Bring Me The Head Of Comedy

Terry Wogan's Stupid Face

So, the Red Dwarf appeal on Points of View has been and gone. You can see it the situation in great detail, they decided only the show the pitiful video clip, and not bother with any of the things we sent in. Better still, the entire affair was dismissed with the following Terry Wogan soundbite:

We asked if there are any plans for a Red Dwarf resurrection. The Controller of Comedy told us, which conflicts with some website rumours, that the last time a discussion was had about Red Dwarf with the team that make it was at least five years ago. They’ve never approached her since, but she’s more than happy for them to come and talk to her.

Yes, dismissing tens of letter-writers as “some website rumours” is a sure-fire way to appease an audience that feels mistreated by the BBC. So, this is an interesting turn of events. If it’s true that it was, at the latest, 2002 that Doug approached the Beeb for more Dwarf, what was going on with the movie at that time? Plus, it seems weird that the Beeb would dismiss the (not insignificant) audience so soon after Series VIII aired. And considering the current Controller of Comedy, Lucy Lumsden only took over the role in November 2005, how can she be so sure?

But regardless of when The Quote was made, it still needs to be addressed, and the programme spectacularly failed to do this. It neither confirmed or denied that it was said, or attempted to justify it; they merely wanted to sweep it under the carpet. This is a big, big disappointment. But rest assured this isn’t ended here. So, Phase 2.

If Lucy Lumsden is happy for “the Red Dwarf team” to contact her, why don’t we do so too? Thanks to the unique way that BBC e-mail addresses are invented, we reckon dropping a line to lucy.lumsden@bbc.co.uk should do the trick. And why not copy Jana Bennett (Head of BBC Vision) and Jane Tranter (Controller of Fiction) into it too? Don’t forget to ask:

  • for more detail on the discussions they’ve had with the Dwarf team
  • whether it’s true that the reason Dwarf was turned down is because “the BBC is no longer interested in the audience Red Dwarf used to attract”
  • what the chances are of Dwarf being recommissioned

It would be really, really useful to hear more details of this from Doug’s perspective. Keep reading G&T…

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88 Responses to Bring Me The Head Of Comedy

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  1. G&T Admin

    For example:

    Whilst watching today’s edition of Points of View, I noted the
    statement, attributed to ‘the Controller of Comedy’ regarding Red
    Dwarf. It stated that the last time the show was discussed was ‘at
    least five years ago’. However, the series creator, Doug Naylor,
    recently told the fans (via the Red Dwarf convention and official
    website) that he had approached and been rejected by the BBC much more
    recently than this. Could you possibly clear up this discrepancy?

    More importantly, Naylor alleges that he was told during this
    rejection that “the BBC is no longer interested in the audience Red
    Dwarf used to attract”. If true, this is a scandalous statement for a
    public service broadcaster to make. The BBC is designed to cater for
    every license-payer, and let’s not forget that Red Dwarf attracted
    over 8 million viewers the last time it aired on BBC 2.

    It would be much appreciated if somebody at the BBC would address this
    rumour, as it is causing much debate within the Red Dwarf fan
    community. Several dozens of us wrote to Points of View to ask for
    clarification, but it was swept under the carpet. Could you please
    confirm or deny whether this quote is accurate?

    Thanks in advance,

    Ian Symes.

  2. I think we are all jumping the gun a tiny bit there, I watched the piece and I viewed it as an open invitation to Naylor and Co to come forward.

    As previously mentioned when the news story broke, no-one knew any of the time lines when such statements were made or when the BBC was last approached.

    A lot has happened since 2002, I think they should be pounding on BBC2’s doors with an offer.

    I have no problem with an email campaign, but we really should be emailing Dwarfs creators to pull their fingers out :-)

  3. G&T Admin

    > I have no problem with an email campaign, but we really should be emailing Dwarfs creators to pull their fingers out

    I think that’d be jumping the gun even further. These developments will almost certainly get back to Doug, and if he still wants to approach the BBC, he will. In the meantime, emailing the relevant people will get them thinking about Red Dwarf in a major way again.

  4. Possibly, although I can’t help that think on occasions throughout the last few years, Dwarfs lack of presence is down to the refusal to do a series, whilst chasing the dream of a movie for too long.

    Now some people will clearly have issue with that thought, but I do wonder that if this does go no-where whether or not Doug and co are at fault and should be blamed to some extent. Its not all about the BBC being at fault.

    Being cautiously optimistic though, I hope this starts the right positive conversations with people to let them get something in the pipeline, be it series (please be a god!), or TV specials etc.

  5. G&T Admin

    Also, John, this statement from the BBC directly contradicts what Doug has said to the fans, so it becomes an issue of one of these parties lying to us. I, for one, don’t think it’s GNP.

  6. I don’t think either side has lied, its just we don’t know exactly when the BBC turned down Dwarf and gave that comment. Doug didn’t give dates did he when it was read out at DJ?

    And if the BBC has said they haven’t had a conversation since 2002 with Doug that the controller is aware of (and thats important, what the Controller is aware of), then Dougs statement could be seen as something to fire us up and shoot the BBC with in the hope it drives up some interest.

    You could take it that we are all being manipulated by either side to an extent. Lets be glad we are not being hit with the legal problems line that dogged Doctor Who for years.

    The BBC is certainly not an organisation that can be wholly trusted, but as fans I sometimes think we can have our emotional buttons pushed quite easily to get an anticpated response.

    Needless to say I would love to see a new series, I just wonder if the motivation is truely there at the BBC, interesting times ahead for sure.

  7. G&T Admin

    It seems odd that Doug and Andrew would release the quote to us if the last time they attempted to sell the show to the BBC was in 2002. Surely they’d try again before they started to ‘fire us up’? It just doesn’t make any sense. The way I see it, either GNP last contacted the BBC in 2002 and are lying, or GNP have contacted the BBC very recently and the BBC are lying. I can’t imagine a situation where the Controller of the channel wouldn’t be aware of events regarding the recommissioning of a major franchise. Iv’e already said which one of those two options I see as the most likely.

    I don’t really care if my buttons are being pushed by anyone, as button pushing or no, having Red Dwarf back is something I personally want.

    Anyway, my overly snotty letter:

    “Dear Lucy (cc Jana and Jane),

    It was with great interest that I watched today’s edition of Points Of View as I had been one of a number of concerned Red Dwarf fans who had written in regarding the possibility of a return for the show.

    At a recent Red Dwarf convention the fans were told by Doug Naylor that Grant Naylor Productions had recently approached the BBC regarding new Red Dwarf material, but that this proposal was rejected. The comment ?the BBC is no longer interested in the audience Red Dwarf used to attract? was also attributed to the Corporation via this message from Doug and has been repeated on the official Red Dwarf website.

    Aside from the obvious problems this unattributed (but reliably sourced) quote raises with regards to your position as a Public Service Broadcaster, the comments made and, indeed, accredited to you on tonight’s Points Of View directly contradict what we have been told. I was hoping that this quote would be addressed in the show, but it was hastily dismissed as “Internet rumours”. Would it be possible for you to clarify your position on this matter in more detail?

    Many thanks for your time.

    Yours sincerely,
    Jonathan Capps”

  8. > And if the BBC has said they haven?t had a conversation since 2002 with Doug that the controller is aware of (and thats important, what the Controller is aware of), then Dougs statement could be seen as something to fire us up and shoot the BBC with in the hope it drives up some interest.

    Whether the comment was made now or in 2002 and even whether the controller of comedy is aware of it or not is secondary here. A specific comment was merely dismissed as “website rumours.” Given that we are to believe the comment was reliably sourced by the head of an established professional company this dismissal seems A) disrespectful and B) a bit of a hush-up.

    The implication of those words is directly against the ethos of the BBC. Given this, it seems curious that they didn’t take this clear opportunity to flat out deny the words and re-emphasize their position as the most PC of broadcasters. The response they gave was abrupt and somewhat baiting of GNP. Should the possibility of talks over a television show really be dangled in such a public fashion?

  9. G&T Admin

    I think they’re proably more than happy to let the quote fester within the Dwarf fan community rather than bring it to everyone’s attention only to dismiss it. What they did is precisely the lowest risk thing they could’ve done or say.

  10. Dear Ladies from the BBC,

    a little belated (as I’m not in the UK myself) I had the chance to see today’s “Points of View” and its one-minute addressing of Red Dwarf. I’d been looking forward to this, as I (like a number of my friends) had written a letter about this subject earlier. It was disappointing to see that those letters weren’t even read out, let alone the issues therein discussed or answered, but outright dismissed as “internet rumours”.

    As the questions weren’t answered in the show, I thought I’d forward my previous letter to someone who actually knows what is, or isn’t, going on.

    As I am not currently residing in the UK, I know you’re not responsible for me as you are for your UK audience. But since I like to spend a lot of money on DVDs distributed by the BBC, I hope I’m going to be heard anyway.

    (Attached was my earlier email)

  11. > rather than bring it to everyone?s attention only to dismiss it.

    I don’t quite follow your logic dear boy. Could you clarify? I’m really keen to get to the bottom of whether a BBC employee actually used this language and whose words they were.

  12. G&T Admin

    > I don?t quite follow your logic dear boy. Could you clarify? I?m really keen to get to the bottom of whether a BBC employee actually used this language and whose words they were.

    Well, in the BBC’s eyes, at the moment only asbout 100 Internet nutters have this quote in mind. It doesn’t really make sense for them to bring it to the attention of a few million more people watching Points Of View if all they’re going to do is deny they even said it. At the end of the day, it’ll do absolutely no public damage if it stays in the hands of the nutters and isn’t officially acknowledged.

  13. And we all sound like conspiracy theorists already. :)

  14. To me the response screamed of them not remembering any approach from GNP at all, that’s why they said the last five years because that gets them out of it. Either that or, as I have already suggested, 5 or 6 years ago was the last time the BBC themselves asked GNP for another series of Dwarf, what with it being a couple of years after VIII. With movie plans in full swing one would assume GNP would have turned them down at that point, and maybe the BBC then put a note next to Dwarf’s name saying ‘they’ve had their chance’

    It would certainly help us if we knew the exact time GNP last spoke to the BBC about a possible Dwarf return. For all we know they didn’t speak to Lucy Lumsden or the previous Controller of Comedy Commissioning. Maybe they got the wrong number and rang Current Affairs or the canteen.

    > Lucy began her career in television in 1992 working at the Comic Strip for BBC TWO.

    Well, looking here – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083402/fullcredits#cast (scroll right down to the bottom) maybe she had a name change (you could hardly blame her…). I smell a CONSPIRACY!!!

  15. Ah yep, that follows. Still right now the quote remains unacknowledged. Second stage underway then.

  16. G&T Admin

    What a fun time it is to be a Red Dwarf Fan right now…

  17. A very weird state of affiars indeed! Either GNR are lying to keep the fans happy or the BBC is lying to save face. I’m hoping Doug releases some sort of statement very soon to help clear things up, althoug I’m sure this is some jobs worth at the BBC acting on ‘initative’ and not letting anyone higher up know.

  18. G&T Admin

    HAS NO ONE looked into the possibility of Jane Tranter being Pete Tranter’s sister?

  19. G&T Admin

    > Either GNR are lying to keep the fans happy or the BBC is lying to save face.

    The trains have got nothing to do with it.

  20. G&T Admin

    Apparently they went to the BBC about doing a series of specials about Chinese Democracy.

  21. Strange indeed but at least we’re told that a door is open…

    I cant really see that Doug would bring up a 5 year old refusal now nor that he would be trying for a series 5 years ago given all we’ve been told about pressing for movie funding. It was less than 5 years ago that comments were made about the BBC still being very keen for more Dwarf…

    I also find it very doubtful that the head of BBC comedy would claim no contact for five years if GNP have evidence to the contrary, they could do without anymore viewer deception stories.

    Perhaps Ms Lumsden is unaware that someone in the organisation has shown Doug the door (the exit door that is, not the door to her office).

    As the fuse is now well and truly lit we could do with some more info from GNP like a time line.

    Someone has to be wrong one way or another…

  22. How worrying. I shall send an e-mail their way.

  23. I now know why I’m smoking again.
    Well, I’ll get going with my email to said people above to join the effort.

    May I just say if the BBC wanted to sweep it all under the carpet they could of not shown the “pitiful video clip” I made. Anyway, we should do what we can to show the BBC it is wanted, so they don’t change their minds back again.

  24. > HAS NO ONE looked into the possibility of Jane Tranter being Pete Tranter?s sister?

    Will you marry me?

  25. An interesting state of affairs, this. Still waiting for some elaboration from either side. I want names, I want places, I want dates.

    My main problems with the video, Penny; 1) You sounded bored 2)I know it’s a growing trend on YouTube, but videos with just static pictures kind of defeat the point of videos.

  26. G&T Admin

    May I just say if the BBC wanted to sweep it all under the carpet they could of not shown the ?pitiful video clip? I made.

    But there was nothing in your video *to* sweep under the carpet. You made no reference whatsoever to the *reason* we suddenly want Dwarf back.

  27. > I also find it very doubtful that the head of BBC comedy would claim no contact for five years if GNP have evidence to the contrary, they could do without anymore viewer deception stories.

    I completely agree with that. We don’t know who at the BBC GNP are supposed to have contacted and how official that contact was. The reason that was given about not being interested in Dwarf’s audience certainly doesn’t sound like the sort of response that the BBC would give officially.

    Anyway, it sounds like the door isn’t necessarily closed which gives some hope at least.

  28. G&T Admin

    The think is, Nick, I find it very doubtful that GNP would claim recent contact with the BBC and the subsequent rejection if it didn’t actually happen. The waters are very muddy indeed.

  29. G&T Admin

    > But there was nothing in your video *to* sweep under the carpet. You made no reference whatsoever to the *reason* we suddenly want Dwarf back.

    It was basically an ideal opportunity to wave their new Internet Video Willy at everyone while at the same time addressing a submisison that didn’t actually *accuse* the BBC of anything. There was plenty that could’ve been put into that 30 seconds, but instead it was basically just “Please bring Red Dwarf back cos I want you to” repeated over and over.

    Still, I agree with John – the video has served a very good purpose, as we’d probably not be this organised about pestering the BBC if someone didn’t have the Points Of View idea.

  30. > The think is, Nick, I find it very doubtful that GNP would claim recent contact with the BBC and the subsequent rejection if it didn?t actually happen. The waters are very muddy indeed.

    I agree but as I just said, we don’t know who at the BBC they contacted. Was it a formal approach to make new Dwarf with plot proposals and budget suggestions? Or did Doug bump into a BBC employee in the street? The answer probably lies somewhere in between but it is entirely possible that the head of comedy wasn’t contacted.

  31. G&T Admin

    This is true. I do still think that the response that was passed on to us was official enough, though, even if the decision was delegated away from the head.

    I guess we can only hope for another chance at a dialogue between GNP and the BBC. The only thing we can do is make damn sure that the BBC know what the fans want.

  32. Unless you plan to go back in time and fix it, there’s really no point in stressing again and again how much the video sucked.

  33. G&T Admin

    > Unless you plan to go back in time and fix it, there?s really no point in stressing again and again how much the video sucked.

    Oh, I dunno, some things can never be stressed enough ;)

  34. *sigh* Why do I bother?

    If the programme I used was working correctly then I would of had moving images and also if I seriously thought they were going to show it I wouldn’t … You know, I don’t see why I should explain this at all. Yes, the video was rubbish and I dislike it myself, but as Marleen pretty much said I can’t go back in time and fix it.
    At least I tried and it got something going (hopeful).

  35. G&T Admin

    Well, the main complaint was that you didn’t really put your case across very well; the technical failings wouldn’t have mattered if you’d been able to do that. And to be fair, you have been given credit for getting a response from the BBC, so I don’t see the need to throw a sulk on here just because your video wasn’t praised to the skies.

  36. I don’t have a problem with the video, it’s point was to highlight the issue with the information we had at DJ, and it did that. It was quick simple and to the point. It has been broadcast and that is the end of that. I hope we don’t loose sight of the real problem here, good video or down right pants it still leaves us with conflicting information.

    For all we know this could be a hook line and sinker on the fans! Doubtful, but it seems very strange that an announcement made 3 weeks has reached the head of comedy in this time, and still reply, ok to the negative for us, but with a resounding, it’s ok guys there is still light at the end of the tunnel, which makes the statement by GNP redundant, but not only that, makes them look as though they were giving false information to us.

    I’m not pointing the finger at anyone here, but the best way to create reaction in todays world is to give miss-information, from people who you trusted to give the low down right from the off.

    5 years ago GNP contacted the BBC, but for what? Was this the same time as the Movie? And this was the last time thay had any contact at all? I’m sure this will be all explained, but this type of thing throws more questions than answers!

  37. > 5 years ago GNP contacted the BBC, but for what?

    Is that what they said? Or did they say that there was contact between the 2 parties?

    In response to the video, including the quote that’s been attributed to someone at the BBC probably wouldn’t have changed anything and the response would have been just the same. They would have said that there hasn’t been any contact in 5 years.

  38. Tanya Jones / Mon, 2007-10-15 14:45
    >Well, the main complaint was that you didn?t really put your case across very well; the technical failings wouldn?t have mattered if you?d been able to do that. And to be fair, you have been given credit for getting a response from the BBC, so I don?t see the need to throw a sulk on here just because your video wasn?t praised to the skies.

    Sorry, I sulked and I do know the video was never going to get praised to the skies. I’ll just repeat again that I did add questions in the email I sent the programme with my video in, and they had more depth to them. It seems they didn’t pay attention to those. I only spend a small bit of thought to what I wanted to said in the video due to at the time needing to rush off…then the programme crashed again.

    Anyway, I think instead of sulking more I would prefer to continue onwards and see if I can do better in helping the cause to get Red Dwarf back.

  39. I have just got an email back from Points of View:
    Dear Sarah
    Thank you for contacting us with your feedback and letting us know that the issue may “expand” with the extra correspondence from you and your colleagues.

    As you are aware Points of View is only a 14 minute programme with many topics to cover so we did not have the airtime to elaborate on all the e-discussions that our researchers uncovered on this topic, however we were keen to show that the BBC statement did appear at odds with what had been said on some sites, which our script achieved.

    Points of View is always interested in following viewer campaigns eg over a return for “Lillies” or the loss of “Neighbours” so keep us in touch with any developments.
    Best wishes
    Caroline

  40. G&T Admin

    >we were keen to show that the BBC statement did appear at odds with what had been said on some sites, which our script achieved.

    Or, indeed, at odds with what GNP seem to have said. Thanks for posting the reply, Penny.

  41. Remember its not in the interests of teh BBC to show a pro produced looking video asking for RD back. There have been better appeals, and there have been worse. I’d hate to see any name calling over it. Did anyone else even bother to try and make one? It obviously did the job and I for one commend Penny for it, she at least tried, the rest of us didn’t.

  42. G&T Admin

    I actually wasn’t aware you could SEND videos to Points Of View. Lately I’ve had no reason to complain about anything drastic. But by the time I’d realised you could… I was too late.

  43. G&T Admin

    > It obviously did the job and I for one commend Penny for it, she at least tried, the rest of us didn?t.

    Haven’t we already acknowledged this?

  44. we did not have the airtime to elaborate on all the e-discussions that our researchers uncovered on this topic, however we were keen to show that the BBC statement did appear at odds with what had been said on some sites

    HAHAHAHAHA BBC RESEARCHERS HAVE BEEN ON G&T.

    I’m glad I changed the title of the DJ announcement story, now.

  45. Yeah, that’s what I thought, Seb… *g*

  46. “the BBC statement did appear at odds with what had been said on some site.”

    So BBC did you threaten to over rule him?

    I still can’t shake this idea of Dwarf jumping to ITV, Paul Jackson somehow being involved and suddenly being a prime-time majorly advertised programme. Erm… sorry!

  47. Is there a phrase in the English language more grotesque than “ITV sitcom”?

    Besides, “the BBC is no longer interested in the audience Red Dwarf used to attract”. It’s doubtful that ITV ever was or ever will.

  48. I don’t know, you know. ITV doesn’t have the best reputation, but if anyone can change that, Paul Jackson can – his credentials are pretty much unmatched among present-day execs.

    If only he had a good relationship with Doug and Ed…

  49. G&T Admin

    Is there a phrase in the English language more grotesque than ?ITV sitcom??

    I think this is a bit unfair. I’m currently making my way through the George and Mildred boxset, and it’s fucking fantastic.

    Admittedly, they’ve never been even nearly as consistent as the BBC – but it’s easy to forget, in the current rather lean years, that they’ve produced some damn fine ones in the past. Man About The House, Rising Damp, The New Statesman, The Lovers, Girls On Top, Nearest and Dearest. Hey, I’ve even got a soft spot for Is It Legal?

  50. G&T Admin

    I too think Dwarf on ITV could work well. Work very well indeed.

    Of course, if it all went wrong, then it would look like ITV had buggered up a good show. (Forgetting about opinions on VII/VIII here – look at the viewing figures.) But if it all went RIGHT… then they’ve got a hit on their hands. And the BBC suddenly look very foolish.

  51. Well this is the thing. Dwarf Series VIII for me was on a par with a lot of ‘ITV Sitcom’. One thing that would give me hope for a quality series 9 would be having Jackson around to really push things.

    Likewise I really think ITV if they were clever could get a winner out of Dwarf. I’m pretty confidence any new series would get at least 3-4 million viewers and if you threw it in a good slot with a bit of hype beforehand you could be looking at around 5-7 million which nowadays would be great for a sitcom. I realise I’m plucking figures from thin air. I just think done right and championed as a returning old favourite it could just work.

  52. It’s ITV. An inverse-quality distortion field applies.

  53. Also ITV is ratings driven. The BBC supposedly isn’t. Now Red Dwarf has always achieved strong ratings. That’s why I feel a non-bbc channel would be interested in the show, if only for those ratings.

  54. ITV used to produce some quality stuff – Spitting Image, for example. Twas rather a long time ago, though…

  55. G&T Admin

    Oh, ITV used to be fantastic. It’s so, so easy these days to forget what a great channel it was, and what wonderful stuff it used to produce. Certainly, sitcoms aside (and as I said, they’ve still produced some great ones), it used to be the equal of the BBC.

  56. It?s so, so easy these days to forget what a great channel it was, and what wonderful stuff it used to produce

    But there’s the rub, and it’s past-tense.

  57. G&T Admin

    Very true. Although Jackson and Grade really do seem to be *trying* to turn the channel around, quality-wise. I don’t agree with all the decisions made (the reduction in regional news is shameful), but they do seem to be trying to put the quality of programmes to the foreground again. How that ever got lost in the first place is a mystery, however.

    Anyway, even if the channel doesn’t improve, there’s no reason why Dwarf couldn’t be a sparkling gem amidst a load of dross. Much like TV Burp.

  58. > Is there a phrase in the English language more grotesque than ?ITV sitcom??

    ‘BBC1 sitcom’? Since One Foot In The Grave anyway.

    Look, no matter who’s there or what’s going on ITV can go nowhere but down (at best it will remain at its current level of severe mediocrity). The BBC are secure because we have to pay their smug fuck faces for the privilige of receiving a ‘quality-controlled’ ‘free from political influence’ pubic service. They can churn out turds and make us feel simultaneously guilty and angry for not liking it because we’re paying our licence. They can spout bullshit on their news and public will accept it because, of course, the BBC are the most trusted and have more dignity and integrity than any other broadcaster on the planet. So say we all.

    Despite that, Dwarf would still, without a SHADOW of a doubt, be best with the BBC. Any ideas of Dwarf becoming an ITV sitcom are nothing more than the inane musings of unhinged madmen.

  59. G&T Admin

    On the BBC rant, I disagree with most of it – but I can’t be arsed arguing it. You do have a point about BBC1 sitcoms, though, which is a tragedy in itself. (People I respect rave about Not Going Out, but I just can’t get into it at all.)

    But on the ITV thing, I very much disagree. All Dwarf would need to do well at ITV would be to have someone to champion it. That someone is Paul Jackson, and he’s in the ideal job – Head of Entertainment and Comedy – to make it happen.

  60. >Anyway, even if the channel doesn?t improve, there?s no reason why Dwarf couldn?t be a sparkling gem amidst a load of dross. Much like TV Burp.

    True. TV Burp makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. But something tells me that a series of 23 minute Red Dwarf episodes would get shunted around in the schedules and end up at about 11pm on alternating Wednesday nights. ITV cater for a mainsteam audience; not that audience that BBC is, y’know, no longer interested in.

    >People I respect rave about Not Going Out, but I just can?t get into it at all.

    Someone showed me an episode of this the other day. It wasn’t THAT bad, but Lee Mack and Tim Vine are very much stand-up comedians rather than actors and it just felt very ‘gaggy’ and fake. The best thing about it is Sally Bretton.

    >?BBC1 sitcom?? Since One Foot In The Grave anyway.

    Well, I know the feelings toward Gervais around here, so I’ll keep schtum.

  61. > The best thing about it is Sally Bretton.

    She seriously isn’t. Her character and performance are weak and her looks can’t make up for that. I don’t think it’s a great show but I hope it gets a third series and the writers seem to acknowledge some of the problems with it and seem willing to change the show according to fan comments.

  62. G&T Admin

    Well, I know the feelings toward Gervais around here, so I?ll keep schtum.

    He’s not had a BBC1 sitcom, has he?

  63. The Office chrimbo specials went to BBC1, but I think it’s still generally considered a BBC2 sitcom as a whole, yeah.

  64. >The Office chrimbo specials went to BBC1, but I think it?s still generally considered a BBC2 sitcom as a whole, yeah.

    There goes my point, then. Extras is heading to BBC1 aswell for its Christmas finale.

  65. G&T Admin

    The state of sitcoms on BBC ONE is really shocking. And BBC TWO, in my opinion – my favourite sitcoms recently have been both C4 – The IT Crowd and Peep Show. Hell, Respectable was on five!

    On the plus side, with The Peter Serafinowicz Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look, BBC TWO sketch comedy is looking healthier than it has done for quite some time. (Sketches from Serafinowicz have embedded themselves into my brain on one viewing, and have gone round my head in a loop this past week…)

  66. Let’s not mention BBC Three sketch comedy, though, eh?

  67. G&T Admin

    Please don’t.

    Also: does anyone else think that Mitchell and Webb should be on BBC ONE, not TWO? It feels like it should be – in fact, I had to check recently to see what channel it was actually on. Maybe they’ll snaffle up the second series.

    Just because it’s on BBC ONE, it doesn’t have to be bland – although the BBC seems to have forgotten this when it comes to comedy. Hell, Doctor Who is probably the best programme they’ve got in terms of laughs at the moment…

  68. “Dear BBC,

    Pull your fucking finger out.

    Yours,

    S. Bromley.”

  69. > Just because it?s on BBC ONE, it doesn?t have to be bland – although the BBC seems to have forgotten this when it comes to comedy. Hell, Doctor Who is probably the best programme they?ve got in terms of laughs at the moment?

    How about Points of View? Seeing comments like ‘Are you up to your old tricks beeb?’ just because the Sunday edition of Strictly Come Dancing is (blatantly obviously) not live had me chuckling.

  70. G&T Admin

    Official: Terry Wogan is aroused by Red Dwarf being rejected by the BBC.

  71. I do have to wonder why viewers were looking in that area of Wogan when watching the programme.

  72. > ITV cater for a mainsteam audience; not that audience that BBC is, y?know, no longer interested in.

    An audience of six million IS a mainstream audience. How big was the viewing figure for Back in the Red – Part One? Something around 8.2 million wasn’t it? On BBC2. Sure that was ten years ago, which is why any future show would need some decent advertising, but ‘Red Dwarf’ is a household name to a lot of people. Plus through Craig being in Corrie there’s a recognisable soap actor with which to hang the series on to those not familiar with Dwarf.

    > Any ideas of Dwarf becoming an ITV sitcom are nothing more than the inane musings of unhinged madmen.

    *makes doe eyes*

  73. Mainstream is not (directly) to do with ratings; it’s just whether it’s accesible to the masses. Coronation Street and I’m A Celebrity are. Red Dwarf isn’t. And, if it was, it would have been on BBC1 and not BBC2. Would 8 million watch Red Dwarf now? Doubtful.

    Please feel free to cite Doctor Who and every successful sci-fi film as a reason why I’m wrong about appealing to the masses, but a)Doctor Who is about as family friendly as sci-fi can ever get, and b)The vast majority of sci-fi films keep things simple and tend to use an off-the-wall premise as an excuse for off-the-wall action.

  74. BTW, my point is that ITV would not see fit to commission it in the first place, not whether anyone would watch it if made it there.

  75. Ok, I wouldn’t throw such references at you anyway. I would take issue on the idea of mainstream comments. I agree Red Dwarf isn’t mainstream.
    My point and yes it was mainly fanboy wet dreaming was that I feel the show *could* be. I always have since back in the day. The show’s humour is such that it can crossover. The characters are likeable, the plot’s often clever but never hugely complicated and until series 7 and 8, the characters werealways forward looking, so you could effectively come in at any point and join the adventure. It’s getting past that stigma attached to the show of ‘Sci-fi’ in order to attract new viewers, that’s the really difficult bit.

    It’s not much of an example I realise but I can remember my dad calling me up during the re-runs at the end of the 90s to proclaim he had watched an episode of Red Dwarf and found it quite funny. He had known about the show for ten years loves all the mainstream sci-fi movies and Doctor Who but it still took ten years to it!

    Infact I think I do take issue on audience size not being a factor too. Something is only ever niche and cult until such a large number of people get into it that it it’s accepted. Harry Potter was just a kids book about a wizard until it became hugely popular. The whole point is that if a network was to take on the show then I’d like to see them try and break the series to a new audience, even this late in the show’s life. After all I doubt GNP wanted to make a movie simple for a cult audience.

  76. I just can’t see Jacko spearheading a Dwarf comeback on ITV. Despite the fact that I personally don’t hold with the notion that Dwarf is and always has to be seen as a ‘cult’ show, many ITV1 ‘viewers’ would instantly look at the setting (and the fact that there’s a robot character) and turn over, regardless of the quality of the show.

    This would definitely happen, and it’s sad considering the variety of shows that ITV broadcast (OK OK, not comedy). Probably if they pitched it as Doc Martin In Space it would get picked up. Or got Billie Piper in to do Some Sex Scenes (that’s the unofficial title for Secret Diary Of A Call Girl by the way) and put it on ITV2.

  77. I’d love to know where people get the idea that Red Dwarf only appealed to certain groups of people and is therefore not ‘accesible’ to the masses or certain ‘types’ of audience…

    I was 30 when it started broadcasting and was a fan from the start, many of my friends and work colleagues were also drawn to it and watched it throughout. Ages at work then ranged from school leavers to 60+. Clearly the interests of these people ranged considerably and included soap addicts and occasional Sci-Fi fans. I also know for a fact that school kids as young as 7 were talking about it at school (re my eldest daughter) and that pub chatter often included Dwarf back then.
    Of course, many of these people are not the type to rush out and join fan clubs or write to POV, but they were fans/regular viewers none the less.
    Thanks to Video/repeats/DVD we now have 2nd and 3rd generation fans…

    All I would say without doubt is that Dwarf appealed to quite a cross section of fans from the outset and probably had an even more diverse fan base by VII & VIII.

  78. Fair enough, but what I wil say is that people you associate with/ live with are often likely to have similar tastes.

    Red Dwarf is a great programme so it’s not surprising that, when sat down to watch it with friends and family, they learn to love it. The problem is getting them to watch a sitcom with a dead man, a robot, a creature evolved from cats and the last human alive in the first place. ITV, for example, wouldn’t know how to promote it or schedule it.

  79. G&T Admin

    On the Webboard:

    On 15/10/2007 5:54:36 PM, Keir Shiels wrote:
    >Will GNP reply to this thread
    >then, I wonder… Andrew?

    Reddwarf.co.uk.

    Friday.

    Be there.

    Bring popcorn.

    Andrew

    Website Co-ordinator
    http://www.reddwarf.co.uk

    Fucking hell.

  80. Jonathan Capps / Wed, 2007-10-17 19:34 / new / #
    >*shits himself*

    *Gets air fresher*

  81. ………………..fuck me up a tree and call me bob!

  82. Hmmm, far more interesting than the ‘logs’ Cappsy normally leaves us :-)

  83. G&T Admin

    Speaking of ITV… I’ve started watching Coronation Street, on a recommendation.

    And it’s pretty damn good!

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