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Friday
Apr182014

WTF

BBC 2 is in the middle of a 50 year retrospective of it's greatest hits.

Lists have appeared and I always hate lists.

So far one of their greatest hits stands out rather awkwardly for being totally ignored. 

It was on BBC 2 for 10 years from 1988 to 1998.

It was an Emmy award winning show that sold more DVDs than any show in the history of BBC 2 and also had the biggest audience ratings for any comedy on BBC 2. 

It was never nominated for a comedy award by the BBC, I’m not talking about winning, it wasn’t even nominated.

It was ignored by the BBC until we won an Emmy and that made it a bit embarrassing so we were put up for the ‘people’s choice award’ which we won.

In the old TV centre in Shepherds Bush the walls of one of those long corridors was festooned with pictures of every successful comedy show the BBC has ever made. Hundreds of them.

There wasn’t a picture of the Red Dwarf cast anywhere.

 

I've written about this issue in more depth in my Red Dwarf Kryten autobiography The Man in the Rubber Mas

It is complicated I’m sure, I mean they commissioned eight series for goodness sake but there was always a feeling that the Beeb were a bit uncomfortable with the success of Red Dwarf.

We never felt at home there, we didn’t make the series within the BBC, it was made by Grant Naylor, an independent production company and we recorded the shows at Shepperton Studios, oh yes, and no one connected with the show went to Oxbridge.

On the night Rob Grant and I accepted the Emmy award in New York we were actually invited to the BBC award party at a very swanky hotel on Central Park.

That was a surprise; it felt like we were never invited to anything.

So Rob and I got a cab up to the posh hotel and when we arrived an incredibly haughty English woman said to me ‘Oh, are you one of ours?’ and her face looked like she’d just sniffed dog droppings.

I want to point out that Rob and I had scrubbed up as best we could, in the full tux, we weren’t wearing urine soaked rags with our knobs hanging out.

‘Are you one of ours?’

It’s not often I manage a well-honed response to an insult, but that night I am proud to say I managed.

‘We never have been one of yours madam, and we never will be.’

I have no idea who that vile woman was but she took great offense, which made it all the more rewarding.

Maybe she was someone important, maybe that’s why Red Dwarf is never mentioned in these stupid bloody lists.

Anyway, now we're on Dave and it's much nicer

 

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Reader Comments (16)

As an outsider I see it as "the good old boys network" you English are famous for!
Forget about it! Do you really need this dog race to feel good about your self

April 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPecospete

You know how much you are loved by all the fans, who needs the stuffy BBC ignoring you all?!
Can't understand it though as you say, they commissioned Red Dwarf for 8 series... red Dwarf is like a national treasure, I've watched since I was a teenager and most of my family and friends have too! We had the pleasure of meeting you all at one. Of the comic cons (Birmingham) and Chris + Norman at Norcon last year and you all still have such enthusiasm about the show, and excitement about what may come of it in the future, it's lovely x

April 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah (Lowestoft)

Well I can honesty say I watched Red Dwarf from the beginning and enjoyed every single episode and im thoroughly disgusted that the BBC have not mentioned RED DWARF in their BBC 2 50 Year celebration a national treasure this show and im sorry BBC but a national disgrace!!!

So glad that luckily the Dave channel picked it up and what a great series that series 10 was and to find out they are writing Red Dwarf series 11 as we speak well I cant wait.

Robert, Danny, Craig, Chris, Norman and Hattie and also Chloe I love you guys so glad to have you back in the Red again and long may it continue and at least Dave makes you feel at home hey.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarc from Martham

There were two mentions in the 'All About Two' quiz, An image of Danny and Chris and the theme tune being whistled.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

I bloody love Red Dwarf it's an all time favorite for me up there with Black Adder. I new it was a very popular show I think from watching one of those awful list shows. I think my Dad had pretty much all of them on VHS.

I have to admit that I read some of your post in your Kryten voice I would love to see you tell them they are a total bunch of gimboids in full Kryten get up. Balls to the beeb they tried to ban Doctor Who, it took them a long time to realize what a clueless idea that was, would you have them back if they asked?

I think you can see the legacy of Red Dwarf in things like Galaxy Quest, Spaced and Hyperdrive. Probably much more that I can't think of, that's worth more than any number of BBC snooty parties right?

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEzra Allen

F**k 'em mate.

You know you're loved by us.

And bring back Scrapheap Challenge.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChimpy

Meh the BBC have always been pretty elitist. They've let go of some awesome shows. Red Dwarf and Blackadder being the two on the top of my own list.

Whilst I hate how long it takes between seasons (and news), Dave's been way better, despite still being half owned by the BBC's commercial arm.

If the suites in BBC Towers had a brain cell between them, they'd take advantage of the BBC Three online move, and commission awesome shows like Red Dward. Even on a tight budget it's still been the best thing on TV. Way better than the crap the BBC spew out these days.

Chin up smeee...smeeeeeg....heeeeaaaad :P

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Yes but the thing is, about the BBC, the thing that you have to remember about the BBC, the BBC..is a prat

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan

I was with my family when a BBC2 retrospective came up, and we all agreed that the majority of what BBC2 puts out is utter dross. We likewise agreed that there were a handful of stunning exceptions, mostly comedies.

Red Dwarf was at the top of the list of successes. I can't say I ever met anyone who wasn't a fan, which is remarkable in itself. Rest assured, you are merely saying what the viewing public is thinking.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter H

Rob, I just wanted to say that Red Dwarf is "hands down" the best comedy show I have ever had the pleasure to watch. Loved the show for 24 years (introduced to it when I was 14). A few comedies rank up there as my favorites, but none have ever equaled my love Red Dwarf. Eff the BBC. The fans recognize you. My thanks to you and the rest of the crew for so many years of laughter and enjoyment.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterManetheren

I saw this and had no idea that Red Dwarf was so slighted. This show was one of my first exposures to British Television. The show and the cast have a very special place in my life. I made my own kids sit through all the episodes we could find on Netflix and they loved it as much as I did when I first saw it. It's a beautfiul piece of television history and it's funny as hell.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPete

I was so annoyed when I found out that that BBC had snubbed Red Dwarf like that. It's disgraceful. Although I shouldn't say I'm surprised. I can't remember the last time I watched anything on the BBC those stuffy, snobby, pompous gits have lost touch with the real world. They're going to cancel BBC Three now, just so there's no chance of any other interesting, innovative comedies being made at the BBC. Well at least Red Dwarf is loved by the fans, screw the BBC who needs them anyway. Like you say Dave is far nicer and probably more fun.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLea

As a long time huge fan of the show myself, I remember the Red Dwarf 10th Anniversary night, with Universe Challenge, Can't Smeg won't Smeg and the A to Z of Red Dwarf - not many shows get given whole night long retrospectives... Not saying they haven't predominantly been Footlights arseholes but there has been some concession to RD's legacy in the past to be fair.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJack

Red Dwarf is/was juvenile rubbish.

That it's juvenile is no reason to pretend it never happened - they mentioned Playschool on the BBC2 tributes, after all. Must be because it's also rubbish.

April 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHack Daniels

Mr. Llewellyn,

Doing something different never sits right with the establishment. That's why I am excited you guys have an extended Red Dwarf career on Dave.

Speaking of Red Dwarf. When I heard that series XI was going to be made I couldn't help myself. I wrote a spec script. (this is professional and not fan fiction). As one of the co-writers in the past would you do me the honor of reading my episode?

Thanks.
samclongphoto@gmail.com
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3794453/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

June 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSam

I think, Robert, that the recent revelations in the mdeia seem to indicate you had a lucky escape!

What brought me to your site incidentally, was a chat about being an expat in a foreign land (non English speaking) and the very nature of existence there. I've raised two kids in Germany as a man having to speak fluent German and I'm from Wales.

One of your best Red Dwarf shows "Backwards" would fit my entire existence out here to a tee!

Unfortunate choice of words here but.....bugger the BBC! :)

December 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Stocks

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