Bob with friends, me being one of them, made several cartoons for the highly acclaimed BBC "Vision On" series with Tony Hart. I reminded Bob about his rostrum being an amazing bit of equipment, looking like a giant Meccano kit gone wrong. He agreed with me.
One such person wanted to make a film based on George Crabbe’s Peter Grimes, but he pulled out, but Bob kept thinking about it.
Round about this time he was refurbishing a shop. Beginning work after the shop had shut, just as the shop was about to close a chap entered.
His name was Dave Martin, a successful advertising copywriter well known for some highly profitable slogans and campaigns.
“So he was this pretty big guy and here was me with no O levels and worrying about how I could write it and he said, let’s write it together,
so we wrote Peter Grimes. It was lucky for me that Dave could type and that he owned a typewriter!”
Bob’s old animation lecturer was a friend of director Clive Donner (What’s New Pussy Cat 1965). When Clive came to Bristol to shoot a film
he enlisted Bob to find locations. “I got to know Clive pretty well, so of course the first thing I did after we finished the script was to try
and get him to do Peter Grimes. It didn’t quite happen because the house of cards you have to build to get the money together all fell down. But having got that far, I thought this is amazing: our first project it so nearly came off so let's carry on. So we just wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote – piles and piles and piles of scripts.”
David Martin and Bob Baker
It was also around this time that HTV West brought in a new head of programmes, Patrick Dromgoole. They decided that they wanted to promote local talent and produced a series of half hour programmes by West Country writers. A script by Bob and Dave was chosen to be one of the seven late night dramas. However, seeing their names on television, may have given them the bug but it didn’t mean they were in. “We kept on writing but the rejections piled up,” Bob explains.
Finally they were invited to the BBC to discuss a script they had sent in. The script was about Keith Floyd in his army days !!! Unknown at this time. The producer wasn't interested in the script, but he did want Bob and Dave to write for Doctor Who.
Tom Baker..................................................Jon Pertwee