G&TV: Pillow Talk on Night Network

G&TV logoLong before Paula Yates invited people On the Bed, Emma Freud was doing the same on Pillow Talk, part of ITV’s late night programming Night Network. And who did she have on the bed in 1987? None other than a certain Chris Barrie, who spends much of the interview looking fairly uncomfortable. They should have just had sex in multiple different positions and had done with it.

A few things to ponder, then, before I reveal the real MEAT of what has turned out to be a rather remarkable little time capsule.

  • (0:21 – 0:30) Watch Barrie’s face falling in real time, as Chris slowly realises he’s been accidentally insulted.
  • (0:42) Emma not recognising Barrie’s Kenneth Williams impression makes me wish the ground would swallow me up. Luckily, Chris’s response is amazing.
  • (2:17) I’m presuming the odd cut to the CHRIS BARRIE caption is part of the yoof house style of the show. (“I’m cutting randomly to a graphic, because that’s what this programme is all about – shock.”)
  • (7:05) I can’t decide whether Emma broaching the subject of Chris’s wealth is amazing, or amazingly unprofessional. It’s not really the kind of question you ask… which is perhaps exactly why it should be asked. Either way, it’s highly entertaining to see Chris genuinely flummoxed for a few seconds.
  • (9:15) The funniest bit.
  • (9:24) Quite possibly the worst piece of transmission I have ever seen, and I have presided over a few.

But all that is secondary to the real point of this video – at least, for us. At precisely five minutes in, Emma tells Chris “Brian Clough is someone Craig Charles has been begging me to ask you to do.” And at 5:28 comes the rather distinctive laugh of the Scouse git himself. Now, this video is dated by the uploader as being from “1987” – with no more specific date than that. Which brings up the inevitable question: why exactly is Craig Charles hanging around? Is this just coincidence, with him and Chris being part of the same scene? Is this after the first series of Red Dwarf was recorded in late 1987, but before its TX? Or is this actually from 1988, after the first series had been broadcast?

Ladies, gentlemen, and skutters: unlike most of my questions I foist upon you, here I can actually provide you with an answer. Towards the end of the interview – with a little help from Emma – Chris says the following, in the guise of Ronnie Corbett:

“What I’d like to do is inform you of what I’m doing, fairly soon, and it’s called Thing-a-Thon… and – where is it? Quickly? It’s at the Piccadilly Theatre, tomorrow night, and I’ll be there – Ronnie Corbett, not Chris Barrie – Ronnie Corbett, Thing-a-Thon – be there. And it’s a sponsored sing…”

As the transmission cuts out, you can helpfully hear Emma prompting him that it’s for the Terrance Higgins Trust. All of which gives us enough information to do a nifty Google search, which comes up with this information on a site about Louise Gold, and this forum thread. Which reveals that the fundraiser took place on the 13th December 1987… meaning this interview was broadcast on the 12th December 1987.

Which suddenly makes this video very fascinating indeed. Series 1 of Red Dwarf was recorded between the 27th September – 8th November 1987. So this interview went out after Series 1 of Dwarf was recorded, but before it was shown in February 1988. Explaining why Craig Charles was there… and providing a little time capsule of Dwarf‘s two stars just on the cusp of the show being broadcast to the nation for the first time.

Incidentally, that Louise Gold site also clears up another mystery – it really was Ronnie Corbett performing at the Thing-a-Thon, not Chris Barrie. And why does Emma Freud seem so keen on him promoting it? Because she’s also part of the same charity event. It all seems a little weird that Chris Barrie is promoting an event he isn’t even part of, even in the character of Ronnie Corbett… but certainly explains why he needs so much prompting from Emma. Chris Barrie may be many things, but being unclear about something he’s actually part of isn’t his style. Him being co-opted by Emma to promote something she’s doing makes far more sense.

But it does raise further questions. Why is Chris actually there? And was Craig Charles interviewed in the same show? Surely he must have been, if he was there? And if he was, was there any mention of their brand new upcoming sitcom, even it is being shown on the other side?

Alas, I have run out of answers. But maybe somebody out there has a full copy of the show. You do, don’t you? And you’re going to send it to us immediately, yes?

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43 Responses to G&TV: Pillow Talk on Night Network

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  1. I found this more fascinating than I care to admit.

  2. John’s being doing some investing again. Investigating this, investigating that, general investigation.

    Very interesting though. Love how the little clues lead to figuring it all out. This is the kind of important and informative journalism I visit G&T for.

  3. Also, Chris and Craig can’t have been getting along *that* badly if they’re being that unfakeably pally there…

  4. Lovely stuff, really enjoyed that. “This extraordinary event here in… in bed” really made me laugh for some reason. You really should have a blog for your TV show investigations, John…

    I think Chris and Craig probably got on ok at the start of the show, I always got the feeling the worst of it was around series 2 – 4.

  5. You don’t get big-budget TV like this any more.

  6. The rumor that Craig and Chris hated each other in the early years always seemed like bullshit to me.

  7. G&T Admin

    Well, the source of the “rumour” is Craig himself.

  8. Wow that would never be allowed on TV these days.

    A straight white man and woman in bed. Yikes!

  9. G&T Admin

    Wow that would never be allowed on TV these days.

    A straight white man and woman in bed. Yikes!

    Man, I fucking loved it when I could write things for G&T and bilge like this didn’t show up in the comments.

    Those halcyon days.

  10. G&T Admin

    Sorry, got to dash. Instead of writing some fun stuff here, I have to go and frantically masturbate myself raw over Jonathan Pie videos.

  11. The rumor that Craig and Chris hated each other in the early years always seemed like bullshit to me.

    Isn’t it kind of established that Craig and Chris fell out around Series 2-3 time?

  12. Their long-term commitment to roleplaying Kryten’s computer senile mate is almost impressive.

  13. Wow that would never be allowed on TV these days.

    A straight white man and woman in bed. Yikes!
    Man, I fucking loved it when I could write things for G&T and bilge like this didn’t show up in the comments.
    Those halcyon days.

    It was a joke snowflake. Then again you are one of those people who likes to get offended by everything.

    Sorry, got to dash. Instead of writing some fun stuff here, I have to go and frantically masturbate myself raw over Jonathan Pie videos.

    I’d say kiddie porn was more your thing with an avatar like that.

    *Joke

  14. Excellent bit of detective work, John. Has Chris ever said anything about him and Craig not getting on? All I can remember is the mimed punch in, I think, Comedy Connections. And Craig’s never said it ever got *that* bad.

    Amusing to hear Chris saying “well-cum” the way he does, as David Coleman.

  15. We’d gone more than two weeks without a paedophile slur being bandied about, can you edgy kids try a bit harder to ruin nice websites in the next decade please? Needs to be total desolation out there.

  16. Amusing to hear Chris saying “well-cum” the way he does, as David Coleman.

    A shame he doesn’t complete the Chris Barrie’s Weird Pronunciations collection with an “anyburdy/everyburdy”.

  17. We just banned somebody from the discord for pulling the “it’s just a joke, snowflake” shtick. Please grow up

  18. It wasn’t shtick. What I said here was obviously a joke. I mean the idea we never see white straight couple in bed on TV couldn’t be further from the truth could it? It’s not my fault that John etc got triggered by it.

  19. in light of dwarfcast 100 00:20:05, this chiding and policing of mildly edgy comments is annoyingly hypocritical. nice blog but please stop being the justin trudeau of the fandom

  20. It’s not my fault that John etc got triggered by it.

    *sigh*

    Well, this thread has gone to shit now but thanks for the clip and the analysis – very interesting.

  21. Well it’s nice to know I’m fast slipping down the leaderboard for Biggest Cunt On The Forum.

  22. G&T Admin

    I really, really, really, really, really shouldn’t have to explain why I find RamesesNiblickTheThird’s posts on this place so offensive. Anybody using “snowflake” like that is a dreadful person, and that is self-evident. And the triggered remark really does speak for itself. It’s not just offensive, it’s boring, cliched offensiveness.

    nice blog but please stop being the justin trudeau of the fandom

    You know what, you’re right, I really do have better things to do right at the moment than write interesting things about Red Dwarf. Why bother, when I can write interesting things about other topics elsewhere, and not have twatty comments attached to the bottom?

    So yes, already-written articles and one promised obligation aside, I really will fuck off and do something else for a bit.

  23. G&T Admin

    Oh whoops, my ban finger got triggered.

  24. He’ll come back as RamsesNiblickTheFourth

  25. For the record, John, and I’m sure I speak for everyone currently allowed to post on the board, please don’t let this 15 year old stop you from posting wonderful stuff here. We all value your contributions to G&T, and nobody ever valued Ramases’s, so don’t make us start a petition to bring you back.

  26. Seconded. Don’t let an annoying cunt who is intent on trolling you push you away. Listen to us annoying cunts who enjoy your contributions instead!

  27. ‘Do you have problems with libel, Chris?’ I mean….what?? XD This is totally one to ask again at his next DJ appearance! :P Emma should interview everyone in the world.

  28. I’ve always loved sitcom but John is an excellent guide to interesting areas I’ve never previously considered going down. The archive discovered on G&TV is amazing – I never thought I’d see contemporary series 1 stuff as interesting as this. Especially as series 1 was the lost/secret series for so long.

  29. John’s Dirty Feed blog encouraged me to revisit Smashie and Nicey: The End of an Era recently, which I got a lot more out of than when I was eight and is probably my favourite thing I’ve watched this year, so it’s good for recommendations (and extreme esoterica!)

  30. I misread that as “extreme erotica”.

  31. Great clip / article John. Thank you. It entertained me.

    Can I go to bed with you please?

    I will sue that other jokey poster you didn’t like for libel if that helps.

    Stay. Be my Emma Freud. You always ask the right questions.
    No one else touches my G&T spot like you do.

  32. I’d ideally like to praise John’s G&T contributions as well but as with whenever anybody else uses the word “snowflake” in an alt-righty way, I just think about the discontinued Cadbury’s Snowflake and get stuck on that.

    Cadbury’s Snowflake.

  33. G&T Admin

    As immortalised in Anthea Turner’s wedding photos.

  34. Even bigger a scandal than that was that it wasn’t even a Flake. It was a Twirl.

  35. Speaking of white chocolate, whatever happened to Dream bars? Milkybar has a monopoly like a sugary Tony Soprano.

  36. Cadbury’s have just bought out Dairy Milk White, which I imagine is pretty much just a rebranded Dream bar.

    Typing that has made me really want one now.

  37. Cadbury also do (or did) the Winter Wonderland bars with the interlaced brown and white Christmas trees.

  38. Fucksake I was in Sainsbury’s today and didn’t look for a White bar.

  39. I’ve never seen one before, no-one has.

  40. “How else can I pilot white bar?”

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