Dec. 13, 2021

S1 Ep34: Sally Wainwright

Sally Wainwright OBE joins us on the show this week! What do you ask a multiple BAFTA award winning screenwriter with an impressive string of hit TV series to her name; like Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax and At Home With The Braithwaites?
Oh really? You’d have asked her that?  OK… OK… So... nothing about her bus driving career and her favourite crisps?
You sure?

Music by Dano Songs

entertaining well-structured conversation is not an anagram of the failing writer's podcast persisting flawed chat riot however

oh it's good to be back isn't it it's good to be back it's another late night session with thomas turner how are you doing buddy i haven't got the late night vibe tonight i don't know have you not

you know what we should do we should ask the question are you still asking that question oh

we're just going to assume that no one's written anything yeah of course i've only brought that up because i have actually been doing this have yeah of course you are yeah it's december now i've got a

so i was about halfway through my outline of the murder mystery thing and i thought uh this is this is absolute toilet no i thought i'm just gonna start writing it and you know screw it i'm going to discovery write the rest of it when i get to the point where i haven't outlined any more of it i'm just going to keep going it'll be fine but then i happen to re-listen to the interview that is coming up right now with sally wainwright yeah and there was a very sound bit of advice in the middle of that interview and are you turned and i decided to finish outlining each chapter properly before starting because i was thinking actually if i do that then in theory it should a make writing it much easier yes wow that is that's the theories and b it should reduce the amount of re-drafting that i have to do afterwards because in theory i will actually have you know everything should fit in place it should just fall into place yeah i think that's the thing isn't it with with novel writing um you can go about it in so many different ways but it's the same amount of work whichever way you go at it it's just you can either choose to do some of that work up front i don't know i think with genre writing it might be a case of if you outline it properly there might be less work yeah but then the work goes into the outlining doesn't it instead of that's true so that's what i mean you've still got the same amount of work yeah i feel like in different places but it's about what's easiest for you isn't it i mean it's it's hard plotting isn't it it's actually really it's taxing on the brain yeah but in theory once it's done like you shouldn't have to rewrite loads and loads of words yeah i mean you're quite quick at words tommy yeah i actually i think i i get myself into right little knotty binds over the actual writing of stuff i always worry whether it's good enough or whether it's flowing whether it's like i'm giving away too much are the characters working you know all that kind of stuff is it too cliche one other thing that we've learned in this podcast that is just to ignore that isn't it well yeah that's the other thing yeah

stop bloody talking about it stop doing a podcast about it and just bloody do it yeah but it you shouldn't be that hard though because it's just thinking isn't it thinking shouldn't be difficult yeah you know what i mean it shouldn't you shouldn't like be thinking for a while and then go oh god bloody i'm tired all that thinking i've been doing today well it is it's still using energy isn't it it's draining isn't it yeah it's draining brain power eight hours a day thinking down

absolutely nothing all the lads used to come up precious daisies from joe cutting the call out of the wall with the bare hands but i'd be there thinking thinking and i'd be knackered hey you joke but brains they do take a lot of energy don't they yeah they do relatively speaking yeah yeah big old organs yeah they do badly where did you get to in your outline before you just started writing did you actually i can't remember whether you said you finished it you didn't quite get it two thirds of the way through okay and uh fittingly the last third was the most difficult what's been really interesting is that having having not quite finished it in the novel writing month and thinking i'll just i'll do it in my own time i haven't been able to do a blooming thing since now i don't have that sort of i've got to do it because of this deadline for this month i've gotten absolutely zero motivation to do anything at all that's weird isn't it sir it is yeah i was wondering if you could join me for dead o dido whatever perhaps i should yeah yeah i'll get i'll get it maybe i just needed to take like a week off and yeah recharge a bit just yeah exactly have a little moment yeah but yeah anyway that's uh that's my news exciting huh well i'm i'm really enjoying plotting i think uh i think maybe uh i enjoy plotting more than writing i don't know i'll tell you whenever yeah do the other bit and then decide well that's good john at least you're into it yeah it's quite exciting it's good so uh thomas been up to anything okay barely no good so yeah let's should we move on with the let's move on with the podcast yeah let's get on to somebody who who hasn't been resting on her laurels and has been bashing out top quality scripts for many a year now i am of course talking about like yes dave can't help but fill it and he just has to he just keeps going sorry i thought you were halfway through a sentence i would be terrible in a police interview situation you know that that turns out yeah they just you're not getting anything out of me unless you stay quiet for four seconds and i will tell you everything it was me um yeah so as i was saying where i was rudely interrupted uh this we didn't we literally didn't interrupt you we were silent that was the point well as i interrupted my own self we've got the wonderful bafta award winning sally wainwright and it's a it's a great it's a great interview it really is it was fascinating talking to her it was a little bit of an honor to have sally on the show really was sally wayne wright she discusses writing crisps and driving buses never whines and never fusses just cracks on unlike those worses doesn't stand by idly wishing she's a woman on a mission might put out bombs in the kitchen but she ignites your television belly belly belly pally pally with sally

so uh this week uh i don't know about you guys but no big deal really we've only got sally wayne wright i know right here on the show how are you doing sally you're right i'm good thanks yeah i'm fine thank you very much it's quite quite a coup for us to have you here so um it is we're quite grateful yeah it's quite a big deal for us so if we sound nervous that's why okay okay okay i'll enjoy your nervousness so sally um i don't we could kick off i was thinking maybe we could kick off doing like a quick tour of your career like a sort of like a kind of open-top bus tour just kind of start at the beginning you're holding the mic we you know you can point out that was gonna be my first question john speaking of buses oh yeah oh yeah yeah that leads on nicely i mean that's what i want to know about i don't really care about all the writing stuff yeah whatever but um what sort of what sort of did you do there must have been some funny stories well i drove out of two garages i drove out of hanslow for a couple of months and then i drove out of stamford hill for a couple of months and you tend to do i think i did between seven and eight routes at each garage so you're driving a different route like every week oh wow so i think the most famous ones i drew were when i was at hansler i drove the two the 37 one of my favorite routes well this is the thing whenever i mentioned 37 you always know something often meet someone who uses it so that went from hands lord through isil worth through richmond down through once to put me i think it was actually the longest trip in london did you ever did you ever have to do the nightmares yeah yeah i i did the buses um a couple of times um and then when i moved up to stamford hill my most famous route that people go that's my bus um the 73 which went down from tottenham around the back of buckingham palace and but it was um it went up marble arch i think and also i can't remember it so well it's a classic i mentioned buses often people go oh i get on the 73. i guarantee somewhere there's a podcast for discussing bus routes and i think we've got a bit of crossover here haven't we because well but i think it's one of those jobs that like being a person i think there are certain jobs that writers tend to do early in their lives and i think it's one of those it can be one yeah because you you wrote um was it jane hall was about a female bus driver so yeah yeah jane well about the badly titled gen hall which was originally called bain hall's big bad bus ride we decided to call it jane hall so nobody would know the fun out of that nobody watched it and it didn't go down very well there you go well we're big on failures on this podcast um we we are the failing writers okay hopefully we will start to fail less at some point one day that is kind of the stick of the show is that um obviously you have not been invited on the show as a failing writer but having said that everybody has their moment and we like to you know we like to pick away at the scab a little bit um what what have been your sort of your lowest moments in your writing career and what they taught you um well it's you know everything every time you write something or every time you film something it's it's a mixture of highs and lows so it's not like it you know it's brilliant to have your own stuff on telly and to get your insurance greenlit and to be you know working on your own stuff but it's you know with with that comes a lot of responsibility as well the responsibility to produce a show that people are gonna walk yeah yeah and the broadcasters are gonna be pleased that they you know invested in you and so sometimes it can be frustrating when it isn't what you want it to be or uh somebody hasn't quite done their job in the way that you would have wanted them to do it often with niche directors um just went away i kind of ended up directing myself yeah because you you were like looking at what they were doing thinking i could maybe do better there no i could to be honest um uh it's it's although having said that i've just been working with some fantastic directors on the new series gentleman jack so that's been um fantastic but you know it's it is ups and downs and you you know you have your own demons that you have to live with when you're writing um i i say this all the time to um young new writers there's not one script i've written where i haven't gone through affairs of thinking oh my god this is the one i can't write really it's such an alchemy

where you've been doing it for so long you kind no that's not going to happen but you still go through it every time yeah does that often come at the same point of a script no um not necessarily you know it's often now well you've thought through your stories or not that causes it to happen but it's it's um it's it's a it's always a balancing act it's always a balancing act of is this as good as i want it to be it's you know it's good enough but could it be better you know and all wanting to be to be absolutely the best at every moment rather than just going oh well this will do oh they'll probably oh this will entertain them for a few minutes you know and everything like that it always has to be fantastic well you your shows don't have the feel of a show that's just uh you know oh that'll do that'll be fine no no absolutely not you always seem to be introducing things that put the characters into problems as well my wife said uh she's quite mean to her character didn't she i thought yeah that's exactly it well you know um it's interesting that um you know the drama is about when things go wrong yeah definitely when things go right it's not actually very dramatic um that's right so i mean i think being mean to your characters is is just what what drama is it's about it's about i often say it's about when bad things happen to good people or it's about unbapping some to bad people but it's about when bad things happen it's about how people deal with bad stuff or challenging stuff but you know there isn't much drama in someone like winning the lottery until something goes wrong you know yeah yeah it's like um uh in las tango in halifax um i know derek sometimes thinks i don't give him as good storylines as some of the other characters and it's kind of because his character is such a nice person and they just aren't and so um more interesting things happen to them because they make more mistakes because they're kind of more flawed so i think that's the problem with them accusing you of making mean things happen to people i think i think you might not be interested in watching it

do you think your sort of writing process has changed over the years um it's evolved i would say rather than changed yeah sally sorry i think i can hear something something's beefing in my kitchen yeah wait is it is that is that what i think it is oh my god uh is is that bob yeah wow you seem relatively calm about it i just got to go and turn it on just just go and turn it off it was at that moment i think we all realized that professionally sally wainwright is just working on a different level to the rest of us yeah not only is she constantly putting her characters in threatening situations but she also relishes mortal peril in her own everyday life too yes amazing how calm she was i can talk at the same time as turning that oh god sally are you literally going to continue chatting with us while you defuse a bomb i hope so um i think the protest has evolved um as time's gone on it's not changed massively i tend to um work out what the stories are and i do that with whoever i'm working with with an exec storyline as um sally sorry to interrupt you sure you don't want me to call them like bomb squad or something no i'm fine um it seems it seems quite uh difficult i mean like you know knowing which wire to cut and stuff is that every step of the process has to be correct yeah i suppose it does is it over yes yes it is

well done sally oh god glad you're okay all right i'm going to suggest you maybe don't set yourself any other dangerous life-threatening tasks during the interview or it might be over a lot quicker than we imagined i wish it was and then she just you know carried on with the interview like defusing a bomb was the most normal of domestic chores it really was extraordinary well we'll map out the whole life of the city of a series which will be much more detailed in the earlier parts and less detailed in the later parts and then as you work through the series you build up that detail but you know you do start off hopefully with an idea of what the big arc is and then with each episode i go away and write a really detailed scene breakdown so i'll be writing something like 10 pages of detailed scene breakdown so that by the time i actually come to write the dialogue i've solved a lot of the problems like i've got structure right i know what everyone's doing through the episode and what their developments are through their yeah yeah but by the time i get to write the script i ideally it's kind of the icing on the cake that's the fun bit after you've done all the really hard work right yeah and working out what the plot is and what's juxtaposed with what else and you know making sure that uh you're not um shortchanging one story in favor of another if if that isn't the right thing to do or you know you're not spending too much time on a boring storyline when there's a really urgent one that needs more time and space and that and it's hard work writing the steam breakdown for me is the hardest part i'm just working on the scene breakdown at the moment and it's it's taken me about three days to kind of just write down the first what the first two scenes are it tends to get quicker than that you know it picks up its own pace as it goes on but it's for me it's i often say it's like building a wall because if you build on dodge yeah yeah you're not you're going to build a wall that's going to fall over whereas if each section as you put it in place you're completely happy with you've thought it through you've spent time even if you know it's done your heading getting to that point it means you're building something solid rather than building something that's going to fall over at the first hurdle have you have you always been that uh meticulous in your planning right right from the very early days i think have i think i've i have been that meticulous and i think it's probably comes from fear of you know getting wrong or fear of failure or something but yeah i've always i think i'm a bit of a perfectionist i i i if something isn't absolutely perfect or to my mind perfect um i can't move on till i know it is yeah thank you is that the same with everything in life or is that a writing thing i think it's just writing right everything else is all a bit um it's interesting but not right yeah writing is the one thing that i uh i supposed to take seriously right well you do seem to achieve quite uh quite a high level of perfection in your script yeah that sounds a bit crawly doesn't it but it's true it is true i think you're wonderful my name is john and i think you're brilliant i'm just thinking i was thinking about happy valley i rewatched uh happy valley uh very recently but everything is so tight there's nothing extraneous in there at all there's every bit of dialogue it seems to both push the action on but also reveals something about the character as well and it is it is amazing really because i think the hallmark of great writing is making sure that every every scene and every beat is doing more than one yeah even the comedy you know even the comedy is saying something about the characters it is yeah absolutely i mean any one scene should be pushing the plot along it should be telling you something that you didn't know about a character it should be hopefully making you laugh or making you cry or evoking some emotion it should be doing at least those three things and ideally you know four more things as well but i think i think the true art form though is being able to do those things sally without the viewer being explicitly aware that that's what's happening i think they are aware though because i think when you don't do it they get bored or they yeah or they they kind of know that they're not in very good storytelling hands and you can sense it a mile off yeah and i think that's the thing with the tv audience it's so easy to lose them it's so easy for them just to switch over um just coming back to happy valley uh it is it's just such a lovely bit of drama but i'm i'm always uh interested i think i'm sure our listeners will be interested in your process could you can you talk us through how you developed the idea like what was the initial seed of the idea and then how did you begin to develop that into the script can you remember i often get asked that and it's quite a hard one to answer partly because i can't remember but um often it's it's a process that you're not you're kind of conscious of it but it's often quite quick rather than something that you're labor of i mean you know on a very pragmatic level i rented happy valley because the bbc asked me for uh they wanted to scott and bailey which was a nice right okay

what can i do yeah scott and bailey and the obvious thing i could do was scott miller was about a major incident team so they're very highly trained team of detectives so one of the obvious differences i thought i could do was write about someone in uniform she's just as highly trained because she's a sergeant but she's she's a uniform sergeant rather than a detective um and then i thought about um i knew i wanted to write something else sarah because of the way she played caroline in last time that just really oh she's just so amazing and um i had also had ideas about um writing a sort of modern version of juliet bravo which was one of my favorite shows when i was like i am i really liked it you know it's an episode

there was a woman inspector who was like the main character which was you know that was it's kind of usp that was very useful at the time and it was set i think it was filmed in and around toddlers and i absolutely loved it as a kid i really what teenager she said um and so i thought why don't i write my own version of juliet bravo also i had a massive massive um crush at a buzz on the drama nurse jack oh yeah the american drama nurse jackie that was one of the best best tv shows ever it was like in my top five tv shows of all time i kind of went off in some of the later series but i think the first series particularly was just mind-blowingly good it's one of those shows that you think it's so good and you just learn from it you look and and it made me i just wanted to write my own version of nurse jackie um and and in a way that's what happy valley was except it wasn't about a nurse it was about a police woman so it was a combination of those kind of things that made me write happy valley i don't know why tommy lee royce came from i have a vague idea um you know it but i don't know where the idea about him having had a relationship with catherine's daughter and that you know ryan um being born from that i can't i honestly don't remember where that came from other than just sitting down making something uh i mean everything comes from somewhere but you don't all stress back to where it came from the idea of tommy came from someone i know who was very bullying and nasty and a couple of times in my life i've realized that uh written about things that have happened to me that have been bad and i've kind of transposed them into something else i think that was what that was yeah almost like a sort of cathartic thing i'm going to write about yeah i mean you know writing really is good it's a way of making sense of things i suppose people have that compulsion to write have got that blessing that it can be very cathartic it doesn't make you explore things and get things out there that you dwell on it does um have that you know effect on your imagination sometimes and if you can turn it into um something good like a drama that people respond to i think that's curious it's curious that that happens but it does yeah sally can i ask can i take you back to after the bus driving but before sort of the the stuff you're doing by yourself um because you did a lot of uh coronation street didn't you and i'm fascinated to to hear from you what that was like how i imagine it was like properly full-on like really fast hard work um that isn't the first thing i'd say about it i mean we had i think we had like two weeks to write an episode so it wasn't necessarily that fast right okay it seems quite fast sounds fascinating

and it took me six months and when i was a student no actually i wrote another night but then i wrote second one and it took me once i've been working on it like for an indefinite period of time and when i got my first professional job it was wrestling the archers yeah oh yeah and um they asked me to write a trial script and i did that and handed it in and they offered me a job and um you know they didn't give me a deadline for writing the trial script it was just like send it when you've done it and they and they gave me 50 quid to do the transcripts and then uh and then i went to see ruth patterson and the editor then and she said we're going to take you on and said but the big difference is you've got to write five episodes in two weeks and instead of 50 quid you're gonna get two thousand dollars which is a bit sharp yeah good and bad yeah but but it's the first time i had a deadline and i thought how the hell am i gonna write five episodes of something intended or whatever sorry sally are these finished scripts or are these yeah i mean they're only 15 minutes long but it's still an hour and 15 minutes of drama yeah yeah uh 10 days or whatever i mean the three of us haven't managed anything in 40 plus years so that's that's something going isn't it it was it was a shock but it was but then it became a discipline it was it became sort of point of view that you could do that um yeah you can write 15 minutes drama five times ten days it's yeah it's just logistics actually yeah i was going to ask about how useful that was in terms of training for the rest of your career and because because a lot of some writers sort of look down on the idea of continuing drama when they're starting out but what would you say to them um when you're starting out any writing job is good because it's challenge i mean what asteroid shows that people are snooty about but when i wrote the archers it was me writing the archer so it was [ __ ] good you know when i got right they're not cool because it's me writing them so they're not going to be uncool you know well yeah i can turn it into what i want it to be i'm you know people think this is a bit crap well let's show them yeah that isn't crap there's something for a [ __ ] nation street now and uh um but um i remember working with elaine page when i wrote the arches and she said that she thought writing was like a muscle the more you exercise it the better you become and yeah who's right with that so to turn down work because you don't want it on your cv that you're you know casualty we'll just don't put it on your cv you know it's it's it's still a discipline it's still showing what you can do within a format and yeah and if you've got a great voice people are gonna hear it you know i i i don't quite understand that mentality that i think people are scared actually when they say i'm not gonna i'm gonna i'm not gonna apply for that or i'm not gonna fit into that it's like well why

yeah yeah i absolutely agree i don't understand people who look down on stuff because there are writers like was it k miller started on brooks used to work on brookside and uh russell t davis was on chuckle vision for a while and it's all these sort of things yeah yeah they peaked too many people say exactly yeah it's been downhill ever since well i i used to work with russell and kay a lot at granada we worked on all of his wheel works on all sorts of um you know shows you may not have heard of things like families and marriott marios and um spring hill there were loads of daytime soaps that will yeah and we you know we just it was fun and we learned a lot and it was it was um interesting you know it's always interesting to be sitting in storyline meetings and hearing of the writers when i worked on coronation street there was this fantastic writer called peter wallin he was just so good at stories and i learned so much just listening yeah story is the hardest thing it's the hardest you know you've got to be able to write good characters good stories and good dialogue and for me characters and dialogue come really easily and the hardest thing by a miley story yeah and the great thing about working on serps is the the turnover of story is phenomenal and there are people who are very skilled at it and i know a lot of the time on ongoing serps it's kind of not always fantastic but just now and again there's a real humdinger of a story yeah yeah and um certainly the period when i was right i was writing coronation street in the mid to late 90s and it was there was a real phenomenal amount of talent in the room and it was it was it was a real privilege being there and listening i never spoke i was scared and i was really good but i learned a hell of a lot it was i was gonna say because you um i was reading something about how k melo sort of encouraged you to focus on uh original work um but so like ask can i ask about how influential she was about the other writers that you've worked with who are the ones that you sort of look up to and who have sort of helped you the most in your career well certainly kay because she cares just naturally somebody who encourages anyone and everyone um you know she's she's a real um broad-shouldered kind generous spirit he's okay and she always was encouraging well all of us who worked there at canada at the same time we were working on her shows um and i also i also i felt comfortable with the i don't know if it's because we're both from west yorkshire and i felt like i just knew across that um yeah i mean other people i work with i work with russell a lot and of course he's you know his work wonderful and you know someone else admire and um look up to um but you know there was so many people going around at that time so many writers i mean it was it was fantastic the way granada functioned at that time it was like if you got in there there was a whole kind of unofficial system for kind of stepping up the ladder right yeah right from you know writing as i said these afternoon so it's like families and uh revelations that was a late night so i'd say i've never heard of them but we spent yeah just like these things in the early 90s um children's world that was another fantastic one oh yes i remember a great show to get on and then ultimately we could get onto coronation street and that was like striking gold and then through cair's influence the next thing for me was now i want my own original nine o'clock drama yeah kaye had said to me you know it's great being on coronation street but don't stay for more than five years because if you do you'll never leave yeah he's absolutely right i've seen that happen with other people i mean other people may have chosen to do that which is brilliant but i did leave exactly five years after i'd started because the atom with the breath works so did you write that in your own time or was that were you kind of commissioned to do that or how did it how did it work i'd written it i've actually written about ten years earlier um it was like um uh i think it was it started life as a stage play right and i showed it to tony wood who's a prisoner of grenada and he commissioned it as a half-hour sitcom and then he i think he left and the carolyn reynolds in harry said that she was the executive corey at the time and she recommissioned it as an hour-long drama rather than a half-hour sitcom yeah i think they wanted a drama that went out at the same time as who wants to be a millionaire so you know it's one of those things have just been in the right place at the right time with the right id which you can't uh kind of is serendipity you can't kind of control it but you actually have to have had some ideas in the first place i did and be in some sort of place that isn't just sat on yourself for a while exactly eating crisps just watching telly and going i could have written that but i don't do that anymore you know i don't watch telly and eat crisps at the end of the day when i've been writing telly although the last thing i want to do now is watch drama and it's it's it's sounds like yeah that's only happened to me recently because why i think i just i'm working on three shows at one time which is

i do still eat crisps yeah there we go okay that's that's something you kind of need to crisp one right until you need it yeah that's not so bad but at the end i said at the end of the day there isn't an end of the day because i'm just working at the moment i get up at five o'clock that's what the archers taught me actually was to get up at five o'clock because if i was scared of the deadline just get over there steal some time from there yeah get some get some cows milked and then get some cows yeah well because as we as we sort of speak i i think i'm right in saying that the sort of third and final series of happy valley has just been announced um is that one of the things that you're working on at the moment yes it is sounds like we skipped on there because i did want to ask you what your favorite flavour of crisps were in the crisp section of this interview it's cheese and onion and prawn cocktail i was going to guess prawn cocktail i've got like a sixth sense of getting people's crisp flavors and i was going to say prawn cocktail are you surprised with the cheese and onion and um my favorite uh brand is seabrook yeah obviously oh yes obligatory obligatory west yorkshire crisps yeah very very salty yeah when i worked in leeds that's what that's what they had in the uh in the vending machine i remember going like when i went to uni and stuff trying to explain to people that there were sweet corn flavored crisps and that it was normal yeah really well

sorry i've derailed the chat a little bit but i did yeah should we talk about ben shaw's pockets or should we move on to talk about more right did they still do see now we're asking the big questions i don't know yeah i have been in bed charles yeah there used to be one called space special that was like a really weird green color and looking back now it's a bit weird isn't it when a food manufacturer just doesn't want to apply any kind of flavor indicator to their product it's just a generic weird colored space flavor space flavoured i i um got some dandelion and bird up the other day which i'm outrageous and i couldn't believe why white cook so big and dandelion and burdock i don't know my youngest doesn't like dandelion and burdock um and it's been quite a wrench putting her up for adoption if i'm honest but it feels like the right thing to do it's so similar aren't they dandelion or cook except dandelion and burdock he's better nicer yeah yeah and yeah coke just doesn't tell you what vegetables uh they put in it exactly it extracts that flavor sorry right what were we talking about because i was gonna i was gonna ask sally i was looking at a list of your awards you've got quite a lot of awards haven't you i'm sort of imagining uh like a room dedicated to your rewards like a sort of aladdin's cave yeah of gleaming stuff where do they go where do you keep them i've started dotting them around around the house because oh nice i think i'd do that just so on any occasion you could always say oh it's just it's just over there by the bafta if someone's asking for the keys or something like that i can't get away with that it's too big i've got i've got six bathtubs so i've started spreading them around the house like opposed to putting them all together but some of the labels have started falling off the metal packs or you can get some new ones done you like them falling off and i keep putting them back on with things like two angles

but they haven't sent it to me yet what well they said i assumed you got it there and then did they not hand it out he said because of kobe you can either come to the palace and bring one guest so you can come to a garden party next year and bring three guests and i thought well first of all i've got time to go to the palace anyway anymore so i said i'll come next year with three guests thinking i might or might not but um they said we'll send it in the post in september and it's never come and i don't know what to write to you to say well go straight to the top i've seen people like when they want to complain to companies and stuff yeah yeah but she sent me they did send me a scroll that she'd signed and so i think i've got an rb but i don't actually got the well on the plus side when you go to the garden party at least you'll know which bus to get together yeah it's that's a good thought actually because i was worrying about it but we're sorry so i asked earlier on about um you said you're working on three different things at the minute so the so the new series of happy valley i presume is one of them what what what else is going on so um we're in post-production on gentleman jack 2. oh right yeah we've only just finished filming um about a month ago because we got we got closed down four times because of the filming process went on significantly longer than it would normally do so we just in post production on that which i haven't directed this time i'm executing right and i am in pre-production on happy valley and the ballad of renegade now which we're making for disney oh yes i saw something like that today yeah for disney plus yeah so we started filming that i think in march or april so again we're at a slightly earlier stage than we are with happy valley but not far behind so we've got i think then we've got six of the eighth scripture in there how the hell do you keep on top of all this when you've got all these things going on this is gonna be my next question word for word there yeah come on how does that work do you do it on different days or do you like how do you know it's hard is the answer because i it's it's quite um it's the biggest the hardest thing for me is to sit down and write because you just need to block everything else out that's right you know we're turning around um new cuts of episodes of gentleman jack i have to watch them i have to comment on them you know to quite tight deadlines so i can't just you know hide away and write that sort of thing um so it's it's quite a hard balance in that um and it you know i'm lucky i'm lucky that i've got so much stuff and it's fantastic um so i can't complain but it's uh yeah it's quite tough to just keep keep everything balanced but um especially because i just haven't got my brain is a bit of a mess it's not like i'm yeah extraordinarily well organized or anything it's kind of just lurching from one thing to the next and hopefully you haven't gotten anything which i love well you didn't even know they did sweet corn crisps so i'll get a phone call saying are you coming on this room you know that happens yeah yeah uh yeah yes absolutely i just go oh my god

but i i work i'm doing all these two projects with um lookout point um they're the nails production company and i get a huge amount of support i'm working with some really talented people who um so it's you know it's it's a team effort i i mean i have to write scripts but yeah but you know as i say storyline into the team effort just getting feedback from them is what keeps going you know um so it's it you know you're lucky when you get to the when you're working professionally because you do get a lot of support whereas when you're writing you know on your own uh sending scripts in on spec and that sort of thing you are kind of very much on your own and that is that is tough you know that's hard yeah yeah it definitely helps to bounce ideas off people yeah just coming back to gentleman jack it seems like it seems like that's a project you're especially passionate about is that is that one that's been kind of on the boil for a long time yeah i mean i've been interested in this dan lister as long as i can remember i think from being a teenager i was always trying to find out stuff about her and it was you know that that's in the days before the internet when you couldn't just press a button and get loads of videos of course yeah and then i first pitched a drama battery in about 2002 2003 and just no one was interested no one had heard of a non-other than me apart from writing birth words um and so i i just continued working on the diaries transcribing the domes thinking about analysts thinking i'd do something else with analysts there's a lot of diaries as well oh they're massive i mean it's hard to picture if you haven't seen them there are 24 volumes there's actually 27 altogether but three of them are sort of smaller notebooks and one of them has gone missing i think um but there are 24 volumes there it's the one that's missing up in your loft um no no no you can't see it yeah i wish it was um there's 24 volumes that they're about 360 pages long each very tiny writing there's uh five million words um all together you know that's about three times more than peeps well that's great there could be a few series of gentlemen jack then we're not gonna run out anytime soon i hope you know we get commissioned again for a third series you never know you never know from serious to seriously you know it's all dependent on viewing figures and you never know if you never know when something's gonna hit and when it's gonna miss it's just alchemy and what's in the ether you know and what people watch at the time and yeah i've had i've had my fair share of turkeys and you you've never known to be but well you know series two one went down very well and you know it's had a huge effect there's a documentary coming out called the gentleman jack effect oh okay yeah and anne lister seems to have picked up a lot of new fans across the world i mean that's the gentleman yeah absolutely so hopefully i think series two as i said i haven't directed myself this time but i think it's i dare i say i think it's better than season one i think absolutely the episodes have been seen over the last few weeks as they've been coming in um through the edit process uh really exciting so hopefully we'll get another series yeah look forward to seeing you i've worked with saran jones several times now haven't you uh how did you guys meet originally was there a coronation street link there no i i finished writing corey in 99. and i think saran came in the early 90s i wrote a drama called dead clever in about 2007 and i wasn't heavily involved in it other than writing it i was commissioned to write a drama based on a real life crime thing and um so i didn't even i didn't get involved in production at all and she played the lead in it but i never met her because i didn't even go on set or anything it was one of those where i was kind of a hired hence writing script um so i didn't actually meet her so that was the first time i kind of came across them the producer cesar williams said oh what do you think about saran jones playing the lead in this and i'd i was kind of aware that she was karen mcdonald in coronation street but i didn't actually watch corey i stopped watching it when i left because i couldn't stand not knowing what happened it went down it went downhill after you left to be honest i think yeah um but no i could it was i didn't really want to leave i didn't i left my own accord but i didn't really want to leave and a reaction to that was sadly to stop watching it which you know i'd watched it since i was six so it was a real it's again it's one of those things when you work in telly sometimes loses its magic the magic of watching it but anyway that's another conversation um so i i was kind of aware that saran jones played karen mcdonald but i didn't really know what that meant other than the odd trailer that i'd seen and that she was kind of big news she was like the new sarah lancashire you know so she she came on board to play uh julie bottomland that clever and it was brilliant i really loved it when they finished um the edit on it it was but that was the first time i'd seen it and i didn't meet her and the first time i met her was in a meeting to discuss scott and bailey because it was her ideas her and sally lindsay's idea was scott and barely yeah and they asked me on board to write scripts so that was the first time i met sarah so we did scott burley

sorry oh yeah unforgiven but forgotten no it wasn't forgiven and then we discussed scotland sorry sorry it was that way around yes i have gotten on from you given sorry about that um yes so i've always so i've worked with the photographers yes that's right i like to think of you as like good mates two northern losses who go out

sally i'm really aware that you said that you you had to be gone at quarter seven which is about what time it is now but much as we'd i'd love to carry on talking to you but um if you've got to go i'm afraid i do but it has been really nice so yeah it's been an absolute pleasure thank you so much for uh for chatting to us thank you very much

and just fantastic tasting crisps as well which yeah seriously i hadn't really thought about seabrook crisps for a good many years did i ever tell you about my my brilliant chris bide here i think you've probably had a lot of brilliant crisp ideas over the years tom but yeah which yeah which one tommy this i had this a long time ago and it's never left me and it's become i don't know if it's become more possible but less impressive as the years have gone on because crisp manufacturers have started to uh offer a wider variety of flavors but in the early 2000s i had an idea of christmas dinner an entire christmas dinner yeah but just me so you have a turkey crisp a potato well that's these days individual turkey crispy back in the day you couldn't but you'd have your bacon crisps as your pigs in blankets you're playing crisps as you roast potatoes seabrooks sweet corn crisps as mentioned in the interview as a vegetable accompaniment and and then you know maybe prawn cocktail for starter gentleman yeah well yeah why not and then christmas pudding ones jelly well that's the thing now and now they do all with you can get minced pie flavored christmas yes ruined it a little bit yeah yeah yeah well you say ruined it what they've actually done is do that exact idea but they've never called it chris

yeah that's nice tommy you're perfect he's nice christmas dinner i can't believe you're giving away all these brilliant ideas on the podcast time i know i know for free i know hey fellas does it does it make you wonder uh interviewing sally does it make you wonder who else might come on the show

yeah i think i think we should name some people jeffrey archie jeffrey archer get him on i think we should name some people we'd like to have on the show who's who's in your like dream dream people do you know who i'd love to talk to about the writing uh obviously you don't that's why in this situation with a question you've asked but if you were to ask me what you have done i do i don't know it's all right tom i know already so you don't need to tell us dave what about you um i think i've currently i would like to have jesse armstrong oh yeah on the show and maybe lucy preble well i have yeah well i actually think about these things tom and have you contacted them no i haven't contacted any of them though don't be stupid i've thought about them i've thought about some names uh natasha hodgson i think oh yes yeah i'd like to have natasha hudson writer of the sink um yeah these wonderful writers i'd like to and and for the sake of badly tommy because badly doesn't know who you want yeah yeah obviously yeah um mackenzie crook i think would be uh great i think proper under the radar brilliant writer yeah yeah he's good you know kids books uh where's the gummies i still haven't watched the detectorists you know i still haven't seen them i was gonna say and the detectorist really is i know everyone says it's a a brilliant unsung thing but if everyone's saying it can it be unsung but it kind of is a really really good lovely piece yeah but you have contacted his agent oh yeah so yeah and and what did you get um a very very nice reply

maybe try again in the new year so january the 1st i am going down to the office um i've had a look on google maps there's some railings outside so i thought i'm going to tie myself to them just where my underpants should get his attention david bedeal is another one i'd like uh oh yeah yeah yeah daisy made cooper cooper yeah i have daisy cooper on she's ace james a caster he's just brought a book out hasn't he if we get him on we could ask him if he wants to be byron in in your city yeah exactly all comes together doesn't it yeah yeah well all i can say is tune in to season two to see just how many of these big names we have on oh i think you will be surprised yeah episode one if we could just read out all of the rejection letters oh yeah that's nice all of the way all the different ways that people have said no to being on the show would be nice yeah we'll do that we should do that as the trailer for season scooter part of the trailer everyone's excuses for not coming on the show brilliant yeah and if anyone listening has any contacts to people they think should be on the show good point they might might be a relative or something that's a very good point that's true because the things that do happen don't they yeah but yeah those are those uh ideas ideas for the future what about the now what's happening now well next week i think we've got something quite spectacular happening and wait i mean it is literally a spectacular thing so you got it yeah yep it's gonna be pretty sparkly the kind of thing that people can put on on christmas day while you're eating your christmas dinner have a really good listen to the to the spectacular the christmas spectacular that we're currently putting together it's just just uh it really is unbelievable yeah unbelievable what we think passes as entertainment yeah um so tune in for the for the christmas spectacular you really will not believe it

but until then there's not really much else for us to say which is unusual for one of dave's goodbye yeah and uh the best christmas present that you could give us this year would be a little a little review yeah go online and leave us a little review tell everyone how much you like the show yeah and please oh one of those massive boxes of walkers crisps you know the mixed ones oh yeah that'd be the best a second that'd be good the second best present would be yeah a review would be yeah we are we're very grateful uh for you lending us your ears it's nice that you chose to listen to us when there are so many other excellent things you could be listening to don't tell them about the other stuff john just cut our listenership in half there's nothing else to listen to no it's not i don't think so any other podcast that's not like no very very little choice so you're probably yeah but yeah but thanks for listening no we do appreciate it really appreciate it all right well bye then sweet dave short and sweet that's nice that's nice yeah and with that the music began the waffles ceased

where's everybody gone

Sally Wainwright Profile Photo

Sally Wainwright

Sally Anne Wainwright OBE (born 1963) is an English television writer, producer, and director from Yorkshire. Early in her career, Wainwright worked as a playwright, and as a scriptwriter on the long-running radio serial drama The Archers. In the 1990s, Wainwright began her television career, and, in 2000, created her first original drama series At Home with the Braithwaites (2000–2003).

She won the Royal Television Society's Writer of the Year Award for the 2009 mini-series Unforgiven. Wainwright is known for her creation of the ITV drama series Scott & Bailey (2011–2016), Last Tango in Halifax (2012–present), and Happy Valley (2014–present). Last Tango in Halifax won the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series in 2013, whilst Happy Valley won the same award in both 2015 and 2017.

Wainwright is the creator of the 2019 HBO and BBC One television series Gentleman Jack starring Suranne Jones as Anne Lister and Sophie Rundle as Ann Walker.