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Brand new comedy The King is Dead

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Dana Stevens | 11:50 UK time, Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The King is Dead Let me introduce you to our anarchic new comedy panel show, The King is Dead, presented by Simon Bird (you'll probably recognise him from The Inbetweeners) with co-presenters and comedians Katy Wix and Nick Mohammed. Each week a well-known public figure is hypothetically bumped off and three celebrities compete for the job. In the first episode, celebs like James Cordon and Peaches Geldof are competing to be the President of the USA and in future episodes jobs such as the Chief of Police and Father Christmas are up for grabs. It's described as "part spoof job interview, part chat show, part panel show and part character comedy". There's a surreal mix of funny sketches, random challenges and silly games, so when I met up with Simon, Katy and Nick I was interested to know whether all the celebrities were happy to play along...

The King is Dead (Nick Mohammed) Katy: Sometimes they looked quite frightened and bemused.
Simon: I think that they were all pretty game for it. I think that they had been sent the pilot but I don't know if they all knew exactly what they were going up for. And they didn't know what the games were going to be and stuff.
Katy: Some of them took the job interview quite seriously and they'd really given it some thought. They certainly hid it if they were offended...from us anyway.
Nick: There's a bit when comedian Johnny Sweet comes in and we do what is basically a sketch in the middle of the show, and I always used to whisper to Katy to take a look at the celebs during that bit, because they always had no idea what was going on.
Simon: That is actually quite unprofessional Nick because you would quite often miss lines and we'd have to do another in a way you should have been focusing on the show...
Nick: Ha ha yeah, I couldn't remember my lines because I was looking at the celebs.

The King is Dead (Nick Mohammed, Katy Wix and Simon Bird) (Photo: Nick, Katy and Simon take time out from their healthy breakfast to talk about their new show)

After watching the Chief of Police episode, I've got a terrible image stuck in my mind of a dog licking dog food off Caprice's toes. That's going to stay with me for a long time! What is your favourite or most uncomfortable celebrity moment from the show?

Katy: That was pretty gross
Simon: I'd hate that. Caprice in general was quite bizarre. She's a brilliant guest though.
Nick: Derek Acorah (the spiritualist medium) was a good guest.
Katy: He was great
Simon: And he made some predictions in the green room.
Katy: "This show will be a hit and I am never wrong"
Nick: Dappy (from N-Dubz) was good
Simon:...and Louis Walsh was good.
Katy: (James) Cordon was actually game for a laugh wasn't he?
Simon: We've mentioned so many people that were good now that the people we haven't mentioned will be offended. Ha ha. It was great that the guests were so up for it because it was a new show that they've never seen before, and so I think they must have been nervous coming on it.

The King is Dead (Simon Bird)In each programme you dress up as different characters depending on the job, so policemen to interview the Chief of Police for example. Did you find being in character helped you push the boundaries of what you could say to the celebrity guests?

Katy: I think so, definitely. And also the premise it gave you was important because at any point you could suddenly say, actually this is a job interview you have to take this more seriously.
Simon: Especially when we're in the costume and kind of in the heat of the moment and certainly in the grilling bits. Caprice and even Eamon Holmes got a bit rattled and I couldn't quite tell whether they were genuinely rattled or not. And it kind of made for good telly but I was always a bit like, oh dear...
Katy: ...what's going to happen in the green room afterwards?
Simon: But I really enjoyed goading them which you wouldn't get to do in real life because it would just be rude.

The King is Dead (Katy Wix)So it starts on BBC Three on Thursday, what are you hoping people will take away from the show?

Simon: Well I think first and foremost it's a comedy show, so it would be nice if people thought it was funny. Certainly when you see more than one episode, there's quite a strict structure to it in a way, like Shooting Stars. Anything can happen within those bits and so you want people to look forward to certain bits. The idea behind it was always to be silly and surreal and I really like the idea that people don't know what is going to happen next. I hope that's what comes across.
Katy: It was usually us mostly...we didn't know what was going to happen next!

Simon Bird, Nick Mohammed and Katy Wix star in the unpredictable The King is Dead which starts on BBC Three this Thursday at 10.30pm.

Looking forward to the show? Add your comment.

Dana Stevens is content producer for BBC Three online.


  • Comment number 1.

    Just watched this and it sucks so bad, what the hell!!!!!!!!!! Is this what comedy has come to, bloody hell.

  • Comment number 2.

    This was just utter rubbish, not funny at all.....

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Are these people funny? Lets see. umm. No. Just proves that you can't try and ride in off the back off another well written show. And as for James Corden, well he's about as funny as stepping in A giant pile of dog poo. The whole show was badly written, badly acted and made me want to drive down to BBc studio's and cut the broadcast using a pair of pliers. Is this the new face of Brittish Comedy? If it is then god help us. I know people down my local pub who are a lot more comical and talented. Who are half of these people anyway? These people are not funny. Not funny at all. In a nutshell it wasthe biggest pile of rubbish I have ever seen in my life. THis program is an insult to the general public and television licence payers. The BBC should be ashamed of themselves. Why bother writing a decent comedy. No why bother. Lets just fob the public off with this drivel.

  • Comment number 5.

    I thought the deadpan humour was absolutely hilarious, along with the bemused looks on the faces of the celebrities. I also liked the irony of the entire first show and what with the majority of comedy on TV becoming very Americanised and lacking of wit, it doesn't surprise me that some people may not find this funny. The show is a bit different in comparison to others, I think it's a breath of fresh air and I eagerly await the next installment.

  • Comment number 6.

    HAAHAAHAA if we swear loads we will be dead popular ... I think this show is just trying to be like the Klang show. Also if your going to openly call the police get your facts right... A PCSO does not work voluntary they are paid member of the police force. I think they meant Police Special who are volunteers but have the power of arrest where as PCSO's dont.

    I think you need to sack the writers for that one

  • Comment number 7.

    Watched episode 1 and thought what a pile of crap.Nothing remotely funny about the show , writers or performers.Just look at Sarah Beeny's face you can tell shes embaressed to be on the show.

    I did not want to complain after the first episode incase they screened the worst show of the series , however after watching the second episode , whatever i originally thought of the show was confirmed.

    Its the first time in over 30 years of watching BBC TV that i've felt the need to complain.

    Do not insult the license payers by commissioning a second series.

    Ed the Shed are you connected in the production of the show ? If you are you should be sacked.

    Why are members associted with the show posting positive comments?

  • Comment number 8.

    I just watched that show and it was absolutly awful. not funny at all.... simon bird has not lived upto his role in inbetweners, they were all rubbish.

  • Comment number 9.

    I just can't belive how bad this is. I'd rather watch prisoner of cell block h than this pile. All i can say is bring back BOTTOM now that was funny .Merry christmas


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