Stories from the Studio: When to say No!

Angela & Friends

The show was ‘Angela & Friends’ for Sky One. It’s was a live, studio-based daily afternoon show. I was the series editor. The budget was tiny and the team even tinier. It was a matter of all hands to the pump at all times just to survive the punishing schedule and tight deadlines. It was not a situation to pull rank or claim dispensation from getting your hands dirty.

We couldn’t afford to pay professional models for the fashion features, nor did we have much time to find suitable case studies for demonstration items. When the team weren’t working all hours to get the next live episode together they were actually on the show as models, case studies and other creative forms of adornment (including a memorable day when a cake was delivered on set to a celebrity by the Birthday Bear!).

The assistant producer on the beauty demonstration item was desperate for someone to model the latest inch loss treatment live on the show.

“I’ll do it is you really can’t find anyone”. I didn’t want her to suffer any more stress the evening before the show.

She really couldn’t find anyone.

It would involve being filmed virtually naked having product-impregnated bandages wrapped all around the hips, thighs, waist and the rest of it. These would be left on for an hour before unwrapping and remeasuring the offending body parts. What sane and sensible woman (of a certain age) would even consider volunteering for such exposure on live TV? Let alone the boss, part of whose job was to engender respect and instil a sense of professionalism into the operation.

This was a bad idea.

It got worse. I was then informed that the new Head of Business and Finance at Sky Television was coming to visit the show for the first time. I could hardly greet him dressed only in flimsy badages like some kind of Egyptian mummy.

Inch Loss Treatment

Could I pretend I was not me?

Oh – and also that day I was to meet every member of the team to discuss their contract for the series extension. I could hardly hire, fire and negotiate with any sense of professionalism while in a towelling robe or after having my flabby bits analysed on live TV.

How did I get myself into this situation? I wanted to help but there has to be a limit to the definition of supporting your team.

The AP took pity on me and found a more suitable candidate at the last minute. Teamwork is good, teamwork is to be encouraged but be careful how far you take it…..


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