Sunday, 5 December 2010

Is there a doctor in the house?

'Mad mean' Gillian McKeith, or why I regretted having her as a regular guest on a show I once produced. This was at a time when she had a regular TV show, speaking of regular she spent a lot of time looking at peoples poo to determine whether they were healthy or not. I thought she would be the ideal person to make up my healthy 'family' that I created for a daily change your life show I was producing.

After a lot of wheeler-dealing with her agent I negotiated a reasonable fee for a monthly appearance, as a value-for-money deal she would also record a few lines of wisdom that would be played during every show. I also got them to agree we could also use her image and create editorial on our website.

Her first appearance was good, she has a great passion for healthy eating and I was pleased with my decision.  Unfortunately her next appearance coincided with the press hounding her about whether she was a Doctor or not, you can read the wikipedia  entry for their carefully worded article about that.

I suggested that during her next appearance which was due the following day, she should clear up the matter, I would allow her to use her choice of words and any questions would be agreed as I still, at that point wanted her on board.  Well I think mad rage would describe the response I got via her agents.  "How dare I question her qualifications, how dare I say this or that about her."  So we made a brave editorial decision to, frankly - dump Gillian.

Looking back it was the right thing to do, I just couldn't let her back on the air and ignore a whole week of press coverage about her qualifications and then have her talk about healthy eating.  It is an important part of your job as a producer to be sure that your 'expert' is qualified to talk on their subject.  That doesn't always have to mean academic qualifications experience also counts. 

As a footnote had Gillian been more open about her Doctorate I would have welcomed her back as she is an engine for better healthier eating - check out her website for more  click here

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