>>To Caroline @ Channel 4

-----Original Message-----
From: Karen J Guthrie
Sent: 11 October 2001 15:15
Cc: Nina Pope
Subject: TV swansong update - long-ish email alert!

Hello Caroline,
How are things?
I've decided to email you as I'm beginning to feel like a wierd phone stalker calling you up all the time! I thought we should give you a brief update on our TV swansong project that we spoke about a while back in relation potential art /comedy hybrid opportunity!

We have now developed a more focused approach (!) , based on some visits to A & E at Royal London hospital with a really funny PA who advises Casualty (the programme). It was (understandably ) tricky to talk to staff there, and the patient confidentiality aspect is problematic too - however, it was helpful to meet her and get her insight into hospital life. We realised also that the patient 'turnover' / traffic was very quick (and to an extent the staff too) , so it would be hard to build up any rapport with that particular situation.

We then had a look at some other wards, and the difficulty of approaching patients, and finally struck gold with Whitechapel AM, the hospital radio station, which is staffed by an odd selection of people, including some charming DJ's. Through them, we got instant access to some non-critical wards ( alarmingly easy in fact) and joined in their 'requests' section of a Thursday night show, interviewing raucous old ladies who all wanted to hear Simply The Best. I can't go into it here, but there was some fantastic material there - not least the fact that it *seems* absoluteley noone is listening to the station. It really is like some adult game, with charitable aims to the whole endeavour....

Finally, we discovered Patientline, a at-your-hospital bed 'console' combining tv, pay-per-view, phone and web, all set up by On digital. its in around 50 Uk hospitals, with big plans to a) provide access to patient notes etc via the console and b) invest in placing the system in new build hospitals. We are sensitive of the ethics naturally but their marketing dept. have helped us set up a meeting - with I guess the longterm possibility of us broadcasting something we do through them....

Anyway, to cut to the chase - we are now at the stage where we really want desperately to recruit a writer to help us develop the project and find a production company / partner - we have a vague idea around using the hospital radio link to stage a genuine (ie walk on parts for minor celebs, charity coin buckets, the works) but subversive Christmas show with patients and staff, that will in turn generate material for the ultimate 'comedy product ' ( not the right term but ...)

Sorry this is a bigger email than any should be - but hopefuly it will reach you where the phone won't !

All the best,

Karen G