When Shane Richie popped in to see me three or four months ago to talk about an idea for his forthcoming drama called Whatever It Takes, I was intrigued to know more. His visit to my office was to research the modus operandi of a celebrity publicist. Although I thought the script was more Max Clifford than me, I was happy to help him develop the character of JJ Merrick, a ruthless star maker. Shane spent an afternoon in my office and even he was surprised at some of the things I told him. Let’s face it, Shane has had his ups and downs with the tabloid media. I’d forgotten about the project until I received an invitation to go to the cast and crew screening at the Rex Cinema. It was a full house and the 90 minute film was rather good. It was more Footballer’s Wives than The Sopranos, but it’s a cracking script and Shane is absolutely fantastic in the role as the Machiavellian star maker. The glossy tale is wonderful faction, if at times a little contrived, but overall I’d urge everyone to look out for it when it pops up on ITV1. There has been much talk about Shane recreating Minder for Channel 5, but I think Whatever It Takes is a huge franchise, and I believe Shane’s time would be better spent following this up with a series.