A little Christmas cracker

A busy few weeks filming Jack Whitehall's 'Daddy's Little Princess' for Sky's Xmas Little Cracker series. I play the Daddy of the title - and Archie Lyndhurst plays the young Jack aged eleven. The first time I've ever played someone I actually know - the extraordinary agent and producer Michael Whitehall - and I hope I did him justice. A lovely script and production team, with Jack himself playing a modern day Robin Hood.

Then off down to the BBC's new and wonderfully proportioned 'production hub' in Cardiff. Casualty is relaunching down there and I revisited for an episode after an absence of some considerable time. It is all very impressive and moral seems very high on the show. It's certainly got a fantastic standing set and facilities to play with and the whole studio complex is alive with creativity - Upstairs Downstairs is filming there also.

Didn't have time to visit Port Talbot to try and trace some of my mum's family roots, but fell in love with Cardiff and its very friendly welcome.


The leaves are falling!

So that was summer. Michael Frayn's 'Alarms and Excursions' now over and the delight of being home knows very few bounds. Having a break from theatre for a while and starting several new projects all at once. Move into my little office in Portobello this week to develop three new projects for tv and one for radio. Very daunting, but action will finally take precedents over sitting around talking about it for months on end. Luckily I have a very efficient and pro-active indie company looking after the bits I don't understand - namely most of it - and hopefully I can just get down to business. Have asked for a basketball net to be placed in the room so I can do that cliche slam-dunk thing whilst fine tuning Bafta award winning concepts. If not possible, they have a very nice latte making machine in the basement to challenge me both mentally and physically. 

So hopefully, a bit of balance work-wise betwixt acting and writing over the autumn/winter months. That's the theory anyhooo... 


The day and night job.

Been a busy time, thank goodness. Filming Doc Martin and New Tricks as well as touring Michael Frayn's 'Alarms and Excursions'. Amy starts rehearsals today for Mrs Johnstone in the West End and Betsy appeared as the 'Old Woman' in her school play last night, while her sister performed her dance routines in a show on Saturday. Their brother had a break from the call of show-biz to enjoy his birthday weekend with a visit to ten-pin bowling at MK and the Dr Who Experience in London. The summer hols start next week, so the plate spinning logistics of life become even more interesting.


Seven months later!

Time just flies by these days. Too much has happened over the last half year to go into great details. The biggest and most tragic event being the death of the great John Sullivan. A wonderful man and dear friend, blessed with a beautiful family and a genius talent. 



Mid-term work prospects.

A busy time, I'm glad to say, on the future job front. A rather big, posh comedy play currently running in the West End has come into the frame. It would knock everything else I'd planned after Christmas on the head, but it is a massive tax bill paying remedy. Under big pressure from certain quarters to count my lucky stars etc. In tough times I am aware that this is a luxury in my game, but am not at all sure my heart would be in it.

Writing commitments coming along at the gallop. New half hour comedy pilot undergoing key-hole surgery. Enjoying it greatly.

Detective pilot getting a little more gruesome with each script conference. Fighting the demand for more blood.

Sondheim Concert for Opera Seven - for whom I am directing Sweeney Todd next year - in December. Am dusting my larynx off and calling in favours from much more talented singers than myself.

Finish Rock and Chips in a couple of weeks. it's been great fun revisiting the pervy Ernie Raynor.

Christmas just around the corner. A plethora of Panto's to visit, but not to be in - thank the Lord!