Frozen indigo angel

Thursday, April 26, 2007 by

Here’s what appears to be a viral campaign-within-a viral campaign, and to reproduce any is really to allow myself to be duped but – hey! – I met Paul Denchfield over 10 years ago when he was working for Hewland International on Sky One’sGames World, and then wrote about his onscreen involvement in C4′s fantastic Wanted. Somehow, I feel compelled.

So, what follows is the email Paul sent OTT on Tuesday April 24. Afterwards, I’ll be dropping in a few comments. See you at the bottom…

Dear OTT, 

My name’s Paul Denchfield, and I’m a freelance TV producer/director. I’ve made a few well known series (A Place in the SunGordon Ramsay’s Beyond Boiling Point …) and I’ve been in the industry for about 15 years now. I’m also mentioned on OTT as a presenter of Wanted. I mention all this because I want you to know I’m not a crank. 

I believe the BBC is deliberately defacing the work of its programme-makers, without permission or explanation, as part of some viral marketing campaign that they’re covering up. 

I’ve been working for the BBC recently, producing video podcasts for Radio One. I normally deliver a final cut which they then put online. But when I checked my latest Scott Mills vodcast, somebody had messed with it. A phrase – three words – had been superimposed on the title plate and throughout the video. The words were “FROZEN INDIGO ANGEL”. I definitely didn’t put those words there. 

I called the BBC and told them about it. At first they ignored me, then they had a go at me. To be honest, they were bloody rude and I was royally pissed off. 

Last week, I had a call telling me that my contract has been terminated. No official reason was given. 

What’s even weirder is that I’ve noticed these words again somewhere else. They were included in an Arctic Monkeys podcast, also produced by the BBC, and on the scrolling Radio One DAB text. I’m sure there have been other incidents. 

Ariel, the BBC magazine, has already picked up on this and even they don’t seem to know what’s going on. 

The BBC is a public organisation. It belongs to us. It should be held accountable for its actions – not only because of the effect they have on so many production staff, but also because we, the audience, deserve to to be told what we’re getting. If this is some kind of campaign on behalf of the Arctic Monkeys (Arctic/Frozen?) we deserve to know. 

Whatever this is, I think it’s cost me my job, and I haven’t had a decent explanation about what’s going on. 

That’s why I’m writing to you and anyone else who might be able to help. I want to put some pressure on the BBC. I want to get some answers. I’ve been stonewalled so far, but if I can get some media pressure behind me, the BBC will have to listen and they’ll have to talk. 

I’ve put some more background and some clips on my blog: If you’d like to know more, drop me an email or try my mobile: [deleted]. I’m in an edit today, so I might have it switched off for a while. 


Paul Denchfield 

So, clearly, this is all some big promotional strategy, particularly as friend of OTT, David Bodycombe, has pointed out, “It seems a bit suspicious that [Paul] registered on 19 April, exactly the day he got ‘fired’.” And, in all probability, I’ll never find out what it’s all about. I’ve not doubt there’ll be a reveal, I’m just fairly confident it’ll happen somewhere I never frequent, and it’ll be about something I’ve got no interest in.

Last word to Nick Gates from (hope you don’t mind me quoting you, Nick): “I think we should force [Paul] to shave one of his eyebrows off”.


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