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Hang on, I'm writing the G&T Christmas Message for the first time in 13 years? I guess I'd better do some Christmas song references. So: I'm giving Santa a Pikachu this Christmas, I just can’t wait till I am sitting on the bog, and... erm, I got nothing.

Danny, Robert and Doug on the set for the Red Dwarf SpecialMoving swiftly on, then. The last 12 months have been rather surprising in that things have actually happened in the land of Dwarf this year, unlike the mildly disappointing 30th anniversary. Not fast, get there in the end, etc. The biggest news was obviously the Red Dwarf Special, from Danny tweeting a picture of the readthrough, followed a week later by its erm, the official announcement. It perhaps seems unfair to talk about the production of the show never running smoothly - it's not like there are fansites examining the minutiae of Still Open All Hours audience recordings - but there was a distinct air of familiarity when one of the two audience recordings was postponed until next year. Well it probably is déjà vu, it sounds like it. Luckily, the other recording went off fine - bar Norman Lovett having a cold - and 2020 will hopefully see the second recording rescheduled. If not, at least we can look forward to Chris Barrie shooting linking footage vaguely in-character in 13 years time.

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Ooh, that sounds a bit rude, doesn’t it! Nevertheless, the time has come to not only hear new comedy material from one of Red Dwarf‘s co-creators, but to hear it in his own voice. Rob Grant and Andrew Marshall have written *and* performed Radio 4’s The Nether Regions, also starring Helen Cripps, Edward Rowett and Holly Morgan, and it airs tonight at 11pm on BBC Radio 4. It will also be available thereafter on BBC Sounds and the programme page, for those too sleepy. This broadcast pilot, which was produced by Hudzen 10, marks a return to sketch comedy from two of its most distinguished exponents, and we’re very much looking forward to it. Do let us know what you reckon.

And if you haven’t already, why not warm up by listening to our interview with the pair of writer-performers?

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No, really. Ahead of their new sketch show pilot The Nether Regions airing on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 24th October at 11pm, Rob Grant and Andrew Marshall invited your intrepid DwarfCast team of Ian Symes, Danny Stephenson and Jo Sharples for a big old chat at Rob's kitchen table. We touched upon the "terrifying" experience of performing in front of an audience, the intricacies of their writing process, the sketches and characters that didn't make the final cut, their "bloody magnificent" producer Gordon Kennedy, and also got the latest on Quanderhorn Series 2. And yes, we also discussed another show that Rob co-created, covering his experiences at Dimension Jump, being back on set for the first time since the 90s, and the possibility of him ever writing for Red Dwarf again.

All this, plus 2point4 Children, Son of Cliché, Strange, Week Ending and how Rob's The Strangerers caused unexpected problems for one of Andrew's series. We also grill Andrew about his connection to Marvin The Paranoid Android, get Rob's thoughts on the proposed return of Spitting Image, his friendship with Martin Kemp, and how he pissed off Billy Ocean when they were both on Top of the Pops. A huge, huge thank you to Rob and Andrew for their candid, thoughtful and hilarious interview.

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In somewhat unexpected news, Rob Grant and Andrew Marshall are doing another radio series, one that isn't The Quanderhorn Xperimentations. Tickets have just been made available for The Nether Regions, along with a description that frankly defies neatly summarising:

Welcome to … The Nether Regions: a place where the laws of physics and even time itself take a day off, put their feet up and watch daytime television in their underpants.

This is our world, today, though not quite the today we know. And not entirely the world we live in. But nearly.

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