Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Okay, so we all know that writers work in isolation, stuck in their garret with just a cup of tepid water and some mouldy bread for company. Poverty and loneliness and an inability to comment coherently on North Korea's nuclear weapons test go with the territory. Chances of making money from writing? Not very big. Such is our commitment to the written word, we scrape by, ignoring the bills and welcoming bankruptcy because that's what our heroes have done en route to finding an audience. That's the stereotype. And, it would appear, I am resorting to type. I have all the time in the world to write but I have no money and so, with no big bucks on the horizon, no word yet from the Arts Council re some funding and people demanding money from me, I must find some 'real' work. My fine education, a first class degree, no less, got me nowhere. I would have been better off, financially, had I remained in the building trade. Although my hands would be covered in hard skin and my arthritic fingers would be in a permanent locked state by now.

Call yesterday re writing something for The Guardian as part of their Super League Grand Final preview on Friday. Understandable, I thought, I have written two plays that centre around rugby league in Hull, plays that, in many ways, have revelled in the community spirit forged by sport and sporting rivalry. Got a bit excited. Then was told that they may want "a name". Also understandable. But how do you become "a name" if you're not allowed to stick your head above the parapet, especially when you're more than qualified to do the job? Roll on the next plays, which I'm chomping at the bit to get cracking on (although, if the 'real' job's kicked in by then I won't have the time to get them finished!) but awaiting the final go-ahead from people that matter. These plays will travel and might raise my profile beyond this city in which I choose to live.

I have often thought of ditching my glasses. I don't mind how I look in them, it's just that they're a bloody inconvenience, a bugger when it's raining, and they need cleaning on a regular basis (although beware scratching those lightweight lenses) and I get so wrapped up in life that I forget that until I'm deep in conversation with someone, attempt to establish eye contact and realise the lenses are coated in a layer of grimey fingerprints.
Former Coronation Street star and Sid Little look-a-like Kevin Kennedy also wants to ditch the glasses, although for different reasons. Typecast as geeky binman Curly Watts (a part he last played at least a decade ago), he reckons the new sans glasses Keving Kennedy will score a host of new gigs far-removed from his Street-role. However, when I read the news on Digital Spy, I did wonder why nobody had ever told Kevin that contact lenses have been available for years:

The actor, who played nerdy Curly Watts on the ITV1 soap, has underwent surgery to have tiny lenses fitted to his eyes, allowing him to be free from glasses for the first time in 43 years.

"It gives me the chance to do other parts - not just geeky guys with glasses," Kevin told The People. "It frees up my acting career. It's like being born again. It's brilliant - like seeing the world in cinemascope. Everything is so vivid, clear and panoramic."

Surely it's nothing like being born again, whichever way you look at being born again, whether spiritually or physically. Nor is seeing normally like seeing the world in the 20th Century Fox-invented Cinemascope, which merely simulates the three-dimensional world, has an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 rather than the full panoramic scope available to those of us with eyes and is also an outmoded method of filming and projection superseded by new technologies. Anyway, good luck Kevin - I think you'd make a really good, quirky, partially-sighted detective in an ITV Sunday drama.

Listening: Milburn - Well, Well, Well


bazza27 said...

I think I'm safe to come here without being followed. I feel fairly sure that a new blog will spring up fairly soon. You can tell Eldred, but no one else! Blog meet still on if you wish.

Stephen Newton said...

You've hit on something re. Kevin. Sunday nights are what former Coro St stars for for and it may even be safe enough for today's ITV.

Dave W said...

You're secret's safe with me, Bazza! And Stephen, of course, who may have read your comment. But no one else but Eldred will know.
I'm thinking, Stephen, that Kevin could probably hook up with his former screen wife Sarah Lancashire (is that the right county? I kept wanting to write Derbyshire for some reason) in something hideously unsexy.

Stephen Newton said...

How hungry do you need to get before you find yourself pitching this to the suits?

bazza27 said...

Eileen Derbyshire, I think plays Emily in Corrie, so there's your confusion sorted. (I'm embarrassed knowing that though)

Dave W said...

My people are already talking to his people and ITV's people, I'm that desperate. And, when I say my people, I mean my mother, who's got a stake in any money I make as I owe her so much.