The Fast Show

The first episode of The Fast Show in 1994 had twenty seven sketches in just half an hour. Charlie Higson and Paul Whitehouse, former writers for Harry Enfield, created a concept which re-invigorated the sketch show format and crammed it with catch-phrases.

In this special Christmas night edition of The Reunion, Sue MacGregor brings the cast back together to reflect on the series which launched their careers.

Higson and Whitehouse recruited young stand-up comedians whose worked they liked, such as Caroline Aherne , John Thomson , Simon Day and Felix Dexter, alongside actors such as Mark Williams and Paul Shearer. This process involved each 'auditioning' their proposed character in front of the ensemble.

Competitive Dad, the obscene Suits You tailors, Jazz Club, Does My Bum Look Big in This?, and the touching repressed romance of Ted and Ralph, scored a very high strike rate for introducing catchphrases and comedy characters to schools and work places around the country.

Some characters prompted spin-offs, such as Swiss Tony (Higson) the coiffed car salesman who compares everything to 'making love to a beautiful woman', and football pundit Ron Manager (Whitehouse).

We also hear from collaborators such as Kathy Burke, Harry Enfield, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, as well as TV critic Matthew Norman who wrote a famously fierce review of the first series.

Producer: Peter Curran
Series Producer: David Prest

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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43 minutes

Last on

Christmas Day 2013 22:00