So Richard’s agent had shown some provisional interest in my show idea. Ordinarily I would have had a little laugh at that and moved on to the next patsy, but I started to think I’d try and push this idea as far as I could. A person has to have some sort of ambition, has to challenge themselves. However, this now meant getting in touch with Ray Mears as I’d told Blackwood’s agent he’d be involved.
Ray Mears isn’t the kind of guy you take the piss out of. Some city slicker behind a lap top is gonna wind up a man who can catch wild boars with a shoe lace and a doc leaf? Right! It would be like trying to poke fun at Mick Dundee; absolutely impossible. Outdoorsmen, even the wacky NWO survivalist types in the States, are off limits to me because I have too much respect for the highly useful, and cool, skill set they have. Plus at this stage I was developing notions of putting together a proper pitch and seeing if anyone in the industry liked the idea of Blackwood in the Backwoods, so I wanted to keep things straight from here on in. After finding Ray’s agent I sent this over:
I hope this finds you well. I am looking for some information on the possible availability and interest of Mr Ray Mears for a show I am hoping to put together.
I am currently in contact with Lee Morgan, agent for Richard Blackwood, for a show called Blackwood in the Backwoods. The idea is that Richard will be given a crash course in bushcraft skills and then the show will follow him in his attempts to last a month living in the wilderness, in probably Alaska or Canada. I’m emailing you because I would love Mr Mears to be the one giving Richard the skills he needs to complete this adventure. We are very flexible with any potential schedule and at this point would probably only require his participation over a weekend. If a week-long bushcraft course was possible that would be incredible. However if that was not possible we could supplement any knowledge with courses elsewhere, and just use the couple of days with Mr Mears in the actual show. Do you think that would be something Ray would be interested in or available for?
And I heard back fairly soon from Jackie (the same Jackie Gill who represents Anneka Rice and had allegedly been giving me grief about her rider) with this:
Ray doesn’t really do private courses – he sometimes will donate a day out for a charity auction but these go for anything from £15,000 – £50,000.
We could perhaps organise a course with his Bushcraft School ie Woodlore and should you want Ray involved we could work out a price for him to come and meet Richard.
All best wishes Jackie.
£50,000? I’m sorry, call me old fashioned, but if i’m paying that sort of money for a man to take me out to some secluded forest, then at the very least i’m gonna be needing something sucked or rubbed. In fairness though she seemed really nice, and I told her as much in my follow up email and said i’d be in touch at some point once I had a few more details.
People were now telling me to go for it and pitch this idea to some TV production companies. So I put together an email summarising the show and saying Ray and Richard had both expressed interest. Whether through a lack of time or real belief that anyone would put such a show together I didn’t pursue this relentlessly. I emailed it to a production company, the only one I could find who took unsolicited ideas, but I heard nothing back. That really would have been just a bonus though. I had already struck gold with Ray and Richard’s agents and that was enough for me. I had just gotten my first two Celebriteasing successes within a few hours of each other. Things were looking up and only one question remained. Who would be next?