Here are the headlines, god I wish they weren't!
I couldn't put it better than an anonymous person, who is anonymous, on cook'd and bomb'd...
"Chris Morris @ Bournemouth University 6th March 2007.
There was still a definite audible gasp as Chris Morris walked into the (very warm) lecture theatre at Bournemouth University. He was tall and thin, wore Converse trainers topped with fluorescent bicycle clips, and had a black jacket with a frilly white shirt underneath. A glittered scarf completed the outfit and his hair has grown back into a curly mess. He looked like how Doctor Who should, basically.
He sat in a dirty chair, and played constantly with the broken armrest throughout. After a really vague introduction by the ‘journalist’ interviewing him, we had a clip from Brass Eye, (from the ‘cake’ episode) and then we were off.
The interviewer’s questions were awkward at times, and slightly misinformed, but that increasingly didn’t matter, as Chris took these questions as jumping-off points for things he really wanted to talk about.
He began by reminiscing about his days at BBC Radio Bristol, and the fact that people there were convinced he was taking the piss, when he genuinely wasn’t. A key moment was the Lockerbie crash, which caused cheering in the newsroom when someone found that ‘a local’ had been killed. Chris had – ironically – grown up listening to the phone pranks of Noel Edmonds and spoke at length about his love of radio. He also mentioned the comedian and musician Vivian Stanshall. He was also generous towards Victor Lewis Smith, particularly his work on Loose Ends. It seems that there has been a thaw between the two.
Prompted by a question from the floor, he readily admitted his comedy was often based on wordplay and language, and this he had learned from listening to his heroes on radio. Chris said he would both love to do more radio and he would like to work with Warp again. He thought that Dean Man’s Shoes was an excellent film. He also bemoaned the lack of innovation on radio, particularly Radio One. He seemed exasperated that Chris Moyles is viewed by the BBC as a great DJ.
Taking questions about the industry, Chris said that he hadn’t yet found a production company or organisation that he felt at home with. He said that Talkback was now a huge global company and this often made things difficult, but something he learned from his BBC days, is that the bigger the organisation, the more room there is to hide and find a way through and find people who’ll champion your work. He said that part of the commissioning process was to ‘con’ producers into commissioning you, and interestingly he said that ‘will’ was more important than talent. He supported this statement by arguing that so much TV was terrible, that only ‘will’ got it made, because the creators clearly had no talent.
He seemed almost upset at the very existence of Jeremy Kyle, and he savaged The Verdict. He convincingly suggested that people were acting in court cases anyway, so the programme was about actors, acting at acting, which was ridiculous. He said that it was an excuse to use the words, ‘penis,’ ‘vagina,’ and ‘anus,’ a lot whilst showing close-ups of Jeffrey Archer.
He also talked about Big Brother, as someone asked if it could be subverted. Chris said he’s love to see it being done, but even by being in the show and trying to attack it from within, you’re still part of Big Brother. He thought that Jack Dee had come closest, because he was so ‘flat.’
He also talked about some of the things he liked, and seemed embarrassed at their mainstream popularity. He thinks the The Thick of It is a triumph, and he also loves (some) of Curb your Enthusiasm, but admitted that some episodes were very poor. He said that watching Extras and then The Office he noticed a massive ‘gap in quality’ between the two. He, perhaps alarmingly, also expressed a liking for Danny Baker.
As for Brass Eye, well the series seemed to take its toll on him. One phone prank with one of the Krays resulted in a visit from a thug at their production offices. Noel Edmonds still harbours a grudge, but others such as Tania Bryer shrugged it off and blamed themselves for being so gullible. Bernard Manning was a difficult one, as just before filming (which took place at Manning’s infamous Embassy Club in Manchester) the old comedian told Chris that his two bouncers had beaten someone to a pulp the night before for smoking a joint.
Chris said that there wasn’t a hierarchy of ‘cuntery’ when choosing which celebs to attack, but he was often surprised. He managed to fool an (unnamed) newspaper editor with a gag, but Russell Grant rumbled him straightaway – ‘he clearly has a lot of nous’ according to Chris.
As the Brass Eye shoot took place over a year, the make-up artist had real problems with continuity as, by the end of the year, Chris looked, ‘so fucked-up’ and no amount of make-up could get him looking like he did 12 months before. He shrugged off the Daily Mail’s attack on the paedophile special, saying that it wasn’t very good, even by the Mail’s standards. He seemed a bit insulted by this.
Chris admitted that he did the IT Crowd as a favour to Graham Linehan, but he’s not doing anymore, and his character dies by jumping out of the window in the first episode of series 2. He’s working flat out on Nathan Barley 2, but with a different set of characters, and exploring different situations than before. This was a constant theme, as it seems he doesn’t like to stand still for very long. He admitted that Barley was always going to have a small ‘cult’ audience, and he said that the TV Go Home website version of the character was ‘external’ whereas the TV series had to be more internalised. But he likes working with Charlie Brooker very much.
He hinted that he was working on a large future project that would take him back to his current affairs roots. He was very guarded, but it would range, ‘from Jeremy Kyle to Osama Bin Laden.’ He said that he would love to do something about 9/11, as it was, ‘only 3000.’ He said that 7/7 was lame in comparison, and it was notable that he seems to be interested in conspiracy theorists, as he stated with conviction that we shouldn’t think that 7/7 was initiated by some young Pakistani men from Leeds. He thinks that people should make comedy from things like the Holocaust, and that he would love to do ‘the comedy version of United 93.’
Finally, asked why he had come as he never gave interviews, he said that he was attempting to recruit some secular terrorists, because people blowing themselves up for no reason would really ‘fuck with the actual terrorists heads!”
He seemed completely at ease, and totally devoid of ego or attitude. He had chatted to media students at Bournemouth University before the interview, and he stayed for sometime afterwards, signing Brass Eye and My Wrongs DVDs. He said that he wanted to know where the new comedy was coming from, as it wasn’t on Radio One anymore. Then he rushed for his train, and the cycle ride from Waterloo back to Battersea. "
Those media students he chatted to before were me, Will and Will's friends. One of whom he sneaked in without a ticket by claiming, "This is my brother, you're not going to deny my brother getting in are you?"
He was a very friendly chap, and when I finally mustered up the courage to go and chat to him, he very much put me at ease, trying to convince me to finish his sandwiches. "Some cretin forced them on me, I only wanted one"
Erm, what else, oh yeh, got a photo with him, he looks incredibly grumpy, he wasn't though, "Let's all look happy for myspace"
Damn him subverting our photo efforts!
Here's another sneaky one.
Those of you who know me, may notice that I'm wearing specs. I got these for the after party, where I would be dressed as a Nathan Barley idiot. They're non-prescription, all for the look. How ridiculous. Most people approved anyway, but one person thought it was ridiculous and actually got a bit stroppy about it. Mostly because they are similar to their glasses, and perhaps felt their individuality was being taken away by 'fashion'.
The party went well, and the experimentation was amusing. I got up in time for my lecture and was only ONE MINUTE late, which was Geoff's fault, he walks too slowly.
So yeh, I've met one of my 2 major comedy heroes. And Peter Cook is dead. So I may as well die now, and go meet that Cunt.
Keep it comedygeek,