Here’s an unexpected delight. A friend of a friend of a friend got in touch with Kevin Eldon on our behalf, and old 4 Of 27 himself was only too happy to answer some questions via email. There are some extremely minor spoilers for Twentica below, but thankfully Kevin decided to take a somewhat literal approach to many of our questions. You won’t find much in the way of hard fact here, but you’ll hopefully laugh a fair few times. Our endless thanks to Jonathan ‘Jonsmad’ Young (who, along with setting the whole thing up, collaborated with us to provide the questions) and Harry Pye, without either of whom this wouldn’t have been possible.
G&T: When were you first approached to appear in Red Dwarf?
Kevin: 21st November 2015. 10.46 am.
And what made you say yes?
Nothing made me! I used my own free will. It’s not an illusion. Don’t let ’em tell you it is.
I was very flattered to be asked to take part in a grand old telly comedy sci fi tradition.
Did you enjoy playing the villain?
I did yes. It’s good fun to temporarily pretend to be an amoral badbot for a job.
How did you approach the role?
I approached the role from a westerly direction. Cautiously. Using the surrounding shrubbery as cover. I made sure I had plenty of cider and sandwiches in case I got pinned down.
Was your costume comfortable?
It was the most comfortable thing I’ve ever worn. They’ve let me take it home and I use it as pyjamas.
How long did it take to put together?
It takes eight hours to put on. I have to be winched into it through a skylight. I can only put it on in a building with a skylight. I had one knocked into our roof at home.
You seemed to really enjoy performing in front of the audience…
Ah, you may be confusing enjoyment with fear. It’s easily done. Although, the audience were extremely lovely so it wasn’t as scary as it could have been by several long chalks.
…talk us through what happened when you started to improvise in the bar scenes.
I don’t think we can really truthfully say I improvised the bar scenes. I just said two sentences at two different points that weren’t in the script for that scene. Not really enough quick-witted skill demonstrated there to get me on Whose Line Is It Anyway I shouldn’t have thought.
Have you watched the episode since it’s been released, and if so what do you make of it?
I haven’t, no. I’ll watch it on the terrestrial on Thursday. Which is on Thursday at the time of writing.
Of all the many shows you’ve guested in, which ones stand out as your own personal highlights?
My show! What an arrogant, self-obsessed man!
Now, everyone wants to know: who would win in a space battle between you as 4 of 27 and Patrick Stewart as a Borg?
Are you sure everyone wants to know that? Or just you. I’m really not sure everyone does. I can’t imagine Nicholas Witchell wanting to know that.
Let’s ask him! Oy! Nick!
While we wait for him to get back to us let me grapple with this question.
Do you know what?
The answer to the question depends on many factors:
- Armaments available.
- Time of the day.
- Mood of the combatants.
And other factors we feeble Earthlings cannot even begin to dream of with our tiny shriveled brains.
That’s the best answer I can give you. Things being the way they are.
If asked back for a future series (perhaps to play 9 of 32), what would you like the plot to involve?
A trillion swirling space demons eating the universe atom by atom, including themselves, until all that is left is a void so dark and impenetrable that words simply cannot convey anything so utterly devoid of matter and meaning. And a song at the end with some nice dancing ladies.
Tell us about your band, The Spammed, appearing on the latest charity covers album from The Specialized Project.
I’ve had the honour and privilege to be in a band with Micko Westmoreland, Neil Innes (The Rutles), Rat Scabies (The Damned) and Horace Panter (The Specials) and we’ve recorded a Bob Marley song for this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust album. They do an album every year and invite various people to record a track by that year’s chosen artist. Bob Marley is this year’s. It’s a tall order. If you think about it, Marley did a pretty good job of his songs first time around. Anyway, we did ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ and I think we made a pretty good go of it, even though it has got me caterwauling over some lovely playing. Anyway, please buy the album. The money goes to a great charity. I got last year’s album on which we did a Clash song. I was knocked out by the quality of the songs on it, not to mention the number. It’s a good buy! This year’s will be as good if not better.
Specialized 5 – One Heart is available to pre-order, with all profits going to the Teenage Cancer Trust and the National Foundation For Youth Music. Kevin Eldon, thank you very much.
Thank yee and bless yee for all eons x