Tag Archives: Comedy

1982 ➤ “Who?!” Peter Capaldi’s first interview (probably) as a green young stand-up

Peter Capaldi, 1980s, interview,audio, Spandau Ballet, Doctor Who, stand-up, comedy,

Capaldi learning the ropes as a comic: Live onstage supporting Spandau Ballet in 1982. (Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s)

Peter Capaldi, interview,audio, Doctor Who, TV, scifi, BBC,

Capaldi and his new Tardis: the 12th Doctor Who. (Photo © BBC/Guy Levy)

◼ “KIDS THREW ORANGES AND COINS at me in Brighton. It’s the first time I’ve tapped into that iceberg of sympathy.” Such was the welcome the 23-year-old Scot, Peter Capaldi, received on his first serious outing as a stand-up comedian supporting Spandau Ballet’s first national concert tour in 1982. I’d been bowled over by his high-octane act a week earlier in Manchester and now the tour was winding up in Bournemouth where I’d come for its Easter weekend finale. His energetic performance suggested an interview was going to be fun, and I’d snapped some onstage pictures that spookily presage an aspect of Capaldi that was to win a Bafta award later in his career.

So here we were in 1982 in the Royal Exeter hotel talking about his lucky break earlier on the same tour – being spotted supporting Spandau’s Glasgow gig by film producer Bill Forsyth who also recognised talent writ large. One result was me resting my notebook on a thumping fat filmscript titled Local Hero, and the other was Capaldi admitting: “I’m terrified of starting this film – standing in front of a camera.”

Oh the irony. Tonight Peter Capaldi, now 56, stepped into the best role in British television to play the 12th Doctor Who – a rendering as fierce and dotty as any who went before. Today too I finally found my long-lost notes from the first interview he’d given as an unknown comic, plus the cassette tape of our very relaxed conversation about his days at Glasgow School of Art, singing with a local band, and his yen to try comedy, inspired by 1981’s nationwide tour by Rik Mayall and the Comic Strip team, who a year later leapt onto British television screens on Channel 4’s opening night.

Local Hero, 1983, Peter Capaldi, Burt Lancaster , Peter Riegert, movies, Bill Forsyth

Local Hero, 1983: Peter Capaldi with Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert, a gentle Scottish comedy directed by Bill Forsyth

For Capaldi’s debut in autumn 1981, he had invented a dim character called Fraser Meaky after thinking “I can’t go onstage as myself!” but then Gary Kemp’s circle of Spandau friends, who did not want another band supporting their tour, asked him to be a comedy warm-up before the main event. Fraser was shed in favour of a much more frenetic onstage Capaldi wearing a distressed old showbiz tuxedo, the humour retuned to lampooning the ego maniacs in politics and pop.

Recently, he had been compering a Monday live band night at a Glasgow club. “I like fast clean idea jokes, like Steve Martin,” he said. “The trouble with Glasgow is that it’s a small audience and every time you play you face the same crowd so you have to invent new material. After three weeks I couldn’t think of any more jokes, so it fell through.” How he solved this dilemma was revealed as we spoke. More of the interview will follow soon, meanwhile listen to our chat.


➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: How Clare Grogan’s pop entourage put Capaldi on the road, plus an audio track with his band The Dreamboys

➢ Catch Doctor Who series 8 on BBC iPlayer for two months

Doctor Who

Rare self-deprecation: Click pic to view Doctor gifs at thespoonmissioner

➢ Sept update: The new Doctor joins Denzel Washington and Gemma Arterton on BBC1’s Graham Norton Show, 26 Sept – Peter Capaldi’s debut alongside Jenna Coleman was the most watched Doctor Who opening episode in four years, with 9.2million UK viewers.

➢ Update 2020: Peter Capaldi has been voted third in a TV viewer’s poll of favourite Doctor Who actors … David Tennant topped the poll organised by the programme guide, Radio Times, with the current Doctor Jodie Whittaker (the first female to play the Time Lord) in second place. Since its launch in 1963, 13 actors have played the intergalactic traveller.


➤ Fassbender is the new man inside Big Frank’s papier-mâché head

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender ,Domhnall Gleeson,Frank Sidebottom,movies, Film4,Lenny Abrahamson

Filming Frank: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson in the New Mexico desert. (Picture: Artificial Eye)

❚ WITH TIMPERLEY COMEDY LEGEND, Frank Sidebottom, cremated barely 18 months ago, a biopic titled simply Frank started shooting this week in New Mexico. Making his feature debut as a screenwriter is Jon Ronson, former member of Frank’s Oh Blimey Big Band in the 80s and investigator into
The Men Who Stare At Goats. The comedy about a young wannabe musician is a fictionalised account of the life of Lancastrian cult comic Chris Sievey, who was revealed finally in death as the creator of Frank Sidebottom, a character recognised across the North by his outsize papier-mâché head.

Ronson is co-writing the script with the Oscar-nominated Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), while Film4, the BFI, the Irish Film Board are signing the cheques. The Irish director Lenny Abrahamson has marshalled an exceptional cast led by Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy …

➢ Read more news of Frank-the-movie online at Heyuguys

➢ RIP Big Frank and Little Frank – Comprehensive coverage of Frank Sidebottom’s 2010 funeral and tributes at Shapersofthe80s

➢ I was the keyboard player with the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band – Jon Ronson in The Guardian, 2006


➤ Nathan Barley walks again in Vice’s video serial Dalston Superstars

Dalston Superstars, Vicedotcom, Nathan Barley, video, hipsters,Sam
➢ Click the pic to run the video of Dalston Superstars at Vice.com

❚ IN EPISODE 2 OF DALSTON SUPERSTARS, Vice online’s no-holds-barred East London reality series, Sam, Anna, Maeve, Vee and Stefan try to heal the wounds after last week’s nightclub bust up. Maybe a night out will help? Unlikely, with Dalston’s numero uno sex vixen, Holly Wood, back on the scene. She’s got eyes for Sam — bad luck, Anna!

Dalston Superstars, Vicedotcom, Nathan Barley, video, hipsters✰ Maeve learns from Stefan what a Yoko is.

✰ Sam scores a job as a cool-spotter — “I’m not here to make friends.”

✰ “Holly Wood thinks she is Courtney Love circa 94 but she’s actually more like Courtney Love circa 2010.”

✰ “When you come back from LA it’s sort of like you come back from a sauna”

✰ “Tell me what happened with Jared Leto” — “We were tweeting together so that’s like having a thing.”

✰ Anna stages a tantrum and wins the accolade “badass”.

[No scriptwriter gets an onscreen credit but all words and images above are
© 2011 Vice Media Inc]

➢ Catch up with Dalston Superstars, Episode One — “cool parties, cool people” and a fingerboard skate park

Dalston Superstars, Vicedotcom, Nathan Barley, video, hipsters,Stefan, Maeve

Dalston Superstars: Stefan and Maeve networking f2f in hipster London

❏ Subcultural decryption: Dalston is the area of east London that UK hipsters regard as, like, paradise. Unless they live a mile away in Shoreditch, then Shoreditch.

❏ Subcultural analogy: Nathan Barley was a UK television series featuring hipster role models for Dalston Superstars, like, six years ago


❏ “I hope this is a joke because as a joke it’s funny.”

❏ “Hipsters mocking hipsters is like Dawn French mocking fats. Doesn’t work.”

❏ “It’s like, funny thinking it’s not funny, because it’s like funny to like, not realise that it’s funny, but then also it’s not funny but it’s funny to pretend it’s not funny like it is funny, even though it isn’t.”

❏ “Stupid people think it’s Cool. Smart people think it’s a joke: also Cool.”

❏ “ ‘Realness’ is particularly hard to put your finger on.”

❏ “Fashankers ridiculing Fashankers… like double irony… or something.”

❏ “They all need a good wash and for someone to tell them they’re not unique, they’re clones of each other in different colour thriftwear.”

❏ “Sam has perfected the ‘confused gormless stare’. Robert Pattinson will be so pissed.”

❏ “This is not real, blatantly — why do people post serious comments on this?”

❏ “This is the funniest and the saddest thing ever. Funny because it’s hyperbole but sad because it’s only slightly exaggerated.”

❏ “Are these real humans?”

❏ Either that or it’s hashtag fail.


➤ Tut-tut, Your Maj, that Aussie tram ride was a missed music video opportunity

Bedroom Philosopher, Awkwardstra,  Songs From The 86 Tram,Northcote (So Hungover), The Queen,

The Bedroom Philosopher’s new band: all aboard the 86 tram to hear their record deal announced by cell-phone

➢ CLICK ON THE PIC to run the music video Northcote, by the Bedroom Philosopher, shot on board the 86 tram

❚ MELBOURNE’S DEEPLY GEEKY Bedroom Philosopher, noted for his ode to absurdity, I’m So Post Modern, famously rode the No 86 tram last year in the video (above) for his cross-over hit single Northcote (So Hungover). Why? Melbourne boasts the world’s largest tramway system (249 km) and within that, Route 86 is not only the busiest but universally regarded as THE hippest in the universe. Because it connects RMIT University campus to Waterfront City, it carries All Human Life.

The Bedroom Philosopher has graduated from broadcasting with JJJ’s Morning Show to the crucial role blogging as one of Australia’s spokesmen for confused youth. His third studio album, Songs From The 86 Tram, recorded with his dynamic backing band The Awkwardstra, was nominated for an ARIA award. The album drew on the multi-award winning show of the same name (Directors Choice, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2009), which showcased the BP’s “astonishing range as an impersonator of suburban characters with depth and empathy, all backed with lively, genre-hopping soundtracks – think Chris Lilley meets Beck” (his own words).

Bedroom Philosopher, Songs From The 86 Tram,Royal visit

Facebook earlier today

The video for its single Northcote is directed by Craig Melville (Chaser, John Safran) and featuring cameos by rock royalty Tim Rogers, Kram and Angie Hart. It has won more awards than we have time to count.

And yet the Lord Mayor still put Her Majesty QE2 on the wrong tram during her 16th state visit to Australia this week. The video below, specially commissioned by Shapersofthe80s, seeks to redress this diplomatic howler.



➢ View also the BP’s sub-Bowie Tram Inspector — live on the 86 tram

➢ View spycam video of a spontaneous Melbourne Tram Dance aboard the 86

➢ The BP sings I’m So Post Modern (live)


➤ Digital beaver grills the stars of The Inbetweeners Movie

The Inbetweeners Movie,Blake Harrison ,James Buckley, Joe Thomas, Simon Bird, Digital Spy, video

On video: clockwise, Blake Harrison, James Buckley, Joe Thomas and Simon Bird with his hand up the beaver. (Video grab from Digital Spy)

❚ THE BEST INTERVIEW YET with The Inbetweeners plugging their film from the TV series went online today. Cue the movies editor at Digital Spy

For the past few months, Digital Spy HQ has been home to a stuffed hand puppet. A beaver, to be precise (something to do with a Mel Gibson movie). With The Inbetweeners Movie hitting cinemas this week and with stars Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Blake Harrison in interview mode, we thought we’d utilise our new furry friend on camera. Filling the animal with some bizarre questions, we got Simon, Joe, James and Blake to pluck the queries from the beaver…

➢ View video of The Inbetweeners answering the
beaver’s questions at Digital Spy

➢ View more videos on location with The Inbetweeners in Malia

➢ Update: The Inbetweeners Movie will be released on DVD Dec 12

Inbetweeners Movie, premiere, London, films,

Our lads at their premiere: three out of every four Inbetweeners wear a tie, shock! (PA)

Inbetweeners Movie, premiere, London, films,

Eagerly anticipated at the premiere: Will’s Mum (Belinda Stewart-Wilson – Wenn photo) and Neil’s Sister (seemingly a no-show by cricketing WAG Kacey Barnfield)