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 Mask
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