13     Making the programme fit

Emma and Jenni are working on timings with a stopwatch, cutting the length to split seconds. Emma has a complicated chart, adding and taking out seconds painstakingly from here and there. ‘Witchcraft could lose 45 seconds … cut the lead in to 40 seconds … we’re still five seconds over … the music for the serial provides flexibility. You have to finish at 2.59.45 at the latest to make sure you don’t crash the pips.’


Many programme makers will share the same bad dream – their show is either five minutes too short and grinds to a halt early, leaving a gaping hole before the next item, or it develops a will of its own, gathering momentum until it becomes an unstoppable juggernaut, ...

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