TV executives claim to be always on the lookout for exciting ideas, but never seem to grasp them when they come their way.
TV executives claim to be always on the lookout for exciting ideas, but never seem to grasp them when they come their way.

You may have noticed that documentary spoof Operation Good Guyshas just come out on DVD. There are adverts in all the papers detailing the celebrities who have cameos in the show such as Jude Law and Johnny Lee Miller - impressive. David Seaman and Denise Van Outen are next - hardly Hollywood superstars, but they might shift a few copies.

Then comes a slightly surprising name - Alan Yentob. Alan Yentob? The BBC's creative director? Do you think his name is going to persuade anyone to buy this? Are there hordes of Alan Yentob fans out there, with Alan Yentob posters on their walls, all desperate for more DVDs featuring Alan Yentob?

Will anyone see this and say: "Oooh, look, Alan Yentob! I must own this."? Anyone not related to Alan Yentob, that is?

It's painfully obvious that there is only one person this is aimed at and that's Alan Yentob. Nice ploy. Flatter the executive and he might give you another series.

Some might call this executive relief, but I call it executive schmoozing. It's something I have never been good at. It's something I am reluctantly having to attempt again, as I pitch my latest TV ideas. I hate executives. They are all, without exception, clueless idiots who wouldn't know a good idea if it ate their expenses budget.

See how bad I am at schmoozing. They all read Broadcast, you know. I mean what else have they got to do? It's not like they have to work.

I've done it again.

I suppose the years of disappointment (tinged with occasional rays of hope, which only makes things worse) have made me cynical, but even when an executive shows an interest in my work, I know that just as the project is about to be green-lighted, they will suddenly get a job at a different TV station and that'll be the end of it. Or that after two mildly successful series, a new controller will be appointed and decommission everything from the previous regime. Or that I'll simply open my big mouth and ruin everything.

I've written a TV script based on my weblog ( My manager tried to pitch it to the brain behind Channel 4's Bo' Selecta!(yes, I was surprised there were that many brains involved), who replied: "I read that. He slagged off Bo' Selecta!on it. Next!" He did agree to see me about another project next week, but now I've just ruined that too!

I think the Operation Good Guysteam are on a hiding to nothing anyway. I've met Alan Yentob and he seemed to me an intelligent man of the people who would not be swayed by such cheap flattery.

By the way, I've got the perfect show for CBBC, Alan. Any chance of a meeting?

Richard Herring is a writer and comedian