Lee & Herring Press
What's the story? Morning TV Glory!
WEEKENDS ARE RUBBISH. IN FACT, there's no point in getting out of bed on either Saturday or Sunday.
And the reason for this sorry state of affairs is patently obvious: there's no Richard and Judy.
Without the cosy, couch-bound couple's priceless daily advice on hairdressing, sexually transmitted diseases and flans, life swiftly becomes utterly meaningless.
Salvation is at hand in the form of renowned Fist Of Fun fellas Richard Herring and Stewart Lee, poised to transform the cultural vacuum of Sunday lunchtime into a sparkling orgy of live, sofa-based banter in their new jape jamboree This Morning With Richard, Not Judy.
Herring premiered an embryonic, single-presenter version of the show at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994, but this two-person format was ultimately honed at Edinburgh last year when a bleary Stewart - barely equipped to honour 10am deadlines - also staggered on to the sofa.
"It's not so much a parody of morning television," reveals Richard, "more a celebration."
"The morning show is quite a good format to do the kind of comedy that we like to do," adds Stewart, "because we can sit around and chat in a casual way. That never really came across in Fist Of Fun because it was a very contrived situation. We can also do gags with false guests. It kind of marks out your constituency as well, because a lot of the people that come and see us live are the kind of people who don't have anything better to do than watch morning TV."
A number of new faces will be making their small-screen debut on This Morning With Richard, Not Judy: The Curious Orange (Ho! Ho! - Fall Ed), an eloquent and knowledgeable citrus fruit, The Organ Gang, who are, yes, an animated gang of human organs (voiced by Playaway legend Brian Cant), and Histor, the one-eyed educational crow.
Of course, no respectable morning show would be complete without a sparkling array of celebrity guests.
"A lot of them aren't real people," Richard admits, "but we do have a Raj Persaud-type character, a woman psychologist who supposedly knows about everything. We've also got my French exchange student from when I was 15. He's 30 now but still insists on throwing bangers around and writing the names of terrible bands on his duffle bag."
As a taste of possible sofa sitters to come, one of the Studio guests chosen to appear during last year's Edinburgh run were real-life Krautrock veterans, Faust.
"They drank a bottle of whisky each in the cab on the way over," explains Stewart, a sometime music journalist. "They brought an angle grinder and a vast chunk of metal with them. Now, though, Faust are very big in their own particular world; to our audience, which are mostly mums, dads and kids, no-one really knows who they are.
They came on and said, 'Our work is not comedy, it's tragedy' and everyone started laughing.
Later I took them to the top of a nearby building to chuck loads of Simple Minds albums off.
When Jim Kerr was in Johnny And The Self-Abusers, he did the same thing with Faust albums to show his dismissal of the hippy ideal. But the joke's on Jim; if he'd kept those albums, they'd be worth thousands now. The Simple Minds albums, on the other hand, go for about 10 pence.
Interview by Ian Fortnam