In case you missed it on the BBC the other night, here's an extract from Paul Abbot's RTS Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture 2005
Paul Abbott – ‘What Do You Want To Watch Tomorrow?’
“The commonest mitigation for drama being bland or inoffensive – that ‘the audience can’t assimilate complex storytelling’ - is a shameful self-fulfilling prophecy that is actually quite simple to remedy. If you wouldn’t watch it yourself, why on earth bother making it? And for that matter, why bother working in drama at all?
Far too often, we witness low-rent, low-ambition drama being hailed for its viewing figures. Without a concerted and determined drive for quality and creative thinking, we in the entertainment-supply industry deserve to be spurned for our negligence.
But the battle isn’t lost yet. The audience is still out there somewhere, gagging for a few high-protein nuggets to tempt them home. The solution is easy, it’s more exciting than the current model and, unlike any other commercial investment on earth, this solution is free. Raising the bar of modern drama is a cost-free imperative to secure future viewers.”
Paul began his writing career in 1984 on Coronation Street. Since then he has brought more than a hundred hours of drama to our screens, from Cracker, Reckless, Touching Evil, Clocking Off and Linda Green to his recent hits State of Play and Shameless.
-- And The Stage interview Stephen Poliakoff, who recently won an Emmy for his BBC mini-series The Lost Prince.