Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

In All My Years Working for the BBC, I'd Never Been Given a Proper, Laminated Security Pass

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

In All My Years Working for the BBC, I'd Never Been Given a Proper, Laminated Security Pass

Article excerpt

In 19941 won an International Emmy award for The All New Alexei Sayle Show. Not that I ever got to see it. In fact, the first I knew about this prestigious award was when my mother-in-law rang to say she'd just seen Benny Hill being presented with my Emmy at a ceremony in New York, on the breakfast news.

Afterwards, it was locked away in a storeroom like the one at the end of Indiana Jones. I was invited to a drinks reception for winners, hosted by the then director general of the BBC, John Birt. I'd not met him before, but looked forward to this party as an opportunity to make a good impression on the man at the top.

My only problem was how to get into the building where the party was being held. I had recently bumped into the comedian Arthur Smith outside Broadcasting House and noticed that around his neck he was wearing something I had coveted almost all my professional life but never obtained: a laminated pouch containing a BBC staff pass. In the whole of my time working for the BBC, making two series of The Young Ones, six of my own comedy series and numerous dramas and documentaries, I'd never managed to get one of these precious objects.

Every time I entered TV Centre or Broadcasting House, I was subject to the vagaries of the corporation's security staff. They would look down at their list: "Akeksis Doyle? Nobody here of that name ..." On other occasions they would wave me through with a friendly gesture. I never knew which it was going to be, and I developed a twitchy anxiety over whether I was going to be allowed in to do my job. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.