Little Britain 3 - Audience Report

Posted in Articles & Features on August, 13 2005 10:11 PM

Our Little Britain adventure begins at 4-ish when we rock up outside BBC Television center. Not many people in the queue but best not to take any chances as they have over ticketed the situation. As if anyone with a ticket wouldn't show, it's a bit like finding the winning Willy Wonka Golden Ticket and we have two! Yay us...


Little Britain Series Three Ticket

That Winning Ticket!


I have a friend who works in BBC Television center so I think to give him a call, ten minutes later we are not only inside the BBC but are in the hallowed inner sanctum of the BBC Bar where we while away the time regaling each other with stories of lovey-dom and the occasional ribald comment. With beer in hand of course and the lovely Clare, or was it Sam, Si, what was her name? She’d be perfect for you.


Eventually time comes where we need to leave the pleasurable confines of the BBC bar and have to wend our way to the audience reception area, where we wait and can see where they head of the queue is, best thing is we aren't in it as we are already inside the Beeb. So we sit and must look like suspect individuals as we are asked by a rather surly woman whether we came through Audience or Reception we confess our sin of queue jumping but are relieve when we are just searched again, for, wait for it, tennis balls... No I kid you not, tennis balls are used to disrupt the recordings, so I guess Tim Henman gets a really hard time. I’ve had tennis elbow before but Tennis Balls must really hurt.


So surly woman melts and is lovely and lets us wait, and we eventually get stickers on our ticket which confirm it, we are officially in. YAY! Gav’s no. is 029 mine is 030 and we go into the audience reception area, where we get a coffee and relax. As we sit and watch a strange phenomenon occurs, people start to join the coffee queue and we realise that they are doing it as they think it is the queue for the audience to get in the studio. The queue gets longer and longer despite Gav telling them it's the coffee queue. So we sit back and have a reet laff at other people’s expense.


Little Britain Audience - No Queue

Little Britain Fans Wait Patiently


Whilst we wait we are given the opportunity to pre-order the Little Britain Series 2 DVD, which, officially gets released on the 10th of October so get your orders in! At £17.49 it seems quite good, as it will retail at £21.99 plus 20% off Rock Profiles, which was £15.99, which still seemed a bit on the expensive side, as it is £13.99 from Amazon. Series 2 of Little Britain on DVD is good news but we are going to wait as we think that the larger retailers will have it for a lot cheaper nearer the time. See previews of the Little Britain   as well as Rock Profiles discount offer.


We then hear an announcement that there are signed copies of Little Britain Series One, SIGNED COPIES!!!! Walliams and Lucas have signed them, wow!. And these are available on a limited basis, one per ticket, so we both get them and have them as prized possessions, well maybe, coming to an eBay auction near you soon! (make us an offer!)  to see what a signed cover looks like.


The audience builds up and up, some are going to see the recording of a new TV show called Spoons, not sure what that is about, neither were the audience participation team, apparently its just a screening and it goes out on Ch4, hmm but we are at the BBC, so what that was all about I have no idea.


Little Britain Fans wait for Coffee

Little Britain Fans Unwittingly Queue for Coffee


OK, back to Little Britain. It’s 6.45 and still no movement, although we were told that 6.30 was going to be the let in time. There are some people who are a bit bemused by it all and someone with a standby ticket asks us about it, how do we know! We get dismissed as just "visitors" by his surly girlfriend and we realise why people are looking at us a bit funnily (well BBC staff) as we have come through unofficial channels and have BBC visitor badges which make us look all official!


So we sit and wait some more...


Comic relief

It’s now 6.48 the pressure is unbearable. Gav is like a ten year old at Disney, and keeps nattering and commenting about the passing people, or the people who would be passing but have chosen, instead, to join the coffee queue that is now out the door. These people must really need a coffee.

Gave Waiting Excitedly for Little Britain

Gav's Excitement Knows No Bounds


Oh, looking round I am forced to comment on the audience waiting area as the BBC has spent a few pounds on it as it is very plush with tables and chairs and mood lighting swirling around changing from red to green to blue and back, which is very appropriate (RGB being the colour of a television broadcast)


The audience team announce "This is an announcement for the audience of Little Britain" And that's it, everyone en masse stands and starts moving towards what they presume is the correct door, the announcer continues "Would ticket numbers 1 to 50 please make their way.." However it is in vain as by this time everyone is moving like a human glacier, only warmer but with less fashion sense, inexorably towards the door, we get swept up in it and Gavin bravely forges on ahead, however eventually we realise that the coffee queue has had a career change and is now the "Little Britain or die queue" and we are now being swept along in it.


Stuart Little Britain Staff Writer

Stuart Lacking in Gorm, yes, He's Totally Gorm-less


As people move out of the room into the corridor and on into the main entrance area out the front of BBC TV Center, you know it the one where Roy Castle did his Record Breaking tap dance and Paul Daniels did lots of Magic! Or maybe I am giving my age away!!! People are trying not to run, but despite themselves are doing that kind of non run where they arms are at the sides but the legs are moving a little faster than a brisk walk. I think this is a peculiarly British trait and very apt as we are there for a show aping British moors and culture. OK, socio-psychology aside I snap back to the reality of the situation and we edge closer to the studio door, eventually we are in and we are escorted to our seats. We have no choice as to where we sit and are ushered by, well an usher, into seats that are to the left and in the middle, not perfect but by no means the worst seats in the house, in fact the worse seats in the house were still pretty spectacular.

Setting the scene

We take in the scene, we can see two sets, there were actually three but on was set back and the angle we were at we couldn't see it. The three sets were, The PM's Office, great, Sebastian and the PM, an Indian restaurant, maybe it was going to be more of the "I know Molly Sugdeon" character, and a paint shop, the tins of paint lining the walls say "Roy's Paint" so that'll be Roy and Mr. Man then.  So as we survey the scene we keep getting glimpses of David Walliams dressed as Sebastian hovering around the actors entrance, what a disgruntled actor he was, sorry couldn't resist the "ooo err missus" moment.


Eventually Geoff Posner, who Gavin has spotted earlier and whom I dismissed as a Swiss Cuckoo clock maker, makes an announcement. He welcomes us to the studio, not us personally but the collective “us” in the audience, he tells us the order of business and what to expect and that they may do an impersonation competition at some point, yay! Sorry yay is officially my word du jour.


Geoff ten hands us over to the capable and able hands of Andy Collins the warm up comedian, I recognise him from the Stars and Their Doubles recording at Granada back in February. He starts his shtick and we are off. I won't spoil his act by regaling it all here, but it is good and you should try and get him if you are every making a TV show (thanks for the Fiver Andy I told you I would mention you! 10% from every gig that mentions this website though!).

Little Britain Prime Ministers Office

The PM's Office


We then cut to a pre-recorded section or "package" as they called it, we'll called it VT (although it was probably DVD or something equally digital) Then the next three hours pass in a blur. I can't remember a thing...


OK, so I lied I can remember a thing and here it is, but be warned...



Well we can't remember the exact order of stuff, but here is what we can remember. OH, and before you go on I am going to give you an outline of the sketch but as professional courtesy I am not going to reveal gags, punch lines or other stuff which I feel is now privileged info, sorry but don't pester me about it. Call it the comics code.


OK we see a number of VT sections then on into the PM's Office, more VT sections and into the restaurant sketch and then yet more VT sections and then into the final Roy and Mr. Man sketch. All the while Andy the warm up comedian is keeping us lively and laughing (good job you do too Andy, again, thanks for the fiver) I'll take the VT sections first then do the "Live" sections last (tease, moi? hehehehe)


Oh, before I go on, the Tom Baker Little Britain voice overs were really good and had us laughing, some of the place names are really rude.


Here are the VT sections:

  • Vicky trys to redeem an obviously forged lottery ticket: "Yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but..." You get the picture.
  • Vicky rules da hood in a Run DMC v Jason Nevens style dance off with a rival girl gang, break dancing will never be the same, Gavin is already practicing.
  • Daffydd is back and standing for election in the Bi (insert gag here) election and looks fetching in his pin striped rubber outfit and pink rose, his party slogan The GAY party for GAY rights.
  • Marjorie in a Fat Fighters meeting, a couple have some happy news... Jabba anyone? Anyone? Anyone? No?
  • Racist "W.I" women in a hospital kidney donor sketch and a dog walking sketch, both with the usual vomit soaked payoff, one with a great twist.
  • Bubbles is her usual grotesque, blubbery, cellulite filled bag of trouble. Rob Brydon doing sterling work as her Ex husband we also meet his new wife, the rest is comedic gold. (And a sketch that is worthy of another Bafta if I ever saw one) A "Munch Bunch" yoghurt will never be the same again.
  • There is an old boy dying in hospital, this gag was the weakest of them all, IMHO, but I am judging them against the very high bar that they have set themselves, so it is still pretty damn good., better than Extras, sorry Ricky.
  • Andy and Lou are excellent, my faves, Andy has an operation and goes sky diving (click here to see pics!) and also takes another swim. And Lou find out it is Octupii not Octupusses.
  • There is an OaP sketch (didn't get her name) who micturates at some great length, the when and where I will omit as the context is the killer payoff.
  • And the best costume and worth the entrance price alone (not that we paid) was seeing Matt dressed up as Orville, yes the “Keith Harris and Orville” Orville. A right hoot if you pardon the pun.
  • We get to see Ting Tong Macadangdang and Dudley (Aw Mr. Dudley... Is it Ting Tong or Tong Ting???!!!) for the first time and the boys show us what true comic genius's they are (or should that be Genii) and we also find out a bit about her, her family and what she is prepared to do to stay in the UK.
  • Also there is a lady who collects frogs, and that is about it, yup, frog collector, err, but doesn't like real ones. It plays a lot funnier than it sounds.

    NEW ADDED 5th August!
  • A meeting of Neighbourwatch run with ruthless clockwork efficiency by an ex-Army type who is out to rid the world of "Gypos" whilst organising Dinner,
    "Wife, Findus Cheesy Pancakes are Go, Ross Oriental Stirfry on standby"
    "How Very DARE YOU!!!"
    That may not actually be what was said but was the jist, you'll just have to wait till it come out!
  • Anne gets a job as a toilet attendent.

If there were others they have passed me by, if I get any more flashes of inspiration I'll post it here. Before we get to the live sections I'll tell you more about the warm up man, Andy, who held numerous competitions one side of the audience against the other, a dance off, a shout off, and Frodo and Golem (pet names Andy gave to two unfortunate audience members) danced like you had never seen them dance before. Gav and I got picked on as Mr. Orange and Suitboy (me in an orange "Guilty" T-Shirt, Gav in his. suit) but that passed quickly, thankfully, but still no chance to mention Littler Britain. But he did return a little later, and he asked the audience if they did impressions. Well this was it "Yes" pick us!!! We do!

Little Britain Set Shot 3
Roy's Paint's, OK, So It's Not The Best Photo in the World

More audience participation

First Andy picked on, I mean selected a chap in the front row, who he christened Curly, after Curly from Corrie, as he was a bit of a lookalike for him. His real name was Steve and he did Roy and Emily, not together, he was good but I could tell he was a tad nervous. Then there was a girl, Jenny, who did Vicky, without the aid of a mic and she was really good, loud as well. Yeah, but, no, but, yeah, but... But that was the only resemblance to Vicky though as she was much better looking. Then I stuck my hand up and Andy spotted us and came over and basically handed me the Mic and walked off to the back of the seating. So that was license for me and Gav to do whatever it was we wanted! So, Andy and Lou made a brief appearance courtesy of Littler Britain "So you want to see Little Britain, Lucas and Walliams?"

"Wanna see Extras Ricky Gervaise"...

Etc. Etc. You get the picture, there was then a clap off as to who won, and it was Jenny, warm up Andy said "She had the loudest cheer" bloke next to us muttered "no she didn't" but I suppose we do have an unfair advantage and I am pleased as she got a signed copy of the Series 1 DVD. Which we had already purchased from the shop earlier.

Little Britain Set Shot 2
Roy's Paint Shop - 3X Zoom with Shake from 3 Miles Away

It's alive, alive!!!

Now to the "live" bits. As a précis I must say that their training and live work done thus far has stood them in good stead because they are as good live as on the screen, there is no fancy editing or prima donna stuff, just good honest acting. Which means that anyone going to the live shows is in for a real treat  for the dates.

David is much more outgoing than Matt and really flirts with the audience. He also kept pointing out special guests who were lurking around, like David Arnold the man behind the music for the show and Stirling Grainger(?) the actress (I know it's Actor now but you would not have known she was a gawjuss laydee) who plays the PM's wife and does the voice of Margaret in the Mr. Man sketches. Wearing Hoss Homeless clothes, whatever they are! Long Story… 

Sebastian and the PM in the PM's Office

First of the live bits was the PM and Sebastian, well let me tell you ladies, Anthony Head is as dishy in real life as he ever was selling coffee or in Buffy, scrummy, scrummy, scrummy and if you like him boy are you in for a real treat as he provides a reciprocal favour for Sebastian in return for, well you'll see. There is also a mega huge shock in one of their sketches, and it bought the house down. Well done Gregory (Habib), get inthere moi san!


Pat and Don have an Indian

New Little Britain Characters! This was the second set used and one that we couldn't see other than on the huge monitors suspended about, basically Pat and Don go into a restaurant and order a curry. Pat has a nice Korma, Don has a madras and then in another sketch a vindaloo, but the heat is too much to bare, with hil-arious consequences. Brrrrrr S-Express... Ladies and Gentlemen our special guest star Miss Barbara Dickson... Ahhh. Monkey! All of that last bit will become clear when you see it. Matt’s Ronnie Corbett impression is stunning.


Roy's Paint Shop

Mr. Man comes in, asks for paint but doesn't have any clue as to the colour he wants or even likes. Margaret is ever so helpful and, from the privacy of "upstairs" suggests they view the colour chart. The one classic line that sticks is "Maroon lacks Maroonity". Pure. Forkin’. Comic. Jane-EE-US. End off.

And then, it's all over and we are out of there. Before we go we say hi to Habib, Gregory, the really good looking black guy from the PM sketches, and get to shake hands with Andy the warm up, I remind him of the last time we met and my "work" as Ali G on Stars and Their Doubles and he remembers me (sort of!). And was very complimentary about our Little Britain lookalike efforts, we thrust many flyers into his hands and leave. With no chance of a meeting with David and Matt as they "are out of here as soon as it finishes" so we say our goodbyes and leave (err, again). But we had got close and they were there on set as we did our Lou and Andy and were laughing, so I guess "seal of approval" may be a bit much but all in all a great result.


I cannot wait till the 3rd Series, you lot are gonna love it, their best effort yet.


We will scan in some pics and some stuff we got whilst at the Beeb return to see it tomorrow. Oh and there are pics, a bit blurry from inside the Beeb! But again check back tomorrow.

And as we clapped our approvals Matt and David made an announcement, apparently and this is direct from them.

"The reports on the papers about a forth series are not true"

Basically it seems like they want a break after the Live Tour and then they'll see. But they seemed to get on great and it seemed far from the reports that they were not talking. So there it is, the inside skinny on Series Three recordings of Little Britain.



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