Desert island Discs – By @Alfie60428342

By Alfie Hardman

Desert island Discs


I was listening to a Desert island Discs last night. Its one of many ‘middle aged’ habits I’ve acquired. Its true many of my friends have said I have these weird old-fashioned ticks. Not going to bore on about them.   

But fuck it, I’m not ashamed to say I would have no regrets taking out everyone’s voice boxes and replacing them with Kirsty Young’s. The world would be a far more chilled place. 

Ricky Gervais was on. He was talking about how, at his mom’s funeral, the priest had asked his brother what she was like, for the service. He replied that she was a keen racist. The priest looked shocked and said he couldn’t say that. So the brother simple told him to say she enjoyed gardening. 

Gervais has a reputation for not shying away from controversial topics. If it will make everyone concerned laugh then it’s good enough. From the interview it was clear this kind of attitude was the one he had grown up in. To be heard above them all as the youngest in the family he had to stand out and would compete with his brother, who was also many years older.

His point is that it’s context that makes the difference between a good joke and a bad one. I thought about this for a while and realized it’s the same with advertising. Tapping into culture is what I want my work to do, the difficulty is measuring how far successful it has been. Of course the dream is always to create your own for other to act upon. But it’s making it relevant while also being bold and daring enough to make it stand out through controversy. The nature of, must fit with the brands voice. Or whatever you feel it should be. 

When his father also eventually died Gervais told the priest his brother was called Barry and not Larry. I guess a pretty simple joke and pretty innocent, but the setting and timing could have upset many people. All the siblings on the contrary had erupted with laughter, so much so that Gervais had gone over to the priest to apologize, saying if his dad had been 50 and not 84 then it wouldn’t have happened. 

As creatives I’m seeing how you have to constantly keep your feet on the floor, your eyes on the insight and your ears to any conversation that might interest you. I had quite an interesting one the other day, I was walking down the stairs to the tube. A lady was explaining the reason why she and her boyfriend finally got married. For love? Nope. Her friend had got terminal cancer and died. It had meant her will was in a state and had proven a nightmare for her kids to decipher. As well as that, her partner (whom she had not been married to) hadn’t received a penny. So seeing all this, the lady had said she and her partner had decided to get married. 

It’s time to do more of this in term three. 

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