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Dirty Feed: Best of 2018

Posted 30th December 2018

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“Hey there, John. What’s this?”
“It’s a list of all my favourite articles I’ve published on Dirty Feed in 2018.”
“But don’t you usually wait until the 1st January to post that?
“Just so you could anally point out that you only post your yearly roundup once the year is actually over, unlike everyone else?”
“Does this mean you’re dumbing down your material to chase a more mainstream audience?”
“Yes. Could you go away now, please?”
“A mainstream audience that you’re never going to achieve, incidentally.”
“Fuck off.”

*   *   *

From Script to Screen: The Nigel Barton Plays
So, 2018 kicked off here with a series of three articles examining Dennis Potter’s seminal Stand Up, Nigel Barton and Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton, comparing the broadcast versions of the plays with the published scripts. I always get a little nervous when writing stuff like this – there are Dennis Potter scholars who know precisely 1023% more than I do about eating breakfast, let alone writing about Dennis Potter – but I hope I unearthed at least a few interesting things.

Sincerely Yours, The Breakfast Club
About how one of the most famous monologues in cinematic history quite clearly wouldn’t have been one of the most famous monologues in cinematic history, if everyone had just gone with the first draft. (Savour the rare sight of me actually having something to say about film.)

Cheap Cheap Cheap: Escape from the Cuntery
Probably my favourite piece I wrote all year, about underappreciated Noel Edmonds game show Cheap Cheap Cheap. I think I managed to nail down a lot of stuff here that I love about television that I’d never previously managed to write about, except in a few tweets here and there. If a new visitor to Dirty Feed was to read just one thing I wrote this year, I’d like it to be this one.

Drop the Dead Donkey: The Unbroadcast Pilot
By far my most-read piece all year, a deep dive into the unbroadcast pilot of Drop the Dead Donkey – and a little examination of TV pilots as a whole. Mainly works because I spent 10 years of idly thinking about all this, and then just vomited it all onto the page.

Support for Serial Comes From…
I think Dirty Feed is at its best when I write about stuff nobody else would bother to write about. The changing of the sponsorship messages in Series 1 of Serial definitely comes into this category. Whether anybody should have actually bothered to write about this is, of course, a judgement call.

6 Times Your Favourite TV Shows Jumped the Shark
I am a twat.

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A few other things I wrote this year which I think turned out well: why you should be kinder to your past self, about criticism in the form of comedy, how the churn of television can be a good thing, on bad TV studio etiquette, about people deleting their tweets, how all television deserves a bit of sparkle, and when a brilliant ident isn’t a brilliant ident.

Many thanks to everyone who read my silly nonsense this year, and especially if you’ve liked, linked to, or retweeted any of it. I haven’t really found huge chunks of this year to be that much fun, and I suspect a lot of you reading this will have felt likewise. While I don’t want to frame Dirty Feed as an escape from reality, I do think of it as a little reminder that we will all go absolutely crackers if we only focus on a couple of horrendous topics all year round.

As ever, I have loads of plans for the site in the coming year, but rather than promising the earth and failing due to life reasons, let’s just see what happens. Although seeing as I actually managed to write the article I teased at the end of my Best of 2017 piece this year, I’ll give you a little glimpse of something to come here early in 2019…

Front page of KYTV Challenge Anna script

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“Those asterisks you keep using are really, really pretentious, by the way.”
“I said fuck off.”

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