Darrel Bristow-Bovey & David Bullard - the great pretenders

Last week I bumped into one of my favourite stories on television. I should confess I haven't been watching a lot of tv lately and my interest has dwindled rapidly. The only show I can confess to have been watching is etv's Scandal, mainly due to the inpeccable acting skills of Sello Maake ka Ncube and Nthati Moshesh. They make all those other wannabees look good.

I watched Hard Copy on SABC3 and was impressed with the excellent script and acting that reminded me of Homicide; Life on the Streets of old and HBO's Oz. I liked the camera work, the near-reality sets, the storyline and the above par acting. Then I realised that the head writer is still Darrel Bristow-Bovey who also freelances writing Scandal on etv.

First, to understand why Bristow-Bovey would be on Scandal and Hard Copy you need to know that both stories are set in the newsroom. Both stories are about journalists and the work they do and the politics in the newsrooms and the relationships and the going ons and outs of the media fraternity.

But what I observed was that Bristow-Bovey was convicted by the court of public opinion of plagiarism in his book Naked Bachelor and word on the streets at the time was that following his unmasking as a fraud by starter Rob Boffard he would never be hired by anyone as a writer due to being disgraced in print. But unrepentant Bristow-Bovey got work and he is paid well. He is one of the hardest working writers in the country and he deserves his credit.

A friend suggested to me that David Bullard is finished as a writer and I pointed to him that nobody should discount him because soon he might be a headwriter on some story set in the newsroom. Don't be surprised if he emerges on Scandal or Hard Copy.

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