HELL & HIGH WATER
In 1994 when I was working with Channel 4, I launched an American medical drama series called "E.R." starring George Clooney, Anthony Edwards, Eriq La Salle, Sherry Stringfield, Julianna Margulies and Noah Wyle. It was quite popular.
The highlight of its second season was an episode named 'Hell & High Water' which focussed on the dramatic rescue by Dr Doug Ross (Clooney) of a boy stuck in a storm drain. The programme gripped viewers as the tension rose along with the waters - the boy faced certain death by drowning as Dr Ross tried everything to free the injured child as the rain lashed down around them.
This week, Chloe and I figuratively re-enacted this episode in slightly less dramatic fashion. We were in Leeds for the opening of the fantastic new itsu store in that fair city (it's great; you should visit). It was a busy day as usual but we were feeling good as we boarded the train back to London with the usual collection of creative thoughts and ideas rolling round our heads.
We were somewhere just north of Peterborough when the first phone call came. George Osborne had announced his sugar tax in the Budget. This was a surprise. A very good surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.
Within minutes our inboxes looked like some sort of hyperactive vide printer as the UK (and international) media descended electronically to find out Jamie Oliver's thoughts. This was exciting. It was also a problem - we both had about 20% of phone battery left and no means to recharge. As usual we didn't panic but did our best to field as many emails and calls as possible as the waters rose and bubbled and the English countryside whizzed by.
I got home with 3% of remaining battery and recharged. I think everyone got the response they needed. Some lucky people even got a spontaneous interview in Westminster - right place, right time. And just like the E.R. episode, it ended well.
And then the next day we announced a pregnancy! Funny old game, PR...