Tell us, what is Campus?
Ok, it's an ensemble comedy set in the University of Kirke - which is a fictitious University - but really, truthfully it is about the relationships between the bunch of people that work there, whether they be admin or academics, and the kind of love stories that entwine them all.
The campus is a backdrop for a sort of observational behaviour comedy, much as Green Wing was this is kind of what myself and all the other writers spend most of our times obsessing about: how people behave. And I know we probably present fairly extreme behaviour but somewhere it is all rooted in reality and rooted in truth that we can recognise. So you might have a very odd bit of behaviour from the Vice Chancellor shouting at his staff trying to sack them with a megaphone, which would never happen, but on the other hand it is something that we can all identify as tyrannical behaviour.
We've all had bosses that are power hungry and status obsessed and it's a kind of extension of what we all know and recognise in our fellow human beings, and sometimes in ourselves. I think people tend to laugh at what they recognise in themselves or in close colleagues; so it's a sort of way of exposing the multitude of behaviours that go on around us.
Why did you pick a University for the setting?
For that very reason - because it is another arena to display those sorts of relationships; it's got all of life. We've all been through education ourselves in some form or another, we all relate to hierarchies, institutional structures, where you get everyone from caterers to CEOs and we all recognise that routine of an institution whether it is working for Channel 4, or working in a small office or a shop. It's the same deal; you have to forge a relationship dependant on status and hierarchy and a university also is very familiar territory, to some degree we have all done it, even if we haven't been to further education, we've done teaching and teachers and also it's a sort of... I'd like to say it's topical but that's not the point. It's a good arena for using the backdrop of contemporary life, albeit though it feels like we have picked a bit of a contemporary topic, I think that's not true. I think educational cuts and government cuts are going to be true whatever decade you are making a television programme in, it's just every now and then that they become slightly more pertinent.
Who is your favourite character to write for?
You can't ask that! Well, probably the easiest to write for is the Vice Chancellor but it is a joy writing the Jason and Nicole characters because their relationship really develops and they are just wonderful to write for. They have such a great chemistry on screen. But you know, they are all good to write for so that's an unfair question.