So a little while back I was one of several writers tapped up by Graham Linehan to help him tackle series five of his hit, nifty-ass sitcom ‘The IT Crowd’. Work was done, some of it even good work, but in the end Graham decided he wasn’t going to go ahead with a new run, he wanted to move on to fresh challenges. This, whilst on the one hand being a total son-of-a-bitch for a new, nobody writer like me excited to be involved in such a massive project, was also completely understandable. I suppose. I’m not ashamed to admit I sulked for almost ten minutes upon receiving the news. Anyway, it was great to work with such talented people on a show I love, and to get that nod of approval from a comedy writing hero.
And I got paid a big chunk of change, some of which I spent on the laptop I’m using right now, the rest went on prostitutes. So I win. I WIN. Plus, it really helped me get to the next stage in my career. Which, oddly, looked exactly like the previous stage in my career. DAMN.
Anyway, I thought I might share the initial very quick pitch ideas that my agent punted over to team-I.T. that got them interested in maybe using me in the first place. I look at some of them now and wonder what on Earth I was thinking, but what the hell, they obviously did the job:
10 ‘IT CROWD’ IDEAS
• Roy is mugged by Nicholas Lyndhurst.
• JEN finds herself dating an optical illusion. Sat down, he’s apparently normal sized and Clooney handsome; stood up, he barely scrapes her midriff. When Jen’s friends are bowled over by the seated man, she determines to hang on to him, if only she can make sure he’s sat down at all times.
• Moss, mocked for his head bush, becomes hopelessly addicted to ceramic hair straighteners.
• To win a gentleman’s bet Douglas must have breast implants fitted for a month; this leads to very confused feelings for Roy.
• Becky is the hot new temp in the building that Roy is immediately in lust with. Unfortunately, Becky is also the name of the new born baby one of the Reynholm employees has brought in to show off. When asked about Becky, people are understandably taken aback by Roy’s graphic response.
• Jen has gone for a brave new, on trend look, with more masculine clothes and a shorter, boyish haircut. When she is papped on her way to work, she’s flattered, assuming it’s some fashion mag; that is until the picture appears in Heat Magazines ‘Spotted’ section identifying her as Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley). She’s understandably furious, until she starts tasting the glamorous, no limits lifestyle of The Weasley.
• Moss has a secret sideline, as the author of gently erotic, Mills &
Boon-esque fiction for frustrated middle-aged housewives.
• Jen discovers she has a natural propensity for playing classic arcade game ‘Flapple’, and, with little else to fill her office hours, decides to attempt to beat the world record high score; a record held since 1993, it turns out, by one Maurice Moss. Moss may have gone soft and lost his ‘Flapple’ edge, getting by in the cut throat world of classic arcade gaming on reputation alone, but he’s not about to let his record fall without a Machiavellian plan of evil proportions.
• Roy is proudly dating a published chef; not that he’s read or even bothered to find out the title of her horrifying book, ‘Roadkill With Ramona’.
• Moss is trying to learn a foreign language, so far only mastering one phrase. This phrase unfortunately happens to be the correct reply to a code question posed to Moss when he is confronted by a shady South American gent with a gun filled briefcase.