Re: Spring 2013 - Page 10

I was born in Darlington but lived in Jersey and then went away to school. I went to King’s College Cambridge and then went off on a music scholarship to Charterhouse and then off to Edinburgh University. So I have lived all over really. The thing that drew me to Lewes was my girlfriend who is now my wife. We were childhood sweethearts and she lived in Brighton. I remember that I came down to visit her when we were teenagers and we came to Lewes and had a really fantastic day out and we went to the Southover Gardens and had a snog. It was a particularly amazing day and it stayed in mind. Years later we were living in London and my wife, Sophie, was offered a job with the Brighton Festival and we looked at moving to Brighton. It’s an amazing city but we both wanted something just a little more gentle. We took the train to Lewes and walked down to Southover Gardens and had another snog and that was it really. We just fell in love with the town. What I fell in love with were the people in Lewes and the pubs. You can meet people from all walks of life and there’s just such a hunger for an independent way of living here. How did the job of becoming a TV wine expert come about? Oh, that’s a great question. It was a strange and unexpected moment. I was actually writing for film and television at the time, for kids’ programmes like Pingu, Charlie & Lola and a few others You wrote Pingu? I wrote on three series and on average about four or five in each series of say eleven or twelve and it was great. I loved that part of my life. That was a very hard trade to get into. You can’t just walk in and become a writer for Pingu. Pingu’s a legend. I have seen Pingu, there’s not a lot of dialogue. No but when you’re screenwriting, you write what the puppets do. So you have to write about their emotions, what they’re saying. I’ve got one of the scripts for Pingu on my website. So we would write the dialogue like, “Papa says, ‘No, Pingu. Put it down.’” So that the actors could then get the inflection and the sense of what was being said. Everything that happened on screen would be written down beforehand so if Pingu’s bouncing a ball, Pingu’s bouncing a ball on the script, he throws it at Robbie, Robbie catches it. Robbie throws Pingu a fish. Pingu’s alarmed, Pingu, ‘No, no…’ This sort of thing. So you’re really telling the story for the animators to build the journey of every episode. There was always a scene. You know, I remember one I wrote about Pingu getting lost and his emotional journey was just being basically terrified and realising that actually things weren’t all that bad at home even when he got told off. How did you get from Pingu to TV wine expert? Wine was always my passion. I’d worked in wine shops as a student. I’d worked in Orange & Company when it was in Jersey and collected wine. I was in wine clubs and became fascinated by it but as an amateur, it was my hobby. My friend Mark called me one day and said, “Listen, I know you love your wine, you’re nuts about it, there’s a competition being launched called Wine Idol,” which was like Pop Idol but for wine and they were looking for a TV wine expert. They wanted to find the ‘Jamie Oliver’ of wine. And I remember saying to Mark at the time, “You’ve got to be nuts, I can’t possibly enter ѡЁ͔$eЁٔ䁕ѥ͔tͅqeԁeЁиQeɔͅ她ݡЁѡ݅Ё́ͽݡéѡͥѥͥє$ѱѡѡ݅ԁхЁݥݡԁٔɽչѡ݅ݔхєѽѡ$ѡԁ͡ձٔЁtMѡЁ$܁éѕɕذѕɕЁ$ЁѼѡЁѕAЁЁ݅́Ѽɕє͕хЁݥM$ѡɹ䁽ݥɽͽѼ٥ѼɅѼݥ䰁ѼѱѼ͡є$ͽЁЁѡ!ٕé͡ͼ1ݕ́݅́ЁѡЁѡЁѡ$ٕȁ$$ݥٕȁٔM͕$eЁ͕ɕѥɥ$ݥ݅́хєݥ͡ɔݥѡ͔Ёݥ$ݥ݅́ɔM͕и$ٔи́Ս́$ЁٔѼݽɬѡUMɅٕɽչӊéɕЁɬѡѡ́́ݡɔ䁡Ё́ѡ́́ݡɔ䁉́ݥɕи!ձͽ!̸ٕ%ȁЁՔݔѕ٥ݕ !ݡéѕɥȁͥȁQXɕ͕ѕȁᅍѱѡ݅ͅ丁9݅䄁%ӊéɕ܁ՍЁȁ$͕ѡЁɥ́ɐѼ̸e׊eٔЁѼݽɭѡѥѼѥѼЁѡЁ$ɕȁѥݡ$݅́݅ݸѡɥȁЁѡՑ́ѡɔ́əՙ͔ѡɔ݅́ɕ͕ѕȁݡ݅́ɽUЁѡݕɔȁɕи$ɕȁѡЁ䁡Ё݅́ѕɅ䁉չɽչ ɸ ɜЁɕ͕ٔɥЁѼ䁅ѕɥ$ݕЁѼѡɽՍȁЁ͕݅ɐQ䁽ɕՕЁɕ͕ѥЁȁͽ$Ёȁ啅ȁɔѼQєM=QɽՍȁQєݕЁѼMɑ-э$ѡIɐ)Ց䁅ѡѡٔݽɬ$хѕѡ]ɐٔѡ M܁ٔ5ѕɍٔՑ䁥ЁЁ͹݉ɕٕͥ䰁ٕ䁱ٕ݅丁$ٕ䁙չє$()'eٕ䁍ɕհݡ$хЁݥѼ䁅Ʌ͔ЁѥԁѡЁ׊eٔЁѼ́ᅴ$eЁѡѡЁɕ䁅́ݥѠݥԁٕȁ܁ٕѡЁݥ$Qɔɔݼ٥хٕ́啅ȰɽѡѡɸɔɽѡͽѠYɑ́ѡѥQݕѡȁ́ѡѥQݥѕՔ́ѡѥQɔɔͼمɥ́ѡЁѼѼ䁭а̰݅́ЁՑɽ̸$͕ѡՉЁ$݅ЁѼչєѡЁ͔ѡɔѡЁ$Ёɽи%ӊéЁЁЁٽȁЁɽݡɔЁ́ɽɅ䰁͍ɭѥܰѡ͔ѡ̸$5ЁݥɅ́ɕѕɥ$ѡѡ䁍ձȁ饕ȸ%Ё́ͽѡѡӊéѼ՝չЁѡЁٔѼѕ啅͔́ѡչȁɅѥݥٕ́ɔѡɽ՝ѡ䁍eЁɕȁչхѡѱݕ$ѡݗeٔѡЁѡЁи%Ё́ѼɅͅ䰃qQ́́ݕͽt$QɅЁɕݥɕٽѥ́ЁѼݥ́ѽ́ɕ䁅ѡӊéݽəհѼ͕չɅɅѥѡӊéɝ䁽ٕɱѡ́չ丁'eٕ䁱ՍѼٔ!ٕ́1ݕ̰ݡ'e՝MݡЁɽ՝ЁԁѼ1ݕ́ѡЁѡ͔׊eɔɽ)͕䁽ɥ((((((0