Interview with Pete Baikie and John Sparkes

By July 21, 2005 Uncategorized

Find out why the four time BAFTA winners will be appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year – the first time since 1990.
PETE:“When we decided to do a show for Edinburgh, we started going to see comedians on the circuit to find out what live comedy is like now – we hadn’t done any stage work since the early 90’s. Initially, we thought this was going to be a problem – then we realised it wasn’t a problem because it made us different, and we decided to make the show even more old-fashioned.

“We decided on a variety show with us doing a number of characters who are performing their acts.

“But it’s a variety show with a difference because the backbone of the show is a series of film packages featuring (fictional) variety acts, from the past, that we really like including Mr. Motionless, Billy Daft, The Marxist Brothers and Glasgwegian comedian Bobby McChrist, the son of the son of God. These packages have been created from amazing old black and white footage we found in a dusty room in Wales. Loads of film canisters had been thrown into a basement in HTV Wales, containing news footage dating from the 50’s and had been gathering dust for forty years. When we excavated this footage we found some amazing stuff and as well as creating our own footage character Hugh Pugh for Barry Welsh, we have re-edited it to create a new black and white world of variety. We have also edited ourselves into the footage, interviewing people about the acts they’ve seen – it’s a development of the work we’ve been doing at ITV Wales (and for which we’ve picked up four Welsh BAFTAS).

“About 15 minutes of the show is made up of archive footage, and the other 45 is us doing comedy characters and music and some of the old ‘Absolutely’ and ‘Barry Welsh’ characters will be there too.”

JOHN:“So this show’s on at 8.30 and at 11.00, I’m back at the same venue (Metro Gilded Balloon – Dining room) doing Filth with Frank Hovis. “

Why do two shows? “Well, I think the show’s title gives the reason really. It’s just too much for 8.30 in the evening – it’s still light outside; you can’t do this sort of stuff unless it’s dark.”

What sort of stuff? “Well, it’s Frank Hovis regaling the audience with bits of his life story, really – and his life is a bit more earthy than most people’s. When he appeared on Absolutely, one reviewer called him ‘TV’s most disgusting man’, but funny with it. No point in just being disgusting.”