Okay, this one is a real divider of opinions. Myself and Stan Vernon wrote and produced this film for Granada TV back in ’98. The idea was inspired by Eric Sykes film “The Plank” from the 1960s. He and Tommy Cooper had me in stitches as a boy in the 1970s as it was frequently repeated on BBC2 on Saturday mornings.
This series – “Mad For It” – was co-produced with Paramount Comedy Channel to showcase new comedy talent. It was broadcast once on ITV and several times on Paramount. It was notable for being the first time Peter Kay did his thing with Dave Spikey in a kind of northern road movie, if I remember correctly.
I remember pitching the script to the producer and him going “What does it all mean, though?”. He was bemused by the idea of us eating live tortoises, grunting instead of speaking, singing the song of Italian Socialist Revolution in a pub with a bunch of operatics, popping out of bins screaming “I want me Pap! I want me pap!” (he was obviously not a fan of Samuel Beckett) and milking a pantomime cow.
I was having such fun putting all this nonsense down on paper and then justifying every scene with pseudo-intellectualism that I didn’t care.
Three other facts about this film of interest:
1. Spike Milligan wrote me a lovely letter about it
2. It features a fart-death performance from Toby Hadoke and
3. Me and Stan actually wrote six 30-minute episodes featuring these characters that never saw the light of day (and almost bankrupted us whilst we waited for the rejection letters from the TV companies). Happy days!