Fast Show Characters To Return For Two Specials
Professor Denzil Dexter, Swiss Tony and others are returning for two GOLD specials to mark 25 years of The Fast Show.
The Fast Show creators Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson confirmed our favourite characters are being brought back for two specials on GOLD – and it was an emotional experience filming characters like Swiss Tony again.
Whitehouse told The One Show which character made him misty-eyed during filming: “Strangely it was John Thomson’s character Professor Denzil Dexter, who is a Californian hippie scientist who’s more interested in actually trying out his pharmaceuticals than experimenting. But he had long hair and a beard and white coat, so when I saw John he hadn’t aged and I was immediately transported back 25 years and I felt like we were filming The Fast Show again, not a retrospective. I felt a time slip.”
The two specials are talking heads retrospectives featuring Whitehouse and Higson, but they thought it would be fun to intersperse their chat with old characters such as Dave Angel reminiscing about the show.
Higson said: “The idea is to do a talking heads clips show where we talk about the show. And we thought it would be fun to get some of the characters on in the same format as talking heads to talk about their time, so they’re woven in with the show and it all becomes of a piece.”
We’re living in a politically correct era 25 years on from The Fast Show’s premiere and they address that in the specials.
Higson said: “So we have the suits you tailors on there saying times have changed and we couldn’t say any of the things we used to and they launch into this terrible tirade. And there’s this idea that you can’t these things any more, but of course you can.”
Whitehouse thought the success of The Fast Show was due to the recognisable character and the “heart” the show had.
“I think it had quite a lot of heart,” he said. “You know, we can’t underestimate the importance of the catchphrases, because it meant people can impersonate the character very easily and quickly. And we didn’t really care, did we, Charlie? We had our sort of vision and idea and stuck with it.
The BBC was great to work with on the show, said Higson. “They allowed me and Paul to produce it, although we hadn’t produced anything else before and they said here’s some money and said go away and make a show and we did. We made exactly the show we wanted to watch and we were lucky to have all the right people in the right place at the right time and, luckily, the audience went for it.”
Whitehouse quipped: “They gave us a load of money and said go away. I don’t think they were expecting us to come back!”
The belated 25th anniversary retrospectives, Just A Load of Blooming Catchphrases, will be broadcast on Saturday, 29th August on GOLD.
Interview c/o Radio Times