Oh Smeg indeed

Have you ever been in a social situation where you hear someone say something which you thought was meant to be confidential, and because they said it you dive in and say more? What the hell! The cat’s out of the bag, the damage has been done, there’s no harm in it.

But then you realise after some quiet consideration and the counseling of good friends, that what actually happened was the original person let a little kitten poke it’s head out of a bag, and you released a whole menagerie of flea bitten old Tomcats who immediately sprayed on the furniture and caused a right old kerfuffle.

Well, that’s sort of what happened when I opened my big blog shite. 

I should have ignored the reports in the papers, as lovely Danny John Jules and Chris Barrie have done. Craig says stuff, he lets things slip out. He’s very funny, he makes me laugh just standing next to him. But there’s no need for me to pick up the ball and run.

There are a lot of people working very hard behind the scenes to bring a project like this off, it’s complicated and negotiations are delicate, some peoples feelings get trampled on, and when some gob shite rubber headed actor slaps a load of semi informed nonsense on his wretched blog, it really doesn’t help.

I’m channeling here, can you sense it? I’m channeling the feelings and opinions of people I haven't’ spoken to, but I can sense their frustration and disappointment.

It has been part of my life for years to answer questions about future Red Dwarf projects when I know next to nothing about them. Nothing I said in my previous post here is a lie, it’s just that a lot of decisions about possible future project are still in negotiation and I really have thrown a spanner in the works with my enthusiasm and desire to answer questions. 

After Craig made his little slip up, my tweet stream was a mass of questions, I’m talking 1,000’s of tweets and I thought, I can’t answer them, I’ll do what I’ve learned is very effective, I’ll try and answer them all in one go on my bloggy thing.

Here’s the voice of a mature person, (my Mrs) ‘Why do you feel the need to answer any of them, just ignore the questions, do something useful, feed the chickens.’

Then I think about it and there is something to be said for engagement, especially on a show like Red Dwarf with such a loyal, if occasionally critical following. But I am now only too well aware that some of that engagement does, at times, need to be managed.

There are people without a twitter following, without blogs and without a public profile who work just as hard as the cast to make a show like Red Dwarf get to the screen, they deserve far more respect than I unthinkingly gave them.

I indulged in utterly thoughtless, possibly damaging engagement and I apologise without reservation to all those concerned.


Red Dwarf

In mid April 1989, I walked into a basement office in Denmark Street, London and met Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. They wanted me to play Kryten in their BBC series, Red Dwarf. I thought I'd be doing it for 6 weeks.

21 years later and it's still around. I think I can honestly say I didn't expect that.

We recorded the last full series of Red Dwarf for BBC 2 in 1998, 11 years later, in 2009 we recorded a 3 episode special for the Dave channel, titled 'Back to Earth.' Although some hardcore Red Dwarf fans were critical of the latest offering, it was generally very well received. It garnered the biggest audience Dave has ever had, it still holds the record for the biggest audience of any show on non terrestrial TV, or something like that. Dave is a cable and satellite only channel, or is it a digital channel, someone will tell me the correct descriptive term. Anyway, it did good.

In early 2010 Dave announced that they had commissioned Red Dwarf for a new series of 6 episodes. Doug Naylor has been writing the new scripts, none of the cast have seen them. I am in regular contact with Craig Chalres, Danny John Jules and Chris Barrie. We talk, we ask each other 'have you heard anything?' The answer is always no.

One of the reasons for the difficulty in shooting a new series is cast availability. As regular followers on Twitter will have surmised, I'm quite busy. However, along with Chris and Danny I have a schedule that is fairly flexible if I have enough warning. Craig on the other hand is a regular on Coronation Street and it's a lot more complicated for him. I would imagine that there has been a lot of talking going on regarding Craig's availability.

That said, we have all said we are up for doing another series. I know I am going to have to get rubbered up again. As the years pass, this is not getting any easier, it's a very debilitating experience spending day after day in a hot studio covered in rubber and plastic. I realise there may be some individuals who would pay good money to be so attired, I'm not one of them.

As soon as I hear any solid, confirmed, concrete news about a new series, I will post it here. I promise.

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