Another day of sifting through shipping timetables and arranging matters for further down the line. The most (de)pressing of which is what the hell is happening with Series 2 of my TV show. Well, some of you know the ins-and-outs of this, but most of you don’t. To cut a long story short, I was well and truly stitched up by the Powers That Be concerning Series 1. Criminally so, in my opinion. If I tell you that I have, to date, been paid less than £1,500 per episode for a show that’s been on heavy rotation for almost 2 years you might understand where I’m coming from, especially if you live in one of the fifty countries that my show has been repeated a zillion times on Nat Geo Adventure.
Please understand that I’m not doing this for TV, I’m doing The Odyssey Expedition for its own sake, as well as hoping to convince any would-be adventurers out there that travelling the world is not as dangerous or expensive as Fox News would have you believe. But still, fair’s fair and I’m pretty sure I’m the worst paid producer/director/cameraman/presenter in the world right now. Unfortunately for me (there’s more!) the status of all the footage I’ve shot since one minute past midnight on Jan 1 2010 has never been clarified. Can I take it to an independent production company? Can I make another series myself on my laptop? Can I just stick it on the internet? What do I call it?
Last week in Hong Kong, my agent and I tried to get a straight answer… and it looks like they might be willing to set me free. If so, then the second series of my TV show, covering my journey from Egypt to New Zealand and back to Liverpool will – one way or another – be available for you all to watch before the end of the year. A production company in Liverpool who I’ve worked with before are keen to take it on (as 90% of it has already been filmed, it is what most people would call ‘a no brainer’) and you’ll be pleased to hear that series 2 will be in High Def, with bespoke music and no droning voice-over (save that of little ol’ me). I’ll be taking on the role of series editor and, ya know, even it we only sell it for a single series run to Botswana Television, I’ll still (finally) make my money back.
(Of course I’m planning to make millions from my best-selling memoir about how the most beloved corporations in the world screwed me over. It’ll be called ‘Stabbed In The Backpack’. And let that be a lesson to ya – TRUST NOBODY. I wish I’d paid more attention to the goddamn X-Files.)
Before I knew it, it was time to hit the town. Gavin Mac, a long-time contributor to this blog (as much as Statler and Waldorf are ‘contributors’ to the Muppet Show), was out in Bangkok and so I headed over to Soi Cowboy to meet with him. There was a whopping traffic jam on the way over there and the ride took well over half and hour. For some reason, Gav had arranged to meet me in some pub whose live band were massacring The Beatles in between bouts of Country and Western. After wandering around in vain FOR AN HOUR (thanks a bunch, Gav Mac!) I gave up and took a taxi back to Khao San. I had no sooner sat down and bought a 20 baht (that’s 40 pence) can of beer than Gav rang to ask where the hell I was.
You know, the fact that Gav always posts without a photo and that Gavin Mac isn’t even his real name really put the onus on HIM to find ME, don’t you think? I flatly refused to return to Soi Cowboy (a seedy place full of old white men looking for company) and so the mountain came to Mohammed.
It wasn’t long before we were accompanied by some delightful Irish girls and a Kiwi whose family came from Somalia – his cousin was a pirate, before being killed by the Russians. He told me he had never met anyone who knew so much about the situation in Somalia. I guess that’s why it’s in the state it is in – where are the George Clooneys of the world where Somalia’s concerned? Out of sight, out of mind – it’s painfully true.
The night rapidly descended into chaos. Gav Mac was an early casualty, as was one of the Irish girls who resorted to chucking her guts up over the road. I definitely remember Chelsea beating the Germans at penalties (which, come on, was a treat, even if it was the southern softies), after that my memory flickers and wanes. I did wake up the next day wearing a bracelet with ‘I HAVE BAD AIDS’ embroidered onto it in big friendly letters. Nice.