Vic Reeves Big Night Out Series 1 Show 1
First aired on Channel 4 on 25 May 1990, Vic Reeves' very first introduction by the inimitable Patrick Allen ran something like, 'Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Britain's top light entertainer and singer...Vic Reeves!' Vic then proceeded to 'cover' the Monkees cover of Neil Diamond's I'm A Believer. He was 'assisted' onto the stage by one Isambard Kingdom Brunel aka Bob Mortimer all dressed up in some tip top Victorian gent's get up. The large stuffed / cuddly Alsatian dog carried by IKB / Bob was the topping on that particular cake for me.
We then proceeded to meet Les and learn about his love for spirit levels and his phobia of chives. Then we met The Man with the Stick - again Bob, this time hidden by his trademark white paper helmet, the back of which depicted Spandau Ballet laughing at an orphan who had fallen of his bike. Comedy doesn't get much more surreal than this.
And it went on... the next part of the show was our first ever visit to Novelty Island where we had four acts, starting with Graham Lister (Bob again in ridiculous frizzy black wig, overcoat and rolled up trouser legs, not to mention ill fitting Michael-Douglas-in-Falling-Down spectacles). His first 'very poor' act consisted of him pushing a lump of lard through holes made in the eyes and nostrils on picture of Mickey Rourke.
Then we saw Hugh Bond the Heretic - an unknown performer, probably Bob with a dummy head on a pole who was disqualified for not entering the Novelty Island enclosure. (Edit on Hugh Bond - it was actually Charlie Higson, not Bob. How do I know? Well, on 3 December 2010, Mr Higson reported that he had received £100 from Equity for the tiny cameo.)
Next up was Judith Grant, played by Emma Cafferty, with her friend Dusty the Caterpillar who sighed when Vic introduced his mic into his box. Finally, Mr Wobbly-Hand - again Bob with a rubber hand which he waved around as he lurched across the stage. Mr Paul Whitehouse unmistakable, despite his West Country accent, played the part of Jean Paul Gautier in deciding that Mr Wobbly-Hand was this week's winner.
After Novelty Island (and an ad break in there somewhere) we were introduced to the Stotts, two brothers with high pitched north-eastern accents, played by Vic (Davey) and Bob (Donald).
These two were followed on stage by Judge Lionel Nutmeg - played by Bob, apparently with Lister's wig turned inside out on his head. Probably best remembered (by me at least) for the song sung by the audience with help from Vic and Bob, 'Spin, spin, spin the wheel of justice, see how fast the bastard turns', and other notable catchphrases.
So there you have it. British television was never quite going to be the same again now this pair had arrived.
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