really.
And it can be fun. Sometimes, it takes all I can muster to prevent myself leaning across the table, grabbing my meetee by the hands and whispering, “Thank you for saving me from a life of isolation and giving me an excuse to put on my trousers.”