1995

Talk shows/awards

I appeared on Pebble Mill to talk to Ross King about Comic Relief, gave a gong at the Scottish BAFTAs, gave the Costume Design award at the BAFTAs, and popped into Scottish Television to talk about Goldeneye.

Here also are two hilarious vids of Forbes Masson and I as Steve and Sebastian from The High Life, taking over This Morning.


1992

Lee Jeans commercial

I was a Lee Jeans boy!! My friend Paul Weiland directed this.

He had previously directed me in the BBC film Bernard and the Genie, and shortly after he came to see me in a play in London, La Bete. We walked to our cars and he was driving a swanky BMW and I was in my beaten up Citroen 2CV. I think he felt sorry for this starving artist and so put me in several of his commercials over the next few years. Bless him!


1991

Victor and Barry - In The scud

Victor and Barry's swan song was entitled In The Scud, which is a Scottish phrase meaning naked.  And so Victor and Barry were bearing their souls and selves one last time for their fans.  Forbes and I worked really hard on the script for this show with our friend Ashtar Alkhirsan, and in one of the previews at the Tron theatre in Glasgow Ashtar actually appeared as Victor, wearing Jimmy Somerville's motorbike helmet which we had borrowed from him! Don't ask! Suffice to say that the reason she was impersonating Victor was that Forbes was getting ready to re-enter as one of Victor and Barry's female friends.  The scene was cut when we did the show the next night in Cumbernauld, and Jimmy's helmet was returned.

We went on to perform In The Scud at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh during the Fringe festival and then took it to the Kings Theatre in Glasgow before taking it to the Perrier Pick of the Fringe season later in the year where we performed a short run of a version of the show at the Purcell Rooms on the South Bank in London.

 



Scottish Power commercials

Forbes Masson and I did a whole series of commercials as various characters from history for Scottish Power.  This was the first one.

I remember finding it galling that the budget for these commercials was many times larger than the budget for Prague, which I was about to shoot next.

But I did get paid more money than I ever had in my life.


1990

Victor and Barry - Clean Ripe Gentlemen

Victor and Barry returned to the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh for a few shows during the 1990 Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Forbes and I hadn't been working together very much for a while so it was a bit of a reunion.  We called the show Clean Ripe Gentlemen.



Come Away In With Victor and Barry

Victor and Barry had dabbled in radio several times, most notably in their series for BBC Radio Scotland, Scones and tea with V and B

Now, here they were doing a live show from the Paris Studios in London with special guests Bonnie Langford and Barbara Windsor. The whole conceit of the show was that Bonnie and Babs were former members of Victor and Barry's Kelvinside Young People's Amateur Dramatic Art Society, and Victor and Barry had taught them everything they knew.

The show was broadcast on Radio 2 and produced by Sioned Wiliam.

 


1989

Victor and Barry Australian Tour

At the end of 1988, Forbes Masson and I flew to Sydney, Australia to start rehearsals and in early January 1989 we opened at the Playhouse of the Sydney Opera House in See Victor and Barry and Faint, a version of the show we had performed the previous year at the Edinburgh Festival, on tour in Scotland and at the Donmar Warehouse in London as part fo the Perrier Pick of the Fringe season.

After a month in Sydney we toured to Adelaide, Alice Springs, Cairns and Rockhampton.  

I remember that the hole in the ozone layer had recently been discovered above Australia and there was a huge PR campaign going on to encourage people to protect themselves from the sun. We were both incredibly pale and people would literally scream 'skin cancer' at us in the street, and ask us what factor we were using.

Here we are in a short clip from a hilarious TV show in Adelaide called A Touch of Elegance and from the Rockhampton local news show.


1988

Hear Victor and Barry and faint!

It had to happen.  I flew up to Glasgow to hold a press conference with Forbes to announce the release of Hear Victor and Barry and Faint, the latest installment of their plan to rule the world.

You can hear the full album on theseYoutube clips.



Victor and Barry Take The High Road

At the 1988 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Victor and Barry's sell-out show Victor and Barry Say Goodbye was chosen to be part of the Perrier Pick of the Fringe Season at the Donmar Warehouse in London's Covent Garden.

 This was Victor and Barry's first sojourn south of the border (though they would be soon appearing south of the equator when they toured Australia) and it caused quite a storm amongst the Scottish media. It's hard to describe now, but in the eighties it was still a big deal to 'make it' in London if you lived in Scotland.  And as Victor and Barry had become really succesful in a relatively short time there was much anticipation about their London debut and how they would be received (indeed even if the would be understood.)

So when Scottish TV asked to film us and our preparations for the Donmar debut we decided it would be fun to make it a sort of mockumentary in Victor and Barry's rather surreal style.  Our friend Hazel Eadie, who had been in our panto the previous year at the Tron Theatre, made an appearance as a mysterious beauty, and our au pair was played by the actual room-mate we inherited when we rented a half-renovated flat in Stoke Newington from a set designer I had been working with. It is a bizarre little show culminating in some footage from the actual first perfomance. Look out for actor Richard Griffiths who was in the audience for some reason!



Poll tax demonstration

I took part in a demonstration against the Poll tax, which was about to be introduced into Scotland the following year.  Aside from it being a horribly unfair tax (the poorest people were taxed more because they tended to be living with more people in one home, and the richer taxed less as this tax was per person and did not take into account how many or how valuable homes were) we were also furious that Scotland was being used as a guniea pig to try it out before it was introduced into the rest of the UK in 1990. There were eventually street riots in London and many believe the failure of the poll tax was the death knell of Margaret Thatcher's premiership.

I also joined a thing called the Scottish 100, a list of 100 prominent Scottish artists, politicians, clergy and all sorts who just refused to pay the poll tax.  I eventually paid the equivalent once it had been abolished.