The Revolution Will Be Televised
In which I talk about The Revolution Will Be Televised, both off my own back and with writer and performer Jolyon Rubinstein.
I consider myself to be the staunch opposite of a ‘fearless journalist’. In fact, I’m the type of person who hates approaching teachers/lecturers/colleagues outside of the school/university/work environment so I’m not quite sure I’d have the guts to nonchalantly walk alongside the Prime Minister and present him with a Bullingdon Club album for his signature (Jolyon Rubinstein) or make my way into embassies across London trying to install a glass ceiling (Heydon Prowse) which are, undoubtedly, two of my favourite comedic sketches of all time.
I would go as far as to say that ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ may be my favourite BBC Three export of all time. The writing is fabulous, the performers are fearless and the show itself brings back something sorely lacking among the barrage of television programmes on offer recently – satire. And boy does it bring it.
I once asked Jolyon how exactly they plan for the show. His answer? “When you read something rather odious we’ve probably read it too with the same revoltion and have a bank of stuff” and a rather unique selling point of the show is the fact that both Jolyon and Heydon are ready on the front line to go say something about it as the rest of us mumble about it in the office or on social media. We have a massive market of keyboard warriors in this country, but not many willing to go on the screen itself.
For those unaware, the BAFTA-award winning show – now in its second series – takes the form of a series of comedy sketches pointing out ‘greed, hypocrisy and corruption’ deep-seated into our society (no wonder they shot 111 sketches, a lot to cover) via the means of the performers creating characters and putting themselves into ridiculous situations. You’d think that it would take more than posing as Conservative MP James Twottington-Burbage to get anywhere inside a political chamber let alone within touching distance of the Prime Minister but it transpires that is all it takes to buddy up with the leader of our country. I wondered if the success of the first series would mean Jolyon would be recognised but clearly not. Although, rest assure that the security in this country has its priorities sorted out: “It’s funny though we could get the Prime Minister, we got into the Saudi Arabian embassy but the MOBO awards…different level mate. Couldn’t get in there!”. Great Britain, I rest my case.
The courage both Jolyon and Heydon carry around with them is admirable as they catapult themselves into sometimes scary-viewing situations as they set up satirically looking at the ‘greed, hypocrisy and corruption’ in the midst of our society. While the majority of us, arguably, make up the culture prepared to accept whatever we are told at face value. And it’s refreshing to see the return of a programme willing to expose the nonsense we’re fed. If you weren’t sure you had enough knowledge to chat about, say, the horrific working conditions in factories used by Primark, Nike and many others and then you sit down to see a programme presenting you with information about these issues in a much more tangible way than the news, you can understand it and make your own judgement or draw your own conclusions. The thing I enjoy the most about the show is that it doesn’t ever lose that comedic sense, you never feel like you’re watching somebody ramble away about their views instead (which is so often the case with other satirically natured shows) but it does get you thinking. I watch and cover a lot of reality television so I’m always open to the idea of a programme actually giving me food for though instead of your Joey Essex dumb-liners or sparkly shaped hissy fits for half an hour every Sunday evening.
Is being able to inform people and educate people an important part of the show for you?
“Look, it’s a funny show. We had to find a way to make people understand and buy in to the jokes. Like Fraser Davidson who does the animations is a genius. We work with him on the idea but he is a fantastic animator. We had to find a way to make this information tangible and exciting and basically at that point we knew we could really push forward with the material in the first series. We wouldn’t be able to do a sketch about say Topshop unless you understood why we were doing it.
We live in a free society so we can say what we want and it’s surprising really how few people realise that. […] We are never saying ‘think this’ or ‘think that’ we’re saying ‘here’s an issue and what do you think about it?’ And that’s what really important about it. […] But I think that’s what I’m saying is if there is a valid point there – whether you agree with it or don’t agree with it – there is definitely a valid point”
Something to look forward to this series?
“I suppose what I’m really looking forward to on a comedy level is Dale Maily goes to Notting Hill Carnival and it is good, it’s really good but you’re going to have to wait for episode six for that”
If you weren’t a comedian/sketch performer, what do you think you would have pursued a career in?
“Probably working with dolphins teaching them how to talk Russian. Oh I don’t know I mean what would I be doing? I guess I’d be trying to make people laugh in very awkward situations”
“Here’s what I think, more people voted in the X Factor final in 2005 than in the general election. I think that what happened with Russell Brand lately made me think that when I see people from Made In Chelsea tweeting about it there is a discussion starting to take place. People feel that something isn’t quite right. And even though I’m a Celebrity has got more viewers than it ever had…I think that there is a time coming where people…intelligence is going to be the new cool”
Buy The Revolution Will Be Televised Series One DVD now.
Posted on November 29, 2013, in Celebrity interviews, The Revolution Will Be Televised and tagged BBC, Heydon Prowse, Jolyon Rubinstein, London, Revolution Will Be Televised. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.