New 60-Seconds Interview with Richard

RA Bulgaria and Hariclea unearthed a new interview with Richard, published in free newspaper Metro in the UK today.

Let’s unpick this a little bit.

Early childhood reading

Enid Blyton as one of Richard’s childhood authors. I had to smile at that a little, because it coincides with my own childhood reading. I loved those books because there was always adventure in them. Initially my favourite series was The Famous Five, and I thoroughly identified as George, the tomboy. But even at a young age I was thoroughly and presciently-feministly pissed off at the depiction of Anne as the eternal homemaker and cook when the famous five went on their adventures. Ugh. Later my favourite series was Tina und Tini – which was sold in Germany under the Enid Blyton name, but actually was not written by the British writer at all. That series chronicled the adventures of brother and sister Tina and Tobi, as well as their friend Tini, and with two girls at the helm, it felt more representative to me – the boy was not the main focus of the stories…

On audio books

Hmph, I have to say I am slightly miffed at RA mentioning Jeffrey Archer as the first author of an audio book that he has read. Meh – I don’t want to read too much into it, but well… Wondering which audio book he found “intellectual”… *coughs* Angela Carter? Marcus Aurelius?

Future of Theatre

Restaging the last six weeks of the run??? Hm, that would be great and make a lot of people happy. But will that be feasible now? I think he is right, though, about theatres only reopening some time next year. That is if they have survived until then. Not sure whether RA had heard the news, but apparently ATG (to whom the Harold Pinter Theatre belongs) has just laid off 500 staff members because the theatres won’t reopen until 2021. A dire situation. And not only for the artistic staff that Richard has mentioned in the interview. There are plenty of other people involved who will have lost their jobs, from front-of-house to the technicians and the clerical workers in the theatre admin. It really looks bleak…

Unfulfilled career ambitions

Well, we’ve heard the shtick about the production plans for a while now. I assume it must be quite tricky getting something off the ground – not really for lack of material but probably in terms of finding financiers. If he is planning to act in the films that he is producing, then at least he has got his own star power to attract financiers. However, I have to say I felt like shouting “noooooooooo” when I read that he ultimately wants to produce and *not* act. Meh. I hope that doesn’t mean he wants to give up acting for good? That’d be a shame.

Write something before I die

A-ha!!!!!!!!! Well, hehe, so, no more humble declining the suggestion that Mr Character Diary might want to write something himself. That sounds interesting. I do wonder what form his writing would take. Fiction? Scripts? A novel? If so, what genre? Or poetry, like the recently quickly deleted amuse gueule ? Personally, I have always enjoyed how the man expresses himself in interviews. He does have a nice way of phrasing his opinions when interviewed. I wasn’t quite so convinced by some of his more “essaistic” attempts. The piece for Cybersmile comes to mind. 😬 But then again, that was not fiction but factual/personal. – In that regard I hope he has used the lockdown to not just sit in his wardrobe and record yet another audio book but maybe has done some writing then…

Waiting with bated breath for the emergence of RA Productions – visual or literary… What are your reactions?

61 thoughts on “New 60-Seconds Interview with Richard

  1. Hmmm, so the sword has been upgraded from the umbrella stand to a shelf and he wants to write something. Interesting.
    And I’m glad he still wants to act in what he produces. 🙌🏻

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    • The sword stood out to me, too. 😂 He must have a massive book shelf if Orchrist fits onto that 😳.
      This whole production thing has been so long in the making… Did we ever hear what his production company is actually called? Didn’t he hint at RDC that it was going to be a name that meant something to his fans?

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      • He did and no, at least I never heard anything more concrete than the vague references in various interviews à la “I’m looking for material as I read” etc. It’s gonna be two years since the initial announcement in February. Seems like a long time to percolate, but then I know nothing about the movie business. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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        • I understand that it takes time to find material and to develop it to the point where you can start looking for financiers. But I would’ve thought that the process of actually setting up the production company would be relatively quick – in the sense that you can register a business and slap a name on it. Doesn’t mean you actually have to have the company working, I would’ve thought. (My hubs’s cousin is a movie producer, and I know from her that it literally takes years to get a project from the page, i.e. from having bought the material, to the point where you have finance in place and can then start putting together cast and crew… But all the while her production company has of course existed way before and beyond that.)

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          • True. And wasn’t there a news item somewhere that he actually DID option the Jackman & Evans material? For that the business entity as such must exist, right? Curiouser and curiouser.

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            • Yes, he did say that, and it was reported somewhere. Although Joy was surprised to hear it. Mind you, who knows whether you need to have a registered business in order to option material? Definitely all very curious!

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              • I guess you could theoretically buy the rights as a private person, though it makes no sense business wise. A company is usually ltd. whereas a private person has to back everything with all that they have financially speaking.
                C’mon Richie, give us a name or something.

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  2. Re restaging UV: my first thought was that the interview can’t be that recent. I also wonder why he keeps mentioning Archer or Follet in the first place – maybe he thinks it’s the major audience’s taste?

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    • True, re. the re-staging comment, but then this interview appears to be on the back of promo for Beatrix Potter, so that would make it very recent.
      Grah, I mean, I personally do not mind the Follett reference. But Archer as an audience favourite? Oh, Richie, I wish you’d know us better 😫

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      • Maybe he wants to relate to a broader audience, broader meaning outside the ‘ArmiBubble’? There must obviously be Archer readers somewhere? Not me obviously. 😆
        Re Potter: the compilation had been announced on 28th July. Maybe they had not finally decided to film UV ? Might have been a decision at short notice? 🤔 But who knows…

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        • *timidly raising hand*… 😉 I enjoyed the “heads you win” audiobook very much…didn’t have time to check out any other archer books yet, but definitely liked this one better than the ellis books (listened to the first two so far, but… meh…) just shows one more time that tastes are very different… so even in the ArmiBubble – hard to say who’s the target audience

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          • Fair enough! I was only speaking for myself as others did too. 😉 I didn’t like the Archer but I am not a big fan of the Ellis’ series either. There’s a lot of “functional” crime fiction around that simply bores me. “The guilty ones” was the only convincing part of the Jackman series to date imho with a more profound and interesting characterization of Jackman himself. I am really curious sspecially when there are times without any screen or TV appearances, still I have my objections to many of those audio publications wheras others like them. Tastes differ – you’re right andit’s fine.

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  3. I hope he will be acting as long as possible! 🙏🏻 As to the audiobooks, I believe he doesn’t remember them all, he has just named some that came first to his mind 😁 That’s why Archer. He doesn’t remember that David Copperfield is 36 hours long, not 16! 😬 Love that man! ❤️

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  4. Thanks RA Bulgaria, Hariclea and Guylty. I don’t remember him saying before that he was an estate agent once, but perhaps I’ve forgotten. I bet he was successful, Him: ” There’s dry rot, subsidence, mould”. Me: “I don’t mind!”. Yes, same here with Enid Blyton and George. And I don’t want to think of him not acting either, and then dying, although I would love to read his autobiography. Done over 30 audio books? More like 40, mate!

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    • The estate agent comment mystified me, too. If he did indeed sell houses/flats, I am sure he was quite persuasive *hehe*. RA [turns on the Standring puppy eyes]: This house would be great for you. Client [transfixed]: Where do I sign?
      Although an autobiography would be really interesting, I think that’s probably the one genre he will never approach 😂.
      Short-term memory when it comes to his audio work? Or possibly drawing the veil of silence over some of those books *coughserlust*

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Another huge George Kirrin fan here. How strange that there are so many of us here. I always felt so sorry for Ann with her mind-numbing responsibilities, while somehow sensing I was meant to be more like her, horrible thought.

    I need with a terrible burning need to hear those bad mice.

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    • It is really interesting that we felt drawn to George. Just young girls sensing that boys had a better deal – than the stereotypical Ann with making home in every cave they set up camp in? Mind-numbing indeed.

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      • I also loved the Blyton books and could very much identify with George even though I had very little pressure as a child to fit the ” Ann role model” (I was in complete tomboy mode: short hair, there was no way my mother could make me wear pink, red, orange, purple or anything like that, I had only boys as best friends in kindergarten etc – but then the other girls in my group were just all whiny and the games they played were boring ;-)) but I think kids playing around with gender identities / gender swap etc has been and will be important as long as there are conceived gender rolemodels. and books are a great way for kids and adults alike to explore these ideas. also (for German speakers) ; Christine Nöstlinger has all these characters who are in some way struggling with or at least reflecting on perceptions of “the norm” in her children’s books

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        • That gender swap definitely was important for girls. (Not sure whether it applies so much to boys. Certainly in my childhood it felt as if boys were cooler – so girls wanted to be boys.)
          Loved the Nöstlinger books when I was a child and remember reading some of them to my children later. Didn’t she write the “Gurkenkönig”?

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      • I always thought we were meant to want to be George. I mean, who wouldn’t? 🤷🏻‍♀️ Did I do it wrong?
        But then again I was always a rebel. Back then the spines of those books were often gendered—they would say ‘for boys aged 9 – 11‘ or something—and I made it my mission to read ALL THE BOOKS FOR BOYS at my dad‘s company library because nobody tells 7-year-old Kate what to read, dammit.

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  6. What besotted just said. As a producer, I wonder what kind of projects he would be attracted to. The same as his acting self? I hope he would have enough success that both jobs would result in work we could see. What ever happened to the Delpy movie. Did anyone see it. I remember seeing a trailer then … crickets.

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    • That’s an interesting question. What would RA like to produce? I suspect, the type of work is determined by his role as a producer rather than director. As a producer, I assume he’d be not just concerned with the artistic possibilities of the material but also the commercial potential. I can remember two pieces that he said he wanted to option – Joy Ellis’ Jackman books, and recently Ken Follett’s Man from St Petersburg. So, crime and (historical) thriller? Kind of fits his interests, too, I guess, because he has said that he reads a lot of thrillers?
      The Delpy movie is going to be shown in the UK soon, I think. I haven’t seen it yet either.

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        • Gosh, yes. Bridget Cleary was the first one, wasn’t it? Well, that seems to have completely gone down the drain. (Not really that much of a loss – except I would’ve loved it for RA to film in Ireland. But the story was violent and trigger-y. Meh.)

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          • Si ce film voit le jour; il ne fera pas partie des blockbusters, mais plutôt des films d’art et d’essai. C’est un sujet intéressant d’un point de vue historique et d’étude de moeurs et coutumes. Les thématiques se rapprochent de celles du “Crucible”. Mais il ne faudrait pas que ce soit juste un film “gore”, d’horreur.

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  7. I am surprised by four Agatha Christie’s I was upset at missing out on two ( only available in the United States ) but four! rubbing salt into our wounds or what?

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  8. Not a hugely revelatory interview but fun to read anyhow. 🙂
    As for the writing, I agree with you on “I wasn’t quite so convinced by some of his more “essaistic” attempts.” – I hope he finds a good editor! I’m willing to give it a shot. 😉

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  9. I also remember reading Enid Blyton and CS Lewis. George was my favorite Blyton character (and Timmy the dog). I have not yet listened to The Man from St Petersburg, it was purchased based on Richie’s chocolate velvet tones and fond memories of St Petersburg.

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  10. Well, for 60 seconds they packed a bit in. I do think it might have been from a couple months ago, before the Uncle Vanya filming? They made it clear that it not coming back on stage, which is why they were keen and managed to convince producers to take it on, thankfully.
    On the estate agent… hm, they are some of my very least favourite people here. But bless them, a lot of young people work in estate agents as it is still big business in the UK and it provides a wage. So i guess it’s the industry itself i have a massive issue with, not the young people trying to make a living in it. There just isn’t a scenario in this world which would make interaction with an estate agent romantic for me, it’s an eternal horror story. Housing business is only fun if you have $$$$$ and loads of it 🙂

    I like that fact that he has dreams and ambitions, it’s nice and good to have, almost regardless if much comes of them or not. I do think he’s optioned the rights for the Ellis books, certainly the material which might attract buyers, financiers and so on, i would say it definitely has potential. If he has a company or not is almost besides the point, i wouldn’t bother setting up one until a project is actually happening, don’t need one to discuss projects, it’s the content and it’s potential to see which will determine that. Realistically the questions isn’t at al what he would like to produce, but what financers and backers believe can sell. There is massive competition out there so the content proposition has to be attractive. Which is why i think the Ellis books might possibly work for example. But in all honestly i would be surprised if there is anything being realised on a producing project in coming year or at all, rather than the opposite.
    But it is not a bad career move to have a back up plan if acting jobs were to dry up in the future, or diversify to be able to take on more interesting projects where you do have a say. Again, realistically i think stage work will always be the safest and best back up plan if he doesn’t get screen roles. I believe that option will always be open to him here, he just has to be interested. I personally hope he always will. 🙂

    But optioning good content if he comes across it is not bad investment, if he has the cash to spare. He’s worked with some big names, especially influential directors, writers and so on, you never know 🙂

    I agree that his biggest strength is his acting 🙂 If he has the time and urge, do the writing, he has a creative mind, doesn’t need to be something others need to read 😉
    It’s great that he is having a good career which allows him options and the exploration of other avenues, personally, it’s the acting i am interested in.

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