Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

Archive for the ‘The rest of my life!’ Category

Duck at Aldershot Station

Posted by Phil On October - 26 - 2013


… wonder if it was going to Virginia Water

Ebay are stalking me?

Posted by Phil On June - 11 - 2013

It’s really weird.For the last week Ebay have been emailing me their deal of the day.” Soft slow close white WC toilet sest with 5 year guarantee new”
Is it just a coincidence that I’ve been making a film about a toilet? ..and tweeting, texting, emailing and facebooking (is that a verb?) about toilets. If so how does Ebay know.
I only bought John Lennon glasses, sd cards and some lighting from toilet’ery stuff.
#puzzled #suspicious #paranoid

George Osborne, Loose Women and unreliable audiences?

Posted by Phil On September - 11 - 2012

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,  got resoundly booed by 80,000 people last week. He looked embarrassed..  a few hours earlier I had also been embarrassed as I found myself in  the front row of the audience for the new series of ITVs live transmission of Loose Women. I was wildly clapping and cheering the panelists.

So how had I managed to end up on daytime telly apparently in paroxysms of excitement over 4 mid aged women?   ..Are they famous? celebrities?

Well we were walking down the South Bank, on our way to the Paralympics. (the scenic route) when we were approached by a stranger who I assumed was going to sell me English lessons, cut price dining out or convert me. But instead it transpired that he was a member of the production crew for ITVs Loose Women, which was transmitting in 15 minutes and they had lost a coach load of audience.  Could we help? When I looked dubious he offered us a bribe of audience tickets for Jonathan Ross.  This was obviously a big deal for him, but I still looked unsure. But he was obviously desperate and we had an hour to kill, so we agreed to take part.

After we were rushed in, the audience were soon whipped up to a frenzy of excitement. Though the audience manipulator ..warm up guy..  grumbled that he had only 10 minutes and not his normal 20 minutes to work on us. “Let’s give them the X Factor reception” he enthused.

But despite my embarrassment at acting like an incontinent teenager at a “who-ever is the latest celebrity” concert,  I duly followed his ever more frantic exhortation and clapped till my hands were sore and cheered till my throat was sore.

ITV Loose women audience

Having been on the the production team for similar TV shows, it was fascinating being on the receiving end. I had, as a TV floor manager, had to warm up audiences years ago. I wasn’t very good. My British reserve, wet Sunday afternoons and trying to inspire coach loads of pensioners from Eastbourne made it hard work.

So as I sat in the audience, trying to keep my cool detachment, to prove I’m not really a daytime telly person, whilst cheering, whooping and Aaah.. ing  on cue.  …and despite my reservations the panelists were actually quite amusing quite good. I suppose the wildly enthusiastic audience helps persuade the TV audience at home that they are watching something exceptional. Unlike non audience laughter shows like “The Thick of It” where you have to listen and pay attention to figure out what is funny.

So after leaving the TV Studio, we went onto the Paralympics to  a packed 80,000 full stadium. It was a delight to be part of the  audience that had a mind of its own. They cheered the winners (especially the Brits) and even more enthusiastically cheered the last two in the 1500 metres, who had been lapped twice and came in many minutes after the winner.

But when it came to the announcement that George Osborne was going to give out medals and the audience decided to resoundly boo him, ( shouldn’t have cut disability payments, George),  he looked even more embarrassed than I did in the Loose Women show.

George Osborne at Paralympics

I bet he wished he’s had an audience manipulator.

BBC Television Centre Sold

Posted by Phil On July - 17 - 2012
I only worked at Television Centre  occasionally.  I frequently got lost… It was circular so if you kept walking you ended up back where you started. Weird! You ran into all sorts of people. I remember going up to work with Ken Morse. The food in the canteen was to die for..   I’m kidding.
But it was the most wonderful place. …and I believe that in the future the sale will be seen as terrible mistake.
It was a magical factory of creativity despite the design. As Alan White says …
“Everything about the building is stupid, and no doubt  commentators who love to lay into the institution would see much that’s telling (on this subject, I always feel those who moan about left-wing bias have never worked here, where everything is chaotic, last minute – the very notion the corporation is organised enough to insert systematic prejudice into its reports is hard to swallow).”
Here’s the official announcement

The BBC has confirmed the sale of the most iconic building in UK television history, with the announcement that Stanhope, a property developer, is to buy Television Centre in west London for about £200m.

BBC director-general Mark Thompson said that the deal was sealed after the First Night of the Proms last Saturday.

…and if you want to see what all the fuss is about watch this wonderful documentary.