26 March 2015 at 3:02 pm #576816
Mr. Martin Paul Mobberley
I can shed a tiny amount of info on this. On October 23rd last year I was contacted by the
producer of this production, David Morley. He explained that he wanted to produce a ‘drama’
surrounding the creation of The Sky at Night and the events of April 1957. Reading between
the lines I think the emphasis here was on ‘entertainment’ rather than solid facts. As most
of us who have been involved with the media re. astronomy know well, when contacted by
TV and radio people you realise that hard facts are going to fly out of the window at the
first opportunity, to be replaced by half-truths and even fiction! Anyway, it was clear
from the first contact that this was to be a radio ‘play’, for amusement, not necessarily
sticking to solid facts…….
After exchanging a few e-mails with David he then brought the writer, Sean Grundy, into
the conversation, and after a few e-mails with Sean he told me that he now had a copy of
my ‘RAF Blazer’ book which he was engrossed in….and could he speak to me about
Patrick on the phone please? Anyway, I spoke for a couple of hours to Mr Grundy about
Patrick’s character (on October 28th last year) and he confirmed my belief that this
was going to be a radio drama, but written primarily to entertain a Radio 4 afternoon
Five months have elapsed since then and I have heard nothing more from either of them!
I doubt my help will be acknowledged and I have certainly not received any payment
for my help, but then, I’ve never received any payment for anything I’ve done for the
BBC in this way before! Although they have taken more than £1,000 from me for BBC
figures permissions in the last few years (the BBC charge about 3x the going rate
of other agencies such as the Press Association!)
Interesting that the title of the show sounds disturbingly similar to my next book,
out in May!! Hmmmmm……
I’m not sure that I dare listen to what they have produced when it is broadcast,
but I did try to steer the writer in the direction of the truth about Patrick’s
highly entertaining character…….
But I think it is likely to be, at best, about 50% fact and 50% fiction… like many
BBC ‘biopics’. For this reason I hope they do NOT acknowledge my help in any way!!