The minds behind the brilliance of British comedy


Some of you know, some don’t, that we are currently in production on a PBS special to air in March 2011 across the Richard CurtisRoyClarkeU.S. that will attempt to pay homage to what many of us feel is the number one reason as to why British comedy is brilliant – the writers. In the special, we’ll hear not only just from the writers, but also from those actors and actresses that have so brilliantly translated the written word to the small screen in our favorite shows. With the first set of interviews already in the can where we were able to catch up with Richard Curtis (Blackadder, Vicar of Dibley), Carla Lane (Butterflies), Jeremy Lloyd (Are You Being Served, ‘Allo ‘Allo) and Roy Clarke (Keeping Up Appearances, Open All Hours and Last of the Summer Wine), unfortunately, we ran into a bit of trouble this past week as we were set to began the second round of interviews in London.

Seems there was a little something standing in the way, in Iceland, called Eyjafjallajokull which prevented us from making the journey to the UK. Some on the production crew made it, some didn’t. Not to be denied, the fun starts daily for the next couple of weeks at 4:30am due to the time zone difference.

Bob Larbey

You may not recognize his name, but you’ll definitely recognize the incredible body of work that he has given us over the years writing both as a duo with John Esmonde and, in recent years, solo. Series like Good Neighbors (The Good Life in the UK), Mulberry and As Time Goes By will probably be most familiar to U.S. British comedy fans. A couple of other series that should be familiar to public television fans are A Fine Romance, which starred Judi Dench, and Ever Decreasing Circles, starring Richard Briers.

Obviously, we have a number of questions all lined up for today’s interview with Mr. Larbey, but if you have anything that you’d love to know re: As Time Goes By, Mulberry or Good Neighbors please let us know and we’ll do our best to incorporate them into the interview and the show. I’ll continue to update everyone over the course of the next couple of weeks as we criss-cross London in search of the brilliant minds behind some of our favorite British comedy shows that come into our homes week in and week out. Others lined up this week, Trevor Peacock and James Fleet (Vicar of Dibley) and Josephine Tewson (Keeping Up Appearances and Last of the Summer Wine) to name a few.

If you have someone – writer, actor or actress – that you’d be interested in us tracking down, please let us know.

Cheers!

  • Susan Finn

    Hi, I am a total britcom fan, all of them (#1 As Time Goes By, can Judi Dench ever do anything wrong? and #2 Good Neighbors, aka The Good Life)! So excited to have stumble upon this post. I will be looking forward to seeing your documentary in 3/11. Please put me on whatever mailing list you need to ensure that I get the notice of the actual airdate. I live near Philadelhia, PA and my PBS stations are WHYY and WNJN and WLVT. If you happen to speak with Dame Judi Dench, just tell her I absolutley LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her.
    Sioncerely,
    Susan Finn

    • Welcome, Susan: We’ll definitely take care of you and make sure you know about the special as we get closer to March 2011. Should know for sure around mid-January as to when the stations in your area will be scheduling. Will definitely pass your Dame Judi comments along. You’re definitely in good company. Stop back in anytime.

  • Jorge Rodriguez

    May you interview Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, I know the latter lives in the U.S. That duo was amazing and, nonetheless, brilliant.