An Open Letter of Gratitude and Apology

This is addressed to anyone who has shown any faith in me and my creative output, dear friends and associates who have supported me down the years. I have been trying hard to achieve something…anything that would be an affirmation that your tremendous belief in me had somehow paid dividends. I have been plugging away with my “comedy” writing over the years, especially with a certain Ben Bernard – twenty years this year! I’ve been creating little sketches and sketch shows for over thirty years, pretty much juvenile attempts to emulate my great comedy heroes. Rejection, fear and deep anxiety go with the territory, and as the great Dirk Maggs once told me, comedy is a serious business.

Buoyed by the spirit of faith, and with a sense of dogged determination, I have always kept diligently pressing on. Always nearby to the space in which I write is a picture of my Grandma and I in happy times, and I keep a little card with it containing a little poem ‘Don’t Quit’ it is a great sentiment, and I have held the concept dear. Where Mr Bernard is concerned, he would never quit – always determined to make some kind of impact on the world of comedy. Several well-known folks from the world of television and radio have been incredibly kind about dear old Ben, one famed magician even asking if there was a part for him. A successful composer and arranger who’d worked with the likes of Dusty Springfield and written scores to famous TV shows even offered to write a theme tune and gave me a lot of very, very useful feedback notes. It is sad that most of these lovely, talented people have passed on, never seeing the fruit of their sage advice and knowledge. “The funniest thing not on TV” is how one household name described one of my little pilot efforts. I’ve embraced as many different ways to get Ben and my other “comedy” material out there: podcasts, radio, animation, vlogs, short films, and even live stand-up in full costume.

Something is missing in the equation, and I have no idea what it is. The truth is I simply do not know what to do, how to proceed towards making my dreams a reality. Oh, I know technically how you are supposed to do it, sure that’s something you learn – and yes, I’ve tried that route. I know the vagaries of how you are supposed to try and get a project commissioned. It is all part of the game, the big media Monopoly or Game of Life. I’m not very good at games – I seldom win. I am coming to the conclusion that just like Ben Bernard I am one of life’s losers, perhaps with a misplaced faith that I have the talent to create funny things. This makes me feel that I have let a lot of people down terribly, and I am most dreadfully, sincerely sorry for not having what it takes to live up to any kindly conjured expectations. Just today I received some original artwork from my dear friend, mentor and collaborator, Geoff Motley, beautiful cartoons he’d taken the time to create for me and my luckless alter ego. They should be out there in the world, celebrated and animated, and the talented team who helped bring my radio pilot to life should be gainfully employed voicing the series I’ve so far failed to deliver. It is not ground-breaking, it doesn’t push any boundaries, nor does it pander to any particular demographic – my writing is just gentle, silly and at times a bit unreal (grotesque even), hopefully with universal appeal. Sadly that kind of thing is no longer wanted in a cynical and box ticking society.

I am incredibly, inestimably grateful to you all for years of kindness and belief. I will never forget the support I’ve received. I am far from certain where the story goes next. Perhaps it should end here and now? Time I got a “proper” job. Or perhaps I should just “stay on the bus” as another friend puts it so well. The price of the fare feels a little too high just at present, and there’s no timetable, or route map.

Thank you once again, I am blessed to have followed my dreams this far.

Warmest Regards,

(And Ben Bernard, et al)

Media Creative: Voice Artist, performer, supporting artiste, writer, broadcaster and stage 'Goon'! Lover of comedy, film music and a pot of Darjeeling.

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