Transcript

The following transcript was taken from:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/communicate/archive/richard_wilson/page1.shtml

The online event took place 20th November 2000 just after the final episode of One Foot in the Grave.

Richard Wilson Image.

Question from Ian: Although Victor has finally departed, would you consider playing him again in another Xmas special, it could be set before he died, or you could do a Bobby Ewing!?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Ian. At the moment, no I wouldn't consider playing him again because he'd be so much younger! I don't think I could do it. At the moment, I'm quite glad he's gone.

Question from Ben Tompkinson: Are you fed up with playing Victor Meldrew?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Ben. No, we were very careful that we never did more than six episodes at a time. When we did this last series that's just finished, we hadn't done anything for two and a half years so we kept the number we did down to try and keep it fresh so it was always enjoyable. A lot of people have been doing the show since we began so it's very much a family - not just the actors, but the production team also.

Question from Carl Caputo: How do you feel about the way Victor was killed off?

Richard Wilson: Hi Carl. I think the way he was killed off, David Renwick, the writer, was very careful, insomuch as it was very moving, and David is very good at mixing comedy and tragedy. But having killed him, it was brilliant that he could go out on a laugh, so all the bits in the final collage that he described earlier immediately got a laugh. I think it was clever, but I think all of David Renwick's writing on the series has been clever.

Question from Robert Brown: End of an era! Sad to him to go! What is next for Richard?

Richard Wilson: Hi Robert. I'm directing a play at the Royal Court Theatre in London. It's called 'I Just Stopped by to See the Man', and it opens at the end of the month. I've also recorded two episodes of a new sitcom for ITV called 'High Stakes', and I go back and record the other four early in the new year. That will be shown later on next year, and it's about merchant banking.

Question from Remko Sprik: Will you keep in touch with the cast members?

Richard Wilson: Yes. Hi Remko. Owen Brenman, he's here at the moment, and I'm seeing Annette Crosbie - we're going to the theatre at the beginning of the year. I also see Angus quite regularly to see Manchester United at Old Trafford. So yes, I hope I'll be keeping in touch.

Question from Ben Moulds: Hello, I just saw the episode, what was your favourite part?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Ben. I don't know... I suppose it was the reunion, particularly the cabaret at the end, which Owen likes as well. I thought that was very funny. And I thought the final collage was very good.Richard Wilson Image.

Question from Gabby: I really enjoyed the series, thanks for all the laughs, but who makes you laugh on TV?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Gabby. Well, 'League of Gentlemen' I find very funny. 'The Fast Show'. And this new series called 'Human Remains' I find very clever. Those are the three programmes that spring to mind.

Question from Jamie W: Did you ever want to write for your own character Victor, or direct an episode?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Jamie. I have directed TV before, but I couldn't direct an episode that I was in. It would be too complicated. Multi-camera television is quite complex and our director, Chris Gernon, she's very expert at it. And I couldn't write one because David Renwick is too good!

Question from Sarah Jane: What other comedy role do you remember fondly? I loved you in 'Only When I Laugh'?

Richard Wilson: Sarah Jane, hi. Yes, I was just talking about 'Only When I Laugh' today. That was a very popular series, and I enjoyed it very much. The only problem was that Mr Thorpe was a doctor in a series which was about patients, so I felt that I wanted to get more screentime, not because I wanted more screentime, but because I used to get bored hanging around in rehearsal!

Question from Jim Sangster: I heard that you nearly starred in a spin-off series from 'Tutti Frutti' - is that true and would you have done it?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Jim. There was often talk about a spin-off from 'Tutti Frutti', but it never happened. I thought the script for 'Tutti Frutti' was brilliant. I might have done it - it was a very, very happy time. I guess I would have done it if there had been one.

Question from Si Edwards: What would Victor have thought about this Internet chat stuff?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Si! I don't think Victor was very computer-friendly. He wouldn't have understood it at all, and if he'd been asked to get involved in one, he'd probably have told them to p*** off!

Question from Matt Dyer: Well done on a brilliant series, but what in your opinion was your favourite moment?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Matt. That's a difficult one...I think maybe my favourite episode was 'The Beast in the Cage', on the motorway. It was another piece of brilliant writing by David Renwick. I don't know if I have any favourite moments.

Richard Wilson Image.Question from Cool Gav: Would you like to do more work with Angus Deaton?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Gav. Yes, it would be really cool to do some work with Angus Deaton. Apart from appearing on 'One Foot...' with him, I have guested on 'Have I Got News For You?' several times, and we are both Manchester United supporters.

Question from Craig Martin: What was it like working with Annette Crosbie?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Craig. I think the good thing about working with Annette was that we are both actors, so we approached the comedy from an acting point of view rather than a sort of comedian point of view. Although she hadn't done any sitcoms before 'One Foot...' , we very quickly had a rapport with each other.

Question from Sharon Crocombe: Do you think you will play anymore grumpy old men, or do you think that you will be typecast?

Richard Wilson: Sharon, no, I think I've had enough of grumpy old men for the time being! One does get offered quite a lot of grumpy parts, but I'll try and do some less grumpy ones in the future.

Mark Broughton: Richard - Did you have any input for the ending of a great show?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Mark. No, I had no influence. I think I suggested certain changes in the collage, but David Renwick always writes a very tight script.

Question from James Goss: Are you looking to do more work as a theatre director?

Richard Wilson: Hi, James. Yes, I've been a theatre director since 1968, and I enjoy directing new writings, and I will continue to do so. I'm an associate director at the Royal Court Theatre in London, and most of my recent productions have been there. Recently I did 'Mr Kolpert', 'Four', and 'Toast'.

Question from Ad Dean: Would you like to appear in another of David Renwick's creations, 'Jonathon Creek'?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Ad. David did write something for me in 'Jonathan Creek', but I was doing something else at the time so I didn't manage to do it. But if he wrote something else for me I'd certainly consider it.

Question from Peter G: Will there be any more 'Duck Patrol', or more work for ITV?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Pete. No, no more Duck Patrol! But yes, I am doing something for ITV at the moment about merchant banking called 'High Stakes', which will be out some time next year.Richard Wilson Image.

Question from Graham Parker: Which Christmas special of 'One Foot in the Grave' is your favourite?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Graham. I think it was the one that Owen Brenman was in, where his mother was taken off by an alien.

Question from Craig Sargent: You said Owen Brenman is there with you, can I ask him what it has been like working with Richard?

Owen Brenman: He was very nice to work with. That sounds corny, but it's true! I think because I was in the first episode, I wasn't in awe of him. I think if I had come in halfway through the series it would have been scarier. Richard's a very good team player.

Question from David: Owen how do feel about the show finishing, are you upset?

Owen Brenman: Yes, I am upset. I don't think I was as ready as Richard for it to finish. It's been a good earner for me! Well, I suppose it's been an earner! I wouldn't have minded there being a gap, and then coming back to it, but I think Richard and David are right to do this. But I think it would have been nice from a selfish point of view to have had it going on in the background!

Question from John West: What are you plans for Hogmany and what do you think Victor would do?

Richard Wilson: Strangely enough, I was asked to do a voice-over for John West this week, but I assume that was the fish people! I would be probably having my new year party this year, but I haven't finally decided. I suspect Victor would have a glass of sherry at midnight and go to bed with Margaret wearing green rubber knickers!

Question from Heidi Gillatt: Would you like to play Doctor Who? My dad thinks you'd be great at it, and can you convince the BBC!?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Heidi. No, I wouldn't want to play Doctor Who. And if I did, I don't think I'd be able to persuade the BBC. I don't have that sort of power! I am quite a fan of science fiction. I think the graphics in a lot of things like the magazine Heavy Metal are magnificent, and I buy quite a lot of science fiction novels.

Question from Lost Faith: What do you think Victor was like as a teenager?

Richard Wilson: Hi Lost, I don't know what Victor was like as a teenager. I suspect he was a little bit shy and possibly spotty.

Question from Simon McDonald: Apparently, "your" voice is due to appear in a supermarket commercial. How do you feel about people impersonating you?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Simon. This happens quite a lot, that people impersonate my voice. I don't really have any control over it. I think it just goes as part and parcel of being a cult figure!
Richard Wilson Image.
Question from Z Hafeez: Would you be interested in doing more films?

Richard Wilson: Z, hi. Yes, if the right part came along. Perhaps a Hollywood blockbuster if it was a good script! If you have any good connections, get in touch with my agent!

Question from Matthew Bell: In 20 years time, how do you think 'One Foot...' will be regarded anything like 'Fawlty Towers'?

Richard Wilson: I don't know. It's very difficult to say. I think it will be thought of as up there with 'Fawlty Towers'. I think David Renwick's writing is pretty spectacular

Question from Victoria Evans: Have you been in any similar situations to that of Victor Meldrew?

Richard Wilson: Hi, Victoria. No, I think it's safe to say that my life goes along on a much more even plane than Victor's. Although one has found ones self in quite peculiar situations. Trying to bring one to mind on the Internet, however, is virtually impossible!

Question from Kevin Heywood: Thanks for a great 10 years to Richard & Co, what you working on at the moment?

Richard Wilson: Thank you, Kevin. It's very kind of you to say so. The next thing you will see me in is in the ITV series, 'High Stakes', next year. I'm also directing a production of 'I Just Stopped by to see the Man' at the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square from November 30th.

BBC Host: Richard did you have any celebrations at the end of filming?

Richard Wilson: We had an end of show party at the last night of filmimg, and then we had another when all the cast and crew got together for a viewing of the first two episodes (of this series). At the end of show party everyone who had ever been in 'One Foot...' was invited to attend.

BBC Host: Here is Richard with a final word-

Richard Wilson: Thanks so much for joining me tonight and for all your kind words about the last episode. Look out for me on TV and thanks once again for joining us tonight. Goodbye!
 

 

 
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