It is a problem that would have Hugh Bonneville’s bungling BBC executive Ian Fletcher reaching for his Blackberry: the real-life BBC has run out of paper.
On the eve of the return of the second series of W1A – BBC’s satire about itself – leaked emails from inside the real Corporation reveal that the organisation is running dangerously low on paper after its suppliers failed to deliver.
In an email headed “WARNING: No A4 paper in NBH – aarrrghhh!” A BBC PA to a senior executive tells fellow toilers: “Hi folks. Please let your teams know that there’s been a cock-up somewhere in the system, which InterServe are trying to resolve now, but either no paper has been ordered or no paper has yet been delivered to the building… but currently there is no spare A4 & limited spare A3 paper in NBH [New Broadcasting House].”
The email adds ominously: “ Might be a good idea to warn your teams to only print if they absolutely HAVE to for the moment, until this can be resolved today. Watch this space for updates.”
John Morton, the writer of W1A, has already risen to the challenge of addressing the issue, suggesting “the problem is the SyncopatiPaper – a system which is brilliant when it works…”
Ian Fletcher is often seen bemoaning the perils of “Syncopation” with his IT devices in the comedy, and Bonneville – in the guise of his character – tells RadioTimes.com: “There appear to be some slight teething problems with the new SyncopatiPaper system, which comes with full paperlessness as a default setting for sustainability reasons.”
At least they can take the joke with an in-joke of their own, eh?
The first episode of John Morton’s satire about the Corporation returns with an hour-long episode later this month in which one of the sub-plots involves deleting all the archive episodes of Top Gear in which Jeremy Clarkson uses the word “tosser”.
The episode, which kicks off the second series on April 23rd, was written before Clarkson was told his Top Gear contract would not be renewed following his altercation with producer Oisin Tymon. However, the W1A production team then decided to make comic mileage from the Clarkson plotline by pixellating Clarkson’s face in archive footage and bleeping out his name from the narration.