Burnistoun Live And For Real
With smash hit BBC comedy show Burnistoun triumphantly returning to television screens last night for a one off “Burnistoun Big Night” Special. Iain Connell and Robert Florence will be topping off the month with their eagerly awaited live show “Live and For Real”.
GlasgowLiving were privileged to catch up with one half of award winning Burnistoun duo, Iain Connell to discuss amongst other things, future plans, forty foot faces, the curse of widden pallets and the dangers of Jolly Boy John.
Hi there Iain…
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for GlasgowLiving…
We’ll just dive right in…
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about how the idea for a live stage show came about?
I: We’d talked about it now and again for years. Then Rab ‘Death Kick’ Christie, the producer, suggested doing it at the Glasgow Comedy Festival. We went, “Aye.”
Q. Did you have any idea how popular Burnistoun Live and For Real would be? With tickets selling like the proverbial hot cakes?
I: No. Until you actually start selling tickets, you’re in the dark. People might like the show but not enough to part with good money for a ticket.
Q. What would you say the most difficult aspect of bringing the TV show to the stage has been?
I: The intensity of volume that’s in Burnistoun can’t easily be sustained over the course of a live show. But we managed it. I also can’t see through Jolly Boy John’s glasses which makes diving about on the stage highly dangerous.
Q. Will Burnistoun Live and For Real feature new characters/skits as well as old, or will the show be aimed at bringing back favourite characters and jokes?
I: It’s a mixture of new and old. There are certain sketches from the show that people are demanding to see in the flesh but familiar characters are in completely new sketches.
Q. Did you expect Burnistoun to resonate with the viewing public in such a way that it did? For instance Scott and Peter the two arguing friends, could be any pair of long term friends living in the West of Scotland. Bickering like a married couple over insignificant events and then carrying on a split second later as if nothing happened.
I: I never know what to expect. I just try to do things I find funny myself.
Q. The inspiration for some of the characters, how far removed are they from the actual people? Did they originate from people you’ve met, people from your past, family members etc.
I: We tend to dream up scenarios. The characters aren’t based on real people. Although a policeman did once tell Robert – “You get c**ts like that in the polis, by the way.”
Q. You’ve written for shows such as Chewin The Fat, you’ve quite a loyal fanbase thanks to game review shows, written with Frankie Boyle, Charlie Brooker, Mock The Week etc. What in your opinion has been the most nerve-wracking part of both your careers so far?
I: Nothing. We stride along bold as brass. Audience screenings are a nightmare actually because you just have to sit there unable to do anything about anything while your 40ft high face makes, or doesn’t make, people laugh.
Q. What’s in the pipelines? How did the Sunny fair? Can we expect any further episodes or a tv series in the future?
I: The BBC didn’t want to take the Sunny any further, so no.
Q. With Burnistoun growing from “cult” to nationwide hit, have you noticed a difference in the general publics behaviour? Any groupies/stalkers/pants in the mail type situations? Which catchphrases would you say get yelled at you more frequently than others?
I: I could never have dreamed I would get sent so many photos of widden pallets.
Q. Are there any particular sketches that you are most proud of? Or were there sketches you thought, “no way are we getting that in.” Come to think of it were there any sketches that didn’t get passed the censors?
I: Aye but complicated legal reasons mean we can’t talk about them.
Q. Did you always plan for three series’ of Burnistoun and feel that you would rather leave it on a high or did you feel that it was time for something new?
I: There was no long term plan. When we finished doing series 3 we felt like doing something else.
Q. Do you think there’s a winning formula for Scottish comedians and TV shows, it seems that there’s an endless supply of comedy pouring out from Scotland, what do you think the secret recipe is?
I: The only formula I know is to wake up in the morning and try to write something funny.
Q. Finally have you anything you’d like to say to the thousands of excited fans coming along to the Theatre Royal on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of August?
I: We plan to utterly exhaust ourselves for the sake of your entertainment.
Thanks very much for your time Iain we can’t wait for Burnistoun Live and For Real @ Theatre Royal 26/27/28 August.
Special thanks to Sarah Brake @ ComedyUnit for her help.