Norm being a bit of a twat

Here. So, let’s get going, then:

Like a lot of you we were wondering what’s going on with Red Dwarf. Lots of news, none of it really saying anything.

Well, Mr. Laughriot, if you don’t think The Bodysnatcher Collection is real news, then that’s pretty weird. Just because something isn’t to do with any potential new series, specials or Movie, that doesn’t make it not real news.

LR – Okay. How’s it going?
NL – Oh, very good. Very good
LR – And how about the tour. How’s that going?
NR – Yeah it’s good

Why the change to NR? And then the use of NR thoughout the rest of the interview? This is really sloppy copy-editing…

NR – Yeah. I know, it’s quite an output isn’t it. It’s like getting a slideshow dvd and stand-up dvd in virtually the same year. That’ll be my lot for a long time though I reckon. It’s good though, it’s all good.

Details of the recording of the slideshow DVD are on Norm’s site, incidentally – the recording is taking place at Windsor Arts Centre on Wednesday 31st October @ 8pm.

LR – Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Red Dwarf. I was wondering how much progress is being made on the film.
NR – I’d rather not talk about it. It’s made me so angry and it’s made alot of the fans very upset. I just get angry at the way they’ve kept it going on and on and on as if it’s just about to go in to production. It’s all these years and nothing’s been done and they keep saying something has been done.
But I really don’t know, you’d have to talk to them really. I’ve stopped now, I’ve had enough now I don’t give a damn. I really don’t care if there’s a film made or not. There’s a chance it will be but I really don’t care. And if they make one and I’m not in it I won’t care either. That’s how I feel, I don’t care. I’m probabably the only person who’s the right age to play their role now. I’m probably the right age and the rest are too old. But I suppose they could still write a script and make everybody older and show what’s happened to them. It’s sad, it’s very sad. The writers have split up and I just thought once the writers had split up I felt red Dwarf had Finished. I felt it was over.

Sigh.

Look, Norm: why do you insist on LYING like this? You’re confusing “nothing’s been done” with “GNP have been desperately trying to get funding for the film, but it hasn’t happened yet”. This is not a difficult thing to grasp. You think it’s easy getting funding for the Movie? You really think Doug has been sitting on his arse for the last five years not doing anything? Is there, in fact, any reason to be “angry”, when Doug has clearly – and just think back to his DJ messages in the past – been doing his absolute best to get the Movie made?

And the worst thing is – there’s been constant hints over the years that the Movie could have been made – but the investors wanted Doug to recast. And Doug stuck to his guns, and refused. In other words: PART OF THE REASON THE FILM HASN’T BEEN MADE YET, NORM, IS THAT DOUG WAS SUPPORTING YOU.

Oh, and Norm: if you don’t care that much, don’t do a childish rant on it. It makes you look silly. I fully admit that I care about this situation – hence why I’m doing one. What you’ve done makes you look two and a half.

And maybe I’m being slightly over-sensitive here, but I don’t like Norm trying to back up his statement by mentioning “a lot of fans”. Stand by your statements if you must, but don’t try and back them up by bringing up fans – a lot of who clearly don’t know the full situation. You’re in a more responsible position: act like it.

LR – I think things changed around series 7.
NR – They split up in series.. 5 wasn’t it? or six.. wasn’t it? I don’t know
LR – I thought it was series 7
NR – I don’t know. I know I came back and it just wasn’t the same. I just thought, It’s gone, It’s not the same. It’s just not the same. The earlier stuff was really.. Funnier, Much funnier

I can’t deny that I too think the earlier series are much funnier than VII/VIII. The only thing I’d point out is that his views on the two series here aren’t the views he states on his website. In particular: “Series 8 was written by Doug and I felt Red Dwarf was back on course again.” But then, it’s a bit like him mentioning he finds the moon gag from Back In The Red Part 3 amusing in The Tank docco… and then slagging it off in the latest BTL. Are we going to be able to trust anything he says at any point? If you change your mind on something, you need to acknowledge it.

I would also point out that it would help Norm’s point if he knew, y’know, when Rob and Doug split up. Facts, Norm. They’re fairly essential to arguments. Or had you forgotten?

LR – There is the worry that if it comes back it just won’t be the same
NR – It’s not gonna be the same is it! The writers have split up, everyone’s got older, I’ll be the funniest person as usual, that won’t have changed. Haha… I’m sort of joking there… in a way. Haha

Oh, look – Norm’s turned into Ricky Gervais. You know, saying arrogantly that they’re the best, and then trying to pass it of half-heartedly as an ironic joke. Yes. Well done Norm.

And so on. I can’t really be bothered to dissect any more. You get the idea. Actually, I think the best ever response to Norm is here, in an excellent post by Steve Harris.

God knows I love Norm in Red Dwarf. But the more I read interviews with him, the more he comes across as just a complete idiot.

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36 Responses to Norm being a bit of a twat

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  1. That’s an appallingly-done interview – I know that I’ve done interviews where I’ve simply transcribed a conversation, but in that instance (a drunken conversation with two comics creators) it fitted the bill, and I at least took the trouble to edit out the stuff that wasn’t relevant to the interview. Do we really need to read Norman answering the phone or blathering on about coffee shops? No, you EDIT THEM OUT. And, as you say, the switch from “NL” to “NR” is really, really lazy.

    I can’t really comment too much on what Norman says, because… well, he’s being a cunt, basically. And you know what? If he doesn’t want to do it, then fine – he can fuck off. Given how bloody lovely and nice she is towards the fans and the whole franchise, I’d rather have Hattie doing it any day.

    And you’re bang on over his series VIII hypocrisy.

  2. > Given how bloody lovely and nice she is towards the fans and the whole franchise, I?d rather have Hattie doing it any day.

    Took the words right out of my mouth…

  3. The thing that I don’t believe in this interview is that Norman doesn’t care whether a movie is made. The fact that he’s so bothered about it indicates that he does (and also indicates that he’s sick of people asking him about it of course).

    He does talk a lot of rubbish but I find it hard to get too bothered about it.

    I disagree about having Hattie as Holly ahead of him though. If there is any more Dwarf then I think that Norman would make a much better Holly as he always has no matter what he might be saying.

  4. Yes, but he’s a twat. Quite frankly, with his attitude he doesn’t deserve the somewhat excellent payday that a movie would provide.

  5. In fairness (to the man, not to his comments) he’s frustrated. And rightly so.

    Obviously loads of films don’t get made. It happens all the time…films can fall apart at any stage, right up to (and including) final distribution. But typically, there’s a finality to that. When a film doesn’t get made (or is halted) you realize, “Okay. It’s over.” You have some closure. Obviously it’s not at all what you’d prefer, but you know it’s done.

    The cast haven’t been told “it’s over.” But neither has the film seen any significant progress. Not that GNP are doing anything wrong–they aren’t. In fact, from what I understand, they’re doing everything right. But it HAS to be frustrating to have status in a film that is neither happening nor not-happening.

    Does that excuse his comments?

    No.

    But frustration makes people say and do some pretty bad things. He’s annoyed by the situation…and you can’t really fault him for that.

  6. > Yes, but he?s a twat. Quite frankly, with his attitude he doesn?t deserve the somewhat excellent payday that a movie would provide.

    If he is a twat though, then the fact that he didn’t get any paydays for series 3, 4,5 and 6 probably helped to make him that way. I think that any actor would be pissed off if they were having to do stand up for very little money throughout that period while their former colleagues were becoming fairly big stars. The fact that Dwarf fans wanted to (and still want to) talk to him about it can’t have helped much either. That isn’t meant to excuse him when he talks nonsense but it is understandable.

    Anyway, if there is any more Dwarf then I’d like it to be as good as possible and I think that Norman would probably be better that Hattie.

  7. G&T Admin

    Does that excuse his comments?

    No.

    This is the problem, really. Yes, I can understand his frustration – but none of the other cast are doing this. And it’s certainly no excuse to LIE – I’d have more sympathy if he just expressed his frustration, but blatant untruths just aren’t excusable.

    He’s in a position of responsibility – and he needs to act like it.

  8. G&T Admin

    > If he is a twat though, then the fact that he didn?t get any paydays for series 3, 4,5 and 6

    I guess he shouldn’t have decided to leave the show, then.

  9. > I guess he shouldn?t have decided to leave the show, then.

    Yes, in that wonderful world where everything is black and white that makes sense.

  10. G&T Admin

    Your reasoning is crap, though. Why would he have a genuine to be pissed off at his former colleuges getting rich if he wasn’t forced out of the job? He had his reasons to leave, but he did choose to leave, after all. When has he EVER suggested that he pissed off with that situation? Do you think he’d keep it quiet if that was a problem for him?

    No, the only thing he’s mentioned is that he wasn’t happy that Hattie’s holly was too similar to his, that’s all.

  11. > No, the only thing he?s mentioned is that he wasn?t happy that Hattie?s holly was too similar to his, that?s all.

    That maybe the only thing that he’s mentioned in interviews but he does talk at other times to other people.

    He had no idea that the show would run for several more series without him or that it would rise in popularity. He also didn’t know that his own career would stall and he’d be travelling the country doing random stand up shows at the time for little money.

    That doesn’t mean that he felt cheated by anybody at Dwarf but just that his position is different from anybody else’s who was involved in the show. That’s the point I was trying to make.

    Anyway, as I said it doesn’t defend his comments.

  12. >This is the problem, really. Yes, I can understand his frustration – but none of the other cast are doing this. And it?s certainly no excuse to LIE – I?d have more sympathy if he just expressed his frustration, but blatant untruths just aren?t excusable.

    Agreed. I think in my little “devil’s advocate” post there I came just a little bit too much to his defense. I stand by my points, but I was sort of trying to make them from a position of neutrality…and I don’t think I succeeded at that.

    The absolute bottom line is that he’s more than a little out of line speaking the way he is. I’m positive it’s coming from a very frustrated area inside of him, and it’s probably not an area over which he has much control, but sometimes you really do have to just consider what you’re saying and choose wisdom over emotion.

  13. Only one actor playing Holly was deliberately dropped in order to make way for someone else, and it wasn’t Norman.

  14. G&T Admin

    And, as you say, the switch from ?NL? to ?NR? is really, really lazy.

    Now fixed. In case anyone doesn’t get what the hell I’m on about there.

  15. > Only one actor playing Holly was deliberately dropped in order to make way for someone else, and it wasn?t Norman.

    Hattie was dropped when they dropped the character completely. It was – what – four, five years and almost two whole series* later when they brought NL back to do it?

    *In a sense, given the switch from six to eight eps a series, it was more than two series later….

  16. Yeah, but that’s my point – Norman was the one brought back, not Hattie, because he’s a whingeing bastard, whereas Hattie, having been quietly dropped and pretty much airbrushed out of Dwarf history before the DVDs came along, never said a word about it.

  17. Be honest though, none of the other cast are really doing badly at the moment. All of them had their own series or star in popular soaps. Norman and Hattie are proably the only ones not in the public eye, and when you are hearing from GNP every now and then that your career will get a boost from the Red Dwarf Film we can’t get funding for at some point soon, you might get a bit annoyed and frustrated. So I can see Normans point.

    I don’t blame him for that, cos I know I’m bloody frustrated that this whole film business has killed Dwarf and its been thrown out the door on its arse – someone tell me I’m wrong…!

    So whilst some of Normans comments are a little hypocritcal with regard to previous series, I do think he is genuinely annoyed at being mucked about where this ‘film’ is concerned.

  18. I can completely understand his being annoyed. I’m sure he’s not the only one.

    But he is the only one persistently going on about it in public
    (it’s not like this interview is an isolated incident), slagging off Doug and GNP, and generally acting like a grumpy old fart and biting the hand that feeds him. If he has concerns, fine. Voice them constructively. Don’t just rant on about how you feel like the people you’re supposed to be working with are a shower of unorganised idiots. He’s breaking ranks, essentially, and personally I think that coming out and making such blatant public statements can only be damaging, rather than helpful, to any chances of getting anything funded.

  19. G&T Admin

    How Norm’s career is going has no relevance to this discussion at all. This isn’t about how well or badly Norm is doing – that’s his own business. This is about him blatantly lying about what’s happening with the Movie. The way he talks, GNP have sat and done nothing for five years. That’s utter bollocks, and it’s incredibly unfair, wrong and irresponsible for him to say that.

    And as I said: one of the reasons the Movie HASN’T been made yet is because of Doug holding out for the original cast. Norm’s acting like an ungrateful brat. *Being* frustrated is fine. (You think Doug doesn’t feel the same?) But doing what Norm’s doing is just WRONG.

    Note that Hattie is behaving perfectly sensibly. He should take a hint from her.

  20. —> How Norm?s career is going has no relevance to this discussion at all.

    Sorry I think it does, and it may be wild speculation on my part, but how would you feel if you are at work and expecting that promotion that your manager keeps telling you is coming, and each month you get told the money is not available or some other rubbish excuse to keep you hoping that its coming along. Or that you are working on something and keep being offered a job on something else thats just not forthcoming.

    I think that can explain the frustration, not only with GNP, but probably from fans asking him all the time when the bloody thing is going to get made! Can you imagine everytime he does a show someone says “Oh you were in Red Dwarf, I’ve got a DVD here, can you sign it, oh and PS whens the film going to be made and are you in it?”

    I know I’d be getting a bit pissed.

    Norm is clearly not able to just smile and say “I don’t know” every time he is asked and be more professional about it. He seems to be the sort of person who can be a bit bloody minded, speak his mind and let rip every now and then (Just like my father in law), he can’t be blamed for that.

    If he has upset GNP, well they don’t have to employ him if a new series kicks off, however I think the interview is typical Norm when you look at other things he has been involved in.

  21. G&T Admin

    how would you feel if you are at work and expecting that promotion that your manager keeps telling you is coming, and each month you get told the money is not available or some other rubbish excuse to keep you hoping that its coming along. Or that you are working on something and keep being offered a job on something else thats just not forthcoming.

    Hehe, that exact thing is happening to me at the moment, and in a very similar industry to the one Norm’s in. But do I go spouting my mouth off in public about how my employers are doing nothing, and that they’ve taken too long, and that I no longer care whether it happens or not? No, partly because I know it’s not true (like Norm should) and that nothing is easy in the TV/film industry, and partly because it’s simply unprofessional. If it’s excusable for Norm to act like this, why aren’t Craig, Chris, Danny, Robert and Chloe doing the same?

  22. G&T Admin

    I’ll say it one last time: being frustrated I can totally understand. Lashing out at GNP, when they are clearly trying their BEST to get things sorted, I can’t. Someone who is trying their best to get you a job is NOT someone you should be slagging off, no matter how frustrating it is.

    And I agree with Ian. When you’re effectively self-employed and work in the media, this is the kind of thing you *have* to deal with – and deal with professionally. Deal with it, or go and get a job with more guaranteed stability. And yes, I too speak from experience.

    Having a grumpy persona is fine… up to a point. But take it beyond a certain level, and it just gets tiresome and destructive. And not something to be proud of. His statements could potentially cause the Movie even more funding problems – and as much as anything else, that’s not helping the fans he seems to want to support.

  23. You’ve got to love him, haven’t you? Or not. The fact that he was slagging off the show DURING the VIII commentary shows how much he’d lost it then even! He talks about the show as though he was never involved in it himself! He was back for Beat The fucking Geek. If there’s pay involved he’d probably be back time and time again.

    But he isn’t needed for any future Dwarf series. If they want Holly get Hattie in. The main reasoning in bringing Norman back for VIII was that it was supposed to be the original Red Dwarf resurrected so it made sense to have the original Holly.

  24. how would you feel if you are at work and expecting that promotion that your manager keeps telling you is coming, and each month you get told the money is not available or some other rubbish excuse to keep you hoping that its coming along.

    It’s not really a valid comparison, though, because Norman doesn’t work for GNP. They don’t owe him a living (to quote Tony Hayers). As it is, they’re trying their hardest to get him a job at some point, and all he’s doing is – like I say – biting the hand that feeds him.

  25. I’ve said it before and will say it again, I think the bloke is a two faced liar..

    He’s more than happy to slag the show off publically, harp on about how it’s so unfair that people ask him about Dwarf all the time and claims to want to shake it off…

    Then he’s equally happy to flog autographs for a tenner a throw on photographs of Holly…

    It’s less than 12 months ago that he was sat with Hattie flogging Red Dwarf merchandise on a Red Dwarf stand surounded by Holly images…

    Wanker…

  26. > He?s more than happy to slag the show off publically, harp on about how it?s so unfair that people ask him about Dwarf all the time and claims to want to shake it off?

    > Then he?s equally happy to flog autographs for a tenner a throw on photographs of Holly?

    But isn’t that the catch 22 situation that he’s in?

    He needs the money that Dwarf can give him but he also objects to being known only for that. It’s something that’s affected thousands of performers before him and turned them bitter and I’m not surprised that it’s done the same in this case.

    That isn’t a defence because I’m sure Norman has always been a moaner and he is taking it far too far but…

  27. No, I disagree…

    He has a chip on his shoulder and sees himself as having more talent and strings to his bow than he’s given credit for..

    The fact is, his talents are such that he hasn’t been able to rise above what he’s best known for.

    He’s more than willing to coin in on his ‘Dwarf’ image by selling himself as Holly which is fair enough but I think his attitude towards his employers and the fans is terrible..

    He’s says he’s had a guts full of being associated with the show and believes GNP are misleading the fans…

    Frankly, the only person misleading anyone is Norman himself.

  28. G&T Admin

    >But isn?t that the catch 22 situation that he?s in?

    >He needs the money that Dwarf can give him but he also objects to being known only for that. It?s something that?s affected thousands of performers before him and turned them bitter and I?m not surprised that it?s done the same in this case.

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. If it hadn’t been for Dwarf, then he may well not have got “I Lovett”. It didn’t do well. Tough shit; it’s his fault for having a one-note performance style. Notice how Danny, Chris and Robert are a lot more versatile. If he objects to only being known as a RD cast member, then he should stop making money on the back of that, because that’s just ungrateful. As PM has pointed out, he came running back for ‘Beat The Geek’, so the food can’t stick THAT much going down.

    However, whether he’s bitter or not, behaving like a spoilt child is just unprofessional. If he behaves like that towards everyone, then no wonder he’s only known for RD.

  29. I just got the “I Lovett” pun O_o
    How many years late am I this time?

  30. > Oh, for fuck?s sake. If it hadn?t been for Dwarf, then he may well not have got ?I Lovett?. It didn?t do well. Tough shit; it?s his fault for having a one-note performance style. Notice how Danny, Chris and Robert are a lot more versatile. If he objects to only being known as a RD cast member, then he should stop making money on the back of that, because that?s just ungrateful. As PM has pointed out, he came running back for ?Beat The Geek?, so the food can?t stick THAT much going down.

    He came running back for the money as has already been said. I don’t blame him for still making money from Dwarf because everybody has to make a living and sometimes do jobs that they don’t like. I also think that it’s understandable that he says different things about different episodes of Dwarf when he talks to different people as different situations call for different responses (although he does contradict himself too often).

    The garbage that he talks about the movie and GNP is something else entirely though.

  31. Strewth, he even mentions Red Dwarf in his TV show pilot. Clearly he’s desperate to get away from the type cast of Dwarf…………..

  32. He’s interested in the kind of audience Red Dwarf used to attract??

    (Apologies, couldn’t resist.)

  33. >Strewth, he even mentions Red Dwarf in his TV show pilot. Clearly he?s desperate to get away from the type cast of Dwarf????..

    In fairness, though, that’s an artistic endeavor rather than any kind of real idea of who he is or what he thinks, and I’m sure he’d intend to use Dwarf the same way Larry David used Seinfeld. It’s obviously something that got them where they want to be, but in each case I’m sure the character would be perfectly willing to shed all the preconceived associations. (However accurate.)

  34. In fact, I think I’ve hit on what really fucking bugs me about all his comments. You know what it is?

    It?s made me so angry and it?s made alot of the fans very upset.

    He keeps trying to pass off his own grievances as the grievances of the fans. He thinks it’s alright to go on a big rant if he adds the words “It’s really unfair to the fans, and it’s making them unhappy”. Well, you know what? Fuck off. Since when did you give a shit about the fans, or pay any attention to them? Did I see you at Dimension Jump chatting to fans, along with Hattie, Chris, Robert and Danny? No, I fucking didn’t. Which fans do you even talk to, in order to have such a brilliant grasp of what the widespread opinion is? Fucking Gannon?

    If you’re angry, you’re angry, but don’t try and pass it off like you’re some crusading voice-of-the-fans, because you’re not, and you’re woefully misjudging how most of the active fans tend to feel about the movie situation.

  35. Yeah, I noticed that, too. I’d say a comment like that really does cross the line into inexcusable. Fan frustration over the movie does exist, but I don’t think even one person is frustrated at Doug or GNP. They’re frustrated at the situation as on glorious whole.

  36. With the recent contradictory stories given by the BBC and GNP, it’s hard to know who to be frustrated with.

    If it’s true that the BBC’s door is open to GNP for discussions about a 9th series which is being turned down by GNP in favour of chasing what is seemingly an unending and fruitless struggle to get a movie started, then it really is GNP who should take a least some of the blame for the lack of any Red Dwarf. Perhaps it’s long past the time when they should have faced the fact that a Red Dwarf movie was always a bit of a long-shot and now 8 years since the last series, it’s extremely unlikely.

    However, if it’s true that the BBC has made the bizarre decision to show no interest in making anything to do with Red Dwarf, then obviously it’s the BBC who should be on the receiving end of any annoyance.

    Perhaps Norman’s just as in the dark as we are and he’s venting frustration at the wrong people…or maybe it’s the right people. No way of knowing until the contradictory claims of GNP and the BBC are resolved.

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