Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yoyoing

The tour is going swimmingly. There have been some lovely reviews. They contain a few mild spoilers so if you're already coming along, you might as well wait until after... but if you're the kind of person who wants to be persuaded by the opinions of others and you think this sort of thing might tip you into a ticket purchase, then here you go.

There are two reviews from the Dublin show, one in the Herald and one in the Irish Independent and a third from the Nottingham Post for last Sunday's show.

The spoiler-free pull quotes would be:

"Observational comics are supposed to say what we're all thinking, but Gorman has made an art form out of digging deeper and picking apart the obscenities of modern life through actual research and analysis. It's an inventive approach, but his greatest talent is that he is naturally funny, with effortless comic timing and delivery. Dave Gorman gets straight to the point, all right. He's also a deadly teacher."
The Herald


"Contemporary comedy is populated by the good, the bad and the unfunny. The circuit is full of chancers trying to shock and chicken 'n' chips charlatans telling willy jokes.
Dave Gorman brings something fresh and exciting to the table. It is an absolute joy to behold."
The Irish Independent

and
"...had the crowd it fits of laughter from the get go, and using PowerPoint to hit home his observations, the subtle social commentary stayed away from preaching and just made everyone laugh at their own behaviour."
The Nottingham Post

Incidentally, I'm not sure I really understand the Nottingham reviewer's definitions of mainstream and cult and I had no idea that I was a regular on panel shows but there you go. Perception is often more powerful than reality.

I've been studying the patterns of our tour travels, hitting a reset button every time we return home. Block One was really rather gentle:



Then Block Two was kind of exhausting... mainly because the show is, naturally, quite technical and working out how to hire things in for an overseas show while still having our regular kit ready for us on our return adds a layer of time and effort...

Block Three is starting to look like one of those spider's webs made by a spider on amphetamines...

This week's travels - Wednesday = Southend, Thursday = Wimborne, Friday = Wrexham and Saturday = Cardiff - look gentle by comparison.



And of course, there are plenty of dates left after that as the tour continues through til mid-December.

And while we're yoyoing around the country, the TV show continues for another two weeks also. Episode 7 contains some yoyoing of a different kind. You have been warned.






I've got a new TV Show: Modern Life Is Goodish
I've written a new book: Too Much Information
I'm on tour: Dave Gorman Gets Straight To The Point

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Two Spoonfuls Of Sugar

Episode 6 of Modern Life Is Goodish will be on air tonight at 10pm. On Dave. Obvs.

I've had a lot of emails and tweets from people who have, naturally enough, assumed that this will be the last episode of the series. Six episodes is pretty standard in the UK. And six is the number of episodes contained in series one.

But when Dave commissioned series two and three, they asked for eight episodes apiece... and we were more than happy to oblige. So, including tonight's, there are three more still to go out for this series.

In tonight's episode, I return to a topic from series one. By which I mean... Alan Sugar gets another mention. When we decided on the running order of our shows we had no idea that this episode would be landing on the same day as the return of The Apprentice. But there you have it. If you want two spoonfuls of Sugar tonight, you can watch that and then turn over to Dave at 10pm...




New TV Show: Modern Life Is Goodish
New Book: Too Much Information
I'm on tour: Dave Gorman Gets Straight To The Point

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Goodish News


I was really proud of series 1 of Modern Life Is Goodish. It did a rare thing in telly terms: its audience grew. And Dave (the channel) have been brilliant with the way they've got behind it -  and showed real faith in us by commissioning two more series. And not just two more... where series 1 was 6 episodes, series 2 and 3 are eight episodes apiece.

And right now, we're half way through series 2 and I've just been told that episode 4 of series 2 is the best performing episode of both series, so far. Which is fantastic news. And makes me feel very grateful to everyone who's tuned in. If you're one of them: thanks.

When the show's on air, I normally try to be around so that I can reply to tweets and so on. But that's not really been possible since the tour started. When episode four was going out for the first time last Tuesday I was onstage doing a preview show in Wolverhampton. But when I came off stage and looked at my tweets I found myself chuckling. There were lots of tweets like this
and this...
Often they were in pairs, with one expressing outrage at the apparent purchase of a lawnmower and another a few minutes later, basically saying, "Okay... you got me."

I don't think we expected quite so many people to actually have (or get) a QR code reader on their phone and to go through with it. I expected most people to watch it passively, and thought that they'd find the knowledge that someone, somewhere must have done it, abstractly amusing. But for so many people to have interacted with the joke feels really special. And odd. Because we played a practical joke on people in the future.

I haven't replied to that many of those tweets because I didn't want to leave any spoilers lying around the internet for people who were yet to watch it on one of the week's repeat screenings. But as the last of those went out last night - and the latest episode will be on the box tonight (10pm, thanks for asking) I figure now's as good a time as any to mention it. But, whether I replied or not, please know that the lawnmower-tweets have been making me giggle all week. Thanks.


I've just sent an email to my mailing list with a competition question that relates to episode five. (10pm, tonight, thanks for asking). As there wasn't really a souvenir from episode 4 that I could give away, I'm going to give away a couple of books. My latest book, Too Much Information and the Found Poetry book. (Which is more of a booklet, truth be told).

I'll try and do the same for each of the remaining four episodes this series. If there's something from the show to give away, I will... if not, I'll make it a book or two. I do it via my mailing list for several reasons. I kind of dislike those, "retweet to enter" competitions because they seem like a way of artificially boosting some measure of twitter activity. They also exclude the people who don't use Twitter but are on Facebook or what have you. If I ran one on Facebook that would exclude people on Twitter too. By running it for my mailing list it keeps it out of the way of people who simply aren't that interested.

And of course, I hope it encourages a few people to sign up. Because nobody sees every tweet or every facebook post... but an email lands in your inbox and so it seems like a far more reliable way of staying in touch with folks.

You can subscribe - and if it comes to it, you can unsubscribe - right here.



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Friday, October 3, 2014

It's Tour Day!

Here we go...


                                   Zoom in, scroll around or see it full screen by clicking on the top right corner-------------------->




While I'm here, congratulations to Daniel Armstrong who won the mailing list competition for the jigsaw from episode 3. An impossible jigsaw with a slightly unsavoury picture will be winging its way to him shortly.

If I find time while I'm on tour - or more to the point - if I have a workable wifi connection on Tuesday - I'll run another competition for the next show. But as there's not really a souvenir from show 4 that I can give away, I'll make the prize a book instead. Not just any book. My latest book.

This one:

As the question is asked in an email to my mailing list... you have to be on that to be in with a chance of winning...

Hope to see you on tour...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So Really, We're Already On Tour...

For the first batch of work in progress shows it's been me trying out different bits of material and shuffling the order of things around to find the most pleasing flow and so on. It's a part of the process I really enjoy. And the shows have all been fun.


Last night a whole new ingredient was stirred into the mix, in the shape of Nick Doody, who's joining me on the tour. Nick's a brilliant comic. I'm a huge fan. He was one of the first people I turned to when the first series of Modern Life Is Goodish was commissioned. You'll see his name on the credits of every show. On a show like that, it's no use working with people who think exactly like you - you're already doing that for yourself, it's about finding people who think differently, but who have ideas that can work alongside your own. So it's no surprise that Nick's material blends nicely with my own.

And it means that last night was the first show where all the ingredients have been in place. It didn't really feel like a warm up show. Which is the point of the process, really. For the final work-in-progress shows to display enough progress. For the finished article to emerge before the deadline.

Not that things won't change some more. The more familiar I get with things, the better some of it will be. There'll always be tweaks I want to make. But the show is now, I think, the right things happening in the right order. It doesn't officially kick off until Friday, but in essence, we've already started the tour. It's just that tonight - (Wolverhampton again) and tomorrow (Tring) the venues are a little smaller.

I think about 20 of the 50 dates are sold out now. (Apologies if my website isn't completely up to date on this.) I get a lot of people asking me for information about whether there will be extra tickets here or there... the truth is, I only know what a venue tells me. I'd always recommend contacting a venue direct. Call them. Speaking to someone is always going to be more informative than just looking at what the website says.

I wrote before about how the tour, book and TV show all arriving at the same time was more down to coincidence than any Machiavellian scheming on my part. The timing has led a lot of people to ask whether the tour show contains material that will also be in the current series of Modern Life Is Goodish. It doesn't. It's a whole new show.

In any case. I hope you can join us. It's more fun when you do. And if not you, someone like you.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oh Neil, Did You Have To?

As I type this, there is one day left to watch the third episode of Modern Life Is Goodish online. It's repeated tonight at 8 too. If you're reading this and wondering what all the fuss is about and there's still time, watching it will help to make sense of where I'm going.

I was intending to let this whole episode pass without comment but it's somehow ended up in a place where some serious allegations have been made and I think they're worth addressing. I don't think anyone who saw the show would think anything racist or homophobic has been said - indeed, not a word was said that could even be misconstrued that way - but someone reading twitter might think so and that's serious enough...

In the show, I spent quite a bit of time dissecting the writing of a journalist and author called Neil Sean. You might not know the name but you will have read something he's written.

For years he's written a showbiz column in the Metro (although it appears to have ended at some point between the show being recorded and now) and he's been a correspondent for Sky TV here in the UK and for FOX in the States.

He's not without influence or power. He's a critic. He offers his opinions on others constantly and, well... he's just not a very good writer and some of what he says appears to be a bit disingenuous, if not downright dishonest.

The material about him was all about seeing patterns and inaccuracies in his work and pointing them out for what they are. I won't repeat it all here, but he's written a book called "How To Live Like A Celebrity - For Free" and it's not hard to demonstrate that much of its content doesn't stack up. It's a risible piece of work.

Anyway, during the show, the Sky news presenter, Stephen Dixon tweeted:
He didn't contain my @ so I didn't see it initially... but it didn't take long for a few people to reply and include me and bring it to my attention. I have no problem with Stephen's tweet, by the way,  he's obviously worked with Neil, liked him and so felt sorry for a friend. That's a perfectly natural reaction. It sparked a little dialogue that, I think, covers an important topic... because Neil isn't always that nice about others. He tweets jokes about a singer's looks, for example. And worse.

I find it far easier to defend making jokes about a professional writer's writing than about a singer's weight. His work ought to stand scrutiny and someone who makes a living being bitchy and unpleasant about others is really in the last place to complain about it. (Incidentally, all of these points were accepted with perfectly good grace by Stephen who, I think, was a little surprised to see the nature of some of Neil Sean's outgoing tweets. But that's another story.)

Meanwhile, perhaps prompted by Stephen Dixon's tweet, Neil Sean himself had decided to get involved. And, rather deliciously, his response contained the trait I was mocking him for in the show. I think 20 of the 50 dates had sold out already.

Up until this point, I hadn't seen many people tweeting Neil Sean about the show's content. There'd been one or two. But not many. But after this tweet a lot of people got involved. Naturally I was interested in what they were saying so, using tweetdeck, I created a column that showed me every tweet that mentioned Neil Sean's twitter handle.

Most of what he received was mocking him for the inaccuracy of the tweet or referring back to the way he often writes gossip about slebs who are smokers and so on. Some of it was abusive. I don't condone it. I saw the C word flying around. That makes me uncomfortable. The criticism of him in the show was done with a smile, after all. It was never abusive. It was factual. I certainly wouldn't describe it as a bashing. I'd say it was a ribbing.

But then Neil tweeted this:

... and that's a far more serious allegation.

Like I say, I'd been monitoring the reaction on Tweetdeck so I'm pretty sure I hadn't missed anything. I hadn't seen a single reference to his sexuality. Or race for that matter. But I was naturally concerned that maybe I'd missed something.
No reply came. And a bit of time passed. And slowly the tweet started to get under my skin. What would the casual reader think if they alighted on that tweet without any of the context? Without having seen the show? The suggestion that I've done or said things to encourage that kind of abuse is deeply unpleasant. And untrue.
No reply came. No clarification. So I called Neil's place of work and asked to speak to him. I was put through. We had a perfectly friendly chat. I explained that I was calling to express my concern about the idea that he was receiving homophobic abuse. I also explained that I hadn't actually seen any.

Neil told me that I wouldn't be able to see them because they had been sent as private messages. Which seemed odd. Because you can only receive private messages on Twitter from people that you've chosen to follow. And Neil was only following 33 people. It seemed unlikely that people he'd been following since before the show was broadcast had suddenly turned homophobic and abusive. I explained as much to him. And he blustered something along the lines of, "well I am getting them".

We chatted for a while after that. It was all perfectly civil. I understand that he's upset at being criticised by me. I think that, given his line of work - and given that the criticism wasn't personal or abusive - he ought to be able to take it. I'm afraid, I can't conclude anything other than he's invented the homophobic abuse as a defence mechanism.

If I'm wrong about that then he obviously has my sympathy. I would never condone such abuse and anyone who sends it has nothing to do with me. It certainly doesn't relate to anything said in the show. (I don't even think someone who watched the show would come away knowing anything about his sexuality either way.) I'm confident that if it did happen and it was sent in the form of direct messages then it certainly had nought to do with the show. And if it wasn't sent as direct messages, well, then why would he tell me it was? Odd.

Unsurprisingly, it hasn't been hard to find evidence that he hasn't always been sympathetic to others who've been on the receiving end of Twitter abuse:
There isn't a lot of high ground to occupy when you've been that unsympathetic to Mary Beard. And there's simply no comparison in the level of abuse the two of them have been subjected to.

My worry, having written this, is that, this being the internet, some people will misunderstand and see this as some kind of incitement to send him more abuse. Or more abusive abuse. That really isn't the point. Really. I just wanted to spell out what I think has occurred. (And what I think hasn't.)

Please play nicely.