The Trev and Simon Summer Special (with notes)

May 14, 2010

The marvellous Joff Thompson has very kindly uploaded the Trev and Simon Summer Special on to YouTube. This has been hidden away for 15 years. And most likely only ever shown once on TV. That shows you just how special it is. Oh, and it was shown in the summer. The summer of 1995 if I remember correctly. I haven’t seen it since we made it. I watched it, and I surprised myself by laughing out loud once. I think, 15 years on, I can watch it and fool myself  I am watching someone else. Someone a bit like me working with someone  a bit like Trev.

It was  a bit of a troubled production. We had such grand ideas for it, but the BBC kept very tight control over us. We were even told, by a friend on the production team, that the BBC had another script they planned to shoot; one full of alternative (but not necessarily alternative) jokes and sketches. We fought to get our stuff made. If we hadn’t been so full of ourselves I’m sure we could have benefitted from a like-minded script editor.

Well, here it is, and, if not ideal, I can see glimpses of the troubled minds that, at the time, were intent on overthrowing early Saturday evening viewing as we knew it.

In typical disclaimer style, all the comments that follow are mine. Do not hold Trev responsible for any libel that may follow.

Here’s Part One, featuring Private frank Porritt, The World of the Strange, Lottery gamble, the Inbred Idiots, and letitia Dean wearing a costume that made her cry.

Yes, it’s true, and we’re not proud of it; forcing Letitia Dean to wear an aubergine costume made her cry. To this day I am sorry. We had no skills and no tact when it came to telling someone they had to dress up as an aubergine. She did it though, and she looks very fetching. And she does a fine job with the Inbred Idiots, our attempt to inject a little Evil Dead/Deliverance into early Saturday evening viewing.

I like the aquarium. At the time I didn’t. We wanted a real aquarium with real fish, but the budget was tight. Now I think it has a kitschy charm. All things were inevitably compromised through budget. You only get a sneaky peak at some of our more outrageous demands in the opening sequence. We wanted a volcano, a mermaid, an Elvis. And somewhere on some cutting room floor are all the extra bits we filmed with them.

We got our sniper. Even now I’m surprised that sneaked by in a Little and Large slot.

The World of the Strange was filmed in its usual style; in front of a live audience and with no editing, just us running around the camera and ducking and diving in and out of fridges. I’ve always like our Two Ronnies nod at the end.

My favourite bits are at the desk, just messing about, being stupid with a Lottery pen, smashing things up, calling the Lottery pen Guineapig instead of Guinevere. I think we were always at our happiest when we could break things.

The I won a mini line reminds me of one of the cut jokes. This was in another of our Trev and Simon at home scenes, our attempt to pay tribute (nick?) the Morecambe and Wise style. Trev receives a Readers’ Digest type letter. He excitedly reads out  Congratulations! You have won a car before unfolding the letter to see it carry on to say digan. I love that joke. In that same (cut) sketch we had another special guest; the late great Keith Floyd. And in that sketch I painstakingly made an Airfix kit of a large plane. I can’t remember much other than at the end of the sketch it got smashed to pieces.

Part two really highlights my gift for accents. I’d say it’s a spot one one for French chef Geoff, with a G… string. And then there’s Terry in Vicar Watch with his local dialect. I’m just not sure where it’s local to.

I like Cook That! it fits nicely into our style of destroy. I could never understand though why we were not allowed to set fire to a real CD Walkman. You may have been fooled, or can you tell it’s a painted block of wood? But we have fire, a collapsing ceiling, and, in PVC, an out of control turntable/potter’s wheel. Thank you Graham Brown for providing auch great destruction. Graham was a great bloke to work with. We managed to get him up to Scotland after he had done loads of work with us for Going Live! and Live and Kicking. If you wanted something destroying Graham was the man for the job. Of course, there was always the issue of BBC Health and Safety. Thankfully Graham couldn’t have cared less for such rules and regulations. Once, working with him on a L&K New Year special filmed on Burgh Island, he set fire to all of the island. Well done sir!

Encyclomedia. If I remember rightly, this developed out of a thing we did on Live and Kicking called Looniversity Challenge; an interactive game played with kids at home over the phone. Kids in the studio had planets stuck on top of their heads and they were known as The Looniverse. Or did Encyclomedia come first? I can’t remember. I do remember having huge discussions over whether we could use the word loony or not. in the end we were allowed to. This led to other loony themed sketches such as Every Loony Wins. Our (weak) defence was that loony didn’t just have to refer to being insane, it could also mean foolish or ridiculous.

And then D:Ream. You may be able to spot Brian Cox, the whizzkid TV scientist, and, a few years back, Hannibal Lecktor in Manhunter.

Jones the chemists was the last in our line of oddbod shop owners. We started with Ken and Eddie Kennedy, the barbers, then Don and Dougie Draper, the dry cleaners, then… Roberts Records… oops, can’t remember their names. Tom Jones and Jim Jones the chemists and their barrage of bottom related euphemisms. Sorry folks.

We had a plan to put all these shops and people together in a TV show we would call Street of Shops. If anyone wants to make it now, please contact us. We would also include the father and son characters who ran Cobblers to the Stars, a chiropodist/made to measure shoemaker combo who bred pigs in the back yard to make into shoes for the likes of Robert De Niro. My picture on the about page of this blog is me playing the father shoemaker, holding one of his future pairs.

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4 Responses to “The Trev and Simon Summer Special (with notes)”

  1. Samantha said

    I watched that live at the time! I look forward to watching it again!! Thanks!

  2. Kate said

    Tee Hee that was funny

  3. Mark said

    Brilliant stuff – more laughs per minute than anything on telly these days (only IT Crowd comes close!) and infinately more inventive too.

  4. Benny said

    Loved it – funniest thing I’ve seen in ages. Any more available?

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