Last week I was nominated for Best Writer at the Scottish Comedy Awards. It was nice to get recognition for something that’s earned me my living one way or another for the past dozen years.
The thing is though, the Awards are voted for by people around the Scottish comedy circuit. As I bowed out of the stand-up side of that world around 2 years ago, I realise that it might be tough for any of my comedy peers to know what I’ve actually been doing on the writing front.
The award nominations relate to work taking place between Jan 1st and Dec 31st 2015, so I’ve put together a rundown of the writing work I actually produced during that period. That way, whether people would like to vote for me or not, they know what they’re voting on.
Writing for Television
I didn’t do any credited writing for TV programmes during this period, but I did do some writing for comedian appearances on BT Sport.
I also provided material for npower’s TV ads using stand-up comedians, including the adverts featuring Omid Djalili and Jason Cook.
Writing for Radio
In 2015, I was a commissioned writer on three BBC Radio Scotland shows:
Breaking The News. During 2015 I wrote for both series 1 & 2 of this BBC Radio Scotland production, contributing material for host Des Clarke’s jokes. Prior to that, I also wrote for the pilot episodes of the show and appeared in the studio run-through, doing material I produced.
The Good, The Bad and The Unexpected. I wrote for this series, produced by Richard Melvin’s Dabster Productions, and was also a guest on one episode recorded in Inverness during the Celtic Media Festival. This meant writing for both others and for myself to the show’s specific brief.
The Fame Game. Another show produced by Dabster Productions, another writing commission.
As well as these programmes, I also appeared on BBC Radio Scotland’s MacAulay and Co in their Five Things feature – which involved writing topical material around 5 topics plucked from that week’s news.
Writing for comedians / presenters
Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, I can’t list who I wrote for or what appearances I wrote for them on. So you’ll just have to take my word for it that TV shows, Radio shows and the hosting of do’s were involved.
Writing for newspapers
Until July I was writing a weekly (non-comedy though) football column for the Dunfermline Press but I gave it up due to being – as I hope this post explains – understandably knackered. In December, Andrew Learmonth got in touch though and asked me if I’d be up for writing an article for The National about the Forth Road Bridge closure from a Fifer’s perspective. Something I was happy to do.
Writing for my day job
Some of you probably know that these days my living is made using my writing skills to assist brands with their social & content needs. Some examples of my writing from the awards-eligible period include
entries (designer: James Reilly) for my then employers into the The Drum Magazine’s Chip Shop Awards (awards for shocking/spoof or other forms of ad that will never see the light of day as part of an actual campaign).
With my current employers, the award-winning The Lane Agency, I also work with clients like Graham’s Dairy on their social content. This involves exercising many of the same comedy muscles I’ve used throughout my career, albeit using a tone of voice appropriate to the brand and the audience.
For instance, how to flip Black Friday:
Special day today… pic.twitter.com/2WZbGMRtKY
— Grahams Family Dairy (@GrahamsDairy) November 27, 2015
I also still need to be able to tap into the laughter of recognition, for moments like the inevitable New Year’s Day hangover:
(it was written in 2015!)
Writing for @ScotComFC
As some of you will know, I set up ScottishComedyFC.com a few years ago, along with the accompanying podcast and Twitter account, @ScotComFC. I should also give credit to Owen McGuire who is the mainstay of the podcast and Michael Park who has taken over the day to day editing of the site and now also contributes greatly to the Twitter account.
Here are some tweets written by me during 2015 though.
When Mike Ashley sent Rangers 5 Newcastle players on loan and told Kenny Mcdowall they had to play:
Went into Sports Direct yesterday and bought a pair of trainers. Apparently I MUST wear them? They're coming round today to check.
— Scottish Comedy FC (@ScotComFC) February 6, 2015
At the General Election, pondering the impact of having had a self-confessed “Fascist” in charge of your football team:
8000 UKIP votes in Sunderland? Does that mean they really didn't like Paolo di Canio or they really did like Paolo di Canio? #TheVote
— Scottish Comedy FC (@ScotComFC) May 7, 2015
The problems of James Forrest’s baby face:
How much does it look like Griffiths has just lifted one of his kids out of the crowd to celebrate? pic.twitter.com/H1lwhTOn8A
— Scottish Comedy FC (@ScotComFC) November 9, 2015
As spotted by Iain Todd, this summing up earned ‘Tweet of the Week’ from Scotland on Sunday:
— Iain Maciver Todd (@iainmacivertodd) May 3, 2015
Writing for my own Twitter account, @RossTeddyCraig
I’d love to use Gavin Webster’s “I took the rest of the day off after writing this one” line… but I just stayed at work:
I joined in with the #FiveWordsToRuinAJobInterview hashtag and earned myself a mention in The Metro.
"Anyway, they dropped the charges." #FiveWordsToRuinAJobInterview
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) January 19, 2015
In February, I noticed that #BritishSexPositions was trending and decided to rebrand it as #ScottishSexPositions. This resulted in that hashtag topping the trending topics and earning me a mention in The Sun.
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) February 13, 2015
I was also able to position myself as a psychotherapy consultant to the great and the good of Hollywood:
Cameron Diaz doesn't like people using social media to get "validation from strangers". Not yet having worked out what movie audiences are.
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) March 2, 2015
Come the General Election, Twitter’s most famous self-searcher was out of a job. Something I chose to commemorate:
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) May 8, 2015
I also put this together for future Labour leadership elections:
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) May 8, 2015
Later on in the year, the TV documentary Angry, White and Proud hit our screens. My take on the people being followed by it seemed to strike a chord and earned me a mention in the Daily Star.
If all you have to be proud of is the skin you were born with, it does suggest that you've done f**k all since birth. #angrywhiteandproud
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) January 14, 2015
A similar programme later followed, We Want Our Country Back. One foetus who was interviewed on it seemed to get confused as to what a generation was:
"It was our generation that built this country" – You're about 19! You must have built it out of lego! #WeWantOurCountryBack
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) October 6, 2015
Another thing that concerned me politically in 2015 was the support that seemed to be generated in favour of Jeremy Clarkson when he was sacked by the BBC. Clearly, this was a job for a slightly tweaked Malcolm X quote (which seemed to bamboozle some…).
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) March 25, 2015
Still, at least Clarkson wasn’t threatening to run for London Mayor, as Sol Campbell was:
What if Sol Campbell just lets his London mayor contract run down then signs for Paris?
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) June 23, 2015
Probably the biggest political shock of the year though came in the Labour leadership election, when Jeremy Corbyn won by a landslide:
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) September 12, 2015
If Andy needed to sit down after the shock, maybe he could have paid a visit to Leith?
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) May 19, 2015
And a few other bits of hashtag fun from the year:
Straight Outta Condoms #MakeAMoviePregnant
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) June 1, 2015
I'm using the IKEA instructions. #MakeSexAwkwardIn5Words
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) January 24, 2015
With #WhatIsLoveIn4Words we probably have to stop and consider whether hashtags are being started by aliens harvesting information.
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) February 12, 2015
Elf is already ruined for kids in Germany. Given that they haven't seen the first ten movies. #RuinAChristmasMovie
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) December 11, 2015
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) May 12, 2015
Then we reach the horror of the bridge closure:
I've seen this movie before. It turns out a monkey carrying an experimental virus has got loose in Fife. #Forthroadbridge
— Ross Teddy Craig (@RossTeddyCraig) December 4, 2015
OK, so I’m stretching what we can class as writing, but I still had to put together a powerpoint (including some of these very Tweets as slides) and talk that led to this result at last year’s Expo Scotland event at Hampden:
— Fresh Start Events (@Freshstartevent) May 6, 2015
(And I’m back there this year on April 13th)
No probs. Also among the nominations is my mate Steven Dick who is an incredibly talented writer and likely to lead all concerned on a far more entertaining post-awards victory booze up!