SABRINA Pay attention team because I’ve got some very important newses. We are salon of the year! TANISHA Wales’ least active salon of the year? SABRINA No, awards-wise: we are Clipadvisor’s Salon of the Year. TANISHA Really?! Us? How exciting! How?! SABRINA Oi! What do you mean how?
So we wrote way back in 2016 and now, just 3 short years later, Foiled has been nominated (Hold on, we haven’t won?) for best radio comedy at the highly prestigious Celtic Media Awards.
Compared to theatre, writing for the radio is a strange experience. We write the scripts, have a laugh recording them, listen to the broadcast with butterflies in our stomachs and then – nothing.
No one reviews radio comedy. No one gives us the listener figures. We have no idea how the show’s gone down with our audience – or even if there was an audience. We have no idea which episodes – or even jokes – worked for our listeners, which didn’t, and why.
In Bird By Bird, Anne Lamott paints a pretty picture of this eternal, gaping, yawning silence. She’s writing about book publishing, but it seems to me that the sense of emptiness and craving is the same for radio.
There will be a few book-signing parties and maybe some readings, at one of which your publisher will spring for a twenty-pound wheel of runny Brie, and the only person who will show has lived on the street since he was twelve and even he will leave, because he hates Brie.
So it’s wonderful for something, some acknowledgement and approbation, to come crawling out of the ether and say: YOU DID A THING AND WE LIKED IT.
The nomination cites my personal favourite episode from the last series, starring Miles Jupp as Richie’s dad. Sitting across from Miles as he read out words that I’d written was one of the most thrilling events of my life last year.
There is nothing more rewarding for a writer than to watch a talented actor rub your words together and make sparks fly until the whole thing catches fire.
But where do we go now, now we’ve been nommed by the Celtic Media Awards? Will the Celtic imprimatur spur us to write ever funnier scripts – or will we become complacent, crippled by our glory like Wet Wet Wet after Four Weddings came out?
I guess I can turn to Anne Lamott again:
The fact of publication is the acknowledgement from the community that you did your writing right. You acquire a rank that you never lose. Now you’re a published writer, and you are in that rare position of getting to make a living, such as it is, doing what you love best. That knowledge does bring you a quiet joy. But eventually you have to sit down like every other writer and face the blank page.
For now, big love to everyone for supporting Foiled. I’ll get Beth to give you a shout out in her acceptance speech. (Hold on, we still haven’t won?)