Note: This is part of a series. You can read part one and part two here. 

For several weeks, I’d been working on a film about foreign fighters who were taking themselves off to Syria and Iraq, but the truth was, it seemed like a lifetime. Anyone who has served in the military will tell you that it’s all waiting, waiting, waiting, and I was beginning to find television just like that. Only worse.

When I first decided I wanted to build on my success as an author by pursuing a career in TV, I’d done the rounds of all the production companies and broadcasting channels. Many of them were polite and gave me the usual, “Very nice to meet you. We’ll let you know, Mr. Campion,” routine. They invariably never did.

There were one or two exceptions: I appeared on Channel 4’s “Drugs Live,” in which, for the first time in my life, I took a Class A controlled substance—in this case, ecstasy. It was done as a scientific experiment under strictly controlled conditions.