Still Game For Series 8 As We Enjoy a Wee Natter Wae Navid…
TWO PINTS PR**K!! Yes, it’s back. Back again for an eighth series, Still Game returns to our screens later this year! Jack, Victor, Navid and the rest of the Craiglang gang will be filming another series of the hit comedy that will be aired later this year. GlasgowLiving caught up with Navid (Sanjeev Kohli) to hear all about why Glasgow is and always will be, Still Game…
Since the live shows at the start of this year, many fans came to terms with the fact that it was the end of an era for their Craiglang cronnies but writers Ford Kiernan & Greg Hemphill have decided to carry on from the success of series seven.
After the success of the last series, I take it you and the rest of the Still Game crew couldn’t resist doing another series?
“I’ve never resisted doing another series, I was a writer on ‘Chewin the Fat’ and towards the end of one of the series a lot of people felt it was reaching the end of its shelf life but I’ve never heard one person say that about Still Game and I don’t feel that myself either, I still think there is plenty stories to tell.”
How long did you know about the new series before it was announced? Is it hard for you and the actors to keep quiet about it until all is revealed, especially working with the likes of Isa!
“Haha, yeah it’s a killer! Back when we were doing the live shows in 2014, I remember some arseholele tweeting me saying ‘you can do the live shows for the money but what about TV where your real fans are?’ and I wanted to absolutely roast this guy at this point and get it right up him as I knew it was coming back to the TV but I couldn’t say anything. We usually find out around three or four months beforehand and I was dying to tell the world as much as I’m in Still Game, I’m also a fan so, Aye, I wanted to tell people!”
So how does is feel acting live on stage compared to working on camera?
“Oh, God. When I first did the live shows I had never been on stage before, The Hydro 2014 was my first ever theatre show. Utterly shiting myself but luckily it went really really well and I got a taste for it. I think each has an advantage but I think the buzz that I got from the last show there where I had some really lovely scenes and where I got to milk the crowd a bit. In a few of the scenes, I really milked it and I loved it! One of the scenes at the end of the show where me and Isa are doing a spoof of the titanic and someone from the crowd shouted ‘get her pumped’ and it was a gift as it got a big laugh and I thought I had to respond to that as the whole arena had heard it so I said ‘alright ya dirty bastard give us a minute’ so there is that element of comedy that you don’t get with TV”.
One of the things a lot of Still Game fans ask is will we ever get to see Navid’s wife Meena’s face?
“Oh I think it’s safe to say if you ever did get to see Meena’s face then that would be game over. It has just become a thing now and I just think it’s an extra layer of humour, hiding Meena’s face becomes an extra added goodness. When you watch the scenes in the shop who’s running the shop? It’s not Navid its Meena that’s pulling the strings so please don’t think Navid is in charge, Meena is definitely in charge!”
In the last series, you had a bash at running the Clansman Pub and Boaby came and had a go at taking over your shop. Can we expect similar things this series?
“Well I always like seeing things like that in comedy, everybody loves these scenarios with the characters so you can flip people about, it is a good comedy shorthand thing.
My favourite episode is when Navid has a midlife crisis and he goes to betting shops, eats a fish supper and gets drunk and all that. It is just nice when you can feel who this character is and can do something different. It is much like the live show, how would these people act on a cruise ship? It’s a fun thing to explore so more of that kind of thing definitely!!”.
So Methadone Mick was a big hit in the last series, can we expect any new characters this time round?
Genius! There was obviously a reason for Methadone Mick as sadly Jake D’arcy passed away so character ‘Pete the Jakey’ had to be removed so the boys (Ford Kiernan & Greg Hemphill) thought they could use this dynamic and really cleverly brought in a younger character and I think it’s very smart how they made him really clever but at the same time he’s still a jakey! I don’t think you can mess about with the format too much, however. People really take to the characters and I think you have to be consistent so you can’t mess with that too much. I wouldn’t imagine there will be too much tinkering.
So what can we expect for next series?
Not saying a word! The beauty is the first time we see it is when we have a table read with the rest of the actors and have a read of the scripts to see if the words work. So we are getting to see it for the first time a couple of weeks before the shoot but I’m not going to know I thing. I mean I live near Greg Hemphill and I could ask him but I’d rather just find out because in a lot of ways that’s the fun for us as actors seeing how people react and you have that feeling that you cannot wait to deliver that line! It’s nice that I don’t get any early spoilers either so I have nothing for you, literally nothing!
How close are the cast in real life and away from Criaglang?
Yeah, we always have a laugh and we get together. We’re all busy people, and i’ve got three kids so I am usually on the way to netball or coming back from netball. But, when we get together it’s just like us. Get the crowd of us in the room, especially with the live show, that kinda put the tin lid on it. No one else really knows what it’s like, to do that type of comedy together in front 11,000 people 36 times. So, there is a sort of bond that forms, but to be honest with you there’s always been that camaraderie since day one!
Have you got any advice for upcoming actors or budding comedians in Scotland?
Oh! My advice to the younger generation is use what I didn’t have when I was your age, which was the internet. As much as it’s massive and everyone is doing it, if you’ve got an idea go for it! Back then, if I had an idea I had to take it to a producer then go through three different processes before it would get made, by which point someone else would have had the idea! Now you can just get savvy with a camera or your phone or whatever, just do it to the best of your ability and put it out there. That would be my main advice!
Thanks Sanjeev! It’s been a pleasure as always, now “gee us two lucky donkeys” 😉
So there you have it, I’m sure you are all as excited as we are for the return of the new series, but until then, here’s a short clip of Navid’s best bits! Enjoy…
Navid: “Muslims don’t gamble. Nae gambling, nae drinking. What a riot. We just like to sit aboot the hoose playing Kerplunk!” #StillGameQuote
***Interview By Joshua Kane***