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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sometimes I get quite annoyed with the BBC. Particularly when they assume that everyone has digital, and no one lives in little Suffolk villages beyond the range of Freeview.

It turns out that on March 19th the BBC launched a competition called The Last Laugh, which challenged people to write the last ten minutes of a sit-com script, from a choice of 8 scripts started by some of the funniest writers in the business. And Carla Lane.

Now, I admit I was in Oklahoma at the time (the state, not the musical), but even if I had been here, I STILL would've missed it, because the BBC in their wisdom have decided to limit this contest to viewers of BBC Three, a channel I have little chance of receiving without a satellite dish, some scaffolding, and let's face it, money. Which is just not good enough. I PAY MY LICENCE FEE, DAMMIT!

Sorry, for a moment there I thought I was back at the ASA website.

Anyhoo, it's ok. The BBC did repeat the Last Laugh launch programme on BBC1. At midnight last night. Four weeks after the competition started. With no trailers beforehand.

And when's the closing date? May 6th. So people like me, who just might be interested in entering such a competition, have to rely on the good fortune of coming across this programme in the middle of the night, after which they then have three weeks (instead of the intended seven) to read through eight scripts, select one, decide on a plan of action, and write 2,300 words of comedy.

Have I mentioned that I pay my licence fee? Oh good.

So anyway, there I was on my way to bed, when I happened to flip TV channels to BBC1. After which I sat there til the programme finished at 1am, went online and printed out the book of scripts (yes, all 255 pages of it), and sat up til 4am panicking that due to prior commitments I actually only have about six days to do this.

On top of that, reading's a challenge at the best of times, so I can't really be expected to read through more than one of the scripts. Meaning I've had to forego careful selection in favour of the tried and trusted method of blindfold, pin, and the words "that'll do".

So the lucky winner is 'Annie's People' by Ian Pattison. It's the only one I've managed to read more than a page of.