On Thursday 7th August, Danny John-Jules appeared on RI:SE. Now, the irritating thing about RI:SE is that it should be very good. It’s really nicely produced; the music and titles are wonderful, and there’s some lovely ideas in it – the lovely Zora reads the news in front of the studio gallery, and then there’s a wonderful shot which pans across from her to the presenters at the end of the bulletin. And here lies the problem: the presenters. Iain Lee is extremely annoying, but is at least a competent presenter: Kate Lawler is just fucking dreadful. She can’t present for toffee. Get rid of those two, and put people decent in their place (Mel and Sue, perhaps) – and you’d have a show I’d watch every morning. As it is, I can’t bear to watch it.
But enough ranting; what did Danny have to say? Well, at 7:12 there was a four minute interview with him, mainly about the movie; which, incidentally, he says has been “the biggest talking point of my career”. He said that “it’s supposed to be happening at the end of the year in Australia”. Good to hear confirmation of the plans for Australia, but you’d think if the movie was still shooting late September, he would simply have said ‘next month’. Gah. After this, they showed a clip from The End, showing Cat’s first appearance in Dwarf. You could argue either way that this was either sheer laziness, picking the first episode and finding the first Cat scene, when there are a million times funnier ones – or excellent research, as his first scene is a great one to show. I tend to go with the latter; particuarly as they showed the original, un-remastered version; something the BBC didn’t manage recently. Kate then proceeded to show why she’s a fucking awful presenter; Danny said he thought at the time: “this’ll last about three days and here I am, since ’87”, and Kate proceeds to ask: “Did you ever think you’d be playing that character now?”. Grrr. Still, the research on the show wasn’t that bad; Iain mentioned at the start of the interview that Dwarf used to be shot in the same studio as A Question of Sport; not only did I not know that, but it’s the kind of fact that only complete geeks would be interested in. Excellent.
Back to movie stuff. Danny mentions that “it is very funny – Doug always writes funny scripts”. Leaving aside Duct Soup for the moment, I find this strangely reassuring – it’s not like Danny would have said anything different, of course, but never mind. After confirming what we already know about the plotline (“It’ll be telling the… original story within a plot but they’ve got to tell the story otherwise you wouldn’t know what the hell’s going on”), Iain undoes all the good work he did by describing Dwarf as a “brilliant comedy, classic sitcom” by asking whether the movie will have the “same slightly dodgy effects we sort of love in the programme, or is it gonna be big budget Matrix-style?” Quite apart from the fact that it’s pretty obvious the movie will have pretty good effects, I do wish people would stop saying the effects in the TV show (for the first six series, anyway) are anything but fucking amazing. Gah. At least Danny manages to make a good joke out of it, by saying they’ll use “Special K boxes instead of Cornflakes”. Meanwhile, Iain and Kate start drawing parallels with Doctor Who, which ends with Iain saying “that’s all part of it, though… if Doctor Who went all Star Wars it would just ruin it”. Yes, Iain, dodgy effects are definitely what made Doctor Who good.
But don’t worry! Kate’s on hand with more shite cliches. “Red Dwarf has a massive cult following. Do you ever get any freaky fans that are a bit obsessive and scare you?” Danny replied rather amusingly with: “Yes, but I like it”. Continuing, he explains: “They’re all right actually – they’re very well behaved you know… you can go to a convention with like 2000 people getting drunk for a weekend and you don’t even see a punch-up”. Honestly, DJ-ers, you’ll have to do better next time. As for Iain, he topped it all off with asking whether conventions had “lots of spotty geeks going ‘Yes, in episode 37, in scene 15 in the 37th second you actually talk about crossing the nebula system when that would be impossible?'”. Yes, Iain, actually knowing things and talking in-depth about stuff is a terrible, terrible thing. You cunt. Danny replied with “Oh yeah, they say to you ‘well, you know episode blah blah blah’ and I go no, I can’t remember them”; which is fair enough. At least there was no sneering from him. Mind you, Iain did make me smile with his outro to the piece: “Right now, it’s everyone’s favourite bit of the RI:SE show; it’s the adverts!” If only he could reign in his huge cuntish tendencies, he wouldn’t be that bad as a presenter, really.
Later on, Danny turned up at 8:14 (along with Caroline Chikezie, who plays Sasha Williams in As If) to talk about what he was really on the show for: the Screen Nation Film and Television Awards, on the 10th September. According to Danny, “It’s a minority event where it’s to celebrate the input into the industry that people like ourselves make and go basically and pat each other on the back and say well done… We don’t really get to go to the luvvie ones… We see each other all over the place doing gigs and that, but we never really have that place”. They then went onto show a clip from Blade 2. Danny: “I was very proud of my work in that movie.” He also revealed that he got a few bruises; Wesley Snipes “doesn’t pull punches or kicks”. Ouch.
Later on, at 8:44 in the TV Review, he mentioned that he was in the 10th Anniversary show of The Bill, playing a social worker – which he shot on his birthday. Finally, he was in the phone-in at 8:53, answering a few questions along with the other guests. Alex, from Windsor asked “It’s just about the move… If you could write the script, what would you like to see Cat getting up to?”, to which Danny replied “I’d like to see his house or where he lives; we were going to do that as an episode but they said it was too expensive…” An interesting revelation, there. Iain also did a useful thing for once and mentioned The Crouches – it’s being screened in September. Sue from Surrey asked “Where are those sexy teeth?”, which gave Iain the chance to ask the predictable question “Do you ever wear them for a bit of fun in the bedroom?” Worryingly, the reply was “Now and then.” Finally, Austin from Sunderland asked “Why do you think Red Dwarf fans have stayed so dedicated when there hasn’t been a series since 1999?” To which Danny replied, excellently, “Because it’s so funny you can go back and watch it and watch it and watch it.” Oddly, just as the show was ending, Danny said to Iain “You’re very good you know”, to which Iain replied “You’re not too bad yourself”. Strange.
So, what have you learnt from this article? I’ll tell you: bugger all. But what I learnt from watching Danny on RI:SE is simple: he’s a super-nice guy. One of the few people who is really cool, but isn’t an arrogant irritating arsehole. He was without doubt the most entertaining person in the studio that day, and really amusing, in a way that’s difficult to communicate on paper. What a guy.