We asked Talent Schemes committee member and YouTube Channel Manager for BBC Worldwide Alex Ayling to share some of his favourite programmes, nostalgic memories and boxset picks, and found out why he'd want to be friends with House of Cards' Frank Underwood.
1. Childhood favourite?
There was a children’s TV show called T-Bag in the 80s which was about an evil witch who hid out in random pieces of junk (I think she was miniaturised or something) plotting nefarious schemes, but was always vanquished by a plucky young heroine who had to collect magic objects in every episode. It had series-long narrative arcs that changed each year and pre-figured the era of Joss Whedon’s “Big Bad” by a good decade. I remember it being very affecting to me as a kid, but I’m sure it has aged dreadfully – so have resolved not to look it up on YouTube!
The popular show I just can’t get into
Even though I ought to be slap bang right in the middle of its target demographic, I can’t quite seem to get into The Big Bang Theory. Perhaps it’s the sheer number of episodes looming ahead of me that terrifies a perfectionist completist like me... But I also just can’t shake the feeling that these nerds are being laughed at, not with, and that just sounds like being back at school all over again
3.The programme I have on series link It might be shorter to list the shows that I don’t have on series link to be honest, I tend to devour as much as I possibly can. This year though, there has been one show which was elevated even above series link status in our house, as I found myself tuning in at 9pm every Wednesday to watch Keeley Hawes’ amazing turn in Line of Duty. I can’t remember the last time I made an appointment to view for a non-live show, so they must have been doing something right.
4. The last boxset I bought was...
Game of Thrones S3 – I don’t have Sky Atlantic, so I’m about a year behind everyone else on GoT. Fortunately I’ve read all the books so I’m unlikely to be spoiled. And anyway, with that show you should go into every episode thinking that your favourite character is about to meet an untimely end, as half the time you’re probably going to be right.
5. Guilty pleasure?
I fundamentally disagree with the entire concept of a guilty pleasure. If you like something then you should be proud of liking it! I could list all the critically-acclaimed dramas and worthy foreign imports to counteract the next half of this sentence, but you’ll still not see me much more excited than when the votes start coming in from the Eastern Bloc during Eurovision.
6. Reality show I’d be most likely to apply for...
I’ve always quite fancied going on The Apprentice. Not because I want to work with Lord Sugar (we’re just not Twitter compatible) but because I think the tasks they do always look like loads of fun and the house they stay in is always preposterous. I’m pretty sure I could come up with some winning hyperbole so the producers could hoist me by my own petard during my inevitable downfall and I’d also do a great line in two-faced snarkiness about the other obnoxious contestants in the talking heads.
7. The TV character I wish I knew in real life...
Maybe it’s my masochistic nature betraying me, but part of me kind of wishes I knew Frank Underwood from House of Cards. If I did know him, everyday life would be that much more exciting – not knowing whether I was going to get a sudden promotion or a one-way ticket to purgatory (or worse!) but at least it would never be boring.
8. If my life were a sitcom, it would be…
W1A (even though I work in W12).
9. TV theme tune I can’t get out of my head
My colleagues who sit near me have said that I frequently tap out the percussion line from the Doctor Who theme, but the weird earworm that I can’t seem to shake right now is the theme tune to Adventure Time.
10. Cancelled show I wish they’d bring back
Twin Peaks. Bring back Kyle MacLachlan for the first episode and then kill him off (again?). Cast Summer Glau as a hotshot FBI recruit sent to the town to investigate the murder. Russell Tovey can play her on/off love interest and Jessica Lange would make an excellent log lady. David Lynch would produce, Vince Gilligan would script and Ben Wheatley would direct. Come on Netflix – what are you waiting for!?
Alex is part of the Festival's Talent Schemes committee, who are responsible for the editorial direction of the schemes and selecting their delegates. The members of the committee are individuals who have extensive knowledge of the industry and are passionate about the future of the media.
To find out more about our two talent schemes - The Network and Ones to Watch - visit the GEITF website: www.geitf.co.uk