Stephen Poliakoff on Dancing on the Edge: 'I can come across as arrogant'

He has unparalleled creative freedom within the BBC. But, as Stephen Poliakoff's latest lavish drama reaches our screens, what does he make of his reputation for being a control freak?

'I'm quite sure," Stephen Poliakoff giggles, "there are people within the BBC who run down the corridors blocking their ears when they see me coming." His reputation certainly precedes him – a great galloping colossus of media folklore, variously casting the writer as a genius, control freak, force of nature or diva, sometimes all at the same time. Descriptions of his appearance err towards cartoonish caricature – dishevelled, wild-haired, fidgety, like a mad professor who has accidentally electrocuted himself – only adding to the mythology of a wild man of letters. But to everyone about to fall in love with his latest drama, Poliakoff may well soon be at real risk of becoming a national treasure.

Dancing on the Edge is set

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