12 January 2002/Transcript
NB This is transcribed from a partial recording of the show and contains language which may cause offense.
Small Man Complex
P.O.D., or "POD" as I call them.
Xfm 104.9, it's The Ricky Gervais Show.
With Steve Merchant.
Yeah. So Dermot O'Diddly
for weeks and weeks, weeks and weeks in a row he doesn't even turn up and now suddenly he's all over breakfast.
I notice, yeah, he's standing in for the breakfast show, why weren't we asked to do that? It's quite upsetting...
Well... We were.
I didn't know about this.
Yeah but I don't wanna get up that early do I?
Er, I feel a bit hungover today actually.
What's happening? What, what were you partying last night were you?
Well not partying, we just went out, went out for a couple of drinks then had a meal and then went to the Borderline and saw a ba-- I'll tell you about that, was good...
You saw a band?
That's the first time in years isn't it?
It is, yeah, yeah, it is... 'Cause, you know John Simm, the actor?
Mmm... Not really.
He's in this band right, called magi... Magic Alex, and it was really good, they're sort of like... Sort of like a friendly Oasis, they've got, y'know, sort of quite m... Y'know quite manc sort of feel which was really good, good songs and everything right...
Is he the singer?
Ye-- No, he's the guitarist. And I just go... But, it was full of actors, 'cause it, y'know right... And I felt quite tall.
That's ludicrous 'cause--
--you're a very short man.
Well I am, I'm sort of, I'm... I was average but now I'm not, I don't think, 5'8" that's, right, but there I was like, quite... It was like Lilliput.
(laughing) So I've just, just gotta hang out at actors do's, "Alright?" "Yeah..."
This is the reason, 'cause act... Actors are often very, quite handsome people... But yet they're always quite ob---
Yep, we are, we are, we are, we are, we are.
... No I mean they're normally quite obnoxious Rick. Again, y'know, you're quite a good example of that.
And yet, I think it must be the small man complex, that's what makes them so obnoxious and so, kinda desperate for attention...
Didn't realise it before...
'Cause I suppose I tower above everyone.
You do don't ya.
I'm er, for people who don't know who're listening, I'm 6 foot 7 inches tall. That's... That's... That's... That's high.
And, and, and, um, for people who've never seen him, he doesn't hold it well, it's not like he's a... Sort of handsome athlete, is it Karl? He's a bit of a... Well what would you call him? A t...
Karl, don't answer it.
No no no---
Don't get drawn into that. You know-- You know the game he's playing!
N-n-n-n-no; d'you know yesterday, when you were in the office?
You did a little move... And it reminded me of Blakey.
Off er... Off "Off the---
"Oooh I hate you Gervais, Oooh I hate you Pilkington."
Yeah... But even he was, he held it a little bit better didn't he? 'Cause he was a ma-- Y'know, he had a big coat and everything and a peak cap... But er, yeah...
I can't believe... Like I've not suffered enough from being freakishly tall, now two of my best buddies--
--live on radio, are just slagging me off---
It's not just the height though, is it? It's the... Posture and the face and everything.
But it's got you places hasn't it?
Ricky and Steve laugh
No, what do you mean--
No it has...
--it's got me places?
I think, I think people give you bit more of a chance in, in your carreer and stuff, it's like...
What, yeah, stacking shelves!
(laughing) 'Cause I can reach to a high le-- A h...
Song: Muse - Plug In Baby
Feet On Fire
Muse - Plug In Baby on Xfm 104.9...
Ricky Gervais... Go on.
Well, yeah but, I know you guys are laughing about the height thing, and er... For those that've only just tuned in, I am 6 foot 7 inches tall, which is... Which is tall, and that's big, and I, y'know... I pride myself on it, in a way, y'know, I've worked hard, I've not smoked, I ate well, y'know...
It's an accomplishment, but obviously I didn't have much involvement in it I just am-- And it's a curse, because... Mainly, the problem is that you, you can't get stuff, you can't get clothes, you can't get shoes, y'know...
Yeah... He's size, he's size 14 feet!
Yeah that's, but it is genuinely, and I don't know... I mean it costs a lot to buy a pair of size 14 shoes, and it... So I don't... I mean if you were poor, if you were genuinely poor, I don't know how you'd afford to be tall... 'Cause the clothing costs more, everything costs more.
I've, I've seen this, in comics and that, you d-- You actually go to school in a barrel.
Wearing a barrel...
With just braces, it'd just be a barrel like that and you'd have sort of flip-flops. And you'd take a mule with you, they all had a mule, didn't they, the poor people.
But people always think like, it, that they, like you'll be in a pub or something and people, I mean people just think that they can talk to you about it, they just think "Whey, oy, whey lanky whey-aa!" It's like, because it's like they---
But that really annoys you doesn't it?
Well it annoys me because it's like they think I should be proud of it, like it's---
Well exactly, but they don't think... This is not a disadvantage, this is not a disability, is it, you're, you're taller than most people... It might get t---
It is a disability if you're...
No no no, if you wa-- If you were 8 foot 3 it'd be slightly disabilitating, you wouldn't, y'know, but---
Yeah... No, you're a medical man aren't you. But, no, the point is it's a disabilitathn
... Because when you go on public transport, like if you're on a coach
the only place I can sit on a coach is that seat---
On the driver's lap.
(laughing) Either on the driver's lap, or that seat at the very end
y'know, where, which is kind of... Which sits into the aisle.
That's the only place I can sit...
Why don't you just... Stand up...
And there's always some sort of kid---
Kids at the back waving at drivers.
You could drive it from the back.
Ricky and Steve laugh
'Ere he comes, watch it.
Were you a tall baby?
(laughing) Was I a tall baby?!
(laughing) "Mr. and Mrs. Merchant, er, you've given birth to a basketball player. Look at his dribble already..." "Were you a tall baby," babies aren't tall! Are they?
No, I mean at what point did, did you suddenly like, "Jesus, nothing fits me!"
(laughing) Well... It didn't happen overnight Karl...
Let's do a little graph, how tall were you at 5?
Oh, I dunno... 3 foot?
3 foot, how tall were you at 12?
6 f-- Where you really?!
I don't know do I! How do I remember, I don't remember this!
Well when did teachers start calling you "Freak-Boy" and "Lanky"?
Rarel-- They didn't, they wa-- It wasn't the---
Not so much, it was... No...
You went to a funny school... I went bowling with him once right, and I'd never been bowling before and he'd been once before, and he went "Let's go to this bow"--- Went to this bowling alley, right, and erm, you have to wear these special shoes. Now they're... They're sort of like, pointed things anyway, and they're, um, multicoloured sort of red and green right, they look pretty weird, and er... And the woman said to me "Oh what size are ya?" and I said "Oh, 8", she went "Yeah, what size are you?", he went "14", she went "14?", he went "You probably haven't got 'em..." he goes, she goes "Yeah, I think we have got one pair", and she put them on the table, and it was like Krusty the Clown. And I just started laughing... They looked so long and he had to run round this bowling alley in these freaky clown shoes...
Yeah but they don't look freaky-clown-like when I'm wearing them, 'cause the rest of me's in proportion to it!
He looked like a little wall bracket.
D'you know, one of the worst things, one of the worst things that happened to me was when I was er... I don't know, when I was about 16 or something, we went to, um... Is the fire al---
There's a fire alarm going off.
There's a fire alarm going off.
And the fire light's going off. Should... Should... Should we not just... Maybe play a record and go and check that out?
... Wrap it up if you want.
No, no, not wrap it up, play a record, I'm gonna go.
No, look, it's gone off Rick, it's gone off!
Oh! What-- We might've burned down!
Yeah I think we'd know about it; the flames licking around our ankles would be a clue.
...I'm gonna go and investigate. You shouldn't ignore a fire alarm should ya!
Blimey! We're entertaining the nation...
Oh, look, "Oh look at him he's scared of fire! Brraaakk!" What d'you mean?
Song: Mercury Rev - The Dark Is Rising
Mercury Rev - The Dark Is Rising. That's a good song innit?
I notice that your, um... investigating the fire mainly involved wandering out into the office, looking around a bit then coming back.
What did you find out?
There was no fire.
There was no fire?
I like the fact that---
"Brraaak", Imagine that though, imagine tha- there's a fire and there's loads of firemen, they go "get back!" and you go to the fireman "ooh get back, brrraaak! Brraaakk! Oh look at him---"
I would, I would and actually justified to.
Yeah, "ok there's heavy shelling lads, retreat!" "Oh braak sarge!" "I'm sorry?" "Brraaaak sarge!"
There was a fire al-- I'd never seen it before, a fire thing going off, there was a fire th... I thought "oh, let's at least have a look if there's a fire," that's all I thought; see here's some official coming in now to tell us we should've been running out.
There's no fire... we can't just stop entertaining the people of London, y'know, just 'cause there's a fire.
This isn't the Titanic!
I don't have to carry on playing. I, I---
I dunno, it feels like a bit of a sinking ship Rick! Are ya with me?
(laughing) All right! Nice one, nice one.
I don't know who I was slagging off there, probably me.
Yeah I think so, yeah.
Listen, let me just tell you briefly, this-- this is a.. another example of.. of how people can just exploit you and make fun of you when you're tall.
Um, I was quite tall, I've always been like about 6 foot 7 for quite a while now and when I was about 16, erm.. I went to a big New Year's celebration in Bristol, where I come from, and they-- everyone kind of congregates in this big sort of part of town and there was some people dancing round; like in Trafalgar Square, and um.. I was there and some how I'd sort of.. I'd just picked up a balloon somewhere along the line, one of those kind of helium sort of balloons, and I was holding that and dancing around... and um, these two girls came up to me and I was thinking "yeahhh, ok.. y'know, it's New Year's Eve, brilliant, y'know that's-- I l-- that's my kinda party."
They came up and went "heyyy"---
Once a year.
And they we-- (laughs) they said er, "you gonna be here for long?" And I went "well, maybe" and they said "it's just we've arranged to meet back at you
in about an hour." And I went "what do you mean?" and they went "well it's just 'cause we can see you wherever you are and.. don't worry, you can move around and stuff, we'll see you, with the balloon. Just arranged to meet some friends here."
I love that, a landmark.
Pilots use that! "And we're just coming in, er, there's er, we'll be er.. when we see Steve Merchant we'll be decending to Bristol Temple Meads."
What's really funny is, New Year's Eve, Trafalgar Square, you've got a huge column
But they use Steve as like the meeting point---
Steve's got a huge column.
Brilliant Rick, well done.
Award winning comedy from Ricky Gervais.
Song: Happy Mondays - Step On
Freaks Of America
Happy Mon-- ta-- took you back didn't it? Happy Mondays there, Manc scene there, Karl was like really getting down like "oh yeah yeah, oh come on, come on..."
"Got any Vera's?"
Oh come on now, aah, did it take you back did it?
How old are you?
Twenty-nine so you were, oh you were just going in.. out of your teens?
I'm a Virgo.
No, tha-- that--, no you don't understand, it's just not-- how? I'm a Virgo?
Rick, I thought we discussed about involving Karl in any---
(laughing) Yeah, sorry, yeah, yeah.
Management have told us we're just not allowed to do it.
(laughing) We've had e-mails from people.
Yeah, please don't speak to Karl.
On the cusp---
Can I just make an appeal? I don't wanna exploit---
(laughing) On the cusp, between Virgo and-- Still going through with it, doesn't know what's going on does he? Just wave bright objects at him.
Yeah... er, we got a competition here Steve.
We have but before we mention that---
Can i just ask something, I don't wanna exploit our position on the radio...
... but I wonder, because I'm very tall and it's very tricky for me to get size 14 shoes and big clothes and stuff, can I just get people to send some stuff if- if like maybe they own a shop which---
Yeah, but it would be- it would be things like home-made clogs...
... for people who've carved out the little chunks of wood they found in the shed...
That's fine, whatever...
When I was in America--- When I was in America everyone says to me---
Here's a kagool I made out of my own skin.
(laughs) Um... When I was in America everyone told me like, it would be really, y'know, really easy to get big clothes and big shoes and that cos they're all huge and all freaks over there---
Alright, alright steady on...
(laughs)... And I was wandering around New York and I was going in a few shops, kind of saying y'know, I've got size 14-- U.S 15... shoes, and they were going "No---
(laughs) Is that the difference... one?
And they literally were laughing at me, there was a couple of shops where they'd literally laugh and get someone else in and come and look at the tall freaky English man...
... And then one guy said "I remember we had someone come in here once and he said he'd been to a shop which sold, kind of stuff for really tall people... And um.. And he sa- "I think I can remember the address" and he sort of looked through the telephone directory and he made a note of it, and I went on the subway, I went---
And I went and I loo- It took me ages to get in a- really hard to find it and I finally went in there, I'd never seen- It was heaving, right, with freaks it was ama-
It was like, they're just kind of gargoyles like something from Lord of the Rings, there was just these kind of like, tall people and kind of gnarled...
Did they turn round and start bowing to you?
It was incredible.
And I went in there and sort of said "Hi I'm lookin' for kind of... dudududu something like that", and they went "Yeah, sure" and he sort of hobbled off into the darkness and came back with exactly the kind of pair of shoes I wanted, I couldn't believe my luck.
It might be a magic shop.
But it was like that shop in um... Mr. Ben
It might have been a dream though you see... have- have you still actually got the shoes...
Cos when Mr. Ben sort of like.. goes back and wakes up next day he finds like a feather in his pocket, where he remembers he was a you know, a seventeenth century sort of squire or something... y'know what I mean?
(laughs) Ahhh- the classic episode of Mr. Ben when he becomes a seventeenth century squire...
Ricky and Steve laugh
Oh, oh dear
Mr. Ben learns to play the harpsichord (laughs)
But it's er, like when Mr. Ben, that, that black shopkeeper goes "Right, are you going to pay for that? You're not just going to go through that door and then have an adventure and come back are you?" "I am." "No, you're not. You're barred."
"You just make me sick w- we get nothing from you." "Well I'm not in this for your amusement, Mr. Ben."
Is it only Ben who's got the insider knowledge about the magical doorway or-
I don't know cos that- that fella in the fez doesn't seem to have anyone else there.
No, rarely. He's always grinning, though.
He knows something.
I- I'm not sure- it's not a documentary, though, is it? It's a- it's a kid's show, innit?
I'm trying to remember.
No it's not it's just a kid's show, so anything can happen. That's so- a lot of people make that mistake.
When they slag off summat like Scooby Doo or Thundercats. It's not really reality.
It's just a kid's show.
Mr. Ben they were all on drugs, weren't they?
My mate fancied Cheetara from Thundercats
Which one was Cheetara, I quite liked She Wolf.
She was a lovely- she did a lovely cat.
Yeah. She was a real dish.
What's the- what's the sexiest cartoon?
Erm I'm glad you've asked, er-
A lot of people say Jessica Rabbit.
They do and they'd be right to say that because she's actually human, she's not an animal. Which is good.
Isn't she? No, she- she's a normal woman married to a rabbit.
Yeah yeah she is
Yeah Jessica Rabbit is-
Is that her surname, Rabbit?
But she's not actually a rabbit.
She's married to Roger Rabbit but she's not actually a rabbit. She's a glamorous woman.
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.
I've never seen it.
No, yeah yeah yeah. This is the weird thing about it.
That's weird though, isn't it?
It is weird the idea of a rabbit having sex with a beautiful woman. That is the weirdest thing about it.
How does that make you feel?
If I'm honest. Yeah. But I bought some bunny ears just after I saw the film.
Oh hip hop. You got your hip hop track.
This album was rated by a lot of people last year. And er- my sources tell me it's being re-released and re-recorded this year.
Anyway NERD are the outfit. Er- they're better known as The Neptunes who are kind of sort of hip hop R&B producers.
This track may have featured on a giveaway CD.
On the NME.
Anyways it's dynamite. It's from the album In Search Of by NERD and it's "Bobby James." Play it.
Song: NERD - Bobby James
NERD from the album "In search of" and thats Bobby James
It's it's really. It reminds me a little bit of em, Warren G that, that chorus.
Sure, yeah yeah yeah. And apparently the album I don't, it was on kind of limited release so it's quite tricky to get hold of but as I say I think they're re-releasing it.
Well you should tape off the radio coz we're doing lots of features.
Yeah, no I'll maybe play that again in the future just tape it off. I tell you what I'll play the whole album over the course of like, next couple of weeks.
Yeah and we'll just tell you, I mean, you know, won't have us talking we'll just go now and you can press play and record.
I mean we can't actually say, we can't advocate you tape off the radio because that's breaking.
Or maybe I'll just do some bootlegs of the, you know the cut album and just sell em, Camden market, for four quid.
Yeah, something like that?
Yeah I mean, you know, we won't, I mean we shouldn't really say that.
Whos, Warren G is em Dr. Dre's cousin is he or somet, is he his?
Warren G I think is his cousin.
But I know he's got a famous brother aswell and I found, I think it's someone like Nate Dogg.
It could well be Nate Dogg.
We could maybe someone would know that and could e-mail or phone in.
If you, yeah, or e-mail or kinda a family tree.
This is the best thing about being on the radio, I can think of somet. There was a competition right, on Virgin, right, I was listening Virgin I think 105 point, no what is it?
I don't know.
I can't remember.
Good station, good station. Erm, and they had a competition right and it was to win a trip to America for the, on the Enterprise and it was all about space. And there was one, there was one question and had to answer three right and it was who was the first man into space, Youri Gagarin. And then the third question was, how, how much bigger than the moon is the sun? Is it twice as big or four times as big? And this woman went four times as big he went correct. It's not, it's hundreds of times bigger.
Probably alot more Rick yeah.
I can't believe, can someone look that up on the internet. How many times bigger is the sun than the moon? It's not four times, it's it's huge, it's like beachball to a pea type dimensions.
Which DJ was it do you remember on Virgin?
I can't remember, it was the one on sorta about eleven o'clock.
Ho ho I wouldn't want to be him right now.
Wouldn't wanna be him, yeah, he's embarassed himself.
He's embarassed himself.
When we do quizzes we never get anything wrong.
That's true enough.
During that track I'm I'm chilling out Im loving it aren't I.
Karl goes, do you know how baguettes came about?
Do you know how baguettes come about.
I went go on and Steve went no save it.
Wait a minute though I'm thinking Rick, people are gonna be desperate to know the answer to that. Why don't we play some ads and some music and stuff.
It's like a cliffhanger.
Exactly. How did baguettes come about.
Whatever he says is gonna be good init?
Stay tuned to XFM to find out.
Song: Hives - Hate to say I told you so.
Then We're All Shafted
Hives, “Hate to Say I Told You So,” see, I love that sort of stuff.
That and the Strokes. That’s so much better than this nu metal rubbish, isn’t it?
Now… most people think we talk rubbish on-air.
If they could hear the conversations…
…that go on—I know, but… uhm someone just emailed in saying the sun is indeed about 400 times bigger than the moon, thanks for that. That, that DJ must’ve looked it up and said, “Uhm, 400 times, that can’t be right, it’s probably, they probably… it’s probably a printing error, four times.”
“Nothing can be 400 times bigger than the moon!”
Uhm… Karl went, “Yeah, but the sun, it’s only got a million years, innit,” I went, “What?” He went, “On that space program, it said in a million years the sun will be destroyed,” and he said, “And then we’re all shafted.”
Right? I went—I laughed, Steve went, “No, it’s okay, by then we’ll be on another planet.”
No, I think that’s true! We’ll have colonized another planet.
Right? Karl went, “Yeah, but there’d be no sun.” Steve went, “Well, there’s other suns,” which is true, Karl went, “Well…” I went, “Well, yeah, every star is a sun.” Karl went, “Mm… well not—not really.”
I love the fact that…
You—you don’t believe that, do you? And I went, “No, it is, the sun is just a star, it’s not even a particularly big star.” Karl went, “Well, why didn’t they say that instead of worrying me?”
Instead of worrying me!
In a million years’ time, I love the idea of Karl…
…he’s been preserved, brought back to life but he’s now the ruler of the world…
Just a head in a fish tank.
(in deep bass) And he speaks like this. “I am Pilkington.”
The reason, the reason you became king of the universe of course is because of your fascinating French bread anecdote.
Oh yeah! Yeah, come on then.
What’s the story?
Wh—how, how did baguettes come about? If this is gonna be… someone cooked a loaf of it wrong and said, “I can still make a sandwich out of it,” I’m gonna hit you.
Is that it?
No no no no no.
Go on then.
Uhm… right… Napoleon… when he was at war and that with uhm Russia…
…yeah… all his soldiers were like, you know, not used to the cold weather and that.
So they said, “Take—take some clothes in your bag with you ‘cause it’s gonna be uh…”
“…nippy… nippy out there.” So uhm… they put all the clothes in the bag…
Did what they were told.
…they thought, “Aww…”
It’s Napoleon, for Chrissake.
“…no room for any food.”
Couldn’t they make some sort of like sandwich?
No, it wouldn’t fit ‘cause they got all the clothes, they had to take extra gear.
Sure sure sure.
So uhm anyway…
I can see where this is going.
I’ll be honest.
Is there a baguette-shaped gap left in their holdall?
They thought, “Let’s make some bread that you can fit down your trouser leg.”
That’s not true!
No, it’s not, Karl!
I read it in Euston train station! I was waiting to go back to Manchester…
Where did you read it?
What, scrawled on the wall…
Yeah. Was it also, “Meet me here for cock fun at 12 o’clock”?
Steve and Karl laugh
The Upper Crust sandwich shop at Euston station. It’s on the wall.
What do you mean it’s on the wall?
D’you know how it says like… “Sale on at Dixons,” whatever…
…next to that there was like a bit of information, once you’ve read the stuff on Dixons…
…there was, there was a big thing about the history of the baguette.
I love the…
Wait a minute.
No! We gotta, we gotta make a sandwich we can s—fit down our trouser leg.
But how can you march and fight with a huge piece of bread down your uh trousers?
Although it would be intimidating, you see ‘em coming you go, “Sacrebleu, look at the size of them.” They, they’re, they’re big fellas. Well…
Blimey. I d—I can’t help but feel that could be a practical joke at your expense.
You wouldn’t do that.
Well, the Earl of Sandwich, the Earl…
You never question anything you read, if it’s printed up, is that, like, fact for you then?
Well, it’s not funny, I mean if they were trying to be funny it’s like…
…it’s not, is it, so it’s information.
Have you heard us? Things sometimes seem to be funny when they’re not.
That, that’s exactly what happened with the san—the Earl of Sandwich wanted summat he could fit down his pants.
And uh it was th—those triangle-cut sandwiches wrapped in cling-film were perfect. Ah, uh you might be right. You might be right.
‘Cause the Cornish pasty’s so they could drop it down the mines, innit?
Uh, yeah, they wrapped it up, they wrapped up, like, meat and vegetables in pastry, and they sort of crimped it and that’s like a little… and they dropped it down the mines so… yeah, that’s why that came about.
And bagels were originally made so that people could play Hoopla…
…and then eat afterwards. I don’t know if you were aware of that.
That is true, Karl.
Is this like “Call My Bluff”?
Is one of them true?
They’re all true.
They’re all true.
Tell your kids that when you have ‘em.
You know, if they’re still alive in a million years.
Well, can—it might be true, can someone confirm uhm that baguette fact, that it was so Napoleon could stick it down…
…his trous—not him, his soldiers.
Fascinating information, fascinating bread information, Karl.
Yeah, now this is my Song for the Lovers, it’s a beautiful track, it’s “Let Down”… uh off “OK Computer,” it’s one of my favorite Radiohead tracks, it’s lovely. Right, set the tape going now, if you wanna tape… yeah, play the song.
Song: Radiohead – Let Down
Secret Of The Century
Song: The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist
Avalanches, “Frontier Psychiatrist.”
Well, we’ve had lots of emails uhm… people, obviously, we inflamed uh… uh and provoked…
Well, actually I have to say, Rick…
…about the Cornish pasty. Uhm I’ve got a couple of amendments to that… the, the crusty bit is, you know, actually as a handle, ‘cause obviously the miners have dirty hands and they’d eat all the stuff in the pasty, and they’d be left with this sort of crust and they could throw that away.
Also someone told us that the—up one end was, like, apple. So you’d have a little sweet as well.
So… there you go.
You noticed how, like, over the years we’ve been doing this, you know, way back when we started on Xfm… no one ever contributes when we ask about the music…
…when we ask about hip-hop…
…or their op—you know, their opinions on that…
But… start talking about pasties…
…we’ve had about five phone calls.
Yeah. And someone, someone phoned up to confirm… they used to work for Upper Crust, and uh basically, Karl got all excited so uh, “So it is true,” she went, “Well, I don’t know if it’s true, I’ve—I’ve read the same sign you did, Karl.”
Yeah. Interestingly there’s an email here that says uh, which basically offers a history of the baguette.
And uh talks about after the revolution the government decreed that all of France must eat the same bread. And it was up to the bakers to bake this bread of equality. Ahm… and then Napoleon kind of uhm made sure that it was a particular—he kind of set in…
Yeah. Obviously on the bread you can eat anything you find in the garden, frogs, snails, bits of horse, squid.
But the interesting, interesting thing is, Rick, that there’s no mention of sticking it down your trousers whilst going to war.
The French have tried to keep that a secret for over a hundred years, Steve!
Only the Upper Crust people…
Yeah, yeah, nearly 200 years, that is a top secret, somehow Euston Station Upper Crust got hold of a document…
…left behind in an old s—sea chest…
…could’ve been Josephine’s. Unfortunately jotted it down… he’s kickin’ himself now, (in bad French accent) “Aw, sac—I cannot believe I left a note.”
If he talked like that.
He did, he did that, yeah. He talked English…
…but in a very funny French accent.
Do you remember…
…talking of funny French accents, you remember “'Allo 'Allo!”
Remember… it was on about 5 o’clock in the afternoon but they still ma—because it was a funny Frenchman, it was that, that English guy who was posing as a French police officer…
Yeah. It’s a very complicated plot.
…he would often walk by, I remember there was one where he said, uh, “I was pissing by the door when I heard the shit.”
Passing by the door…
I’m allowed to say that…
…passing by the door when I heard the shot.
That’s what he’s saying. I’m allowed to say that at 2 o’clock because tha—I’m just saying, I’m talking in a French accent.
I was pissing by the door when I heard a shit.
And that’s fine.
‘Cause I’m speaking French, Karl, understand?
D’you know, d’you know what I mean?
That’s the rule.
Do you know why people tinkle the, tink the glasses before they have a drink?
Why do they tink? The verb “to tink.”
I do know that, Karl. Is it about poison?
Here we are.
Why, would it make a different noise?
Steve lets out sharp laugh
Brilliant. Go on, explain.
You explain it, Steve.
No no no, don’t, Steve! You explain it, Karl.
Go on! I’ve started so I’ll finish! Come on, Karl. Explain why they “tink” the glasses.
Ricky and Steve chuckle
…ahm only people with money had drinkin’ or something…
Ricky and Steve laugh
That’s like one of my film reviews! Years ago… (breathily) Welcome to History Now. Now, ages ago only people with money had… drinkin’ or something…
Keep going, Karl.
They liked, they liked spirit and stuff so… they’d uhm, it, it’s like businessman, business—busimessmen…
That’s easy for you to say!
Ricky and Karl laugh
This is getting to be cruel, innit?
This is amazing!
Yeah, go on.
Why did you open your mouth, Karl?
What were you hoping was the best that could happen?
‘Cause you tried to make me look stupid before with the planets so I’m…
Whereas you now?!
Yeah go on, though, come on. Bis—bid—bidnismen…
Bidnismen, no, businessmen with money have got drink and ching. Okay, so then…
So they, so they, so they’d nip ‘round to have a chat about the, whatever they’re earning money with…
…and they’d say, “Right, d’you wanna drink then?”
And they’d go, “Aw, yeah, that’d be all right.” So, rather than like uhm… just pouring it out of a bottle into a glass and saying, “There you go,” you could be going, “Hang on a minute, he could be poisonin’ me ‘ere and tryin’ to, like, nick me business idea.”
So what they’d do, he’d, he’d sort of pour a bit of his drink into the other person’s glass and you get that tink noise… and that’s like, like, cheers, you know.
No, no, Karl, I’ve to… a slight amendment there, I think what it was, was, you’re absolutely right, that they would then test…
…each other’s drinks to see, show that it wasn’t poisoned. But over the years, that was reduced to just chinking the glasses by way of saying, “Let’s not actually bother going through the whole rigmarole.” They just did the chinking of the glasses…
Yeah. I, I… yeah, that’s, that’s… that’s good.
It was exhausting though, wasn’t it?
Was it worth it, d’you think?
Well, I, I like that ‘cause people will carry that with them now, when they do that they’ll think, “Oh, that bloke’s definitely not trying to poison me”…
…so that the horrible thing is that now, when they do the glasses, I can laugh and go, “They don’t know I’ve poisoned them.”
You should always do the pouring back and forth. It’s a short cut, it’s a slippery slope… you know, just be careful.
Song: Ash – There’s a Star
Ash, “There’s a Star.” One of my bands of 2001, Ash.
Yeah, they’ve come through, I didn’t like ‘em at first, thought uh… you know… bit, a bit too low-fi but I think they’ve, they’ve worked at it, they’ve go—good songs, they’re good performers, and I think they’re probably very nice chaps.
Uhm hm, uhm hm.
We didn’t say hello ‘cause we were away for a couple of weeks, we didn’t come back and go, “Oh, we’re back,” did we? It’s like nothing ever happened.
You know what I mean?
Did you have a good Christmas?
Yeah, it was all right.
Lovely. Okay. Let’s crack on.
My uhm… I went on holiday after Christmas, yeah?
And uhm, so did uh our mutual friend, Phil Bowker.
Yeah, good man.
He wa—he was in Lanzarote and he told me one of the funnie—I don’t know if I can tell this on the radio. I’ll have to say, the “c” word I’ll just go—it’s in a sentence so I’ll just go, “You c—,” when it comes so you’ll know that he’s saying a terrible word. Uh… just, you know, didn’t wanna ruin the anecdote. Anyway. Uh they’re walking along one evening, in Lanzarote, and there’s lots of Brits there, apparently. And Phil overhears uh a sort of married couple, arguin’, they’re havin’ to go home a bit early. And she’s sayin’ to him, she went, “For Chrissake! Everytime we come out drinkin’, you always shit yourself.”
Always, not once—so he’s going, “Oh… see, I’ve told you,” he said, “it’s not the drink, it’s the weather.” She went, “The weather. You’ll be blaming the food next, you c—.”
I don’t think they should’ve got married.
Or may—when do you think the shittin’ himself started? Must’ve been after the marriage because if he, they—you know, you’re courtin’, and they go, “We—went out with uh… uh, Derek again, did ya, last night? Yeah, how was it?” “Well, the evening was lovely but…he shat himself. Again.”
“That’s five dates, five different heaps... of... shit.”
“I think I can change him.”
I think I can change him, yeah. It must’ve happened after the marryin’. Or he just might think, “Oh God…” Or he’s got at that age where he thinks, “Ah, I’ll just empty it when I get home.”
“I’m not gonna keep goin’ up and goin’ to the toilet.” You know.
It’s the ice that does it.
I—Karl is right, I think, it is the ice.
What d’you mean?
People forget, you know, they say, “Oh, don’t, don’t drink the water when you’re on holiday,” and they don’t, they drink, you know, they buy Evian and stuff…
Oh, I see!
…they forget about the ice.
The ice cubes, you’re right, in a bar. Made from tap water.
And that can do it, can it? But, but… I assume she wasn’t drinkin’ ice then.
Wh—I mean, why does it just happen to him?
Let’s be honest, everyone that goes on holiday doesn’t end up crappin’ themselves.
Yeah! Yeah, they usually make it to the toilet.
He does, he does it everytime he drinks, doesn’t he?
Yeah, well, apparently.
Just don’t let him carry the baguettes.
Ricky and Steve laugh
Oh, he’s good, isn’t he?
Karl comes out with stuff…
He does now and again.
High five, Karl, that was sweet, man.
Yeah, nice one.
Yeah, respect you.
Right, we’ve got uhm another feature now.
Yes, this is a feature which we introduced before Christmas, and it was so popular we’ve brought it into 2002 as well.
Ricky and Steve laugh
We’ve carried it over with us. It’s an, it’s an interesting thing. And I don’t think—I don’t think we’ll ever run out of features for… go on, what’s the feature called, Steve?
It’s brilliantly, it’s rather brilliantly called “A Song That I Like.”
And in it, let me explain, it’s a little bit complicated.
What I do is, in it, I play a song…
What, that you like or…?
…that I like.
Oh, right. So you just pick a—oh… well. Uhm, let me—how can I explain this? All the songs that there are, Karl, Steve likes some of them, he doesn’t like others.
But for this particular feature, the only songs that’ll be in this section will be the ones that he likes.
If you think you’re gonna hear songs that I don’t like, you’re wrong, Karl.
Let me clear that up straight away. These are songs that I like.
What song have you chosen to play?
Thank you very much for asking. I have chosen, and it’s something I’ve only been introduced to recently but I did enjoy it and it seemed uh, you know, c—it just felt contemporary. It’s uh Pa—Patti Smith and the classic “Gloria.”
Play it, Karl.
Song: Patti Smith – Gloria
A Modern Stone Age Family
“Gloria,” by Patti Smith. Did you enjoy that?
Yeah, I love it.
Excellent. Good to hear that one again.
Al—always been one of my favorite tracks.
And as Karl pointed out, sounds remarkably like uh, who did you mention?
Yeah, well, everyone knew that, she was obviously very influenced by her.
That’s fine, that’s fine.
That’s alright, that’s allowed.
That’s, that’s cool.
I like PJ Harvey too.
There’s enough room for two.
You’re absolutely right!
Steve stretches and exhales
Oh. Here we are then.
Let’s just, let’s just take a minute to think about what we’ve done, you know?
Yeah! Well it’s been good, it’s uh… it’s an hour and 20 minutes, we’ve, we’ve talked about ahm… oh, shittin’ yerself?
We’ve talked about pasties.
We’ve done pasties, we’ve done pasties.
A, a number of pastries, actually.
Ahm… we did, never got ahm… we should’ve done our competition, who’s the, who’s the uhm tastiest cartoon ever?
Well, actually someone did…
I threw up Cheetera, I threw up uhm Jessica Rabbit.
I’ve had some people contribute here on email.
Ahm… we’ve got someone here, Dom has uh emailed us, he’s told us that for him, Daphne from Scooby-Doo.
Yeah. Popular choice, popular choice.
And obviously this is one I’ve uh, I’ve never quite understood, Wilma, from the Flintstones.
I’ve actually always felt that Wilma, I don’t know, I just thought she was a bit...
No, no, not Wilma. Betty, surely.
Yeah, yeah. Betty.
This is what I mean, Wilma—I mean, yeah, Betty, surely, but Wilma? No, she’s quite homely.
But Betty, yeah.
Come on, Steve, you wouldn’t say no to Wilma.
No, I suppose not. You know what, I’d be worried about Fred, if he found out.
Well, I’d hate to do it, you know…
I don’t want to do it to Fred, he’s a good guy!
He is, isn’t he?
He’s always working hard.
Whereas Barney, to be honest I don’t think he deserves Betty.
Do they both work in the quarry?
Because, I mean, let’s be honest, Fred, not a smart man. I mean, he obviously didn’t come out of uh, of rock school with anything other than a couple of basic O-levels.
I know, but he’s a hard—he, he, he’s a hardworking sound sort of guy…
But they’ve got a big house, they’ve got like a TV, they’ve got that bird thing.
Yeah. I mean I, I… I’d be honest, if I was Fred I would be a little disappointed that my kid does nothing whereas Barney’s can lift up sort of tall buildings.
Bamm-Bamm, he’s a very strong… you know.
I mean, interestingly uhm, Fred loves his job, he’s always yabba-dabba-dooin’ at the end of the day.
He does, yeah.
He spent a whole day lifting rocks from one place to another.
I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t take that from that cat, though.
If a cat picked me up by the scruff of my neck and put me out, right, on the doorstep, I’d go mental, I’d get rid of it. It is a sabertooth tiger, though, Karl. So it could rip him to shreds, it’s not like a normal domesticated one you’d have nowadays.
You know when they go to the drive-in, at the beginning…
…and they order uh maybe some ribs…
Yeah. That huge…
…that huge rib and it tips the car over…
…was that her first day on the job?
Because… either it’s never been ordered before…
Yeah, either it’s…
…or I think she should’ve realized…
Yeah. “We’re out of pig, we’ve got brontosaurus rib.”
“Well, that’d knock the car over.” I don’t know.
Rick, can I tell you now, that was an accident waiting to happen.
It was, really, wasn’t it? Yeah.
And it did.
Oh… dear. Mind you, I had a, I went in Te—to Texas once and I had some ribs and it was like the Flintstones, it was huge. And not only did it look too much like an animal that I couldn’t actually eat it, I don’t know who could eat it, I mean, seriously, it was two-foot long…
…and all the rib—it was like half a ribcage. And I…
It’s terrible. My friends were, lived in Texas for a while and they uh, they once were once in a kind of diner, and there was ahm… you know those kind of benches that are attached to the table itself…
…like a kind of picnic bench.
And uh this huge fat guy came in, he went wobbling in, and he ordered like this kind of everything-you-can-eat meal and his fat kind of, sort of, you know…
His big fatty fatness fatted on the fat table, yeah.
…it wrapped itself around the table and everything…
…he was chowing down, and when he tried to g—leave, the table came up with him.
I mean, they are fat, aren’t they?
They’re big people.
They’re huge people. But it was like that thing that we were talking about before, that uhm bloke on Jerry Springer’s, it was like 80 stone, right? Now… I felt quite sorry for him, he was really sad, he was cryin’ and it is sad, but my point is this, right? When he got to, say, 50 stones…
…didn’t he go, (whispers) “That’s too much.”
(whispers) “That’s gotta be enough.”
“For, for a land animal.”
D’you know what I mean?
That’s, that’s big, isn’t it, I, I’m gettin’ worried—I’m 13 stone and I am genuinely getting worried, I’m thinkin’, “Oh…”
When you’ve got that big, when you’ve actually got your own mayor…
Yeah! Yeah. When you, when you have to get in helpers to l—to look what the scale says…
Like four or five people lift up your belly and go, “It’s 52 stone,” you go, “That’s too much.”
“I’m going to only have… nine breakfasts today.”
When you actually, when you begin to appear on the Ordnance Survey map…
Yeah, yeah! Exactly, yeah.
When you’ve got your own symbol…
It’s like we can see two things from space now, Fatty and Steve Merchant. We’ll be landing in…
All right, calm down.
Well, no, I’m just saying you’re tall, you’re not fat, are you, you’re freakish and big.
Just another quick thought, someone’s mentioned Daphne from Scooby-Doo and I’ve… but I’ve always had a soft spot for Velma.
Velma… oh no…
‘Cause Velma was the one with the glasses. I mean, I’d have, I’d have…
Can I tell you what would’ve happened if I was in that environment, I was maybe on the…
Your glasses would’ve got tangled up.
No, I’d have always had an ar—I would always be making a play for Daphne, right, and I, Velma would’ve fancied me but I would always ignore her ‘cause I was playing for Daphne and when I finally realized it was never gonna happen with Daphne, I’d have blown it with Velma.
Maybe not, though, maybe not, maybe not. Sometimes… those, you know, they might, you know, appreciate honesty, you go, “Listen, I’ve been hittin’ on the good-lookin’ one…”
“Do you fancy a chubs?”
Summat like that.
Just be honest, is what you’re sayin’.
I’m wonderin’, I don’t mean to be libelous, but Velma… she was quite short, the glasses, the short hair…
…hangin’ around with the dog and…
…I’m beginning to wonder… if she was, maybe.
I, see… unfortunately I said lesbian there and you still carried on your assessment of what it is to be a lesbian. It’s bad enough doing the cliches of having short hair and… you said, the dog.
Yeah. Well she hangs around with the dog…
Do, do lesbians do that?
Well have you seen some lesbians? They’re right dogs. Good night!
Ricky and Steve laugh
See what I’ve done there? You know what I’ve done there, Rick?
Song: The Dandy Warhols – Bohemian Like You
Seona Dancing Meets...
Song: Hundred Reasons – I’ll Find You
Professional. I was havin’ a cup of tea. Hundred Reasons there on Xfm 104.9, just gone half two.
Yeah, with Steve Merchant.
Rick, we get, got a couple of emails here, and… they’re saying they enjoyed your performance… over the Christmas period, on a programme called “100 Greatest TV Moments.”
Did you do an interview or summat, what was the deal, I, I didn’t see this.
Uh yeah, “The Office” was in there, wasn’t it and I…
…did an interview for it.
But what are they talking about, that your—they enjoyed your performance?
Come on, tell me.
You know, do you?
No, I don’t.
I thought you—it’s that thing that I did on “Razzmatazz.”
Oh, is this where they found a clip or…
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Alright, I was in a band and we had one single out or something, I did one TV appearance… when I was about, oh God! And they showed a bit of it, about seven seconds, me on “Razzmatazz.” Oh God.
“Razzmatazz,” for those that don’t remember, was like a kind of… I suppose, what was it, like a “CD:UK” of its time.
Yeah, exactly, yeah. And uh… oh God… and it was, it was of the time, sort of New Romantic…
And they showed a clip of it.
I looked about ten, and about five stone, with hair and makeup and… girly clo—my sister actually said I looked like Posh Spice.
Which is—there’s a funny story about that, ‘cause we were rushed and we had to do this thing and we ahm… oh God… we were meant to take a flight to Newcastle. And…
Where were you travellin’ from, London?
Yeah. But we, we got there, we didn’t have tickets, we were told… but the A&R man overslept, right, for the record company overslept, and it was terrible and we were frettin’. And eventually t—it was too late to get the plane, we missed the plane, we had to get a train. And it was really c—finding back and forth, “Yeah, if they come now we can still do it,” we were gonna miss it and it was like a big promotional thing. And we got there, and we went… oh God…
Right? And… I had this sort of like jumpsuit I was wearin’ that was cut off, put that on backwards…
I know, it was, it was bad.
Is this what was in the clip?
Yeah. Uh I had that on back to front, and there was no time, and I think I even mimed wrong at one point, and it was awful but, the funny story is this: that when we were there we didn’t have our tickets…
This was at the airport?
…we bumped into Bucks Fizz.
The, the, the… the guys and gals from Bucks Fizz and their manager, so it’s like five of them, right, and there’s two of us and they had five tickets. And this, and Bucks Fizz tried to smuggle us through.
On an airplane?
So they, so they went through the things, right, and they went, “Tickets please,” and he just waved five tickets that he had, like that, he goes, “This is us, right,” and they went, “Well, can I have a look,” and went, “There’s only five of you,” and they went, they just looked at us and went, “Sorry lads, we tried.” We tried, we were tri—we were nearly smuggled through…
They couldn’t even, even with their powers, they were at the height of their powers.
‘Cause that was like, was that, really, that was “Land of Make Believe” time.
They’d already, yeah, they’d already done “Making Your Mind Up.”
I thought if anyone can get us through customs check, it was the Fizz. But even the Fizz could not get us through.
What I like about that, what reassures me about that kind of airplane travel…
…you know, in these kind of troubled times, it’s nice to know that even someone like Bucks Fizz…
…couldn’t get, you know, smuggle someone through…
That’s good ‘cause the, even the, you know, the top security man went, “Hold on. There’s five in the Fizz…”
“…there’s five tickets, those two lads are not goin’ through.”
That makes you more secure about air travel now.
Well, it’s lovely, if I’m in America, you know, and I see Five Star…
…tryin’ to get through customs…
With two other lads…
…exactly, exactly, I’d think, “Wait a minute, what’s going on there? Wait a minute, a security guy’s stopped ‘em, it’s fine.”
It’s fine, yeah.
And you know there’s only me—five in Five Star.
It’s lovely, it’s lovely to know that. I love the fac—did you, did you know the Fizz previously?
Of course not.
Was this your first run-in with the Fizz?
No, they were, they were doing, they were doing uh… the ‘Tazz. Same as—they were doing the old Razz. Same as us.
And they, did you recognize the Fizz and go, “My God, that’s the Fizz, let’s try and sneak in with them,” or did they recognize you? How did it work?
They wouldn’t have recognized us.
Exactly, that’s what I’m thinking. Would y—I love the idea that—the audacity of going up to Bucks Fizz and sayin’, “Try and smuggle us in.”
“Can you try and break aviation law for us?”
Yeah. “Now it’s time to make your mind up, we’re going to the land of make believe.” I did that and they laughed, they went, “Brilliant. Brilliant.”
“We’ll get you through, lads. Just stay tight.” Uhm… I, I was actually o—on top of Bobby’s shoulders in a long coat.
Yeah. But Bill…
But seriously, though, I don’t understand how, what their plan was.
Like they would’ve gone, “Yeah, through.”
“It’s the Fizz, let ‘em through.”
“Don’t bother checkin’ the…”
It’s like… we couldn’t even get to Newcastle.
Was it wearing your jumpsuit backwards that sort of… gave it away?
Well, no, but see I didn’t have it on then, I was, I was just in civvies, I just had jeans and a T-shirt then.
I didn’t even have my hair gelled.
I was just, like, cazh.
I saw it, I thought it looked alright.
I mean for…
Ricky and Steve laugh
In a tight jumpsuit.
Brilliant. I had some cheekbones, yeah. That was the…
If anyone else saw it or maybe they taped it…
No, let’s, let’s leave it now.
…’cause I’d love to see it, I missed it.
Well, I’ll get you one.
If you have it, put it—I’ll tell you what, why not create a website… uhm and put that clip on there, on a constant loop and then send the address in and I’ll give it out and people can check it out for themselves?
Is that okay?
I have to lose weight now.
Oh! Now we come to the feature… we’ve, we’re carryin’ this over to 2002 ‘cause it was such a great success.
Everyone’s talking about it.
I, d’you remember I stopped my film reviews ‘cause I’m only doing films I like, and I’ve done all the films I like, that’s where other film reviewers fail.
‘Cause they review substandard films.
My average is still nine-and-a-half out of 10.
And no one’s beaten that. Not Barry Norman, not Jonathan Ross, no one’s got an average of nine-and-a-half out of 10 for the films they’ve reviewed.
So I’m keepin’ it there. I don’t wanna drop my standards. However… That Film Sounds Good. This is where I pick a classic track from a film that I might not have seen, right, but I like the song, I might go and see the film. This is uhm “Almost Famous.”
The film was “Almost Famous.” Another brilliant film.
I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen it, right, but… a song, now don’t panic, listen without prejudice, this is Elton John, but it’s when he was good, okay? When he was a bright, funky, young Brit-glam star, wonderful song, wonderful tune, wonderful lyrics, it’s “Tiny Dancer.”
Song: Elton John – Tiny Dancer
Song: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Love Burns
“Love Burns,” Black Rebel Motorcycle Club there, Steve, that’s about it.
That’s it, isn’t it?
We’ve had some laughs, haven’t we?
We’ve learned as well, we’ve been educated, as ever.
Yeah, pasties, all like that.
We’ve had baguette information.
We’ve had s—features such as That Film Sounds Good.
Exactly. Song That I Like.
Song for the Lovers. Song for the Ladies!
Song for the Ladies coming up very shortly. Rick, I was lucky enough this week to go to a exclusive press preview of Britney Spears’ forthcoming movie, “Criss-Cross.” Or “Crossroads.” “Crossroads,” I think it’s called.
Uh it’s not related to the popular TV show.
Rick, I su—I’m assuming you, you’d love me to do a little review of it now. I can’t because…
…it’s embargoed until March, I can only talk about it in March…
…otherwise the press people will go crazy.
Don’t—well, I wouldn’t want you to.
No, I imagine you want to know all about “Crossroads”…
…’cause I cannot tell you anything.
Well, don’t, no, no, I mean, just…
Well, you can ask me questions, you can pump me for information, I cannot tell you anything about it until March.
I would pump you for no reason ever.
Certainly not for information.
Karl… doesn’t matter what you ask me about Britney Spears’ “Crossroads,” I cannot tell you anything about it.
Seriously, if you want to know the plot or what I think of it, I cannot discuss it.
Okay? If the listeners want to email in questions, they can, I cannot reply.
Until March. So hang on for that. I’ve seen the film already, I’ve already seen the film myself…
…in advance of everyone else…
…I cannot tell anyone about it.
Until March. That’s the kind of exclusive…
I’ll tell you what, though, maybe I’ll review it in March.
No, you can’t.
‘Cause you haven’t seen it and I have.
If you want to ask me—ask me a question now about it.
Watch it in March.
Yeah, but if you wanted to know now you couldn’t, no, I wouldn’t be able tell you.
Right. Song for the Lovers.
Song for the Ladies this week, uhm I was lucky enough to uhm get given as a Christmas gift the Rolling Stones’ complete singles collection.
Good present, good present.
Well, it’s an absolute joy, and I’d forgotten how brilliant “Wild Horses”…
Oh, great track.
…is uh from the Stones so I thought I’d play that this week for the ladies. Let’s leave ‘em with that.
Jagger and Richards at their best.
Watts is in on it.
If I know Wattsie. I know Wyman was still there those days!
See you next time.
Song: The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses