02/06/2011

What Ever Happened To David Sneddon?



Not that anyone really noticed but I haven’t blogged for the past couple of months. Not because I had got bored and wandered off like I normally do, but because I had an idea burning in my head I needed to get out and have been working on it pretty much exclusively since the last post.
 
What follows is a little over 3000 words of what I like to think is a pretty decent comedy script.
I would like to pitch it to actual tv bods, but being “just” a member of the public that’s like saying I’d like to be an astronaut
 
If you are reading this and work in the media in any way shape or form please help me, even if it is to tell me its rubbish and I am wasting my time.
 
And if by some odd chance you are reading this and are David Sneddon, what do you reckon, fancy it? 

What ever Happened To ... David Sneddon?
 
 
VOICE OVER: Born in Paisley in 1978 David Sneddon won the hearts of the British public in 2002 when he won the first and penultimate series of the bbc hit reality talent show Fame Academy, had a number one single with "stop living the lie" that sold over a quarter of a million copies, his Debut album Seven Years - Ten Weeks released in 2003 entered the charts at number five and spawned two further singles.
 
 But where is he now?
 
Scene 1: Interior of a car in rush hour traffic, David Sneddon is driving, the interviewer is sat in the front passenger seat filming proceedings with a handheld camera , his voice is always off screen.
 
David Sneddon: But seriously winning Fame Academy was the best thing that ever happened to me, I mean who else can say they did that? Fewer people have won that show, and it was massive remember ... huge! Fewer people have won that than have . than have . have walked ... on the moon...
 
[Awkward silence]
 
Just think about that for a minute eh?
 
[Deadly serious, looks into the camera raised eyebrows, small nod]
 
The moon
 
Interviewer: Do you regret it?
 
DS: [confused] Regret what?
 
Interviewer: Entering the academy....
 
DS: You see the thing is I won, me, the public chose me, I mean yes Lemar was in there ... but where is he now?
 
[Pause]
 
Does he have a Nordoff Robins Award?
 
Interviewer: He has a few brit awards and some Mobo' as well...
 
DS: Ah they give them to anyone these days, Annie Lennox won best female by default for years didn't she.
 
Interviewer: So you're happy with how things have panned out ... in the long run like?
 
DS: Yeah, yeah, I guess so, I love my job
 
David checks his mirrors, indicates and pulls the car over, he shuffles in his seat and speaks to the as yet unseen rear passenger
 
DS: That'll be £14.50 please mate
 
Passenger: Is this going to be on the telly?
 
DS: Aye it's a documentary about me and what I'm up to .
 
Passenger [interrupting, fishing for notes out of his wallet]: There's fifteen . keep the change [smiles at the camera, leaves the car and slams the door]
 
DS [sarcastically]: Aye cheers pal
 
David looks utterly despondent and then an idea pops into his head
 
DS (sighs): Well you know what they say, look after the pennies and all that .
 
David manoeuvres the car back into traffic, the scene ends
 
 
Scene 2: Interior of the same car parked in a posh, quiet street. David is on the phone to his agent who also runs the taxi firm; we don't hear what the agent is saying
 
Ds: I don't know, I don't know, I don't know .. No see what's hard about it is I know Sean, he's a good mate . No I haven't seen him in a while but that's not the poi- . No I don't know if he has a clean  licence! ..look I'll drop by later and we'll have a proper talk about it then then.  ok . ok . yeah I'll mention it, see Youse later.
 
David disconnects the call, checks it is off, double checks it is off. Pinches the bridge of his nose, closes his eyes hangs his head and sighs
 
Interviewer [concerned]): is everything ok?
 
David sighs, shrugs his shoulders and starts to drive again
 
DS: That was me agent, nice enough chap, works like a Trojan but he just doesn't seem to get the direction I want to go in
 
Interviewer: How do you mean?
 
DS: Five-ive are trying to reform but Sean isn't really into it and Roman caught wind of it and wanted me to [David takes his hands off the wheel to do air quotes] "be" Sean
 
[Absentmindedly, almost to himself] Wonder if they'll just be four-our now?
 
Interviewer: He was asking about a licence?
 
DS [sighs]: yeah he runs the cars as well, wanted to know if Sean would be interested in a bit of driving, that's how he hooks you in .
 
Interviewer: how do you mean?
 
DS: He promises he can find you all this work, personal appearances, corporate gigs, after dinner talks, you know the norm like
 
Interviewer [sensing a possible scoop]: And it doesn't materialise?
 
DS: Ach no, it does, it does I mean I opened a Lidl week before last, made the papers and all sorts, [proud and excited] regional news filmed it .[disappointed] but they had to drop it from the show as a some bloke beat a duck up in the park and they were appealing for witnesses
 
Interviewer [confused]: So what happens then? How do you end up here?
 
DS: Well his argument is he doesn't like to see us with nothing to do, says he worries about us sat at home waiting on the phone like .
 
Interviewer: So he grooms you? … For want of a better word
 
DS: Aah it's not like that, thing is I agree with him to a certain extent, you know I spent weeks bumbling around that penthouse on my own and it's not good for you, you know?
 
Interviewer: I see so do you do more driving than singing now?
 
DS: Actually I like to combine them; I mean why do they have to be mutually exclusive?

 
Cut to David driving late at night singing at the top of his lungs to a very drunk couple who clearly have no idea who he is
 
Scene 3: Star Carz office, a shabby portacabin with nicotine stained walls; there are pictures of Roman with minor celebrities everywhere, some obviously and crudely photoshopped. There is a single gold record on the wall
 
 
Roman [overly friendly]: David! My friend! Do come in!
 
David looks at the camera rolls his eyes and sits down
 
Roman: So my friend, what can I do you for?
 
DS: umm do you have any work for me?
 
R: I have a regular school run for you, lovely little girl . got the downs syndrome
 
DS: I meant more .. you  know singing
 
R: well . the Five-ive gig still going, you need to think fast Dane Bowers is sniffing around it like a Fly on shii [looks at the camera, panics] like a . like a. like a  Bee on a flower!
 
DS: You know I can't do that, I can't I just can't , I mean I . I . I  write my own stuff, I don't even like Queen
 
R [surprisingly aggressive]: How can you not like Queen?!
 
DS [frustrated]: that isn't the point, I can't [air quotes] BE Sean
 
R: Roy Walker has a limousine ...
 
DS [confused] : What?
 
R: Yeah, Roy Walker, he has got a Limo, I'm thinking we team you up with Steve. One of you drives the other is in the back with the punters doing a bit of the old singing
 
DS: I don't know what to say to that ... on so many levels
 
R: You could jazz it up as much as you like . to a certain extent of course; [winks to camera] you're not the scat man
 
DS [sarcastically]: So I'm in the back of a limo, with a hen party and I sing to them while Steve drives us around town
 
R [enthusiastically]: brilliant isn't it!
 
David looks blankly at the camera and shrugs his shoulders looking defeated
 
Scene 4: monologue with Roman in his office
 
R: See I like David, he is a talented lad and a good driver, I don't really get the Jazz thing but I do what I can for him, you know?  He opened a Lidl the other week, made the local news and everything!
 
[sighs] the only problem is he wants to be like the British Jamie Cullum, what's that all about?
 
[mimes playing the piano like Stevie Wonder for slightly too long]
 
It's been done to death, I like to try and push the envelope a bit, you know why stick to what you're good at?

You might find something else that you're equally as good at that you never even knew about.
 
He doesn't like to talk about it but Gareth Hale is a champion dog dancer, you seen that?
 
Dancing ... With the dogs. to music?
 
He performs under an assumed name so the paps don't harass him
 
[Solemnly] He's a very private man ... since the breakdown
 
 
Scene 5: Roy Walkers Limo, David is sat in the back of a stretch limousine wearing what is obviously a chauffeurs uniform - minus the cap.
2004 X-factor winner Steve Brookstein is driving, wearing the same uniform as David - with the missing cap - and sporting a Madonna style head set microphone.
The car is full of a rowdy and clearly drunk hen party; all of the hens are wearing pink and sporting every clich├ęd hen party prop imaginable
 
David [singing, the mic is ever so slightly too loud and the sound comes out muffled and distorted] : I know that I'm carrying on, never mind if I'm showing off  I was just frontin ..
 
Steve [singing into the head mic off camera, crystal clear] :You know I want ya babe!

 
The limo pulls up outside a bar and the girls all pile out; the bride is the last out and approaches David
 
Bride: Thanks for this, I really liked you on the telly. When are you going to do Colourblind?
 
David [forced smile]: That's not me ..
 
Bride: Of course it is, you look better now you don't have the ponytail..
 
David: No really that's not me you're thinking of.
 
Bride [woefully off key]: Giiive me a siiiiign. hit me baby one more (clicks fingers) time
 
David: Right pet, you go and have a good time; we'll be [singing] Right here waiting for you!
 
The Bride runs off to join the rest of her party
 
Interviewer: What was all that about?
 
David [sadly]: oooh nothing. She thought I was Darius, I get it a lot, it's a Scottish thing
 
Steve [off camera]: Least you get recognised pal. Come on Davey boy time to swap over, it's my time to shine!
 
David: You're welcome to them pal, the blonde one thought I was the stripper. Shoved a fiver down me trews when I was singing Unchained Melody
 
Steve: No way! Did you keep it?
 
David: Too right I did! That'll get me some chips on the way home
 
 
 
Scene 6: monologue with David in the back of the Limo
 
I like Steve he's a top bloke, Roman keeps trying to stick us together to be the next Robson and Jerome, and I dare say tonight's performance was another step towards his ultimate goal
 
I'm not really sure about it all, I mean I don't even like fishing and they are never going to bring back Solider Soldier are they?
 
But no Steve is a great guy, a true survivor I mean I'm glad I didn't go down the path he took but we have a lot in common, he was the first winner as well .
 
He didn't get a house like what I did, but he has come out of the other side a better, stronger, wiser man
 
The thing about reality tv is its not the really real reality and the people at home don't realise, its someone's life, their hopes, dreams and destiny they are voting on.
 
[Sadly] Not all of us are this strong or lucky
 
I've set a charity thing up with the Craig … Phillips, Reality TV Survivors Trust or RTST for short; we provide free meals and somewhere to stay for the less fortunate ones …
 
There are more of them than you first think the fallen, the broken, the lost, and the forgotten.
 
We found Danny out of Hearsay just wondering the streets singing the chorus of Pure and Simple over and over and over under his breath, so quiet you could barely hear it
 
[Sighs, blinks away tears]
 
It's mainly us blokes who fall by the wayside, you know?
 
The girlies, they all end up in the lads mags or in the soaps, Nuts have never rang me to do a photo shoot with me top off
 
We have the entire family from Soapstar' in a safe house in Telford, they were just hung out to dry in the most brutal fashion, made to live in that holiday camp and then bang! Nothing
 
Slowly but surely we are trying to reintroduce them back into society but its hard work and our funding is pitifully low .
 
And none of the so called big stars even want to know, as if this will never happen to them
 
Well it will, you mark my words, we all get our time in the sun. Our 15 minutes of fame
 
I bet you can't even tell me who was in Liberty X can you?

Long pause, David stares into the camera

[like a mantra] Tony, Kevin, Michelle, Kelli ,  Jessica
[ almost shouting] One True Voice! Anton, Matt, Daniel, Keith, Jamie
HearSay! [with disdain] Myleen, Kym, Suzanne [with tender sadness] Danny, Noel

[quieter] Poor poor Noel, he didn’t even see it coming …

[sighs]

It is early days yet but you can pencil in The Wanted, One Direction, Diversity, Spellbound

The list is getting longer by the day, and no one cares

No one cares

[Whisper] no one cares

Scene seven: Romans Office a few days later

DS [clearly quite depressed and at the end of his tether]: Roman I can’t do this anymore ….

Roman: [excitedly] I’ve bought a bus!

DS: Wait … what? Why?

Roman: Romans Party Cruises!

DS [sighs]: what the hell are you on about now?

Roman: following the unmitigated success of the limo venture, I want to expand it to a full on cruise ship level.

DS: that’s the single most stupid idea, anyone has ever had

Roman: no no no no no its brilliant, have you seen the price of Cruises? They are really expensive
This way you get all of the perks at a fraction of the cost and get to sleep in your own bed at the end of the night!

Ds [sarcastically]: the perks? Travel sickness and cabaret? So are you going to have the singers walking up and now the aisle? No no no standing at the front with the microphone like one of them tour guides

[deadpan nasal voice]
And on your left you’ll see the A5

Roman: Oh no! It’s going to be even better than that! I have contacted them pimp my ride people and they are fitting a stage and dressing rooms and a bar and tinted windows and a dance floor and tv screens

It’s going to be off the hook!

DS:  Just how big is this monstrosity?

Roman: it’s an old route master double decker! And it is going to look amazing

DS [tired]: You do know you’re insane don’t you?

Roman [completely oblivious]: Joe Pasquale is well into the idea; he wants to do a full season and thinks that Tom O’Connor might be in as well

 Ds [angry]: A season! You’ll do a few laps of the ring road and then drop them off in Spar carpark! And who is going to drive the thing? Tell me that Roman … tell me that!

Roman [still totally oblivious]: Roy Walker has a HGV license, he is a man of many talents, have you ever heard his poetry? Its beautiful … doesn’t rhyme but [air quote, awful Irish accent] Its not meant to

Ds:  whatever dude, listen I want to just stick to the driving for a while all [flails hands around] THIS, well it just isn’t working for me

Roman [upset]: but you were going to be my headliner …. I had it all planned, Tom O’Connor was going to do a round of crosswits, Joe was going to tell a few gags, make them a bit blue and then you would sit at the grand piano and play a few jazzy numbers

DS [taken aback]: I’m touched I really am, I’m just in a funny place right now I need to clear my head a bit

Roman: Ok, [sighs] Right, the work on the cruiser is going to take a few months, why don’t you do a few school runs, few weekend shifts and have a think and we’ll see where we all are when we are all ready to set sail

DS [smiling] : that sounds more than fair, Roman you are utterly insane but you’re a gentleman , thank you

What follows is a series of clips of David driving his taxi with mixed results

DS [ smiling, singing cheesy jazz style, glancing into the rearview mirror] The doctors suggested an abor-tion, your parents thought it was drastic, thank god THANK GOD for their beautiful Spast [realisation hits where the adlib song is going]-Scooby-doo-doo-whop-whop!

Camera pans to the back to reveal and smiling happy child with downs syndrome

It’s dark and David is looking pretty chuffed with himself, the camera shows a beautiful woman is sat in the back

Ds: Here we are love, that’s £15 please ..

Woman: how about we settle the bill … inside?

Ds: I … I … I don’t know what to say

Woman [gesturing to the camera]:  He can come in as well, capture it all for prosperity

David is driving late at night with three, rowdy and drunk men in the back

Drunk 1: Down here mate, down here [gesturing to pull into a one way street]

David pulls the car over

DS: That’ll be twenty five quid please chaps

Drunk 2 [shouting] : LEG IT

The three men pile out of the cab and sprint off in the opposite direction of the cab, laughing their heads off

DS[screaming]: OI Come back!

David jumps out of the car and gives chase, the interviewer stays in the car and the camera watches him run until he is out of sight

The end credits roll over David sat at the baby grand piano on the cruise bus, singing Stop “Living The Lie” to a few people sat at opulent tables, the bus has been refurbished to look exactly like a cruise ship but customer seating was obviously at the bottom of the list of things to do and there is only room for a few tables

01/06/2011

Pine Cone Ollie

What follows is a story that I delivered by hand in a series of facebook status updates on my blackberry on my dinner hour today.
I was going to tweet them all but some are too long and I can't be arsed to break them down ...
  
if I was a tramp my name would be Whittling Bob. I wouldn't beg, I would sell twig sculptures of film stars from yesteryear to keep me in sleeping bags and strong cider
 Theo Paphitis would pass by one cold Autumn morn and see the Oliver Hardy I had crafted out of a pine cone. its simple beauty would reduce him to tears
 "I'm in" he would say between sobs while emptying his wallet into my donation hat. he would carry pine cone ollie with him everywhere to remind him of how it can all go wrong
 Duncan Bannatyne would offer Theo Paphitis his entire gym chain just to hold Pine Cone Ollie once and Theo Paphitis would look at him sternly and say "NO"
Every so often Theo Paphitis would seek me out and beg me to whittle him a Stan Laurel and I would say to him "Theo Paphitis off Dragons Den, the sculptures, they pick me"
And I would offer him the Drew Barrymore as Gertie in E.T I had fashioned out of a bit of silver birch, he would shake his head sadly and toss a few coins into my hat
Years would pass and Theo Paphitis would still come calling on my doorstep, his life now reduced to completing the much loved comedy duo Laurel and Hardy whittled out of twigs
and then one day when Theo Paphitis was a frail old man, I would motion for him to sit next to me and I would whisper into his ear, my stinky tramp breath hot against his neck
"its you, Theo Paphitis off dragons den, you're the Stan Laurel you have been searching for. you are the very first sculpture I ever made"
He would look at me with anger in his eyes but then the realisation would dawn on him, a smile would creep across his face. A single tear would roll down his cheek
he would then hug me, now sobbing like a child who has fallen over on a gravel drive. "papa" he would say "I love you"
and I would say ""I love you too my little Stan Laurel twig sculpture come to life, I love you too"
so next time you see a homeless person selling hand made sculptures out of rubbish, just think you may well be Burt Reynolds fashioned out of a dog egg