Lee & Herring Press
Interview with Rich & Stew - Lee & Herring on Nicky Campbell's Radio Show - 20th December 1996Several days after their appearance on Mark Radcliffe's show Rich and Stew were back on Radio One.
This time it was on Nicky Campbell's afternoon show.
NICKY - Richard Herring, Stewart Lee, nice to see you.
STEW - Hello.
NICKY - You don't live together anymore. Is this the start of the big fallout?
STEW - No, we haven't lived together for about five or six years.
NICKY - Slow process then, the big fallout?
STEW - Well, actually, you say that, Nicky Campbell with your face, but, the fact is, that this week is actually the tenth anniversary of us meeting. We've been working together for ten years now and we've decided to celebrate that by having a huge show at the Shepherd's Bush Empire on the 18th of December. So please come and join in our celebration.
RICH - You turned that round very quickly to the plug.
NICKY - Christmas is coming. Are you, Stewart, going to be doing any of your 'Hypocrisy of Christ' routine?
STEW - What I'm going to be doing for Christmas is set up a little crib, like they have in churches, by the toilet in the bathroom. It's going to be exactly the same as the crib you'd have in the church with, like, wise men and stuff. But in the actual manger where there'd normally be a Jesus, I have a shrivelled old potato which has gone rotten, with 'I do not exist' written on it in biro. That's how I celebrate Christmas. That's my concession to decorations.
RICH - I'm going to test the hypocrisy of Christians by sending a heavily pregnant woman around to their house and seeing if she can stay the night.
NICKY - You've got to believe in something. Do you not get a spiritual yearning inside?
STEW - Well, like Abba, I see the wonder of that fairy tale, but I don't think it really happened. I think a baby may have been born at some time in the past. Perhaps in the Israel area, but I don't think it had super-powers.
NICKY - That's all we have time for on 'Heart of the Matter.'
NICKY - Richard Herring and Stewart Lee are in for their annual Christmas speech.
STEW - It's nice to see you again. This is looked forward to by the nation as much as the Queen's speech, I think. ie. not at all.
NICKY - You've started again, haven't you. You've had a go at the Christian religion and now you're having a go at the Royal Family.
RICH - Yeah, leave the Queen out of it.
STEW - All right, sorry.
NICKY - I was looking through your cuttings and some of this stuff, the same phrases come up again and again and it is the boring old stuff about two young comedians ergo, must be like Skinner and Baddiel. Really, really lazy stuff. But you've got a much kind of...well one of the other phrases is 'a teenage fanbase'. Are you the Boyzone of comedy?
STEW - No, I went to see Boyzone on Monday. We're not the Boyzone of comedy, we're more the like the Take That of comedy, because we've got a level of wit and imagination.
RICH - And they get more people seeing them, Boyzone.
STEW - Boyzone play to as many people in a night as we do on an entire tour. So, no, we're not the Boyzone of comedy.
RICH - We get all ages as well. There are quite a lot of teenagers, which is fine, because they are teenagers of wit and intelligence.
NICKY - What sort of humour do you dislike then?
STEW - Oh God, I dunno. That's a very negative question, isn't it? But here we go. We don't like, sort of, topical, lame type of satire. That's it really. There's loads of stuff we do like. We really like Harry Hill at the moment, and Simon Munnery, who does Alan Parker, and Reeves and Mortimer and Father Ted and Caroline Ahern, whose party we went to. We went to the Mrs Merton aftershow party on Wednesday and I seem to have got food poisoning. So, thanks for that, Granada TV.
NICKY - You were both at Oxford University?
STEW - Oh, yeah.
NICKY - So, initially intimidating that atmosphere is. Breeding ground for the leading lights of comedy and the KGB.
RICH - It was weird. I can remember being very...ten years since my first term and I can remember thinking God. Because I had just come from a comprehensive in Somerset and it was really frightening.
STEW - It was just frightening for Richard to go outside of the Somerset area, because they had cars in Oxford and trains and lights.
NICKY - Was it intimidating? Was there people in tweed jackets and stripy shirts talking in loud voices?
RICH - It's not like people think it is at all, you know. I think it's about fifty/fifty public school and state school. I was at a fairly state school college and all the people I met were people like Stewart who is not that posh, really. He's from Solihull which is the poshest part of Birmingham.
NICKY - And he's got cheekbones to die for.
STEW - Not anymore.
RICH - You don't think it's worth dying for his cheekbones?
STEW - Not in their current state.
NICKY - Name me a cause greater to die for than his cheekbones.
STEW - Yeah, Richard Herring's cheekbones.
RICH - Trying to get them to be seen again.
NICKY - My producer has just written down 'Gina Morris'. What's this all about?
STEW - I'm getting married.
RICH - WHAT!?!
STEW - Didn't you know? Yeah, Nicks, I didn't particularly want to announce it on Radio One though. This is the official announcement.
NICKY - She's a journalist.
STEW - Yeah, for Smash Hits.
NICKY - Is she the one who said you had cheekbones to die for?
STEW - No. In fact she might have reviewed us once and given us quite a bad review, if my memory serves me correctly.
RICH - She was playing hard to get. "Lee and Herring are rubbish, I wouldn't marry one of them at all."
NICKY - That's what happened with The Beatles, you see. Yoko and Linda move in and you split up.
RICH - They've started doing a new act together, Gina and Stew, which is just sort of sounds. It's experimental comedy.
STEW - It's very good actually.
RICH - I don't think it's very good.
NICKY - I also saw when I was reading your stuff, that you'd never sell out and do an advert.
STEW - That depends. We were thinking the other day, we might advertise eggs. You know, because people always need eggs, don't they? We've written these characters for the radio that...
RICH - Like eggs.
STEW - We were just thinking that would be really funny to advertise eggs.
RICH - We'd do it for free if we could do that.
NICKY - The quote was great. You say if you did an advert it would be like Shadow taking drugs, you know, from the Gladiators.
RICH - (laughs) I don't remember saying that.
NICKY - One of you was quoted and I misread it. I thought it said like The Shadows taking drugs.
STEW - Apparently, Hank is a great guitarist, it's just that he doesn't really challenge himself on record. But, the adverts thing. I just think that if you're a comedian, people pay you to hear your opinions. Admittedly, our opinions are just stupid. But at least they are our opinions, rather than our opinions that we have been paid to say by corporations. The thing about eggs is, we do really like them. So if anyone from the egg marketing board is listening, we'd be quite happy to do something for eggs.
RICH - When I see comedians I used to really like, who are all really successful, doing adverts and you know they are being paid half a million pounds to advertise a thing. I just sort of think it you feel a bit disappointed, because you looked up to them as a kid. Then they're doing something just for the money.
NICKY - Thank you very much for coming in. 18th of December, if you're in the London area, you can see the boys. Lee and Herring, Fist of Fun.
RICH - Please come. Bring us some Christmas presents.
NICKY - There's a note of desperation in this plug, you know. Very unbecoming.
STEW - It's a big space.