British Comedy Guide

Brian Pern to return for final special

Wednesday 15th February 2017, 12:26pm

  • Comedy series Brian Pern is to return to TV for a final special
  • The episode will see Brian killed in a "segway mistake" and his bandmates paying tribute
  • The episode is being filmed now, to be broadcast on BBC Four later in the year
Brian Pern. Brian Pern (Simon Day). Copyright: BBC.

Brian Pern, the comedy about an ageing rock star, is to return to BBC Four for a final special.

Created by Simon Day and Rhys Thomas, the spoof documentary series sees Day playing Brian Pern, the former front-man of ground breaking progressive rock group Thotch.

The show, which was developed as a series of short videos for the BBC Comedy website before being commissioned by BBC Four to become a TV series, launched in 2014. It has so far run for three series, with the most recent - Brian Pern: 45 Years Of Prog And Roll - airing in January 2016.

However, the character will now be killed off in a 30 minute special. The BBC says: "Following the sudden death of Brian Pern in a segway mistake, BBC Four is to broadcast this special documentary, dedicated to the musician, celebrating his life and work. The one-off special will be directed by the award-winning film-maker Rhys Thomas OBE (self-proclaimed) who will talk exclusively to Brian's friends and family as well as any random celebrities he can get hold of at such short notice."

Paul Whitehouse and Nigel Havers, who play Brian's former bandmates Pat Quid and Tony Pebblé, are to return, as is Michael Kitchen as Brian's no-nonsense manager John Farrow.

Rhys Thomas says: "I am absolutely devastated that the documentary I was making about Brian's future has now become a tribute following the terrible news. We have lost one of the greatest Brians in rock music. I am still in shock and will send him off in style in this programme."

Chris Sussman, Head of Comedy at BBC Studios, adds: "I was very sorry to hear of the sad passing of Brian Pern - but I'm pleased we're able to honour his memory with a star-studded BBC Four special, just as he would have wanted."

Cassian Harrison from BBC Four comments: "Brian Pern has been one of the biggest rock stars to feature on BBC Four - and BBC Four is famous the world over for its outstanding rock star biopics. This one for Brian will be up there with the best of them. God rest his soul."

Comedy commissioner Shane Allen concludes: "This programme marks the tragic end of a once great musical pioneer. We will never forget you Barry Pern."

Brian Pern has proved to be one of BBC Four's most popular formats. In December, Radio Times included the show in its run down of the 40 best TV series of 2016.

Heavily influenced by the career of and featuring a recurring cameo from original Genesis front-man Peter Gabriel, the three series to date, plus the original web episodes and other extras, are available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray.

Rhys Thomas tweet

Web special

Below is a short extra internet-based episode released in 2015 to tie in with the BBC's Psychedelic Music Season.

Brian Pern - The Complete Series 1-3

Brian Pern - The Complete Series 1-3

Trio of rock-mocumentaries following ageing rock star Brian Pern, former front-man of the legendary 1970s progressive rock group Thotch.

The three series - The Life Of Rock, A Life In Rock and 45 Years Of Prog And Roll - follow Brian developing as an artist through the ages. Brian claims to have invented world music, come up with the idea of Live Aid and to be the first musician to use Plasticine in videos.

An affectionate parody of Peter Gabriel, Brian Pern features a whole host of recognisable faces from rock and pop.

The complete series includes the nine episodes from all three series including a whole host of extra footage.

First released: Monday 4th April 2016

  • Distributor: Dazzler
  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 2
  • Catalogue: DAZD0252

Search for this product on eBay

  • Distributor: Dazzler
  • Region: B
  • Discs: 2
  • Catalogue: DAZB0252

Search for this product on eBay

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The BBC confirmed the show would be a one-off final special on the 17th January and this story was updated to include the plot details.

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