Two of Bailrigg fm’s biggest names have delved into something new and written a SitCom, written for the station, pretty much about the station. Andrew ‘Chuck’ Sharp and Ishan Ganjoor’s debut in the writing of drama for radio is a sterling success and will have you laughing through the 20-minute episodes. I recently caught up with them to see how the process went, and to find out what we can expect from it.
What’s the name of the sitcom?
Chuck: It’s not suitable for broadcast. We can say that as a title, or literally, it’s not suitable for broadcast.
Ishan: We were just writing down words that were vaguely to do with it. So we had words to do with radio, words to do with sitcoms, where does it meet? Then you randomly generated something, didn’t you?
What is the basic premise of Not Suitable for Broadcast?
Chuck: It’s just set in a radio station.
Ishan: It’s very loosely based on student radio.
Chuck: It’s about us and the amount of time that we spend here.
What was the inspiration for the Sitcom?
Ishan: Started in 1st year, we’re now in 3rd year and Michael Hunter (an ex-Bailrigg member who one of the characters is based on) suggested that we write a Bailrigg Mockumentary, and Ella (Bailrigg Station Manager) was interested in making a Bailrigg inspired drama. And I thought why not give it a go? I’d written half an episode and then me, Ella and Chuck found ourselves sitting in Bailrigg at midnight just coming up with sketch ideas.
Chuck: We’re really inventive. The setting, we were really inventive with that, doing it in a radio station, and all the characters are based on Bailrigg members.
Ishan: Yeah, all five of the main characters are exaggerated members of from Bailrigg.
So, with all the characters and the setting taking inspiration from real life, did any of the events in the Sitcom happen?
Chuck: When we were writing it, it started out quite normal.
Ishan: There were some bits where you could imagine it happening, it was relatively realistic.
Chuck: We go to a conference in an episode, and we did that in first year. Some general radio stuff happens. Then the more it wrote, it just got weirder, and we thought, well we’ll just roll with it.
Ishan: There’s an antagonist played by Jamie Mills, he’s a bad guy. There’s no bad guys in Bailrigg, except Chuck, and he’s one of the main characters so we couldn’t do that.
This is your first time doing this, will it be the last?
Chuck: This is the first and last time.
Ishan: This is the first, and hopefully not the last.
Chuck: I think I’d like to write a sitcom again, but in terms of working with Ish…
Tell me a little bit about the writing process.
Chuck: Basically Ish writes it, and then I make it funny.
Ishan: I will put down a lot of stuff on a paper. Giggle at rude words. Put the storyline there. Then Chuck comes along and he’s all OCD and picky.
Chuck: Mainly because I couldn’t understand what you were trying to say.
Ishan: I write to a 60% finish and Chuck will get it to the 100%. It’s been a real experience, and I’m really glad that we did it.
Has it gone smoothly?
Chuck: We gave up last year. It didn’t get touched until the very end of last year. We thought we should pick this up again. We had one and a half episodes before then, and then it really picked up again. You know when you get to exams, and you think ‘what can I do that’s not exams?’ Over summer, we got quite a bit done, finished it off in the first three weeks of this year.
Ishan: It moved pretty quickly last term, we did it well. We hit the ground running: we had a cast pretty much ready; knew when we were recording…
Talking about the cast, do you have a favourite actor, character, or moment?
Chuck: We could probably write this down on a piece of paper, without showing each other, and come up with the same character and the same moment.
Ishan: Everyone’s favourite character is Michael, based on Michael Hunter but super exaggerated. Played exceptionally well by Jason Naylor.
Chuck: Michael is a tech guy, he’s very nerdy but still wants to be friends with everyone. He’s the most loveable person there but everyone seems to pick on him. But that’s how we seem to show love to him, if we didn’t take the mick out of him, no one would know he existed.
Ishan: He’s the sweetest guy though, and Jason plays him so well.
Chuck: He can’t sigh though.
Ishan: We need Jason to sigh in a certain way that is the correct combination of sadness that you’re not being heard and frustration that you’re being ignored.
Chuck: He’s done about 50 takes of doing sighs. It always turns out sexual!
Ishan: Or too breathy.
Why should people listen to the sitcom?
Chuck: They shouldn’t.
Ishan: That’s a good question actually.
Chuck: It was fun making it, and we hope that people find it funny. There’s definitely some really funny parts. It’s our first time trying to write this kind of thing, and on the grand scale it’s gone really well. But the frustrating thing is listening to everything that’s getting edited down.
Ishan: For the resources that we had available, and our lack of experience, I do think that it’s come out really well. And we hope that people enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it.
It’ll be broadcast on Bailrigg Fm, will it be podcasted too?
Ishan: It’ll definitely be podcasted, because it’s already edited in a way for us, so it’ll be put straight on and we’ll share it.