Monday, November 07, 2005

Update from ex-MTV news presenter Steve Blame

Like all of you, I have been fascinated by Simone’s tales of the jungle over the past few years. I have the utmost respect for her, uprooting herself from the comfort of London and living out her dream in Belize. It’s not so easy to change country even if it’s just to a European destination. I left MTV in the winter of 1994 to live in Germany, a country I first despised and now have grown to have the deepest love and respect for. Whenever I hear from Simone I think of MTV. It’s such a long time ago but what memories remain are of wonderful, crazy, interesting and puerile experiences. It’s difficult to identify myself with what I was doing those days. I enjoyed it immensely but would not want that life today. I found my niche on this planet some time ago and have been enjoying it ever since.

Cologne is a great city to live, and although there are other places on the planet I would like to experience, it suits me fine. I have a TV format company which continues to grow. In the past few years my business partner and I have built up a successful portfolio of formats. That keeps me fed and has allowed me to pursue another goal.

I always wanted to be a writer, even before my time at MTV. Like most people I started reading every book about it instead of writing. Eventually I took the plunge and with my first two attempts at writing sitcoms had them both optioned. Neither of them ever made it to the screen, and I felt that although they were good they could have been better. So in March of this year I applied to go back to University and study once more.

The last time I was at University was at Exeter over 26 years ago and the degree subject could not have been more different, Mathematics and Physics. This time I am studying for a Masters Degree in Screenwriting at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. At 46, I am again a student. I live in postgraduate accommodation in town with two other guys, each of them a quarter of a century younger than me.

It’s refreshing to know that University hasn’t changed. The line up of artists playing this term reads like something directly from 1979. Debbie Harry and Bob Geldof for example! The drinks don’t change either, everyone seems to drink snakebite and the corridors stink from dope. But this time around is very different for me. I am that swat you all hated when you studied. I was up at 8 am this morning, Sunday, straight onto the computer, its now 10 pm and I have just finished writing and re-writing for today. The process will begin again in the morning.

The whole experience has been a shock, but I know that at the end of this I will have written that movie I was always destined to. I just hope that someone buys it!