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Last Tuesday I ushered my parents out of their living room and put Eastenders on mute to take a call from Hollywood.

It had started with an email the previous Saturday morning. I was munching on my cereals and skimming through emails on my iphone. I paused mid-mouthful when I spotted an interesting looking message. The subject line was “TV Enquiry: 40 before 30.” The short note from an “Emmy award nominated production company in LA” said they were looking to make a programme about people attempting to complete travel challenges before they were 30. Was I interested to chat, they asked. Damn sure I was!


A few more short emails were exchanged. The question of exclusivity came up. Had my story, the story of 40 before 30, been covered in other media outlets? (I have a story?!)

With no clear idea of what I was getting myself into, a telephone interview was arranged between myself and a researcher for 8.30pm UK time on Tuesday. I gave them my parents landline number as I am currently living at home (paying rent on a London flat seemed foolish when I am home about 1 weekend in 4) and the mobile reception out here in the sticks is pants. This led to the comedy scenario of me, a 20-something who lives at home, asking her parents to kindly to leave the room and mute the TV so she could take a call from Hollywood.

The phone rings. The friendly, American accent on the other end of the line wants to know how 40 before 30 came about. Why 40 countries? How do I pick countries? What counts as part of the challenge? What have I learnt? What can I say about ‘my journey’?

And I am flummoxed. I waffle. I drone on about readers and community and ‘staying true to myself’. (Yes really, makes you want to vomit doesn’t it?!) I go on about my job. How people don’t realise that I run this site in my spare time, squeezing trips around a full time job. How it’s my favourite hobby. And I completely miss the point. For whilst I think I am being interviewed to appear in a documentary about travel blogging, at the end of the call I am told this.

We are a docu-reality TV company. We make fly-on-the-wall travel programmes. We don’t incite drama like the Kardashian’s, for example.

(Here I interrupt – “I LOVE the Kardashians”, I squeal. I know I squeal as Mum tells me she overhead this bit from the other room. “Yes,” the researcher replies, “well we all have our guilty secrets.”)

She continues. We are looking for a traveller to follow on their challenge, perhaps 2 depending on who we find. How would you feel about a TV show following you on your travels? Probably just a producer and a cameraman to join you on trips?

And I am flummoxed again. They want to make my blog into a TV show? My own TV show? WHAT THE *BLEEP*?!

I mutter something about this being ‘cool’ and the call comes to an end. I start giggling uncontrollably as I try to describe to my mum what that call was all about. I immediately realise I did the worst job ever to convince a production company that my life would make a good programme. I cling, optimistically, to the hope that for a better and truer idea of what I do and why, the producers will go by my blog and not that call. I text a few friends and update my Facebook status about the surreal scenario; a travel addict from Berkshire getting a call from Hollywood.

Two days later I get an email. The production company are “exploring other avenues.”

Oh well, it makes a great story. I’ll dine out on this one for a while.

About Author

Travel blogger and freelancer writer who loves boutique hotels and brunching. I've been blogging for 10 years, visited 60+ countries and called London, Sydney, Melbourne and (oh so briefly) New York home at various points during the last decade. Now travelling with a baby and trying to make it as stylish and stress-free as can be!

24 Comments

  • Cailin
    March 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Argh! Shakes fist in air! They will regret it 😉

    Reply
    • Jayne
      March 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      Hahaha thanks Cailin. I honestly find it so hilarious that they even called – maybe next time! 🙂

      Reply
  • Sarah Betty
    March 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Oh my God – so awesome they even called you. I was reading this out to my friends and they were loving it and then we got to the end. Such a shame. xx

    Reply
    • Jayne
      March 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      lol bit of an anti-climax isn’t it. I enjoy telling the story though! x

      Reply
  • Heather
    March 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    How did you sleep from the first email to the call?! Maybe you didn’t!!

    How wicked cool that this all came about. I know it’s not moving forward (for now) but what an adventure to have been selected as a traveler of interest 🙂

    Reply
    • Jayne
      March 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Completely agree Heather, to have even been approached feels amazing 🙂

      Reply
  • Andrew
    March 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    That is such a great story!

    Reply
    • Jayne
      March 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Glad you liked it!

      Reply
  • Victoria Philpott
    March 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Argh no, I was so excited reading that! Damn, their loss!

    Reply
    • Jayne
      March 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      lol, sorry about the ending!

      Reply
  • Deb
    March 11, 2012 at 3:26 am

    That is so awesome! You’re on their radar. It’s just a matter of time now. Congrats on being noticed and standing out from the crowd. And Yes, what a great story!

    Reply
    • Jayne
      March 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks guys – very kind 🙂

      Reply
  • Bird
    March 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I love how excited you got and that you let out an impromptu Kardashian squeal! You clearly are staying very true to yourself and you can be fully judgmental of who they potentially do do a show about 🙂 x

    Reply
    • Jayne
      March 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Good point! Great idea! x

      Reply
  • Sophie
    March 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Fun story 🙂

    Reply
    • Jayne
      March 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks. I think so too 🙂

      Reply
  • Karin
    March 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Haha this made me hold my breath I was so excited for you! What a bummer but at least you’ve been noticed and its an inspiration for the rest of us! Keep it up I’m sure you’ll get more calls!

    Reply
    • Jayne
      March 13, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Thank you so much!!

      Reply
  • D.J. - The World of Deej
    March 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

    What an awesome story…this one may not have panned out, but who knows where the next call will come from. Reminds me of the time a friend who’s an actress suggested I “audition” for a golf equipment commercial. I am a golfer, but I have never acted a day in my life. I drove all the way to Orlando, waited my turn, went in the room for about 15 seconds, and they too “went another avenue.” Oh well, it was fun to get out of my comfort zone…

    Reply
  • Matthew Hutchins
    June 23, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Such a great story, keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Jayne
      June 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Aw thanks Matthew!

      Reply
  • […] Copenhagen, followed swiftly by more stylish times at Toronto Fashion Week. Then I got a call from Hollywood and was all set for the fame and fortune – until it went horribly […]

    Reply
  • Menorca
    May 28, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Hey!
    I just came across your ’13 ways to make money as a blogger’ post and have not been able to leave your site yet!Am loving reading your stories and getting a glimpse into your journey:)My travel blog is not very old and I still have a long way to go! But, we should keep connected:)

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      May 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks so much. Let me know if I can offer any help at all 🙂

      Reply

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