Press clippings

The Kemps: All Gold review

Latest satirical outing by rockumentarist Rhys Thomas.

Adam Sweeting, The Arts Desk, 30th December 2023

The Kemps: All Gold review

A hilarious satire of rock'n'roll at its most ridiculous.

Ed Power, i Newspaper, 30th December 2023

The Kemps: All Gold review

Spandau Ballet turn Spinal Tap in the funniest TV show of the season.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 29th December 2023

'The Kemps: All Gold' cast revealed

Music documentary spoof The Kemps: All Gold, a follow-up to the 2020 special The Kemps: All True, is coming to BBC Two this December. Guest stars include Christopher Eccleston, Adil Ray, Tamzin Outhwaite and Status Quo guitarist Francis Rossi.

British Comedy Guide, 16th November 2023

The Kemps: All True, BBC Two review

pandau Ballet-boys show willing but spoof rock-doc misses the point.

Adam Sweeting, The Arts Desk, 6th July 2020

Preview - Brian Pern: A Tribute

One of the lesser known deaths in recent months was that of the Thotch frontman and Simon Day lookalike Brian Pern.

Ian Wolf, On The Box, 29th March 2017

Simon Day reveals the fate of Brian Pern

Simon Day's BBC4 superstar was the subject of a spoof obituary - but it seems there could be life in the old rocker yet...

Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 29th March 2017

Brian Pern to return

The comedy character Brian Pern looks set to return to television. Creators Rhys Thomas and Simon Day have revealed the news on social media.

British Comedy Guide, 15th February 2017

The third series Brian Pern from Fast Show alumni, Rhys Thomas and Simon Day's, fly on the wall comedy about that stalwart of British cultural life, the ageing rocker.

This particular triptych focuses on Pern's (Day) 45 year anniversary as a musician but really it just continues where the last 2 series left off, Thomas as the brazenly manipulative doc' maker following the childlike but self-centred rock star as he meanders through his life and career, making bad decision after bad decision.

Brian Pern is a member of that species of comedies, where much like Steve Coogan's Saxondale, there is not much laughter at the characters japes and misadventures, there is however a shit tonne of smiling. It's nice, easy to watch and well made, but not brilliant.

The best moments come from the supporting cast, particularly Lucy Montgomery as Pern's eccentric South American girlfriend, Pepita. The absolute stand out is Michael Kitchen who bristles with boredom as the Prog stars long-time manager, John Farrow and is a genuinely brilliant comic creation.

Indeed, I think if you took Kitchen away from the show, it would fall very, very flat, which is really the fault of the scripts. They plod along nicely but a lot of it seems like filler between gags on a sketch show and much of the comedy comes from the star qualities of its guest appearances (big shout out to Peter motherfucking Bowles!) and the choices they make more than the actual comic writing.

Rhys Thomas, who wrote and directed the series has been in the comedy game for 20 years now, and is in the unique position of being part of The Fast Show gang while also being a relatively young writer with much time to develop. The fact that he is survived for so long in the cut throat world of comedy, demonstrates to this reviewer that he probably will and I expect him to be around for a very long time, like some sort of Barry Cryer 2.0, a remnant of the good old days, who comes to prominence once his more talented peers have passed away. Sorry Rhys, that's harsh.

Alastair Newport, On The Box, 29th January 2016

Radio Times review

The latest (very good) series of the Simon Day/Rhys Thomas spoof rockumentary series comes to an end with a reunion gig for Thotch, organised with typical skill (and dishonesty) by Michael Kitchen's slippery manager John Farrow. The only way he can get Day's Pern and the rest of the guys back together is by pretending that Paul Whitehouse's Pat Quid has dementia.

On the way we meet reclusive former bandmate Bennett St John (a brilliant Simon Callow), sample Quid's fishing show and get an insight into Pern's deepest yearning: his desire for Dad's approval. Will Pern Sr (Peter Bowles) attend the gig? And will Peter Gabriel show up again like he did last in the last finale?

Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 19th January 2016

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