Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Radio Times...

Well, this is a nice list to be in...

... of course, you don't have to use the catch up service... you can also watch it on telly. There's a new episode on tonight as it happens.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Mickypedia... and a Taskmaster shirt

Well I've been blown away by the response to episode 1 of series 4... thanks to everyone that has been in touch. Doing live continuity on the night sure makes it fly by...

I'm going to try and keep this relatively spoiler-free... but if you haven't seen the show yet - and want to, well it's repeated on Saturday night at 10... or you can watch it on UKTVPlay, here.

It's often the case with these shows that a lot of people ask the same question... and the nature of social media means that it doesn't matter how many times you answer it... the answer never gets seen by everyone. I like to try and reply to people if I can... and sometimes the easiest way is to put an answer here. I know people will still ask it... but at least I'll have something I can link to by way of reply.

And with this episode, the thing people most want to know about is Mickypedia...

So, to answer your questions... we couldn't have an obvious camera in the green room because its presence would have flagged up that something unusual was going on. But we did have a small, hidden camera in there capturing something. But we haven't used it for very good reasons.

Firstly... that first episode is absolutely packed. There isn't really anything we can cut to make room for it... and what you see on the show is what the audience in the venue saw.

Secondly, Micky is a smart chap. Imagine you were him. Play the show through in your mind... and imagine being him watching it unfold. The moment that makes the audience gasp in shock and delight, isn't the moment he realises what's been going on... if you're him and you know what he knows, there have been plenty of clues before that. And there isn't really a way of playing the moment he does realise into the show because at that point the audience hasn't yet got the full picture.

I suppose what people are really interested in, is seeing how Micky reacted when I came into the Green Room after the show was finished. The truth is he took it very well. I think people in that situation are mainly pleased that things finally make sense. And there was obviously no malice involved, indeed it was all done with a great deal of affection. I think the fact that it had spiralled beyond its original target and become something bigger - made it feel like it wasn't just about him.

But Micky's first reaction was, "I'm not having my face anywhere near it... and please don't put my surname in." And I think he's wise to think that way. It's a courtesy we always afford to people who's tweets or facebook posts we use.... assuming they're not celebs anyway. Because we don't want them to have to deal with people getting in touch - for good or bad reasons. And Micky's no different. He's very happy that it happened... but doesn't want to deal with the fall out every time the show is on. And that's fair enough!

Oh, if you're on my mailing list, you might remember that, throughout the previous three series I've given away various bits and pieces from the show from time to time. I've had a few people asking if I'm going to do the same this year. And seeing as you've asked... yes I will.

I'll start with the next episode... and seeing as there's no obvious thing to give away from episode 1, I'll give away one of my Taskmaster shirts instead.

The one in this photo...

At which point, I expect a few people who watched the series will say, "hang on, Dave... didn't you take a knife to that shirt? Hasn't that shirt been cut up and distributed to far flung corners of West London?"

To which the answer is... "that did happen to an identical shirt... but it wasn't actually that shirt."

The thing with Taskmaster is that the tasks happen over several days spread across various months. I'd spend a day at the house doing various tasks by myself alone (well, with a camera crew and Alex) and the others would all do the same. And when that's happening, they don't know which tasks will sit together in which episodes. And so the easiest thing is for everyone to have a particular outfit that they wear for all of those filming days. And because the tasks are sometimes messy - for example, one of them involved some people rolling in goose poo - it's essential to have more than one outfit so that you can change into something less goose-poo-y. So I had more than one of those shirts.

And the publicity shots were taken after the tasks... so I know that the one I'm offering up as a prize is the one I was wearing that day. Phew, I think that's clear.

Some people ask me why I do it via the mailing list rather than, say, on Twitter. The reason is... I don't want to use the competitions to spread the word about the show. Obviously, I'm delighted if people want to spread the word about the show - but doing so because you want to means much more than doing so because you want to win a prize. And it's not exactly a big prize. In fact, I think it's medium. But you know what I mean. I don't want to generate a load of twitter spam.

I also think it's nice to do things uniquely for those on the mailing list. So if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning that shirt... or you just want to have advance notice of what I'm up to, or when tickets are released for series 5 etc etc... then you can sign up below. 

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Monday, November 7, 2016

(Not Humble) Bragging

There have been some nice previews for the new series. Please forgive me for the non-humble bragging that goes along with sharing these things... but, y'know, months of work goes into the series so it would be a bit perverse to not try and persuade some people to watch it...

"He handles his audience like a DJ at a club, beginning with a thoughtful set about guilty pleasures before building to a story about a complicated trick he once played on a know-all friend known as Micki-Pedia, the punchline of which has the audience gasping with delight." Victoria Segal, The Sunday Times.

'"King of PowerPoint comedy" isn’t a viciously contested mantle, but Gorman deserves praise for having mastered his craft…He has a pleasing streak of curmudgeon, and is as skilled with a comic callback as he is with his slides: his climatic anecdote about an online quiz is sublime.' Jack Seale, The Guardian

“The man is at his funniest when at his most exasperated or expressing amused disbelief, partly because his voice goes up several octaves, so we’re looking forward to plenty more of that over the course of six episodes”
Jason Arnopp, Heat  ★★★★

"We're not entirely sure what to call Dave Gorman's Modern Life Is Goodish. The part stand-up, part storytelling, part experiment show is hard to define, but we do know it makes us laugh out loud."
Daily Star, Big TV.

And the show has been 'pick of the day' in the Guardian Guide, the Daily Mail’s Weekend, Mail On Sunday's Event magazine, The Times, The Sunday Times, the Sun’s TV Magazine, the Mirror’s We Love TV, People and RTE’s Guide as well as ‘digital choice’ in the Telegraph.


Have I mentioned that the series starts on Tuesday night. At 10pm. On Dave.

The idiots are even letting me back in to do the live continuity on the night again...

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday, Tuesday, Sunday.

First of all, a big thank you to everyone for being so understanding about my poor health and the knock on effect its had on the production of Series 4 of Modern Life Is Goodish.

A few people have asked if it means the series will be returning later than originally planned... and the answer to that is that it won't. While we're taping the final episodes a couple of weeks later than originally scheduled, we'll still be delivering the series by our original deadline. So it won't affect the broadcast dates.

That said, I'm not sure when the first episode is scheduled to broadcast, as yet. But it will be on this year. The reason it's starting later than in previous years is that we started work on it later than in previous years - and that's on account of the Gorbaby.

In other news, it seems that lots of things I recorded at different times during this year are all about to be broadcast in relatively quick succession. In the next seven days there are three. One was filmed in April, another in May - but also in December 2015, January, February and March of this year - and the third was taped in September.

First up, is Dara O'Briain's Go 8 Bit.

Those of you who came along to the last Goodish recording will know that I don't really do computer games. That said, I am a big fan of McNeil and Pamphilon - who are the team captains and creators of this show.

I've booked them for my Screen Guild gigs in the past and have been along to watch their live show many times. The fact that I know nothing about the computer games world but still love that show probably proves something or other... but really, I just don't think the success or failure of a comedy is ever really to do with what it's about.

For what it's worth, I did make sure that they knew I was almost completely ignorant about computer games before I said yes, so they did know what a complete ignoramus they were taking ob.

I already can't remember what happened in the show, other than I came away from it seriously thinking about buying a console. Then I didn't buy one and the feeling soon passed. Anyway, it was huge fun to do... and it's on tonight at 10pm. On Dave.

Meanwhile, tomorrow night, sees the start of Series 3 of Taskmaster. This will be on Tuesday nights at 10pm for the next five weeks. Also on Dave.

This was such a joy to do - in part, I think, because it's such a contrast to how I normally work.

When I'm doing a live show - or Modern Life Is Goodish - I'm running a powerpoint presentation.

My tour shows normally contain between 600 and 800 slides. An episode of the TV show normally contains between 300 and 400. When I press the remote control the next slide - or sequence of slides - appears. And the order can't change. So that's 100s of tiny moments - one every ten seconds or so - that have been planned in advance and that have to run in a given order. It is - and makes no pretence at being otherwise - planned in great detail in advance.

On Taskmaster, nothing is planned in advance. At least not by the contestants. None of us - for series 3 it's Al Murray, Paul Chowdry, Rob Beckett, Sara Pascoe and myself - ever knew what a task would entail until we opened the envelope on camera. We all did our tasks in isolation. Apart from on one day when there were some team tasks. On any given day I was probably set six or seven tasks. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But it was only in the studio that we would find out how our fellow contestants had approached each task and - given how many weeks had elapsed since we'd actually done the things - there were many times when I had no idea how I'd done until I saw the tape play out in the studio.

There are moments of awful embarrassment as well as occasional, odd triumphs along the way. But my main recollection of the recordings is simply of laughing. Because taking part in Taskmaster means getting the best seat in the house to watch Taskmaster from.

And finally - for now - The Chase; the kind of show that seems like a good idea... right up until you first step up to the plate to face your first questions... at which point, it seems like a very bad idea indeed. My team mates were Nigel Havers, Melinda Messenger and Michelle Hardwick and the team spirit turned it into a good day out - but I can't tell you much more about what happened because on a show like The Chase, everything's a spoiler.

There is at least one moment where I make a bit of an arse of myself so let me say this in advance: I didn't hear the year!

Oh, and my chosen charity was, as always, Shelter.

In brief... should you want to catch - or avoid - any of the following, this is when they're on...

Monday, October 3rd, 10pm on Dave: Dara O'Briain's Go 8 Bit.

Tuesday, October 4th, 10pm on Dave: Taskmaster. (And every Tuesday night up to and including November 1st, for that matter)

Sunday, October 9th, 7pm on ITV: The Chase

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

From my sickbed...

As some of you who have bought tickets for the dry runs in Cambridge will already know, I'm not very well. I can't remember the last time I had to cancel a show due to ill-health... but I guess it happens to all of us. My apologies to anyone who had bought tickets.

Unfortunately, the nature of these shows - they were dry runs in advance of the next recording for Series 4 of Modern Life Is Goodish - means that missing them has a knock-on effect. 

I don't write scripts for what I do - I build powerpoint. When I'm putting the slides together I have an idea in my head as to what I want to communicate; the point I'm making and where I think the funny is... but I find that if I try to learn a script it comes out sounding second hand. I no longer sound like someone with a story to tell to an audience, more like someone with a thing to recite in front of an audience.

Which is why I do the dry runs. It's on stage at those shows that the 'writing' happens. That's where I find the words. It's also where I do the editing; cutting or adding stuff each night until I have a show that works in four parts that roughly fit in the holes required to make the telly show. In short, the dry runs aren't a luxury, they're how the show is written.

Unfortunately, I'm not just ill enough to stop me from travelling to Cambridge and performing... I'm also too ill to sit at a desk for 8 hours powerpointing each day. (What do you mean, that's not a verb? It is now.) 600+ slides take time to build and get right.

Which means that right now - no part of the writing process is happening. The powerpoint doesn't exist and can't be created by someone else because that's how I write material. And the words don't exist because I'm not able to go on stage and find the words. And so, even if I am well enough to walk, talk and think on Sunday - and I hope I will be - there won't be two hours of new material for me to perform because the writer is currently off sick. (That's me. I know you got it... but... well, y'know...)

So as well as cancelling these three dry runs in Cambridge, we've also had to postpone the next recording. And schedule three new dry runs to make sure there are two shows to record. We tried to find dates that worked in Cambridge as that would have been the easiest way of trying to make things as right as we can with those who have bought tickets... but sadly that wasn't possible.

So with apologies for everyone that's been inconvenienced, here's what it means for various folks.

If you had a ticket for the shows on September 25th, 27th or 30th, tickets will be refunded. Contact the venue if you don't hear from them.

If you had a ticket for the recording on Sunday, October 2nd, you should have received an email from TVRecordings with details on how to rebook for the new date if you can. Obviously we want those people to have first dibs. The new date is Monday, October 17th.

If you want to come to one of the new dry runs: They're in Fareham - at the lovely Ashcroft Arts Centre.Those dates are: October 10th, 12th and 15th and you can get tickets for those here.

Once again, I apologise to those who are inconvenienced. Trust me; moving a recording is a big decision that isn't taken lightly... we really don't have a choice.

And now... on doctor's orders, I sleep.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Apologies... oh, also, the mailing list has been fixed...

It seems a lot of people were left frustrated by my last post... with many of you accusing me of posting clickbait... sometimes in jest, and sometimes, maybe not in jest. It's hard to know at times. 

But the post was called "Free Tickets" for a reason and I promise you it wasn't to bait you into reading a blogpost that was no longer of any use to you. It's not as if I get any benefit from clicks after all. I titled it "free tickets" because, um, well, because the post was about free tickets and it did offer advice on how to get some.

It's not as if it's the first time I've blogged about the mailing list: In September last year, I wrote explaining that series 4 & 5 had been commissioned and that my mailing list would - as usual - get first dibs on tickets. And I'd done much the same in advance of series 3 too.

Of course I have no expectation that anyone slavishly follows everything I ever post. I will have tweeted links to those posts at the time and they will have automatically become facebook statuses and so on... and you might or might not have caught them. But isn't that really the point? That's why a mailing list is useful. It means that information is sent to you when it's relevant rather than if-you-happen-to-catch-it. Being on someone's mailing list isn't about following them more closely... it's about not having to make an effort and still finding out about stuff. That's better. Isn't it?

It is if you're the kind of person that's disappointed about not getting tickets for series 4. You can look on that last post as disappointing news about the tickets for series 4 if you like... but I prefer to think of it as helpful advice for people hoping to get tickets for series 5.

What added to some people's frustration was that many of those who tried to sign up to the mailing list just got this message telling them that the list was full in return. Sorry about that.

I pay to run the mailing list and I had no idea that I was approaching an upper limit for my rate. I had no idea because, based on previous experience, I wasn't.

The numbers tend to creep up at a gentle pace with little blips every now and then as and when I blog something reminding people it exists.

What doesn't normally happen is having a few thousand people sign up in the space of two or three hours. Which is what happened yesterday. It caught me on the hop.

As soon as I realised I paid to expand the service... so you shouldn't have a problem signing up now.

I mean, only if you want to, obviously... 

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Free Tickets...

We announced the dates for the recordings for the fourth series of Modern Life Is Goodish yesterday. The plan, when we do that,  is that I let my mailing list know first of all and then add the details to my site a day or two later. 

So I sat down this afternoon with the intention of adding a link to the tickets here... only to discover that all of the shows are already fully allocated. Which, I suppose, kind of changes the point of this post.

As there's no point plugging the tickets, I guess I ought to plug my mailing list instead... after all, we'll be making series 5 next year and I'll be giving the mailing list first dibs then, too.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Few Short Words About That Referendum

We started work on series 4 of Modern Life Is Goodish this week.

Obviously, I didn't wait until Monday morning to give it any thought - I started a new run of Screen Guild gigs last month (and the next one is this Friday) so obviously I've been mulling over new ideas for a wee while now... but collectively, Team Goodish - or at least a few key players - gathered together on Monday morning for the first time this series. We have our office back. There are deadlines.

All we have to do now is remember how we do it. We will. I'm sure we will.

Of course one topic of conversation inevitably came up. The referendum. It's been impossible to avoid these last few weeks and - since we hadn't seen one another for some time, everyone was keen to discuss it. It is, after all, a vote that will shape all of our lives one way or another. At least for a year or two when we'll get another chance to vote for our favourite new soap star at the TV Choice Awards 2017. But for now, the 2016 vote shapes our lives.

Is mentioning it crass? Or is pretending I don't know about it weird? I don't know. But if you want to vote, it's all here.

I'll have details on some recording dates for series 4 soon... in the mean time, the second of three compilation episodes goes out tonight. At 10. On Dave.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Phishing, Smishing.

I received this text a little while ago. I've been receiving texts like it once every two or three weeks for a wee while now.

I know it's a scam. It's been well documented that this sort of thing is doing the rounds... but what doesn't seem to be so well documented is what I'm supposed to do with it.

For those that don't know, this is what's known as a phishing scam. Or, seeing as it's sent via SMS message, a smishing scam. In any case, the key fact is that it's basically an attempt to commit fraud.

When someone falls for it they click on the link contained in the text... which takes them to a website that looks exactly like a corporate,  Apple website.

It's a very convincing clone... and if you'd clicked on the link believing the message to be genuine, there isn't really any reason to suspect that it's not legit when you land here.

So I imagine plenty of people end up surrendering their Apple ID and password to the crooks responsible.

In some cases that would give them the ability to spend your money.

I used easily.co.uk to see what I could see about who had registered the domain icloudauditing.co.uk... and when. This is what I found...

As you can see, it was registered via internet.bs on  May 14th 2016. That's today.

Using a site with a dot BS domain seems rather fitting, although it turns out that the BS actually stands for the Bahamas.

It claims it was registered by someone called Peter Dawson although I'd be highly surprised if they were foolish enough to use their real name.

I don't really know, but from the outside looking in, I reckon it's fairly likely that a Peter Dawson has paid for it... it's just he's someone who'd fallen for the scam previously and is, as yet, unaware that his account has been compromised...

If the text had come from a number I'd know how to report it.

But it doesn't. It comes from an account called 'WARNING'. It's impossible for me to reply to. Or to block. Or, it seems, to report. Apparently the only course of action available to me is to delete it.

Which doesn't seem very satisfactory to me. It's not very community minded, for sure.

If someone tried - but failed - to mug me in the street, I can't imagine many people advising me to just ignore it. Because surely they're the sort of person who'll move on and try and mug someone else. Surely we should report attempted crimes, not just successful ones.

But that doesn't seem to be possible when someone tries to mug me via my phone. Ignoring it and deleting the text is, I'm told, the only thing to do. I don't even have a way of preventing those responsible from sending me more of the same. It's only if I fall for it that people will do something.

When I get spam emails I know how to block them. Or how to block emails that are like them. I know that, even if an email is lying about where it came from, someone, somewhere is able to follow the chain and work out where it really came from. I assumed the same would be true with text messages.

It seems not. It seems it is possible for someone to send thousands - probably hundreds of thousands - of texts to people without anyone being able to unravel where they originate from. Is there a good reason for this route to my phone to exist? Is there a sensible way of shutting this path down? Are there buttons I could press that would mean I could only receive text messages from identifiable sources? If there isn't... um... why isn't there? I guess there might be a reason. Is it achievable? Wouldn't less people end up getting defrauded if it were?

I know a handful of vulnerable people who would absolutely fall for this. Certainly I know one person who's fallen for a similar scam that arrived via email. It just seems a little odd to me that the phone companies provide this route to us - but don't have departments devoted to preventing this sort of abuse of the system.

Have I been given bad information or is there genuinely nothing for the community minded soul to do about this?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Goodish Hits 1

I blogged a wee while ago about starting the new season of Screen Guild shows and telly warm ups... which is a sign that work on series 4 of Modern Life Is Goodish is about to begin in earnest.

Series 1, 2 and 3 all started in the autumn and I expect the same to happen with series 4 - although it might be a little later than normal as we're starting work on the shows later in the year on account of me wanting to have some proper Dad-time with the Gorbaby.

But, in the meantime, the nice people at Dave have crafted a series of three highlights episodes, the first of which goes out tonight at 10pm.

Episode 1 features the best bits of series 1, next Wednesday's will feature the best of series 2 and who knows what they'll do the week after that? (I do. And I'm sure you can guess.)

It's fair to say that my stuff doesn't always lend itself to being chopped up... there are too many connections and threads. For instance... there was a section in series 1 that involved an ad van turning up at a petrol station. It got a really big reaction... but in order for it to make sense, you'd need to see about 75% of the episode it's in. At which point it doesn't really feel like a compilation. So obviously that isn't in it.

But there are also plenty of other bits that work just fine in isolation - and I'm impressed with the way they've managed to structure the shows so that separate threads are maintained in different ways. And more than anything else, it leaves me feeling very proud of just how densely packed each series has been.

Well that and, "blimey, my beard is much greyer now and that was only three years ago."

There are some not-been-on-the-telly-before bits in the shows, including a Found Poem in the first episode.

It's on tonight. 10pm. And for the next two Wednesday nights too. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Competitive Spirit

Yesterday was a day for unleashing my competitive spirit. In the morning I was recording this...

... yes, I have Pointlessed. I was paired up with the brilliant, John Shuttleworth. I'm a huge fan - a show of his at the Buzz Club in Chorlton back in 1990 or 1991 remains one of my all time favourite gigs. A thrill.

And in the evening I was recording the first show in a new series of Taskmaster.

It's hard to say which one brought out the biggest competitive streak in me... but I suspect it's Taskmaster.

Of course it should be Pointless. After all, we were playing Pointless for charity. (In my case for Shelter). Which means that Pointless isn't pointless, whereas Taskmaster most certainly is. But somehow, the pointlessness of the Taskmaster tasks makes me even more desperate to do well. Oh dear.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


I ordered something from Amazon yesterday. It's being delivered today. I don't want to end up trapped in all day waiting... but luckily, Amazon provide delivery tracking information on their website. And looking at this, it seems my delivery is imminent...

I mean, it must be, right? Because it's already travelled quite a long way from A to B and now it's got the even longer journey to make from B to D... but it's already got as far as C and that's, what, 85% of the way there? 

As it goes, I know the depot's only a couple of miles away so they can't be more than 5 minutes away according to this. I'll stay in. I'll wait.

Well I would do if I hadn't seen this before. It looks like this all day. Sometimes they deliver at 9 in the morning. Sometimes at 9 at night. It doesn't matter when it's turning up. The minute it leaves the depot it appears as "almost there" and it remains "almost there" until it's, um, there. (And sometimes, they run out of time and don't deliver to us at all, actually.)

So what's the point of the graphic? In what sense is my delivery being tracked? Once it's left the depot, nobody is able to track its progress. So wouldn't this be a bit more honest? A bit more binary?

Isn't that a bit less suggestive of progress that hasn't actually been made?

I know this isn't a big issue. I know that if you're looking for a stick to beat Amazon with there are far bigger sticks available. But it seems like a counter-productive trick to try and pull. Because it's so obviously a trick. And tricks are dishonest things to try and get away with. When a business transparently tries to flim-flam its customers, don't they just end up with customers who trust them a little less? Aren't they just sowing seeds of distrust? 

"Amazon? Oh yeah... they're the guys that think I'll fall for the progress-bar trick... you want to watch them... they're shifty buggers..."

Friday, March 25, 2016

Polished, Unpolished & Mid-Polish

So there's just one show left for the Gets Straight To The Point* (*The Powerpoint) tour... well, actually, as I type, there are three, it's just that there's only one you can still get tickets for: the show takes it's final bow at the Royal Festival Hall on March 31st.

As the tour ends, I'm normally asked whether or not there will be a DVD. There won't. I wrote this about the tour before this one... but the explanation's exactly the same. 




When the tour is over, I won't be taking much of a break. A new series of Modern Life Is Goodish looms and so I need to start the process of building new stuff. To that end, I'm about to start a new season of Dave Gorman's Screen Guild.

This will be the fifth season - I've been doing them since 2011 - and I'm delighted to announce that the shows are returning to their original home; Hoxton Hall. The venue was out of commission for a couple of years while they went through a major refurb but the atmosphere at Hoxton Hall was always something special so it's great to be going back.

The Screen Guild is my new material playground. It's where I try out new ideas while hosting a show with four guest acts that I know are brilliant. All the material from the tour... and from the tour before that... and most of the material that's made up the first 22 hours of Modern Life is Goodish was given its first airing at the Screen Guild. It really has been that fundamental to all that I've done in the last few years.

There's more information as to the what and why of these shows on my website so I'll just tell you that, as it stands, we've scheduled four shows for this season.  They are:

THURSDAY, JULY 14TH... and tickets for all four are available here.


If a tour show is where I display the material that's been fully honed and the Screen Guild is where things are hopefully unearthed - well then there's another sort of show I do that's all about doing the actual polishing.
For Modern Life Is Goodish to work it has to feel composed. It can't just be some disparate bits of material... it all has to hang together. There may be different threads in an episode, but at some point they will always coalesce.

That means that the show we record has to be as close to the finished product as it can be. We can't film 90 minutes and cut it down to an hour in the edit without undoing all the connections.

So before every recording I run the shows live a few times, making changes between each run, working out where the ad breaks will be and generally honing the stuff as best I can. I do them in batches and work on two episodes at a time.

Series four must be happening because we have these booked in already.

JULY 24, 
JULY 29