When Twenty Twelve creator John Morton was first writing the script for his follow-up W1A, the likes of Splash! and Tumble were yet to hit our television screens. And despite his nose for all the hilarious quirks of the BBC, even Morton admits he was surprised when the wacky entertainment formats made it to broadcast.
“Who would have thought of Splash!,” he tells RadioTimes.com. “If I had been writing that in a draft for a script before it happened, I would have thought, ‘No, who are you kidding?’ And Tumble, my goodness.
“It does mean that there’s nothing you can say or virtually nothing one can make up that doesn’t feel believable.” And this is coming from the man who came up with Britain’s Top Village.
So, has the advent of the Beeb and ITV’s increasingly wacky entertainment formats allowed Morton to push his creative licence even further? “I suppose it has, really. There’s a little running thing in episode one of series two where a useless character called David Wilkes – the camp northerner who was trying to get Britain’s Top Village off the ground – has been asked to develop another show.
“He’s got no ideas but comes up with a show called Heavy Petting which is where celebrities swap pets for a week or a month. You think, ‘Well, we might see that at some point.'”
W1A returns to BBC2 next year. Don’t miss John Morton’s appearance at the Cheltenham Literature Festival with cast members Sarah Parish (Anna Rampton) and Hugh Skinner (Will the intern). You can book tickets here.