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The inspiration behind Red Dwarf, well that's a long story, usually. Short version: we developed it from a series of sketches we wrote for our radio show Son of Cliche, which featured Dave Hollins - Space Cadet.
The elements behind Red Dwarf''s success are quite complex. Partly, though, it's because we deliberately made it as timeless as possible: no contemporary references. And it's science fiction, which does seem to last in its appeal better than most genres. Of course, first and foremost, it has to be quite good.
I don't consider my university studies to have aided my work as a television producer at all. Not even a little bit. University experiences, however, played a massive part.
The choice to tackle dieting and obesity in Fat with satire? I'd done a lot of research, in an effort to address my own weight problem, and I discovered some fascinating stuff. I wanted to write about the whole area, and I'm a comedy writer, so satire was the only way in for me. I don't really think of it as satire: I just try to write funny.
My future plans include some interesting projects bubbling under: TV series, a new novel. I'm about to sit down and write my first stage play. I like exploring new frontiers.
Writing is the natural thing for me. It's what I love. I only got into producing to stop people screwing up the writing.
The biggest kick that I get out of my career has always been hearing people laugh at my writing. There's no feeling quite like it.
To give advice to students and post-grads regarding employability... realise these are tough times. Get the best results you possibly can, and if you get a sniff of a job, grab it.
Interview by Fliss Turner