This Great TV Idea was brought to you from the head of James Brigden
Newton’s famous eureka moment came when he was sitting ‘neath an apple tree, reading a book about philosophy or something; Einstein’s great ideas came from… well, he worked in a patent office, clearly he skanked his ideas from other dudes; and literary genius Hemingway used to undertake his creative process in the pub, getting fucked.
My eureka moment happened on the 08.18 to Cambridge (I was sitting next to an obese gentleman who smelt of bacon, and I had one of those horrible moments where your tool pokes through the hole in your boxers and you have to discreetly wrench it back in).
Anyway! We now arrive promptly (unlike my train that day) to the point of the article. I’ve come up with a brilliant new programme for Channel 4 to produce in order to keep up with the recent trend for dramas based around a charismatic shop founder. BBC had The Paradise, a tedious pisspot of a drama where a tall, sexified, dark, beardy bloke with incredulous business acumen and a penchant for fucking anything that moves flogs pricey textiles to high society. ITV has Mr Selfridge (for description, see above description of The Paradise).
My idea is going to attempt to emulate some of the same basic characteristics of the aforementioned rival programmes, but with a ‘modern’ twist, shall we say.
It’s called ShillingLand and it’s about a bloke called Johnny Paradise, the founder of ShillingLand, an Edwardian equivalent of today’s pound discount store.
“This will be the greatest store in all London!” he bellows to his new recruits. “Full of tacky shit and cheap discarded crap from the very best designers’… rejects and damaged stocks!!” he booms to his new staff and rich backers.
“Good morning, Mr Paradise,” the staff say on the opening morning.
“No,” he replies. “This store will be different. This store will change the face of retailing. We will have them in here in their droves, Mr Poncey-Clerk-Type. ‘Good morning’ is too old-fashioned! We are to ignore our customers! And we are to employ only the most ignorant and gormless assistants and give them the least amount of training possible,” Paradise asserted, his arms outstretched, looking all Edwardian and stuff.
“Incredible, sir! You are indeed a maverick and a trailblazer!” a sycophantic manager comments.
He then creates a stir once again by suggesting that the chocolates be moved to the front of the store, so as to tempt the lazy cheap-arse present buyer on special occasions.
But, all is not what it seems. All the shop girls fancy Mr Paradise, naturally. But they are all fucking each other! Shocking. One of the girls has domestic problems but doesn’t like to mention them at work, and another makes all the all other girls jealous because she is so steaming hot and competent. And by steaming hot and competent we mean, in this case, that she’s called Jade, her face is reasonably normal, and she can get her hair the straightest ‘cause she has porcelain GHDs innit, the fuckin’ slag! That is clearly the one Paradise chooses to fuck one night in the stockroom.
Anyway, I’m preparing my pitch as we speak and I hope that the execs at C4 will like the concept. It is a clear winner in my book.
In all seriousness, though, both Mr Selfridge and The Paradise are astronomically, breathtakingly, hand-over-eyes, diabolical. Nick Moran in the former is the only redeeming feature, and the tidy blonde sort in the latter made it watchable by a percentile. Geez, give me strength!