I wrote and directed this half-hour comedy drama for Channel 4, shot over only five days. It tells the story of a Simon, a xenophobic estate agent who falls in love with Ludmilla, a beautiful cleaner at his office — who he later discovers is an illegal immigrant from a foreign, vaguely East European land called Arpadistan. (A shout out to my middle name…Arpad.)
Simon is so besotted that, to make Ludmilla happy, he decides to throw away all his principles and smuggle her brother into the country, in the boot of his car.
The only problem with the plan is that Ludmilla’s brother Arpoz (another absurd shout out to his creator) is actually… not so much her brother. He’s more like… an ex-lover. Who’s still in love with her. And is not only more intelligent… but, very annoyingly, also much better looking.
Cue somewhat hilarious hijinks as the two men fight for Ludmilla’s hand… along the way forming an unexpected bromance. Which ends badly. Before there’s a happy, slyly hinted polyandrous ending. (I was ahead of my time in terms of representing the Polyandry lifestyle on TV.)
I had a great crew and cast along for the ride – including the hugely talented Toby Jones, who went straight from my low budget set to a starring role in the Truman Capote biopic, Infamous, opposite Sigourney Weaver, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sandra Bullock. And then on to a whole host of other glittering, big budget Hollywood films.
I taught him everything he knows.