White Van Man: The Journey From Head To Screen
- To write a TV comedy series and
- To write an episode of Doctor Who.
It turns out, the idea and all the characters for the show had been in my head for years, I just hadn't realised it at first.
The show, really, is about two things:
- Me and my Dad
- The place I grew up (Lichfield in Staffordshire).
My Dad (who just so happens to be called Tony and has a little white moustache - just like the Dad in the show) is from a very different generation of people than me. He grew up in a working class household, didn't do great at school and started working at a very early age. He did a lot of manual labour jobs like building, plumbing, painting people's houses etc. You know, the sort of jobs that make you want to say 'Grrrrr' a lot.
Where the magic happens - Adrian's desk
I mean, my Dad single-handedly built the extension on my Mum and Dad's house, whereas I got in a huff this morning because we were out of green tea. We're very different people.
One day I started to wonder what it would be like if my Dad couldn't do any of that stuff anymore. Would I have to step up? And boom! Just like that, the idea for White Van Man was born. I'd sort of been living it for years.
Although let's be honest, that 'boom' could well have been the result of me trying to rewire a plug. We may never know.
I also suddenly realised, I'd grown up living in the setting for the show too.
Welcome to Maplebury
To me Maplebury is Lichfield. I know to Will Mellor, it's Stockport. I hope for you, it's where you grew up. Believe me; you might even meet some characters in the show you already know from home. You might even see yourself in there. In which case, if you do - sorry.
That's been the real joy creating this show. Everyone who has read it has seemed to get it. They all just seemed to understand the world because they had, in someway, grown up in it.
And that's why it feels strange to be finally putting it out there for everyone to watch. Within four years it went from being some stuff in my head, to being some stuff on a page, to seeing Clive Mantle (who plays Tony) wandering around set with a little white moustache. It still doesn't really seem real.
Maybe that's because it comes from a very personal place. I hope you recognise it.
Now if we could just get Steven Moffat (head writer and executive producer of Doctor Who) to give me a call, I might be able to retire by the time I'm 33.
Adrian Poynton is the writer and creator of new comedy series White Van Man which starts at 10.30pm on Tuesday.
Watch more clips and see photos from White Van Man
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