Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Roger Lewis letter: Freelance persecution and z-listers like Gyles Brandreth

Roger Lewis
Dear Madame Arcati,

Bugger me blue, but I have had an absolute sod of a week, and it is only Wednesday.

Twelve years ago I was getting £400 for a book review in the Sunday Express. I was told yesterday they are now cutting the fees to £200, which is the rate paid by the Daily Telegraph, where the freelance contributors are kept on 1970s rates (or 1870s rates) so that the proprietors can live in tax exile on Sark.

I was then offered as much as £30 to make four radio programmes with Dame Jan Morris about Wales, which I declined because it would mean death threats from the Plaid Cymru Taliban.

Then my publishers said they are expecting my new book "Growing Up With Comedians" in April, even though I have been deathly ill and haven't been able to look at the manuscript for months. They'll get it in April 2013 if they are lucky.

If only I was a proper person with an ordinary job, I could be on the sick and on full salary for months -- instead of which: freelance persecution. The icing on the cake: I am being pestered by The One Show to make a 5 minute film about why I hate the touchy-feely tactile sentimentality that has come in, parents always hugging their children in public and so forth, and which I'd written about in the Mail. There is to be no fee, though there is a prospect of z-list celebrity status, like Gyles Brandreth.

Finally, unless I can put a stop to it, Mavis Nicholson is writing about my pancreatisis in her Oldie magazine agony aunt column, comparing me with her sister who died an alcoholic with Alzheimer's in a Welsh booby-hatch.

My diabetic nurse, Sister Tiggy, has put me on these new tablets that have turned my stools bright yellow. It's like I'm on my way to Oz.



My Dear Poppet

There's only one thing for it. I shall have to pore over your horoscope (but don't tell Duncan, who worships poetry). Do pass on my apologies to Mavis for wrongly reporting that she slipped on ice en route to Noyle's* birthday party [report below]. I am told she did not.

Love as ever

MA xx

*Dame Molly Parkin

Roger Lewis' fabulous books may be perused and bought here


molly parkin said...

Precious Roger..Lunched with with fellow Welsh filmmaker Karl Francis last week. Claims to have known you as a child. He it was who slipped on the ice , doing his back in, before my 80th bash, sorely missed like you. Mavis couldn't come 'cos her specs hadn't arrived, from the eye operation. Fucking tragedy, fees toppling!
My sympathies lie with your publishers, can't wait for the new book..just shove over stuff you've written already, however short. Your addicts are on heat here awaiting the laffs. love, moll..'Noyley' to you xxxxx

Anonymous said...

From an embittered freelancer to another, I hold Rebekah Mary Brooks responsible. May she rot in hell embalmed in her mouldy horse turds.

Jonathan King said...

Follow the Yellow Pill Road, Rog, and you'll never get buggered blue!

Anonymous said...

What can you do with £200? I recommend whoring.

Investment banker said...

What's wrong with a reduced income? That's less tax to worry about. You can earn about £9000 tax free now.