Lee & Herring Press
Interview with Rich & Stew - RUSS & JONO SHOW - 16th October 1996Rich and Stew were guests on Virgin Radio's Breakfast Show on Wednesday 16th October 1996 just before the start of their autumn tour.
JONO - So, you've got a tour.
STEW - Ah, yes. Starts on Monday, forty-two dates and we're coming near you, wherever you are, definitely.
RUSS - Where you starting? Norwich?
STEW - Starting in Norwich. Norwich on Monday for two days.
RICH - We're big in Norwich. We're doing two nights in Norwich.
RUSS - And you two met when you were at college, didn't you?
RICH - Yeah, ten years ago.
RUSS - And you didn't like each other much, apparently.
RICH - We did. We were all right. Who told you that? It's now we don't like each other.
STEW - We're having our ten year anniversary about the fifth of December, I think it is, since we met. Its weird, because about two years ago we did the first TV series, people used to say, you know journalists would say, "You've had overnight success, what's it like?" It was eight years of stuff stacked up before.
RUSS - Does it become a bit of a slog when doing like a forty day tour, be honest now. Do you get fed up with it after a couple of weeks?
RICH - You kinda do, but then you start to remember that, basically, you just working for two hours a day and being driven around by everyone. It's good fun really.
STEW - People sort of complain about it, but you get up in the morning and a man's got a van that he drives you around in and takes you to the place you supposed to go and you've just got to do this two hour show every night and you kinda know whether it's worked or not. It probably goes well and you have a good time. It's not like doing a job where you kind of get depressed and trapped in all day.
RICH - And we mess around and change it quite a lot every night so we don't repeat so much.
RUSS - I know that you guys have actually been in here before and the last time you came in here you were on Paul Coyte's and Roland Rivron's show and Roland thought you were a band.
STEW - Something like that.
JONO - He said, "Do you need somewhere to plug in your instruments and your amplifier?"
STEW - We don't expect anyone to know who we are, but when you go in for an interview you think they might have read a bit about you.
RUSS - Have you got a video out for Christmas? I mean plug away!
RICH - We've still got our old one in the shops from last year.
STEW - Probably be less this year than it was last year.
RICH - In the bargain bins, 99p.
JONO - I want to talk in a moment about how Richard is always termed the fat one, I don't quite understand that. You both very svelte, very well rounded, but healthy looking guys. You not fat! you both very popular with the young ladies.
RICH - Are we? I don't know. I'd like to think so.
RUSS - You mean you never have any come to your dressing room, boys? After the show, just for a little innocent drink.
RICH - No, we sorta put signposts up, but they don't manage to find it. Our fans can't read.
STEW - When I look at PJ and Duncan, I wish I had been famous when I was seventeen and in a position to appreciate it.
JONO - I think PJ and Duncan are all right, but the ones I really like are Ant and Dec.
RICH - Yeah, they're better.
STEW - They're the real PJ and Duncan.
JONO - What do you think of Vanessa Feltz?
RICH - I think she's the best thing on the Big Breakfast.
STEW - That's the kindest thing you can say about her.
RUSS - Russ and Jono here on Virgin. The Connells, 74/75 [THE PREVIOUS RECORD]. Lee and Herring are with us and you like that record don't you?
STEW - I like that record. I got their first album, six track on Deeming came out in 1984.
RICH - There you are.
JONO - What kind of music do you like? Do you listen to stuff when you are back stage in the old dressing room, mellowing out getting ready to entertain the masses.
STEW - Well, its quite hard on tour, because, obviously, being a double act we have very different tastes.
RICH - Very different. We're opposites.
STEW - So its quite hard to decide what to have on in the bus.
RICH - I like the Sex Pistols and nothing else.
STEW - And I like everything else except the Sex Pistols.
RUSS - So you've been together ten years on the 5th of December. Sooner or later you're not going to be together anymore. I hate to bring a downer on the whole thing.
STEW - What have you heard?
RUSS - I haven't heard anything. Everything's going great for you at the moment, but which one of you is going to do a Rob Newman and become clever and obscure and then the other one pretends to be posh?
STEW - Me. I'm going to become clever and obscure. I don't know, if we were going to fall out we'd have done it already. We'd have fallen out and split up when we were like writing for radio and doing radio comedy and working sixteen hours a day and not getting enough to live on and that was when it was really tough. But now if we have an argument now, you just sorta think it doesn't really matter.
RICH - We do lots of stuff separately as well, so that keeps us sane.
RUSS - You've both had sell out shows at Edinburgh, haven't you? It's important to do stuff on your own.
RICH - We'd go a bit mad, if we had, say, to get up at six o'clock each morning.
RUSS - This is the test of a good double act don't you think?
STEW - It doesn't matter, you know, because if one of you did fall ill or even die.
RICH - Sadly.
STEW - Then the other one could do one of the shows where you have like a picture. Like I could be on with a picture of Rich.
RICH - With a sad face.
STEW - "Do you remember the sketch we did then?"
RUSS - The acid test for a double act and how close you are away from work is how many times you call each other a day.
RICH - None.
RUSS - It's a good double act.
JONO - No doubt about that.
RUSS - Lee and Herring are with us, you are going to stay with us, boys?
RICH - Uhhh, yes.
JONO - Very good of them.
RUSS - Well, we are paying you.
STEW - I've got nowhere else to go at this time in the morning.
JONO - Neither have we, that's why we're here.
JONO - Boys, you're off on this tour. Norwich you start on Monday, forty-two dates, and we said to you off the air, have you got a ticket hotline and you don't have one.
RICH - No. Ring your local theatre and ask if its on and then buy a ticket.
STEW - If you're not clever enough to work how to get there from the local press we don't want you.
JONO - Is it just you two?
STEW - What, in the whole building?
RICH - We've got Kevin Eldon.
STEW - The actor, Kevin Eldon.
RICH - Who is the false Rod Hull and Simon Quinlank. He IS the false, he really does that, goes around pretending to be Rod Hull.
STEW - Yeah, we've got him.
RUSS - Does he? That's sad.
RICH - He's insane.
JONO - I thought it was great on Fist of Fun, that you ended up having the REAL Rod Hull. You've had the REAL TV's Annabel Giles, you've had all sort of cameos. Any cameos coming up in the latest series of Fist of Fun series.
STEW - Well, we're doing a new series of something next year, but we don't know what it is yet or who we'll be able to persuade to be on it.
RICH - I'd quite like the Spice Girls to come on. I've got this kinda of sketch where I fancy them all.
STEW - Or is that a dream?
RICH - Oh, it could be.
JONO - Could that be a rider in your contract for the tour? Because all showbiz comedy people. I mean you have your contracts and certain things in your dressing room, like the Spice Girls.
RICH - That would be quite good. We usually just get some sandwiches which aren't very nice.
JONO - Do you have a few drinks before you go on stage or before you do your wacky comedy monologues or do you have trouble remembering the lines.
RICH - Ocassionaly we do. Stew drinks on stage, usually. He drinks wine on stage, coz he's sort of changed since he's been on telly.
STEW - I've changed. It's quite hard, though, getting the balance between the extra confidence alcohol gives you and the incoherence that it can bring about an hour in.
JONO - It is a false confidence isn't it.
STEW - You think, hey this is going well, and it's just you.
JONO - Actually, I once had a very unfortunate experience after taking a diet tablet, because I was on one of my diets and it was before the days when I was smart enough to know that drugs are very bad for you and I had a diet tablet, nothing to eat all day and about four glasses of wine. Then I had to get up and give a speech. I don't remember the speech, but I understand I fell off the stage beautifully.
STEW - Yeah, those diet tablets, they seem to have done the opposite.
JONO - Good luck with Fist of Fun and the unnamed TV project that some broadcaster will be doing, next year.
RICH - The BBC, hopefully, if they've got any sense.
JONO - And most of all good luck with the tour.
STEW - Thanks very much, come and see us listeners.
RUSS - Ladies and Gentlemen, Lee and Herring! Get out of here.