Comedy Connections (2003) s04e01 Episode Script

The Fast Show

1 (man) The Fast Show, brought to you by Cheesy Peas.
(as 13th Duke of Wybourne) Me, here with you? Doing an interview in a darkened room? You had to be serious about being funny.
Our own show and I still cry with laughter at it.
If I get run over tomorrow, I was in that.
That'd do me, really.
It was nice.
I've got nothing to say about those shits.
(narrator) By the 1990s, the television sketch show seemed on its last legs.
Then, in 1994, a show for the MTV generation smashed onto our screens.
"The Fast Show" was just that, and the punch line could be the sketch itself.
Responsible for giving the kiss of life to a dying art were Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson.
But when they met at East Anglia University in 1977, their future lay not in punch lines but in punk.
Charlie was a twat with dyed hair.
Paul was very different to me and he always has been very different to me.
He's very loud and extrovert and funny.
He's constantly trying to make people laugh.
He had some boots which he called après-ski boots.
I didn't even know what skiing was, never mind après-ski.
Jesus! We clicked quite well 'cause we could fill in the gaps in the personality of the other.
(narrator) Their shared passion for punk led them, perhaps unwisely, onto the stage.
Was Norwich ready for the Right-Hand Lovers? Being student punks we were obviously the worst worst of anything, really.
The worst type of human creature, the student punk.
The Right-Hand Lovers fell apart when at least 50% of the band were removed from the university for not doing any work.
No structure, you see.
But Charlie gave my life structure down the line.
(narrator) For Paul Whitehouse, the next steps on the yellow brick road to success took him from Norwich to the environmental department of Hackney Council.
Not quite the dead-end job it might have appeared.
I got a lot of ideas for characters at Hackney Council.
I suppose it kind of set the ball rolling.
(narrator) While Paul turned his workmates into characters, Charlie graduated, changed his name to Switch and gave his old one to a pop group - the Higsons.
In comedy there's a lot of unfulfilled people who would've liked to have been in a pop group.
And there's a few people who were.
Ricky Gervais, obviously, famously was in a pop group, and, like me, realised that, actually, he'd be a lot better off in comedy.
(narrator) After touring and recording three albums, the Higsons disbanded in 1986 when their founder opted for the security of becoming a painter and decorator.
Charlie's former fellow punk Paul was now a plasterer, and one of their neighbours on the council estate was a very chummy Harry Enfield.
No ASBOs there.
It was just Everyone was given a glittering career in comedy.
We'd all go down the pub together.
And Paul is the archetypal funny mate down the pub doing funny voices and routines to make people laugh, which Harry would sit there noting down in his notebook and stealing for his act.
(narrator) Now an alternative comedian, Harry used the opportunity to develop one of Paul's characters for "Saturday Live".
Hello everybody peoples.
My name is Stavros, and this is my kebab shop - in case you don't know because you bloody thick or something.
(narrator) In return, Harry asked Paul to work on the show.
I was quite intrigued by writing, and it was better than plastering.
So Well, actually It depends if you've got a leaky roof or not.
Which would you prefer - someone to come and write a humorous character or someone to replaster it? (narrator) Like Jehovah's Witnesses, comedy writers come in pairs, and Paul asked Charlie to help him come up with material for Harry.
Charlie had dabbled with writing already and, more importantly, had a word processor.
Paul and I, we found that we did write very well together.
He would wander round the room spouting stuff off and acting stuff out, and I'd sit at the computer and organise it and make it into a coherent routine.
Anyway, he listened to Mrs Thatch, the Ironing Ladies Whilst writing for Stavros, we thought, "This studio writing's fun," so we started developing another character, this working-class labourer.
Harry always used to talk about the importance of kids being able to impersonate a character the next day in the playground.
I mean, Loadsamoney was the first character that we did that had a recognisable catchphrase, and he wasn't a lot more than that.
Loadsamoney! Shut your mouth! Loadsamoney! Almost overnight, Paul and myself were treated as established comedy writers.
We thought, "Great.
I can hang up my trowel and concentrate on writing.
" (narrator) Paul and Charlie were now keen to establish themselves as comedy writers without Harry's help.
Unleashed, they appeared on "One Hour with Jonathan Ross".
On one portion was this huge game called Knock Down Ginger.
There'd be a different character behind each door who would ask them a question.
- Hello, Jonathan.
Hello, ladies.
- (Ross) Jason Queen, the famous playboy.
- Yes.
- Jason, do you have a question? I certainly do.
It meant that we could turn up each week and say: "This week I want to be a drunken Viking" or "a gay opera singer".
(Ross) Door four.
(narrator) Appearing with Paul and Charlie, and sharing their sense of humour, were Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.
Hold-a me close, don't let me go.
It's David Essex the innkeeper here.
Charlie and I were big fans of Vic and Bob.
They made us laugh, and still do, so No, that didn't seem like work at all.
That was just We were proper fans.
One of the characters Paul did on that was Mike Smash, DJ.
Radio Fab's most flip-flap-flob-a-dob-a-lobadous DJ.
I remember Bob Mortimer saying, "Why are you doing that character? He's not funny.
" (narrator) Despite Bob's lapse in taste, Paul and Charlie went on to appear in Vic and Bob's "Big Night Out", before finally getting the chance in 1990 to write and appear in their own sketches on a pilot show for Craig Ferguson.
Fortunately for the fate of "The Fast Show", it bombed.
Which meant that we could go crawling back to Harry and say, "Have you got any work?" (narrator) Paul and Charlie joined "Harry Enfield's Television Programme" in November 1990, where Paul further developed his Mike Smash character, which became pop-tastically popular when he hooked up with Dave Nice.
What would be your idea of a great night out? Well, you can't beat a nice film, Smashey.
They're 70mm-mungus! - They're Dolby-docious.
- They're popcorn-tastic.
(# disco) (Charlie) Paul never thought of himself as a natural performer.
He was fine down the pub, but he was always a bit reluctant, not having come from an acting background or been interested in acting.
He was a slightly reluctant performer.
Harry kept pushing and pushing him to do stuff.
Oh, must we talk about Harry Bloody Enfield?! Jesus Christ! Only me! I just had lunch with Harry.
We're great mates.
He doesn't need me yapping on about his bloody programme.
I've been working on the bank campaign, and I've come up with what I call my "egg theory".
I used to think I was quite funny, but Harry obviously disagreed.
I've two words to say to that.
Shite! - And what's the other one? - Shite! And he was very reluctant to let me do anything on the show.
(narrator) Frustrated at being pushed by Harry not to do stuff on his TV programme, Charlie set about creating his own sketch show.
We didn't want to just do The Paul Whitehouse Show without Harry Enfield.
So we knew, for instance, we wanted to get a full team of performers in, and make it a proper team show and not a star vehicle.
But we were still not quite sure how, stylistically and structurally, we could make it different enough to Harry's show.
Until, for the press launch for the second series of Harry's show, Geoffrey Perkins, the producer, had put together a taster tape.
I cut together about an eight-, nine-minute version of bits of the other characters of the other shows which just distilled it down to funny lines.
Charlie and I watched it and thought, "What a fresh approach to doing a sketch show.
" So we got the idea then of what about if you tried to do a show that was just the highlights, where you just do the funny bit with the character, to get away from the sort of traditional sketch show where you'd have this very cumbersome setup.
(narrator) Paul and Charlie wrote a script for a new show full of new characters, new catchphrases, new sketches to be performed by a bunch of completely new faces.
They delivered this highlights package to the old faces at ITV.
They came back saying, "We love this, all ITV is behind this, we think it'll be great.
" "But who are the stars? Who are the big names in it?" We said, "No, no.
This is the whole bloody point.
It's not a vehicle for some stars.
" If you look at any successful sketch show, they started with unknown people, or at least up-and-coming.
(narrator) It was a different story at BBC Two when Paul and Charlie took the script there.
Michael Jackson, the controller, cut to the chase and commissioned the show under its working title.
The Fast Show is a rubbish title, and it was just a working title.
We just couldn't be bothered or weren't good enough to think up anything cleverer.
(# "Please Release Me") (narrator) "The Fast Show" hit the screens running on 27 September, 1994.
lt may have had a rubbish title, but, like Cheesy Peas, it did exactly as it said on the tin, delivering a constant barrage of characters performed by a fresh and funny team.
- We're from the Isle of Man.
- (clears throat) Jumpers for goalposts.
- What did I say? - "I think I'm gonna pee my pants.
" - I'll get my coat.
- Scorchio.
- (sneezes) - Swiss Toni.
- Hold the bells.
- Boutros Boutros Ghali.
(sneezes) (# "Please Release Me") Over the years of working with Harry, working with Vic and Bob, we'd met a lot of funny people that if we ever did our own show, we'd like to work with.
(narrator) John Thomson was one talent whose name they'd written on a beer mat.
(gruff voice) In 1968, a crack team of mercenaries parachuted into Saigon, featuring a cast of thousands.
We'd seen John live.
He was a very funny stand-up comedian at the time, John.
(gruff voice) Featuring Roger Moore.
(as Roger Moore) Act? What do you mean, act? Never heard of a student double? I did stand-up to get my Equity card, because I didn't want to do some sad clowning act.
(narrator) John met Steve Coogan at Manchester Polytechnic and worked with him on "Spitting Image" doing voices such as Gazza.
They won the Perrier at the Edinburgh Festival, before John starred as Fat Bob in "Paul Calf's Video Diaries".
Then came immortality as John became Louis Balfour in "The Fast Show"'s "Jazz Club".
Hello, and welcome to Jazz Club, bringing you the best from the international jazz scene.
The idea I had for the look was Commander Straker from UFO - Ed Bishop.
I saw this wig.
It didn't fit, it was too small for me.
If you watch, it would creep back.
Nice Great.
Really great.
(John) So, eventually, I looked like Henry V on some of them.
(narrator) In 1991, Paul Whitehouse appeared as a Welsh woman on the comedy show "Paramount City".
Besides John, he'd also spotted comedienne Caroline Aherne performing her character Sister Mary Immaculate.
A lot of boys in here tonight are the kind that might think it's clever to put their tongue into a girl's mouth.
If he wants to lick something, let him buy a lollipop.
She had a prayer book with a gaffer-tape cross on it, like that.
And it was supposed to be like a little Bible, but it was all gags.
A lot of people say to me, "Sister Mary, have you ever kissed the pope's ring?" She was brilliant and very funny and very sweet.
There's a lot of funny women around, but not particularly in the area of doing a lot of good, varied characters and being able to do daft stuff as well.
So we snapped her up.
(narrator) Caroline revealed her comic genius by writing characters for "The Fast Show" such as Roy and Renée.
He's really observant, Roy, you know.
He sees everything visually.
This is so indicative of Caroline's off-the-wall sense of humour.
But some of them are gay.
Which is fine.
- What did I say, Roy? - "They're all poofs and lezzes.
" You lying bastard, Roy.
I hope you crash.
"I hope you crash.
" Right? "You".
Just me and a plane.
Nobody else.
Just individually.
I individually crash.
Hello, there.
My name is Tommy Cockles and I was born and raised in the music halls.
(narrator) Simon Day, another newcomer, appeared on "Paramount City" as Tommy Cockles, a bitter survivor from the age of variety.
And after the show, Lord Mountbatten - or Monty, as I called him - called me to his office.
He was a very well-dressed man, very tall, he had lovely small hands like a young girl.
He said to me He said, "Tommy you're shit.
" (narrator) Paul and Charlie thought he'd be a good point of reference for Arthur Atkinson, the music-hall legend they'd invented.
They sort of came to me and said: "We've got this character.
We've not ripped it off from you.
It's similar but it's not the same.
" And it wasn't, it was entirely different.
And we thought it would work really well if we just added it into a list of people that Tommy didn't like.
I've been asked along here by the people at the BBC to talk about Arthur Atkinson again.
I don't know why, he was never that good.
But they gave me lunch, so I felt duty-bound.
Anyway, here he is, Arthur Atkinson.
Here's one for you.
This'll give you a bit of a treat.
Look at this.
Yes, I've got another one on the other side.
Eh? (laughs) (narrator) The cast was comedian-heavy, so a thespian was needed in the team.
ln the early '90s, Paul and Charlie had written a couple of sitcom pilots which had never managed to take off.
But they did mention their show idea to an actor they'd cast in pilot "Dead At Thirty".
Mark Williams thought it was, to coin a phrase, "Brilliant".
It seemed to me, and clearly to Paul and Charlie, that comedy was lagging far behind the visual literacy of the people who were watching it - the so-called "MTV generation", whatever that meant.
But, I mean You know Even soap operas were becoming visually interesting, and comedy wasn't.
(narrator) After graduating from Oxford, Mark appeared in the movies "Privileged", with Hugh Grant, and "High Season", before diving into TV comedy on "The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer", where Mark starred alongside Paul as Don Powell from Slade.
But it was "The Fast Show"'s "Suit You" characters that presented him with a real acting challenge.
A gentleman shouldn't be walking in weather like this.
- It's not good for the health, sir.
- No.
Brings them out, doesn't it, sir? - The hot weather? - What? The ladies, sir.
Brings them out, doesn't it, sir? Oh! Where do they come from, sir? With their skimpy tops and their skimpy bottoms and their bare midriffs, sir.
Oh! It's quim city out there today, sir.
I could mirror Paul quickly and more effectively than somebody else because, part of the actor thing, I just picked up on what he did.
So it was just like, "Hello, sir.
" "Hello, sir.
" It was just add and add, you know? Just that extra or less, whatever.
On a hot summer's day like today, sir, don't you sometimes feel like falling to your knees and shouting: "Thank God for women's liberation!"? Oh! (narrator) Paul and Charlie needed schmoozing techniques to find an actress for the "Fast Show" team.
They remembered someone from a sitcom pilot called "The Honeymoon is Over".
We had auditioned Minnie Driver to be in this pilot and she was very funny.
She did lots of different funny voices.
She did a very funny Geordie accent and stuff.
She wasn't right for the part in the show, but we always had her in mind.
So when we were putting the team together, we got in touch: "Do you want to be in this new sketch show team?" And she said, "Actually, I've just been offered a lot of work in Hollywood, so bugger you, you can shove your sketch show up your arse.
" No! (narrator) So, could "The Fast Show" survive without Minnie Driver? Luckily Paul and Charlie remembered a colleague from the Harry Enfield days.
Will you two just behave for a change? I was really looking forward to this meal.
Me too.
This restaurant was recommended.
Probably in my desperate-actress mind-set, I was thinking: "I must ingratiate myself to Harry.
Harry's the goal.
" That does it.
Come on, Vera.
But I think, naturally and socially, Paul and Charlie were the people I was sort of more drawn to.
She made such a fuss when she knew we were going to do this show that we thought, "We'd better let her in or she'll beat us up.
" (narrator) Before appearing with Harry, Arabella got her Equity card the hard way - standing stageside handing gladioli to Dame Edna.
She made her movie debut as "girl on undercliff" in "The French Lieutenant's Woman" in 1981, but felt more comfortable with appearances in "Alexei Sayle's Stuff".
Arabella knew she'd found her niche when she asked on "The Fast Show" Does my bum look big in this? Paul and Charlie went, "Why not do someone who's like you?" "What do you mean?" "In any given situation thinking, 'This is the wrong skirt.
Are the earrings a mistake?"' Is this colour of bulletproof vest a mistake on me? Do you think the camouflage makes me look fat? What about the uniform? Does it need earrings? Does my bum look big in this? - Morning, Andy.
- Not here.
(narrator) Paul and Charlie encouraged the team to exploit their talents to develop characters.
- Morning, Andy.
- Get a grip, woman.
- Morning.
- I'm flattered but it would never work.
- Morning.
- Are you sex mad? (narrator) For example, Simon's first sketch made use of his lack of acting experience.
(Simon) I was terrified.
Which was good, 'cause it came across in the character that he was a bit odd.
I didn't really know much about cameras and camera positioning - where you gotta stand at a certain point and turn.
There was a bit where I came out of a lift It was good, though.
(narrator) Mark Williams turned life as a jobbing actor into a positive asset.
Then Tamara came running out of Somerset House as fast as her legs could carry her to tell me that I was a direct descendant of Kublai Khan.
Which was nice.
(laughs) Patrick Nice is an actor, basically.
Because it came from people saying, "Yes, I did a little bit of telly last week.
" "Did a Heartbeat last week.
Which was nice.
" (narrator) Simon's observations led him to create one of his most popular characters.
Toby? Now, I've explained the rules to you.
It was a guy in a swimming pool I saw, with two kids.
One was in water wings, about two, and the other was about five.
And he just said, "Let's have a race.
" Yes! He just really tried to beat them.
He was like an Olympic swimmer.
And he got to the other side and rested and went (breathes heavily) Like that.
The kid was in water wings.
I just thought, "That's his family.
What's all that about?" Now go to your room and ruminate on how lucky you are that I haven't had recourse to legal action.
Go on.
Competitive Dad was never that much fun to do, 'cause I mainly had to do lots of 'Cause I had nothing to do in it apart from be the foil to this phenomenally awful dad.
But basically it turns out to be everybody's dad.
"I've got to win!" I had more fun doing Katie.
At first I thought they were cows, but, of course, now I hear them bleating.
- # Baa baa - # Twinkle, little star Katie has more to do with Because rather than just a foil, she's trying to manage this bonkersness.
No, Johnny, no.
A star.
A tiny little twinkling star twinkling away in the night sky, - all on its own up there against all that - Black.
(Charlie) It's one of the funniest things Arabella did.
It was fun trying to spring something on her, hit her with something unexpected.
Black! They were always great fun to film because you could start off nicely and then just go bonkers, really, and the camera would have to try and follow you.
chasm of clams.
Like eyes.
My eyes are pies.
(narrator) The madness wasn't confined to Charlie's performance.
Behind the camera, things were getting pretty bonkers too.
One of the bright ideas the BBC had on the first series on how to save money was that people could double-up on jobs.
So Mark Mylod, who eventually ended up being our main director on the show in later series, he, on the first series, was working as the production manager, the line producer, so he was in charge of the whole budget.
He was also the first AD, which meant that he was basically in charge of all the shooting.
And he was also the location manager.
Now, these are three of the most important jobs on a TV shoot.
You cannot possibly give them to one person to do all three at the same time.
It was ridiculous.
I lived on Diet Coke and Marlboro Lights at that stage, and literally quite a few nights slept in the BBC car park in my car.
I've never told anyone that.
(shouts) This week I have been mostly eating Prozac.
(narrator) Budget-conscious, the BBC pulled a fast one and gave Paul and Charlie the role of producers.
Charlie is a megalomaniac, and I think the power that he had there At last he was able to exert it.
Charlie played bad cop, Paul played good cop.
No, they were both shitty cops.
Paul would definitely do the Lord of the Flies - "Who likes Fatty?" Aggressive, self-serving.
And then Charlie would be, "I'm just saying that I don't think" Just nasty.
I like to use the analogy of a piano keyboard with our relationship, in that you've got your left hand and your right hand, and your left hand is doing the plodding stuff, holding down the chords and the structure, and that's what makes it work as a piece of music.
But you never listen to that.
You listen to the right hand that's doing all the fancy flourishes and showy-off bits.
Paul's the right hand and I'm the left hand, in that he gets all the credit and all the glory and does the stuff which appears to be funny, but without me he'd be nothing.
- Oof! - Oof! (narrator) But had the efforts of Paul's right hand and Charlie's left gone to waste? The reaction to the first series of The Fast Show was muted, we should probably say.
A review in the Evening Standard where Matthew Norman absolutely shredded it.
One of the most destructive reviews of any comedy show.
It really upset me, 'cause it was I had a lot of faith in the show.
We worked very hard on it.
Then a week later, Victor Lewis-Smith, the regular TV reviewer in the Standard, wrote the complete opposite.
I think mainly 'cause he obviously didn't like Matthew Norman.
But he said, "This show's brilliant.
" Brilliaaaannnnnnnt! People used to say it was "cult" and all that, but what they mean was that a lot of people didn't get it.
So the people who did get it felt like it was theirs.
Which I think is probably the definition of a cult, actually.
It wasn't a massive audience, but it was a pretty loyal audience.
Which, luckily, I think convinced the BBC to give it another go.
# My knapsack on my back # Val-deri ha-ha-ha-ha-ha (narrator) In the first series, Paul and Charlie had written most characters themselves.
Now another series had been commissioned, it was time to spread the workload.
# My knap Simon would turn up with three bits of paper with some pencil written on them.
He says, "Yeah, well, I'm not quite sure at the moment.
That's crap.
" And you'd get two lines out of them.
Pull your socks up or you'll be off.
John, every series, would turn up with the same two ideas for characters he'd turned up with on the series before - which we'd turned down.
In retrospect, I was a bit lazy on the writing.
I mean, I could've come up with so much more.
(narrator) Once a character was created on paper, it was important to get the look right on screen.
You sexy motherf (audio drops) That was one of the great pleasures of doing it - what people were gonna be wearing, and And it would be like unveiling the character and it'd be like, "Yes! Funny!" - Can you tell me where the photocopier is? - Certainly-burtonly, yes.
If you go right down to the end of the corridor, turn left, you go through the double doors, where you have to catch a bus (narrator) But it was more like, "No, not funnyl" when it came to unveiling one of Charlie's most gruesome characters.
He probably makes me laugh the most of all the Fast Show characters, but I can't bear the way he looks, and I was really annoyed with Charlie.
Charlie will give people a hard time about costume and makeup.
"My God.
Why's he fucking done that?" Well, when he turned up with his fucking big ginger wig and his comedy shirt, I was furious.
How many layers does he need to let the audience know it's funny? Hysterical.
One of my favourites.
Especially the one when he's at home with Doreen and he's doing the flight simulator.
Well, we are taxiing onto the runway now.
Sorry about the slight delay, but the airport is rather busy today.
Now, as you can see Someone told me it was a real thing.
He had a friend who was a projectionist, total nerd, and he would book a day off every year from work so that he could fly in real time on his aeroplane simulator on his computer.
He'd fly to New York and back.
As such, when I am the pilot, I will not be able to do any of my trademark jokes, I'm afraid.
Although when I'm the steward, things will be different.
Oh! Would you like to try my nuts? Oh, shut that door.
I shall be sucked off.
And he would serve drinks and do all the pilot's chat.
And I just thought this was such a great idea for Colin Hunt.
I found that he was of the characters you could put a bit more in, a bit more pathos and a bit more reality of showing that this is a very lonely and socially inept person who's trying to compensate with his humour.
And that, you know, he's a pretty desperate character.
(PA system dongs) After you've done a series and a half of sketches based around a catchphrase and a funny situation, where do you go? And I think that kind of route of pathos is a door that's open to you.
(narrator) Following that route of pathos in later series allowed the team to create more well-rounded characters and add an extra dimension that was more than just a catchphrase.
Terrible flatulence.
Rowley Birkin is based on a bloke I met fishing in Iceland.
I couldn't understand a word he said.
Four of us quite some time later.
I freely admit that I was very, very drunk.
There's a cheek about doing a character that says nothing really apart from (mumbles) "Poisonous mushrooms".
The idea that he just does sounds.
(imitates submarine radar) (imitates engine) (imitates machine gun) (imitates explosion) (imitates explosion) And all that.
Which was great.
The fact that you only get the odd word you could tell quite interesting stories.
He did the pathos one, with the beautiful girl.
And there was Phyllis and I.
I was in absolute floods of tears.
It was very, very cold.
And she was I was And I held her in my arms I'm afraid I was very drunk.
I know it sounds like an old cliché, but with a character like that, it has to be in the pauses that you make those things work, really.
I'll sound like an actor if I carry on for much longer.
- I actually cried.
- I'm even crying now.
Unlock the space between you and the audience, paint your picture there and retire.
(narrator) Making the sketches longer to show this depth of character meant "The Fast Show" now had to reduce speed.
Two characters who epitomised this new approach were Ted and Ralph.
Ted and Ralph is the antithesis of what The Fast Show started out to be.
Which just shows how bright they were about adapting to what they were best at.
Ted and Ralph were special 'cause they were written by much more talented people than Charlie and me or any other members of the cast - that is, Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan.
The thing that surprised me more than anything was the first appearance of Charlie as Ralph, and realising that not just was Charlie actually, "Ooh, he's not bad, is he?" he was sensationally good.
Something slightly embarrassing has happened.
Yes, I-I'm sorry.
I know you must find this very startling, but I will try to explain, but I'm not sure that you'll believe me.
I'm the classic middle-aged bloke who's hopeless when a plumber comes round or a builder, and I'm too kind of keen and nice and desperate to be liked by this person.
I'm thinking, "They think I'm this middle-class wanker.
" (narrator) Due to his higher social status, Ralph was excluded from drinking with Ted and his mates.
Except once.
- I nominate Mr Mayhew.
- I'm sorry? - No, no, no.
- No, forfeit, forfeit.
- You have to say "tomato".
- I beg your pardon? You've got to put a vegetable in front of each word, in the right order.
This is what Ralph, his whole life, has been wanting, to be accepted by Ted's mates and join in a game down the pub.
Believe me, I would like nothing more than to join you in your game, but not tonight, please.
Go on, sir, go on.
It'll be a bit of fun, sir.
Ted, really, I Tomato here's aubergine your potato drinks.
- We've got a new nominee.
- Wahey! It was probably one of the worst scenes to film that we ever did because we were all in it and the drinking game itself was quite complicated, remembering how it worked.
We were shouting at each other 'cause people were forgetting.
It was really hard work.
Go on, it's just a little bit of fun.
Tomato Ted, aubergine your potato wife's turnip dead.
Uh, I mean tomato sorry.
It's that balancing act between tragedy and comedy.
If you can get them balanced there in the middle, it makes the tragedy that much more tragic and the comedy that much more funny.
Aren't goodbyes brilliant? They're fantastic, aren't they? So well, you know bye.
(narrator) Getting this balance right, with memorable catchphrases thrown in, earned "The Fast Show" two BAFTAs and audiences of over six million.
But by the end of series three, the team were getting itchy feet.
Everybody wanted to do their own stuff, and they were no longer prepared for me and Paul to tell them what to do.
Quite rightly.
(narrator) One of the first members of the team to go solo was Caroline Aherne.
After a spell as everybody's favourite chat show hostess Mrs Merton, she went on to create and star in "The Royle Family", with Mark Mylod as director on the first series.
The rest of the team went on to make the last three "Fast Show" episodes ever.
which went out in true Morecambe & Wise style, featuring a Hollywood star.
(Kenneth) Do you like being measured up, sir? - Oh! Go on, Kenneth.
Oh! - Oh! Suits you, sir! Suits you.
- Get him, Ken.
- Suits you, sir.
- Oh! - Join us, sir.
- Very good, sir.
Bend into it, sir.
- Oh! (narrator) While starring in "The Fast Show" Mark built up his film career, making his presence felt in "Shakespeare in Love" - which also featured Simon Day - as well as appearing as Mr Weasley in the "Harry Potter" movies.
Back on the small screen, John Thomson was expanding his repertoire.
He became a household name as Pete Gifford in the comedy drama "Cold Feet".
(cheering) (all groan) - Good goal.
- Yeah.
- No way is he six.
- (Pete) Maybe he's Nigerian.
They have 20-year-oIds that play for youth teams with no birth certificates.
- Does that have any relevance? - I was only saying! (narrator) Arabella turned a "Fast Show" character into a literary heroine when she took her Insecure Woman into the world of fiction with her bestselling novel "Does My Bum Look Big In This?" which she followed up with another two successful novels.
Simon Day took his sports anchor character Clive to Sky, alongside Paul and Mark, in the Ron Manager spin-off "Jumpers for Goalposts".
And Simon remained deskbound working with Charlie again in Swiss Toni's BBC Three series.
You will never guess who is in our toilet.
- Derek Asquith.
- Derek Asquith.
Can you believe it? I've had an incredible thought.
I'll ask him to direct our advert.
You can't let that puffed-up old prawn direct an ad.
He's a BAFTA nominee.
I know - I have his compendium of achievements.
He made the greatest British art films of the '60s and '70s.
Bollocks! They were just wank fodder.
(narrator) Besides taking Swiss Toni beyond "The Fast Show", Charlie Higson developed his skills behind the camera when he wrote, appeared in and directed the revival of "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)".
Alongside his glittering TV career, last year Charlie got the chance to develop another character for a series of novels.
They're set in the early 1930s with James Bond as about a 13-year-oId.
It was great to go back to the basics of what Fleming started when he was writing the James Bond books, which is just tough action thrillers.
(narrator) Paul's experience at showing the poignant side of characters proved beneficial for his performance as a whole host of dysfunctional people seeking advice from Chris Langham.
Because The Fast Show wasn't just a conventional comedy and it had those elements, it certainly helped me to understand those and use them when we came to do Help.
I think there's some kind of demonstration today, because the traffic on the A406 at Brent Cross was absolutely diabolical.
I actually rang Nicky Campbell on Five Live to let them know.
And do you know, they were quite rude.
They said, "This is a debate about obesity.
" I said, "Fair enough.
The traffic's dreadful, I'm gonna pull over and have a doughnut.
" Making The Fast Show was like driving on a long drive with the kids in the back of the car - constantly fighting and squabbling and jostling for position and having a go at you, and you are just having to concentrate on keeping on the road and not turning around and hitting them.
I'd like to retire, but I can't - go and get an allotment.
"Yeah, I used to be in The Fast Show.
No, no, I just do this now.
" You ain't seen me.
Right? I don't really do proud, but chuffed? Yeah, quietly.
Um Can any of you actually hear me? I'm really really fond of all the guys, but it was misery at times.
I'm gonna cry now.
But, no, we had a fantastic time.
All right.
Let's do a movie.
Come on.
I have a lot of affection for all the people involved in it, and the characters, actually.
What the bloody hell do you think you're doing, Lyndsay? You said, "Cover me.
" Ha-ha.
Joke! Argh! And that was jokus maximus bollockus number two.