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28 October 2014

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Naked Video

Helen Lederer

The third sketch show from BBC Scotland in the 1980s overseen by Colin Gilbert (following A Kick Up The Eighties and Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee), Naked Video developed from the BBC Radio Scotland series Naked Radio.

It was when the performers of the top-rating show decided to take it on stage at the Edinburgh festival Gilbert realised it had visual potential.

Retaining the radio cast of Gregor Fisher, Andy Gray, Elaine C Smith, Tony Roper, Jonathan Watson, Kate Donnelly, Louise Beattie and Ron Bain, Naked Video also added John Sparkes and Helen Lederer to the mix, two English stand-ups who'd made an impression on the circuit.

A fast-paced mixture of sketches and comedy monologues, the show trod a clever line between the emergent alternative scene, and more mainstream fare, bringing us memorable characters such as Fisher's defiantly Scottish Rab C Nesbitt and The Baldy Man, Sparkes' Welsh loser Siadwell and Lederer's Drunk Sloane.

"It went out across the UK and we were on at the same time as Blackadder," remembers Watson, "and used to bury it in the ratings."

Lederer's recollections are equally positive: "I had always wanted to do something like Naked Video, which allows you to both write and perform. Colin Gilbert was so encouraging to everybody that ideas just flowed, and the atmosphere was so perfect for creativity. We were always coming up with lots for characters and little sketches."

The show was also notable for providing Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse with their first writing credits, and included contributions from Charlie Higson, Nigel Planer, Steve Coogan, Rik Mayall and Jennifer Saunders.

The series enjoyed a solid six-year run, much to the pride of its Scottish creators.

Cast

Gregor Fisher
performer
Andy Gray
performer
Helen Lederer
performer
Tony Roper
performer
Elaine C Smith
performer
Jonathan Watson
performer
Ron Bain
performer
John Sparkes
performer
Kate Donnelly
performer
Louise Beattie
performer

Crew

Gregor Fisher
writer
Andy Gray
writer
Helen Lederer
writer
Tony Roper
writer
Elaine C Smith
writer
Jonathan Watson
writer
Ron Bain
writer
John Sparkes
writer
Kate Donnelly
writer
Louise Beattie
writer
Philip Differ
script editor
Brian Jobson
director
Colin Gilbert
producer
Philip Differ
producer

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