I am going to share something I have never written about before but get asked about a lot – what it was really like to be a part of the Hidden Science show.
Around July 2013 I got a message from internationally renowned David Icke asking me to create a TV show for his new venture The People’s Voice TV (TPV). He wanted to create a credible show which would debate various scientific issues and be able to invite skeptics into the studio.
James and I quickly put together a proposal and a video highlighting the sorts of areas I had been involved with so far. David had come to me asking me to create a Punk Science show so a natural progression was to align it with the types of topics covered in the book. For the first time ever, we are making this audition footage available to the public. As you can see this was when the show was still called ‘Punk Science’
The planning stages
As time progressed, I thought it best to separate the show from my persona and brand, Punk Science so it was not all about me. The first producer involved came up with the name ‘Hidden Science’ and the graphics person, Miki Zoric got to work immediately on the amazing graphics that you see on the show.
To attend meetings, I had to travel down from Derbyshire, where I lived at the time, all the way to Wembley in North London where David’s team had kitted out a large office and TV studio. Through the hard work of some dedicated individuals who were either volunteers or receiving very little money, the sets and the office for TPV slowly took shape. Equipment was donated or obtained second hand and the office and studio gradually started to take shape.
The Hidden Science team
There was an initial shuffling around of the staff which ended up with bringing the director John Webster of Patient Zero Productions on board with the musician and producer, Clifford White. Both worked without pay or expenses for the entire time of the project. John Webster and myself eventually emerged as the main production thrust of the project and despite the fact that neither of us were getting paid, we both insisted on high standards in our complementary skills which contributed to the show’s success.
Yes you read that right, despite the fact that Hidden Science pretty much became my full time work for eight months, I did not receive a penny in payment for work or for expenses even though I was traveling from London to Derbyshire to take shoot the show, which was a round trip of 300 miles. Luckily I had some other work that came in during that period but it was a bit touch and go for myself and James. In an attempt to limit the amount of travel I had to do, I insisted that we prerecord two shows in a day so that I could fit shows around my speaking schedule.
Co-ordinating our skills
Between us we created a list of topics, guests and went about booking them. It was all hands on deck each of us using our skills to put the project together. Clifford composed the music to Miki Zoric’s opening title graphics. He also co-ordinated the guests with me and liaised between TPV and Hidden Science.
John created the set design and even came up with the printed background idea that enable TPV to quickly change studios in between shows. He created the running order and format and directed the show with the gallery director. This included a new experience for me – having someone talking in my ear whilst I was on the show. It reminded me a bit of seeing patients as a doctor as I needed to be conscious of several lines of thinking at once.
John would also film the mini documentaries that you see in the show with the actress, Grace Willis. He would also put all the footage together including the graphics and sometimes take the footage into Wembley to be uploaded in person.
We also had a great team from TPV which would include people helping with the set, audio technicians, gallery directors and more. Liz Roberts was the main point of contact for all the shows and she did an amazing job at coordinating everything for the entire channel.
With my experience in the field of science and spirituality I was able to book a lot of the guests as I have a lot of contacts in this area. Coordinating things so that three people ended up on the sofa in Wembley on the correct day to talk about the right topic took many hours and I did this from home. After the first show, I also wrote the scripts and the running order as well as sorting out the teleprompter and even doing the makeup for the guests and myself!
It was hard work to research the topics of each show which often involved reading the books which had been written by the guests. I felt it was almost like sitting exams again as I needed to be prepared for each show. I also wrote all the questions for the guests and their introductory biographies.
The success of the show
We knew that we had high standards but we did not expect what happened next. For a lot of the time that TPV was running, Hidden Science became one of the most viewed shows on the channel based on the Youtube views. The shows were added to Youtube after airing on the internet channel. Some of the statistics have been lost as the Youtube channel was hacked and all of the videos deleted but even with the replaced videos you can still see the popularity of the shows.
You won’t see the success of Hidden Science reflected in any of the trailers for TPV which are still on the internet because for some reason, despite me twice making the unpaid 300 mile round trip to the studio for promotion events when asked, we were not interviewed for them or the footage was not used. I still don’t know why this was the case because communication with management remained poor and chaotic throughout the experience. In fact I wasn’t ever sure whom to address issues to apart from Liz Roberts. There were no contracts or known management structure to refer to.
Interestingly the skeptics did not agree to come on the show. So we didn’t have the debates that David originally wanted. Instead a lot of the content was about exploring new scientific vistas with me playing devil’s advocate if needed. The shows opened up new possibilities instead of just pointing out what was wrong with the world right now – it was a message of hope and new growth. To our surprise this approach was very popular.
Would I do it again?
Ultimately, although I am glad I did the show as I was able to bring in the benefit of my experience and contacts to the show to elevate it to something of a serious scientific discourse. However, I don’t think hosting a TV show is really my forte although I enjoyed the production side of it. I am glad that I was part of bringing something of interest to a lot of people from the numbers of appreciative messages the team received.
Because the filming of the shows were often so hectic, we did not have much time to take footage of behind the scenes but sometimes James would help with the shows and this is some of the footage that was taken of the studio and in the gallery.
If you would like to find out more about the shows and watch the episodes, click here.
Images and videos: James Gordon Graham
Logo: Miki Zoric