Extract from the blurb for The Fixer, BBC2, Tuesday 26 Feb, 8pm-9pm:
David Holmes runs a family business that’s one of the few industries to buck the current economic trend. Yet Holmes and Sons in Fleet, Hampshire, is almost dead and buried. If you haven’t guessed, they’re funeral directors. David’s young sons Olly and Toby are bored to death; David’s a soft touch (his nickname is Giveaway Dave), while colleague Sheena is sulkily and stubbornly resistant to change.
We give you advance notice of this with a heavy heart. The GFG gave hours of unpaid advice to the makers of the programme. We parted company when they rejected that advice and went trotting gaily down the well-worn path of formulaic tellytosh. The next sentence of the blurb tells you precisely why:
The meeting with a wedding planner to get ideas how to organise an event is nearly the final nail in the coffin for [Sheena].
As it was for us. We had gone out of our way to explain that a funeral business is like no other; that generic solutions don’t apply; that a cosmetic makeover wouldn’t do the trick; you can’t turn a funeral into a good funeral by accessorising it with gewgaws.
What we should have done next was withdraw permission for any footage of us to be shown. We didn’t — because we didn’t think it would be used. That was a very grave mistake and it calls for an apology. We had agreed a before-and-after format whereby we identified a problem… and then returned to rejoice in how wonderfully well it had been rectified. We got as far as filming the ‘before’ stuff and, regrettably, it looks as if it may be shown alone, wholly unbalanced by the praise and congratulation we looked forward to heaping on David and his crew at the end.
Sorry Toby, sorry Olly. Our intention was good.