Gold to broadcast second Fast Show special

Monday 10th August 2020, 9:30am by Jay Richardson

The Fast Show: Just A Load Of Blooming Catchphrases. Copyright: Crook Productions

Gold has ordered a second Fast Show reunion special before the first has even aired, British Comedy Guide can reveal.

The belated 25th anniversary retrospective, Just A Load Of Blooming Catchphrases, will be broadcast on Saturday 29th August, followed by More Blooming Catchphrases the following evening, in which Charlie Higson revisits his personal archive of scripts and memorabilia from the show.

British Comedy Guide understands that Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Arabella Weir, John Thomson, Simon Day and Mark Williams shot so much footage for the original two-hour retrospective, in which they are interviewed, but also speak in character as the likes of Swiss Toni, Dave Angel, Jesse and Rowley Birkin QC, that there was enough material to produce the second, 30-minute show.

More Blooming Catchphrases promises to take "a deeper dive into the archives and unearth a mixture of hidden gems and the stories behind classic sketches".

The programmes will see Higson return to the University of East Anglia, where he met Whitehouse, and trawl through the archive of his career held there, sharing "old scripts [and] forgotten characters" from The Fast Show and "just how the team put the shows together".

Among the less remembered sketches revisited are Louis Balfour's Silent Jazz, office joker Colin Hunt meeting his match in a man called Keith Uckyourself and the mysterious Owl Man, terrorising a rambling hiker.

Both reunion shows have been made by archive clip specialists Crook Productions, whose credits include the recent rundown of Britain's Greatest Comedy Character on Gold and the forthcoming We Love... retrospectives for Channel 5. The latter will cover classic BBC sitcoms Gavin & Stacey, Dad's Army, Are You Being Served? and Only Fools And Horses.

The Fast Show ran from 1994 to 1997, with a special in 2000, beginning on BBC Two before moving to BBC One.

It was revived by beer company Foster's for an online series in 2011, but without Williams. That series was later broadcast as two 30-minute compendium episodes to mark BBC Two's 50th birthday in 2014.

Announcing Just A Load Of Blooming Catchphrases in March, UKTV's head of comedy Iain Coyle said: "The Fast Show is one of those shows, it's a defining moment in comedy history. No sketch show has come close to having its impact, in my TV life, and no show has come anywhere near to creating as many unforgettable characters."

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