Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Martin Clunes: How we made Men Behaving Badly (THE GUARDIAN)

From farting in a birthing pool to rolling down a giant penis, Martin Clunes and producer Beryl Vertue remember the laddish sitcom that defined an era
Interviews by Kate Abbott
The Guardian, Monday 18 March 2013 14.30 EDT

Martin Clunes, actor

Men Behaving Badly didn't start with a script coming through the door. It got going simply because Harry Enfield signed up to star in it. His original vision was for it not to be like a usual sitcom. Then we made the pilot and it shocked him. It was bad. It didn't faze me since I was nobody from nowhere, but you could see Harry wanted out. He was under contract, though, so had to do one series. I've not watched the pilot since. Actually, no one has. It's never been aired. It was everything Harry railed against: coarse, with the director saying you've got to be chalk and cheese – abrasive like The Likely Lads. But what worked about Men Behaving Badly was that Gary and Tony were so different, yet glued to each other when ridiculous things happened.

Only after Harry bailed did the show get popular. I knew Neil Morrissey because we'd done a rubbish spaghetti western in Italy, so I put him forward as Harry's replacement. Beryl Vertue was an empowering producer: she let us have real input, let the monkeys run the zoo. And Simon Nye, the writer, was up for anything. We just showed off for each other. It was the best job – not a threatening-edgy show, but still cheeky and on the edge. I have a great memory of sitting in a birthing pool with Neil, farting. I don't care if our characters were heroes or fools. People were fond of them. They still are.

read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2013/mar/18/how-we-made-men-behaving-badly

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