Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. Was it a tough deciding what to leave out because
fans' want/expect to see their favourite characters?
A: It's kind of like as it says in the film, they're
too bizarre to carry - but mostly the story led in the direction
of Hilary, Geoff and Herr Lipp and with Herr Lipp and Geoff being
a kind of Abbott and Costello thing, they needed a sort of leader
who is straighter really and it came together like that. The story
was just gelling so we went in that direction.
But we were very disappointed we couldn't have more appearances
because we did think early on there'd be a way of having, if there
was a supermarket it would be Iris and Judy and it wouldn't alienate
a new audience, but to a fan it would be quite beneficial - but
we simply couldn't afford it.
Q. Was it easier playing yourselves in the film?
A. We thought we might give ourselves comic characteristics
but it just absolutely fought the whole idea. The whole idea is
it's just the character's journey that you're interested in so
we just had to become sort of phantoms really.
Q. Did you try to get Jeremy to play himself?
A: We pushed him off a cliff and that's how it all started
Steve Pemberton: No he wanted to and we said
`absolutely not' [laughs]
Q. Did you film your doubles using women?
A: There was a funny moment when we were filming in Bray,
by the sea, and the doubles for Tubbs and Edward and Papa Lazarou
were having a fag, and I filmed it actually - because it was like
the film come true - there was a lot of sea spray and it was cold
and there they were, it was really quite creepy.
Q. When you wrote this film did you assume the audience
would know all the characters?
A: No quite the reverse. It's a funny thing, we've had
some responses from people who know the series who were worried
they'd get it but no one else will, but a lot of people who haven't
seen it, (apparently there are!) have no problem because we strove
very hard from the beginning to make it very 'gettable'.
There's a sort of sketch show introduction where the characters
are introduced and then the principle character of the thing -
is that there's a TV series and they find out they're fictional
is all in there. But absolutely, you couldn't start with that
principle because it's deliberately inward-looking.
Having said that, obviously it is a spin-off film, it has to be,
because that's how we got the money! And to some extent you've
got to just know that in the pre-publicity everyone's going to
say, 'and a certain amount of people might be put off thinking
well I've never seen it.' But we'd certainly like to believe that
you could completely get it - there's no reason why you shouldn't.
Q. When did you first realise the show/characters had
taken on a life of their own?
A: It does build, if you've been on TV for like
six years and with the amount of repeats - and that sort of presence
you start to build with a body of work it really does make a difference.
It's very different to just being like the catchphrase of the
day and then the series is gone again. If you keep coming back
it definitely builds; we get much more recognition now than we
Q. The film features cameos from the likes of Victoria
Wood and Peter Kay. Were they happy to run with the script or
keen to offer their own input?
A: Victoria had nothing to go on, it was just like two
lines, so she just made every line up.
Reece Shearsmith: And then we cut them all out!
It was great to have Simon and Peter do that, what a cameo should
be, literally one line and it meant coming to Ireland to do it.
Peter did do a lot more stuff but we cut it all out.
Steve Pemberton: He knew why he was there; he
did this whole extra stuff and then said to the camera, 'you'll
only see this on the DVD'.
Q. What would you say to
those who think you're the real deal and Little Britain can only
A: God bless you! We do exist in a sort of bubble really
- we've been together for 10 years and we've known each other
for 20 years so we just keep moving to our next project.
I mean, we know people like Simon and Peter and Matt and David
very well and occasionally sort of cross fertilise but mostly
we just get on with our thing. We don't really get caught up in
that idea of a sort of movement really. I've always felt we've
been outside, not deliberately really - like a dirty cat!
Q. Do you enjoy taking on straight acting roles?
A: Very much as long as people believe we can do it.
I just did The Quatermass Experiment and I saw a review which
said 'Mark Gatiss reminding us that he's a straight actor, not
just a comedian.' 'Not Just!' It's not
easy. There's always this slightly pejorative air - comedy is
very tough and I think it's curiously always like the poor relation
to the idea of straight acting and it's absolutely as valid.
Q. What's next for you?
A: We'd love to do another movie but we just have to
see how this does really and we've reached a natural crossroads
after 10 years, the BBC have asked us to do another series but
it just depends really.
The big thing about film is it's taken a long time, well not in
terms of many projects for people - two years from beginning to
end, but we're doing another tour in the Autumn. If we have a
break and then start to think about another film, it still starts
to become three years hence.
I'm doing another series of Nighty Night very soon and I'm writing
another Dr Who as we speak - actually with my foot!
Q. Have you ever been censored... told that's going too
A: No. I sometimes think that the episodes have gone
out and the only person who's actually checked them is the engineer
to make sure there isn't a scratch on it!
We were taken out to lunch by a guy from the Independent after
the second series with the charity shop ladies' sketch about the
woman who's lost a child through a cot death.
He was wasn't attacking us but his friends had had a sad experience
with a child like that and he just wanted to know what we thought
we were doing.
But I think we successfully argued that the whole point of it
was that it's about two very insensitive old ladies who have no
idea what they're saying - it's not us just saying 'isn't it hysterical
to laugh at the idea of cot deaths'. So we've always had that
kind of thing going on.
Steve Pemberton: People who work in charity shops
have asked for that tape to show their staff what (not) to do.
Q. What feedback have you had regarding your Dr Who episode
- which was the scariest episode ever?
A: I've had fantastic feedback! It's extraordinary, really
everyone seems to have seen it and I had to go on PM, which was
an ambition, there's only the Today Programme left, to defend
it's scariness to Eddie Meyer and he was very grim and he said
'how do you feel?' And I said 'I'm absolutely thrilled of course,
that's what it's meant to do!' My work is done.
Q. What makes you laugh and what scares you?
A: Laugh? At the moment I'm loving Mark Wooton as Shirley
Ghostman, it's hysterically funny, a brilliant thing and probably
scares me as much. And I'm scared of dolls, small thin dolls,
creepy dolls - that come alive!