In praise of Duncan MacDonald
Duncan was one of the most talented and warm 'laugh out loud' funny writers I have had the fortune to work with. I am quoted as saying Duncan was not the sort of person you would normally hire, which I did, but the context was that many other companies would not have allowed me to take a risk on someone with little previous experience and the knowledge that he may, or may not, make it to work. There was always a hilarious mishap to prevent him making it in to the office. But when he did he was absolute genius and I loved him to bits. My biggest regret was not tracking him down to where he was living prior to 2017. I truly believe Duncan never reached his potential considering his genius but his personality and sheer brilliance and understated humour made up for that in spades. I miss him.
Hi Chris. Good piece but I spotted an inaccuracy in it. You wrote:
The South Coast Diaries
"The Diaries were originally commissioned by David McCandless and published on the now defunct Seethru website in 2001 as part of the ‘world building’ for the TV show ‘Attachments’ (which also featured contributions from Paul Lakin, Steve Hill and Charlie Brooker)."
The South Coast Diaries were indeed commissioned by David McCandless for Seethru, and Seethru was mostly written and edited by Macca, Paul Lakin, me, and Miles Tudor. I'm pretty sure that Steve and Charlie never contributed a thing to it. At least not that I'm aware of, and I was there for well over six months, providing updates for the Seethru website and making websites and pages appear in the TV series. At the wrap party for Seethru (at The New Cross Bar in King's Cross) it was me, Macca and Lakin representing the Seethru "website people". No Hill and Brooker.
Another thing about The South Coast Diaries was that Macca commissioned me to take photos for him during that time, which I agreed to. One photo shoot happened in Hastings, with Macca and Duncan, and it happened on the morning of September 11th 2001. For about 90 minutes we walked around Hastings taking photos, before Macca received a call saying that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. So me, Duncan and Macca went into a nearby pub, bought a drink, and sat in front of the television, where we proceeded to watch the second plane hit, live on the news. We all looked at each other and said "fuck" a lot. Then went home under a cloud of dread. And that was the last time I saw Duncan. I've still got all the photos by the way. Some good ones in them.