tim Vine travels through time
Tim Vine on enjoying life in the past lane for his comedy pilot – and the stars who inspire him…
friday / BBC1 The puntastic comedian always makes me titter. He tells us about stepping into the past in this pilot.
It’s a silly, joyous piece of nonsense
Tim Vine Travels in Time FRIDAY / BBC1 / 10.35Pm
Not content with making us laugh in the here and now, puntastic comedian Tim Vine is jumping back to bygone ages in his new BBC1 comedy pilot
Tim Vine Travels in Time.
One minute Tim is in his antiques shop, cracking jokes to a live studio audience and the next he’s in Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood in the year 1205!
Tim, 50, rings TV Times from the Edinburgh Festival, where he’s busy entertaining fans with his stand-up show. Here, he tells us all about his new TV adventure, his comedy heroes and the one storyline that would make him go back to Not Going Out.
What was your inspiration for this show, Tim?
I like the little plays Morecambe and Wise used to do, and I’ve always loved Up Pompeii! and how Frankie Howerd did a running commentary to camera. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, so I feel very grateful that I can do the same for this show.
it has been a long time in the making, hasn’t it?
Yes, we came up with the idea 10 years ago, developed it with various production companies, but it never got off the ground. The problem with my comedy is that it doesn’t always work so well on paper; it’s very daft and needs an audience. The number of times people have got my scripts and heard themselves telling the jokes in their head – that’s a disaster.
I remember one meeting where they said we needed to build up the characters and that’s when I realised they were barking up the wrong tree. What’s this person’s motivation? To set these jokes up for me, please! Luckily, this time, everyone really got behind it as the silly, joyous piece of nonsense it is.
You also wrote the theme tune for the show, does this take you back to your days in The Flared generation, the pop-punk band you started with your [news presenter] brother Jeremy? Exactly. The thing is I don’t think of myself as a frustrated pop star, because there’s a part of me that still assumes that dream will eventually come true. I still get a lot of joy out of making up songs and creating things; nobody can stop me doing that, even if I’m not filling stadiums… or indeed small rooms.
strictly champion ore oduba plays robin Hood. Had you met him before casting?
I hadn’t, but Ore is a lovely guy and a very good sport. Essentially, I was asking him to stand in front of the cameras, be stupid and set up jokes for me, and he just went for it. There’s an element of amateur dramatics about the whole thing.
There are some delightfully silly moments – was it ever difficult to keep a straight face?
It is at times quite amusing and daft seeing someone dressed up and dancing around singing a stupid song you wrote called Golden Arrow. But, most of the time, I’m thinking about what’s coming next!
if the pilot gets picked up, will you ask Jeremy to be a guest? [Laughs] I’d actually never even considered that but it really would be very funny. Maybe we’ll give him a go for series seven.
The pilot is full of jokes.
How long did it take to write?
I’ve never actually timed it, but I was chatting to my good friend Lee Mack, who co-writes Not Going Out, and he reckoned three weeks per episode. I might need a few days more than that!
do you feel the pressure because your name is in the title and you deliver every punchline?
I thought there would be, but it’s probably the best experience I’ve had doing something on TV. I felt it flowed really nicely and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Perhaps, in a way, I felt more pressure doing Not Going Out because you can let people down, whereas, if I ruined this show, it’s only me I’ve disappointed.
Would you ever consider a return to not Going Out?
I’m extremely proud to have been part of it, I’m not planning on a return. If it’s ever on – and they do repeat it a lot – I watch it. I’ve got a lot of happy memories from my time on the show, and I think the new incarnation as a family sitcom is great. I popped up for the big wedding episode, but, otherwise, I don’t think I’ll go back unless Lee says to me, ‘There’s a funeral, you’d better come!’, and
I can’t see that happening!
comedy / 10.35pm / BBC1
a season of BBC comedy pilots kicks off with this daft and endearing vehicle for popular comic Tim Vine. We start in ‘Tim’s Antiques Shop’, before our host and guest Ore Oduba go back in time to 1205. They land in Sherwood Forest, where Ore turns into Robin Hood and Tim catches the eye of Maid Marian!
It’s not for everyone, but this family-friendly uncynical one-off is bound to make a lot of viewers smile.hhhh
Clocking on: Tim Vine
Comedy and news: Tim and Jeremy
Three in a bed:
Not Going Out Just like that!
on Tommy Cooper In the Hood: Ore Oduba as Robin of Sherwood
Tim plays it for laughs with guest star Ore Oduba