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14 July 2021

Georgia Pritchett Q&A: “Reality TV has led to catastrophe“

The Succession writer and producer on shunning reality TV, looking up to Stacey Abrams, and why we’re all doomed (in a good way). 

By New Statesman

Georgia Pritchett was born in London in 1968. She has written and produced shows including “Veep”, “The Thick of It” and “Miranda”, and is currently a writer and executive producer on HBO’s “Succession”.

What’s your earliest memory?

Sitting in my buggy in the snow. I was three. My mum said to my brother, “Don’t fall over in the snow.” Then my brother fell over in the snow. This made me realise: 1. Bad Things happen. 2. Bad Things happen even if you tell the Bad Thing not to happen. 3. We’re all doomed. 

Who are your heroes?

As a child, Piglet and Kermit. After a year of home schooling, teachers. Nobody ever told me when I had children that I would have to spend so much time with them.

What book last changed your thinking?

The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen, about five times in history when the world has ended. I like being reminded how insignificant we all are.

What would be your Mastermind specialist subject?

Godzilla. And all of Godzilla’s nemeses. Nemesii?

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Which political figure do you look up to?

Stacey Abrams. She is an incredible activist and politician who has worked tirelessly to expand and protect voting rights. When she became House minority leader in the Georgia state assembly in 2010, she made a plan for how the Democrats could win the state back in ten years. And by 2020, she had helped them win an electoral victory for Joe Biden and two crucial Senate seats. 

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In which time and place, other than your own, would you like to live?

Although I would very much like to chew the fat with a couple of Brontës, the bathroom situation would prevent that. A well plumbed-in, fully flushing loo is too important to me. I’ll pass on time travel.

What TV show could you not live without?

I love so many shows. But I refuse to watch reality TV. I always said it would lead to catastrophe. And it has. 

Who would paint your portrait?

My son. He says my eyebrows are like beautiful socks.

What’s your theme tune?

I was named after Ray Charles’s version of “Georgia On My Mind”. People quite often sing it to me when they hear my name. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

My nan once said, “Don’t eat jelly before you go to church.” I neither eat jelly nor go to church, so I suppose I have followed it. 

What’s currently bugging you?

I’m hungry and there’s nothing in the fridge.

What single thing would make your life better?

Holding a chef hostage in my kitchen.

When were you happiest?

Making my children laugh. I used to make up bedtime stories for them. One night, when they were about five and three, I made them laugh so much that they both wet themselves multiple times. It was a five-pant story. It was messy but gratifying. I really found my audience. 

In another life, what job might you have chosen?

A restaurant reviewer. 

Are we all doomed?

Have you been listening to anything I said? See question 1. Yes, we’re doomed. But in a good way. We (humans) shouldn’t outstay our welcome.

“My Mess is a Bit of a Life” by Georgia Pritchett is published by Faber & Faber

[see also: Anita Rani Q&A: “People will look back at our era with disgust”]

This article appears in the 14 Jul 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Apple vs Facebook