XFM Vault - Season 02 Episode 07
Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant returned to XFM, the alternative London-based radio station in September 2001 after the first series of The Office had been broadcast. Due to the phenomenal success of the show, Ricky was important enough to now be given his own producer, one Karl Pilkington. Although Karl was hired to just "press the buttons", Ricky and Steve got him involved more and more with the show over the subsequent weeks and soon became fascinated with his personal life, unconventional childhood and ridiculous stories. By the end of the first season Karl had become a crucial part of the show's success.
ricky: Richard Ashcroft, “Check the Meaning” on XFM 104.9. We’re back Steve. It’s Saturday.
steve: That’s true enough.
ricky: Uh, Steve Merchant, that is.
steve: Hello there.
ricky: I’m Ricky Gervais, obviously.
steve: Hello there.
ricky: Karl’s still away. Claire Sturgis is back.
steve: That’s absolutely true.
claire: Hello. Yeah.
steve: Hello there Claire. Nice to see ya. I think a lot of people were hoping that Karl would be back this week, but--
claire: Yeah, they were. No, they were, actually. I did get some e-mails during the week.
ricky: Saying what?
claire: Just saying, “It’s really nice to, you know, hear you again on a Saturday afternoon. It’s nice. Um, but-but you’re not really very funny and when’s Karl coming back?” You know.
claire: So it’s, sort of, being nice to me--
ricky: So it wasn’t to us?
claire: No, no. It was definitely to me.
ricky: Cause they think that, as well. But no one can compete with Karl.
claire: They can’t.
ricky: We used to, sort of, like, um, come in and, uh- when we discovered Karl early on we just thought, “This is comedy gold. Just let him speak his mind.”
ricky: But then we started thinking, “Oh, we can’t follow him, though.”
ricky: Cause I remember Steve going, “Look, we’ve got to come up with some stuff--”
steve: We need, we need to chat. If anything we've got to say to each other, we’ve got to say that within the first twenty minutes and then you just unleash Karl.
ricky: Yeah. Cause it’s- it‘s just- you can’t follow him. And he’s- he goes off on one. There’s stories of, um, upbringings with bizarre creatures that lived in Manchester that were half-human, half-bat and frog.
ricky: And things.
steve: I’d love to take him back to Manchester in some kind of TV documentary. You know, “When Karl Went Home”.
steve: Then just fonder back, maybe try and find the amphibian twins or whatever those people were.
ricky: Yeah. They weren’t- they-they, yeah. There was two-two boys, both had big heads and webbed feet. They weren’t related. They di- they didn’t hang around with each other.
steve: That was all the information we had, Claire.
ricky: I went, “Why not?” He went, “That would have been too obvious.”
steve: Yeah. Yeah.
ricky: Like they look at each other across a room and go, “Yeah, you think I’m going to come over and see you just cause we’ve got, just cause we’re similar species.”
ricky: “You’re mistaken, mate!”
ricky: “You make your own friends.”
steve: One starts to walk over there. One shakes his head and just mouths, “Too obvious.”
steve: “Don’t do it. Too obvious.”
ricky: Out of one of his mouths.
steve: Yeah. “That’s what they’re expecting.”
steve: “Don’t do it.”
ricky: “Don’t do it.”
ricky: “Don’t-don’t do it, webby.”
steve: Yeah. But anyway, he’ll -he’ll be back shor-shortly, I’m sure.
ricky: He phoned me, um, uh. His dad’s, um, ill. Uh, his dad’s in hospital so Karl went back to sort of look after his mum. He was so sweet. He said, “Oh, I’ll be back. I’m just driving my mum around.” And he went, he said it so unbegrudgingly. He just went, “Um, it’s like old times.” And, uh, I said, “Oh, so sorry to hear that.” He went, “That’s alright, yeah. Um, and, uh, I think he’s going to be fine.” And-and I said, “How was your holiday?” He went, “Yeah, it were good… except there was a nudist beach. They didn’t tell me.”
steve: Of course there was.
ricky: I went, “What do you mean?” He went, “Well, oh. Sitting on- I-I don’t know why they have to do it. I don’t know why they have to do it. Why do they have to do it?” He went, “Suzanne said they think there’s nothing wrong with it like being a transvestite.” Right? Right?
ricky: I went, “I love the fact that your girlfriend has to tell you what’s wrong and right in the world.” He went, “Well, we were walking along the beach, fella coming towards us with naught about. I went, ‘Oh, what’s going on here?’”
ricky: Alright? He said, he said, uh, “And because he wasn’t all nude. He’s walking around, he’s stark naked and he wants the freedom of that, but he’s got a big rucksack on his back with his clothes on just to get changed.”
ricky: He went, “So where’s the point in that?” Right? I went, “You should have just carried a book.” He went, “What, and covered it up when he went?" He went, "Oh, yeah. Good idea.” See? He went, “But I wasn’t happy.” He says, “And that was the first day, so we didn’t go there again.”
steve: I just imagine his little face.
ricky: Yeah, he’s just going, “Oh, right.”
steve: Gob smacked.
ricky: “That’s out. That's out. What’s that doing out?”
ricky: “Why’s he got his out?”
steve: I imagine Karl, sort of, dressed in a suit.
steve: In a, sort of, Safari suit, done right up, with a cravat. “I’m not, I’m not undressing. I don’t want people seeing flesh.”
ricky: Oh, bless him.
steve: You know, “That’s for you, love, and no one else.”
ricky: But I love the fact that- I just see his girlfriend goes, “Karl, they-they don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. They’re just happier that way.” And he, in his own mind, just goes, “Like being a transvestite.”
ricky: He knows there’s nothing wrong with that.
steve: I’m always a little bit suspect about people who like walking around nude.
ricky: I thought he was going to say transvestites.
steve: No. No, nudists.
ricky: What- hold on. Can you have- can you be a naked transvestite? What are you then?
steve: Yeah. I suppose you’re a…
ricky: When Eddie Izzard is naked, is he a naked transvestite?
steve: I see an interesting metaphorical- metaphysical question.
ricky: On XFM 104.9.
steve: If you know the answer about that metaphysical question or, indeed, any of the famous ones; uh, if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, has it fallen over?
ricky: Genius! Excellent. That’s--
steve: Any of those.
ricky: That’s brilliant. What’s--
steve: If you leave the room, Rick, does it get quieter?
ricky: Yeah. What’s- yeah. What’s the sound of one leg hopping?
steve: Exactly. Uh, what we got there, Claire?
claire: Um, do you want some music or--
ricky and steve: Yeah!
steve: Yeah, love to hear it. What you got?
claire: A bit more chat?
claire: I’ve got The Vines, actually.
steve: Oh, play it, play it, play it, play it.
ricky: Hey Claire! “Out of the Way.”
ricky: Nah, I’m not talking to you. It’s the, uh, it’s the name of the, uh, the song by The Vines.
ricky: Yeah. Oh, XFM--
steve: Yeah- ooh.
ricky: XFM 104.9. I’m Ricky Gervais, with me, Steve Merchant.
steve: Hello there.
ricky: And, uh--
steve: Have you ever been to a nudist beach? Have either of you been to a nudist beach?
claire: Eh, yes.
steve: I find- have you really? I-I--
claire: No, last month I went on holiday to Antigua and then I went on the nudist beach.
claire: I wanted an all over.
steve: Cause I, um, I was with my family once when we went on holiday, a family holiday with, uh--
ricky: I just imagine you going on a- and a, uh, inspector coming along, going, “And the glasses!”
ricky: “And the glasses! And you don’t wear them there.”
steve: Oh. Um… No, I went there. It was some friends of my fam- family friends, you know, like, kids that, sort of- kids my age and my sister’s age who, uh- and parents. We were all friends, you know, da da da. Goes- go on holiday to this and end up on this nudist beach. Not-not a nudist beach, but where people sunbathe topless or whatever. Or maybe--
ricky: Oh, yeah. Of course. All-
steve: Maybe it was just, maybe it was just because it was France.
ricky: Well, yeah. Exactly.
steve: Where I think a lot of that goes on, generally.
ricky: Beaches in- yeah.
steve: Mm. Uh, semi-nude.
ricky: But that‘s- that’s different. Nudists beaches are, sort of- they’re cordoned off.
steve: Sure. Yeah, there with the cocks and everything.
ricky: We can’t say that.
steve: Can’t say cocks.
ricky: Or did you mean the chicken. You mean the chickens.
steve: The chickens.
ricky: A lot of, a lot of--
steve: A lot of ‘em have got farms. A lot of French farms.
ricky: Naked people. Hairy, male… birds around there.
steve: There is a lot of poultry.
ricky: And by “male bird”, I don’t mean transsexual.
steve: You don’t mean- no, I don’t want to- Cause that’s also--
steve: That’s also offensive.
ricky: That's also offensive, so be careful when-whenever--
steve: Please be careful. Claire! Be careful what you’re gonna say on air, because you‘ve got to be careful.
ricky: I just want to say to the Radio Authority or anyone listening, when we say “cock”, we are referring to a male bird and-and--
steve: There is no discussion there. There’s nothing- there’s no other issue. There’s no other ambiguity.
ricky: Okay, go on. What are you--
steve: So, um, there’s people walking around with their birds and-and-and, uh--
steve: Often they got their knobs out, as well. And, um, and, uh, so da, da, da, da. It was just a, just a topless beach. So we were all--
ricky: So there were tits there, as well?
steve: There was some tits.
ricky: Um, well we got, we got a family of tits that come and eat the nuts… That chew on my nuts.
steve: I think, I think--
ricky: Go on.
steve: We’re confusing, we’re confusing ourselves.
ricky: No, but we have! Jane’s got a little, um, bag of nuts--
ricky: That she makes me hang out of the window.
steve: So you’ll often be hanging your nuts out the window--
ricky: And the tits will--
steve: So the tits can--
ricky: God! I don’t know what--
ricky: Go, get on with the story!
steve: Sorry! So what I’m saying is--
ricky: Thank God!
steve: What I’m saying is--
steve: We went on holiday as a family there--
steve: There was some tits. There was some cocks and, uh--
steve: And I found it all a little bit- cause I was about fourteen or something. I found it all a little bit disturbing. I- cause I hadn’t been introduced to this sort of thing before.
steve: And, obviously, my dad was having none of it. Like, a bit like Karl and obviously my mum wasn’t up for that as I am.
steve: But the person we went with, the mother of the person we went with, she, uh, she took her top off. And I was like, I was- I- didn’t, I-I didn’t know where to look.
steve: Cause I didn’t want to make an issue of it. I didn’t want to make, you know, I didn’t want to- But it was like- cause I was with my mate. I was going, “Well, I’m not sure what to say, but there’s your mom with her knockers out, really.”
steve: “I mean.. that’s your, that’s your mum over there.”
ricky: “Hello Dave.”
ricky: “Oh, there’s your mum’s, there’s your mum ’s, there’s your mum’s knockers.”
steve: “Oh. Oh.“
ricky: Um, ah, there you go. Yeah.”
ricky: “Oh, there’s your dad, there’s your dad popped out.”
ricky: “Popped out his little, little man.”
steve: “He’s got his little fella out.”
ricky: “Um, his little fella out there.”
steve: “Your dad’s fella is there. He’s wandering about and uh--.”
ricky: “He is having a- He’s getting a tan on his little fella.”
steve: “And your mom’s got the old , the old milkers out, so, uh--”
steve: It was all a, it was all a little bit disturbing and I’ve never quite got that-that image out of my head, really. Cause it was, it was all- I didn’t know where to look. I didn’t know what to do.
ricky: My, um, my friend of mine- I won’t say who his name is, right? Um, uh, he’s about twenty-five now. When he was, I think, fourteen and fifteen, I mean, the worst age, he went to a nudist holiday with his parents.
ricky: And-and his, and his sister and some of her sister’s friends. And he absolutely hated it.
ricky: He absolutely--
steve: Well, that’s- I-I- it-it-it makes me, um, sort of queasy to think about it.
steve: Especially if you’re with your family and friends.
steve: Because it’s… I don’t mind looking at nudey ladies that I don’t know, Rick, but I don’t want to look at relatives.
steve: You know, or people I’ve grown up with, or, indeed, the likes of you. I don’t want to have to see that kind of flesh down there. I don’t want to, I don’t want to know what’s going on underneath those clothes.
ricky: Oh, dear.
steve: You know, you’ve keepin them from me. Well, you haven’t. You-you’ve show me much of it--
steve: In the time I’ve known you.
ricky: Well, sometimes--
steve: Do you know there’s not a bit of your body I haven’t seen at some point?
steve: You know, you’ll have got your trousers down, “Look at the arse!” That was, you know, thinking that was hilarious or the old, you know, the, uh, the Johnson.
ricky: Yeah, um, feeding the birds on the windowsill.
steve: Mm. Mm. Mm.
ricky: Um, but, uh, yeah. No, it is, it is strange cause there, you know, there isn’t, there isn’t anything wrong with it. Let’s face it; there’s nothing wrong with it, but, um, I know what you mean. It’s--
steve: I think it’s cause we spend so long, we spend so much of the time covering it up. You know, it’s like, it’s like in the summer months when girls start wearing, kind of, short sleeve, uh, t-shirts or short skirts. You’ll have blokes just going mental. Just, “Rawr! Urghh!!”
steve: Just cause--
steve: Women spend most of the year, because it’s so cold here, covered up, that men forget what’s under there and then when summer comes around, they can’t believe it.
ricky: You know, you know when-when blokes do actually just hang out of a car window or hang over scaffolding and say, “Get your tits out”--
ricky: I wanna go, “Has that ever worked?”
steve: Yeah, has it ever worked?
ricky: “Has- have- what’s your success rate with that with wooing women?”
steve: “Well, I was off to my big job in the city--”
steve: “But I’ve got twenty minutes. Why not? Shall I come up there or you gonna come down?”
ricky: Oh, dear.
ricky: Oh. Right, what we got? What we got coming up? What we got coming up? Quick, keep ‘em hooked.
steve: Well, you know, Rick--
ricky: Let’s have some songs and some more chat.
steve: There’ll be some chitter-chatter and, uh, there’ll be some songs. We had an e-mail last week from a fella, calling himself Paul. I don’t know if that’s his real name.
ricky: Heh! I’m suspicious.
steve: I’m already suspicious.
steve: He said that sometime ago we played a cracking Johnny Cash cover version of U2’s “One”.
steve: Remember that?
claire: Oh, yeah.
steve: I think maybe the last time you were here, Claire, maybe.
claire: Oh, class!
steve: Um, and he says, uh, he’s been trying to track down that album. He says, “Unfortunately, like an idiot, I didn’t listen to it and I didn’t catch the name of the album. Could you, by any chance, send me, uh, the album?”
ricky: He’s having a laugh.
steve: He’s having a laugh.
ricky: What, for free?
steve: Yeah. So that’s not going to happen.
ricky: So, actually, e-mail him back and say, “Paul--”
steve: Should I do it right now?
ricky: “Give us, give us eight quid.”
ricky: “For no reason.”
steve: I’ve also, I’ve also called him some quite offensive names.
ricky: Put some of that.
steve: I’ll put, uh, “From Gervais”.
ricky: Oh, dear. He’s not going to like that.
steve: Yeah, that’s pretty grim.
ricky: Nor is his mother.
ricky: You shouldn’t have brought her into it.
ricky: Johnny Cash.
steve: Oh, nice.
ricky: Johnny Cash, “Change From the Durex Machine”. Did you get it?
steve: Oh, that’s classic.
steve: Johnny Cash and his cover of, uh, U2’s “One”. Magnificent tune. Um, that’s from the album “American III: Solitary Man” that was released in 2000. And, uh, I’ve just checked that e-mail that Paul, if indeed that is his name--
steve: Sent us, Rick, and he didn’t ask for a copy of the album.
steve: He asked for the name of the album.
steve: So, um, I feel a little bit bad that I, uh, sent that e-mail back insulting him… and his mother.
steve: And also, of course, I CC’d to his mum.
steve: As well and many of her friends. So, uh--
ricky: Send another one.
steve: I feel, uh--
ricky: I think we can get around this. I’ll tell you what Paul would like, if that is his, indeed--
steve: His real name, yeah.
ricky: He’d like some adverts.
steve: He’d love some bloody adverts, Paul.
ricky: Oasis, “Little By Little” on XFM 104.9. I’m just moving the mic there. Hold on, I’m getting comfortable. There you go. Right. Sit up. I was--
steve: A lot of people do that, a lot of people do that during the song.
steve: A lot of the old pros. No, a lot of the old pros, like Foxy and Taryn and the like.
ricky: No, I like that song. That’s great, that. Oh, um, they were on, uh, “Top of The Pops” yesterday, but hey, um, they did, uh, “My Generation”.
steve: Any good?
ricky: Yeah. Very good.
ricky: I mean… you know--
steve: Was it close to the original or did they make it their own?
ricky: Yeah. No, we-we-it- bit of both. It was pretty close. They did- you know, musically it was close, but yeah. They-they had a certain--
steve: Was it Noel singing or Liam?
ricky: Uh, Liam. Very, very cool. Very cool.
steve: Mm. No, he’s an amazing--
ricky: Good swagger. Attitude back. I think back on form for Oasis.
steve: People tell me, though, that if you go to any of these big stadium gigs they do now it’s an absolute nightmare cause a lot of the fans are really grim. I mean, I’ve spoken to two people independently who’ve both been at gigs where there’s been fans weeing on other fan’s shoes. That’s not what I want from a gig.
claire: That’s not nice.
ricky: They own them, then.
steve: Well, yes, apparently.
ricky: That’s theirs, then.
claire: Oh, what; if you wee on something--
ricky: Yeah, you own it. That’s cat law. Cat law.
steve: Cause cat law- yeah. Cat law is if you wee on something, then you own it. Yeah. I know you live by cat law.
ricky: I do, yeah!
steve: Yeah, you do live- cause I’ve- my wallet, I think you own.
steve: And, um…
ricky: Several telephone boxes.
steve: Much of my hair.
ricky: Uh, what were we talking about?
steve: We were talking about nudey beaches--
steve: Cause I just- I still can’t get around my head--
ricky: I don’t know why they only play volleyball.
steve: No, they certainly do, though.
ricky: Surely there’s other games you could play.
ricky: I think French Cricket would be slightly more…
steve: All the pictures I’ve ever seen of, uh, nudist colonies always seem to be quite attractive women and some re- fairly grizzled, sort of, forty-five year old men. I don’t know if that’s generally the clientele that, you know, it just happens to work that way, but I’m quite looking forward to getting around to the forty-five age mark.
steve: Just crusin’ down--
ricky: “Happy Birthday!” “Right, I’m off.”
ricky: “Where you going without your clothes?”
steve: Yeah, yeah.
steve: And at what point- I mean, you can’t, you can’t go into a nudist colony, can you, without taking your clothes off? You can’t--
ricky: I-I don’t know if there’s a-a door policy that--
steve: No, I think there is. I’m sure I--
claire: Oh, actually- no, cause when I went on my nudist beach, there was actually a security guard.
steve: Stopping you from--
claire: No! No.
steve: Now Claire.
claire: That’s very strange.
steve: Would it be possible for a bloke who was, say, a fairly good swimmer to swim up to the beach in a wetsuit--
ricky: From France!
claire: Okay. Like--
steve: Just say, just say for the sake of it that this person, you know, had some time on his hands for a week.
claire: Yeah. Yeah.
steve: And, you know--
steve: He was- he-he’d made quite a bit of money recently and had some time.
ricky: He trained. He’d trained nine hours a day the lengths in the pool--
ricky: Thinking, “If I can, I get, if I can get-” Yeah.
ricky: To the other side of France.
claire: It could work. It could work. Yeah.
steve: So what was your nudist beach experience? This was not a, this was not a colony?
claire: No, no.
steve: Not a colony of nudists.
claire: It just was a choice that this-this place had a few beaches. One of them was a nudist beach--
steve: And could you see this nudist beach from the other regular beach?
claire: No, you couldn’t.
claire: You see, it was just ‘round the corner.
steve: What about with binoculars?
claire: Possibly. Possibly.
claire: You see, my-my-my worry is as-as, um, a healthy young man--
steve: Yes. You’re not a healthy young man, are you?
claire: No, no, no, but I’m talking about you two.
steve: Right. Sure.
claire: You’re pretty healthy young men.
claire: How-how awkward it must be for you on a nudist beach if you do happen to see a very good-looking, naked lady.
claire: What you do if you… mm.
steve: Well, that’s the reason I, that’s the reason I’ve not gone to any.
steve: Cause I have just exactly that worry.
claire: Cause it is very off-putting.
steve: Yes. Have you had- it sounds like this is confession.
claire: Exactly, yeah.
steve: Go on. What happened?
claire: That did actually happened to us.
claire: An older gentleman--
steve: Go on.
claire: An older gentleman, obviously, was enjoying his time… on the beach.
steve: Right, explain more. I didn’t quite--
claire: And then came over to chat. And you just don’t know where to look.
steve: Sorry. So hang on. So he-he approached you?
claire: Yeah, for a chat, as you do. People are friendly.
steve: Right. Without wishing to get too lewd, was he in a state of arousal?
steve: Is that the case?
claire: How far can we go down this--
steve: No, I’m not--
steve: I’m not, I’m not trying to, sort of- I don’t want to get too, kind of, you know, graphic.
steve: Or gynecological.
claire: Have you noticed--
claire: I was just going to say how-how quiet Ricky was keeping.
steve: But he came over, he came over.
ricky: Well, I’m worried about this. I’m-I’m worried about telling this story.
steve: But I think it’s an interesting- I’m interested--
steve: I think it’s an interesting point.
steve: Cause it’s- So he came over and he was just chatting away.
steve: Quite proudly.
claire: And then he got quite--
steve: Standing to attention.
ricky: Oh, God!
steve: And what was- why was this, Claire? I mean, not wishing to be disrespectful, but, you know, he’s a man. He’s-he’s been around a bit. Were you reading erotic poetry?
claire: No! I was talking about the weather.
claire: About how nice it was today.
steve: And he-he approached in pole position or did he--
ricky: Oh, God!
claire: I don’t like it anymore.
steve: Fine, okay.
claire: I don’t like it anymore!
ricky: Oh, God. Right.
steve: Fine, let’s leave it.
claire: That’s what I did. I actually ran away.
steve: You ran away? That’s terribly--
claire: I went swimming.
steve: Was he French? Was it, was it quite tricky to speak to him?
claire: No, no. He spoke perfect English.
ricky: Sorry. During the, during the break--
ricky: Claire said, “Oh, I went to a nudist beach once, right? And this man came over, an old fella, um, and, uh.” (Ricky mumbles). And she started off with the story, says, “He had the biggest knob I’ve ever seen!”
ricky: And then I laughed and then she went, “And then he, then it got bigger.”
ricky: And then I went, “You can’t tell it, then.” I was worried about that. But she left out the funny bit and just went, you just went all…
ricky: Weird. Yeah. So, uh, play Bob Dylan. Only Bob Dylan can get us out of this. Uh, this is off his, um, his last album, uh, “Love and Theft”. It is the only track I really like, I’m afraid. I didn’t get on with the rest of the album cause it was too, it was too hoe-downy and country blues and stuff, which is- it’s just not my sort of thing. But this is, this is a nice track called, “Mississippi”.
ricky: Bob Dylan, “Mississippi” um, off, uh, off the album “Love and Theft." I must admit not-not my favorite Dylan album, but, um, that’s a nice track, innit?
steve: It’s a lovely track, actually. I just noticed there you’ve brought in three CDs.
steve: Um… you bring those three in every week, don’t you?
steve: You just play from those three CDs. Or-or what; you substitute the Dylan for different Dylan albums--
steve: And the other two remain the same.
ricky: Well, no, I got- no. I got- I’m playing different, um, different Cat Stevens. I got “Tea for the Tillerman.” I’ve never brought that in before.
steve: Yes, you have.
ricky: No, I haven’t.
steve: I’ve seen ‘em before!
ricky: No. I’ve never brought in, I’ve never played anything off “Tea for the Tillerman.” I played it off, uh, “Catch Bull at Four,” “Teaser and the Firecat”, um--
steve: Do- you don’t have a, sort of, deal with Island Records--
steve: To try and keep their Cat Stevens back catalog afloat.
steve: No one’s really shifting it.
ricky: I think it might just be CDs that are in the bottom of a bag--
steve: This is what I’m thinking, yeah.
ricky: I’m so lazy that I’ve brought in--
steve: It’s just that you’ve got one carrier bag that you bring back and--
ricky: Yeah. Yeah.
steve: Well, we’ll look forwards to those later.
ricky: Yeah. Go on.
steve: No, no, no, no, no. I was just, I was just really wondering Rick and I don’t want to put you on the spot, but could I have some adverts?
ricky: Feeder, “Come Back Around” on XFM 104.9. I’m Ricky Gervais.
steve: Hello, there. Steve Merchant here.
ricky: Course you are. And, uh, and-and so is Claire Sturgess in a way.
steve: That’s true enough!
steve: That’s true enough.
steve: Um, Rick, uh- oh, I partied till it was, I partied last night, Rick, like it was 1999.
steve: Uh, all over again.
ricky: What, sort of a old-fashioned, sort of, way. Some old records.
ricky: Yeah. Yeah, okay.
steve: On my own.
steve: In my flat, crying.
ricky: Just like 1999.
steve: Yeah, just like 1999. Now, uh, went to see Prince. At the, uh--
ricky: Oh yeah.
steve: At the Hammersmith Apollo and I tell ya this, I mean, if that’s a man whose career is going down the pan, then I’m sorry.
ricky: Then I hope ours does.
steve: Then I hope our does as excitingly as that.
steve: Because he was stunning.
steve: I mean, he is- a lot of people I know have seen him in the, in the, in the ages or whatever, in his- when he used to descend from a ceiling, you know.
ricky: I know.
steve: A little red corvette and stuff, but he is breathtaking. He is like--
ricky: I-I always thought he was--
steve: He’s like what it must have been to see Elvis Presley.
ricky: Well, yeah. No, no, I--
steve: I’ve not seen anyone who’s electrifying on stage.
ricky: I mean, I-I think, like, most people had a bit too much of him and that wasn’t cause his- it was going downhill. It’s cause he churned out double albums like most people churn out singles. And you don’t know what you should--
steve: You can’t take it all in.
ricky: It was just too much.
ricky: I didn’t like the, you know, the-the, sort of, the end of the eighties phase, either, too much.
steve: Well, that whole period when he was fi-fighting with Warner Brothers and he was, he started wearing masks and--
steve: And I think everyone just thought, “I’m not interested.”
steve: You know, “You’re-you’re-you’re potty.” But he’s going to come out the other side of that and, um--
ricky: He’s come out with some great tracks, though! Great pop tunes and he’s written, you know I-I think he’s brilliant.
steve: Well, you know, I don’t bandy this word around, Rick, as you know…
ricky: Go on.
steve: But I’d like to use the word “genius.”
ricky: I thought you were going to say, “I’ll pay for that.”
steve: No, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. Genius.
ricky: Oh, well.
steve: Genius. I- cause I would say--
ricky: There’s strong words, Steve. There's strong words.
steve: It is a strong word, Rick. It is a strong word.
ricky: Can you back it up? Have you got any example of his work that we could play now on XFM to show that he is a genius?
steve: I- Well, I will in just one second, thanks for asking. But, um--
steve: Can I, can I try and justify that? Can I- cause it is a controversial phrase.
steve: To use. Um, “Prince is a genius.”
steve: And let me tell you why; on his first album, or maybe on a couple of his first albums, he played all the instruments.
ricky: Brilliant. Like Squiddly Diddly.
ricky: In-in one episode of that I saw.
steve: (unintelligible) “Excuse me!”
ricky: Diddly was playing the piano with his two tentacles--
steve: But that’s--
ricky: Then he was, like, playing drums with two tentacles in the back. He was standing on two tentacles which left the other one free for trumpet.
steve: That sounds like genius to me!
ricky: Yeah! Ohh.
steve: That’s what Mr. Prince- The only thing I would say about the concert last night; three hours, he played for three hours--
steve: Nonstop, well, almost three hours. Nonstop. Didn’t take a break. But cracking band. Only five people--
ricky: Imagine him taking a break, just reading a paper, having a coffee. Going, “What are you looking at?”
steve: And also very--
ricky: “I’ve got twenty minutes! By law.”
steve: Very witty, as well cause a lot of people imagine him being quite dry and quite sober.
steve: He was very funny, but, sadly, Prince now- well, I don’t mean to be offensive--
ricky: You couldn’t see him. He is very small. What?
steve: As far as I’m concerned, he, you know, he’s now a Jehovah Witness.
ricky: Is he?
steve: He’s now a Jehovah’s Witness so--
ricky: And he ’s going to come around tonight.
steve: Well, no, but at the end he did sort of spout on about, uh, you know, his beliefs.
steve: Uh, and I felt a bit like I’d, d'you know what I mean, like I’d, sort of, paid forty quid and I’d queued up and I’d sat for three hours to then--
ricky: You paid forty quid?
steve: To then, to then be preached at a little bit. So that was the only thing that-that put that down for me.
ricky: Well, I’ll tell you what; good job for him. He was good value cause he’d have got an earful from you if he didn’t--
steve: Oh ho ho!
ricky: Imagine if he’d not played the singles.
ricky: Or only did twenty minutes.
steve: Yeah. Well, I’d have been livid. I’d have stormed out. “I’m out of here!”
steve: Um, but, um, but I did- cause I don’t know--
ricky: So you’ve had- hang on. Interesting, Steve Merchant says Prince is a genius. This is XFM 104.9 coming up to two o’ clock.
ricky: Prince is a genius! Can we open the phone lines, please? What’s the phone, uh, number there, Claire?
claire: It’s 08700 800 1234.
ricky: Me and my mate were talking about when people say genius and they do bandy it around willy-nilly and it‘s sort of like, um, a-a comedian or something like- They go, “He’s a genius” and we think that there’s-there’s people in cancer research, sort of, laboratories and AIDs and they're going, “We lost another one to ITV!”
steve: Yeah, yeah.
ricky: “Why didn’t he go into science? He could have been the new Newton, but now he‘s getting the ratings up for Five.”
ricky: But-but Prince is a genius! Is he?
steve: [email protected] if you’d like to e-mail!
ricky: Prince; genius or little fella?
ricky: It’s up to you!
steve: But when you are a Jehovah’s Witness- I don’t know, I don't know much about the, uh, the faith. But are you, are you obliged when you sign up to, sort of, do your time going door-to-door. Because it would be- Imagine Prince turning up at your door and just, “Hi, can I come in?” “Well… Oh, I don’t know.” And it, you know, and just coming in and, “Well, I’ll sing you some of the hits, but I’d like you to buy a copy of this afterwards.” “I’m not really interested.”
ricky: Why are they--
steve: “Which ones you going to play? Which ones are you going to play? Cause I’m not a big fan of- I don’t like, uh, ‘If I was Your Girlfriend’ and anything from ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ I’m not interested in. So shoot off.”
ricky: Yeah. I quite like--
steve: Cause I thought they were going to start selling “The Watchtower” at the end.
ricky: I like that one.
ricky: With all those-th-those fat people in it.
steve: Does it make him, does it make him a genius?
ricky: Oh! Call up. 1023596429!
ricky: Prince; genius or bloke with hair?
steve: Well, this has got to be proof of his, of his genius. He played it last night and it’s just dynamite.
ricky: Here is “Strawberry Scarf.”
steve: Prince, of course, and “Raspberry Beret.” One of the tunes he played last night and, uh, breathtaking, I have to say. I can’t sing his praises enough. Although, uh, didn’t manage to get myself into the after-show party where Prince is often renowned for playing with the likes--
ricky: I just--
steve: Jamming with the likes of Rolling Stones--
ricky: What-what-what would’ve been your, uh, your approach to getting in?
steve: “Hello, there. Stephen Merchant here at XFM. Ricky Gervais show. Um, any chance I could come in--”
ricky: “To your… party?”
steve: “To your party, please?”
ricky: “Uh…I’ll be honest, um, uh, can I, can I call you Hanky?”
steve: “Well, if it’d help me get in, yeah.”
ricky: “Um, it-it won’t, but thank you anyway. I’ll be honest, Lanky, your chances are slim to to none. Four eyes.”
steve: “Okay. Alright. Um, I-I-I enjoyed the concert, if that… is any…”
steve: “I could talk about it on the radio. I could talk about it on the radio tomorrow.”
ricky: “I’m going to take away that slim.”
ricky: “It’s none, now, freak.”
ricky: “So go away, yeah?”
ricky: Was it something like that?
steve: It was not dissimilar, Rick.
steve: There was a lot more profanity last night.
steve: And, um, and punches were thrown.
ricky: Was it last night?
ricky: Oh, right.
steve: Yeah. It was breathtaking. I, um… how’s it working out for you, Rick? How’s it working out for you being a celeb? How is that working out? How is that panning out for you? Is that alright?
ricky: What do you mean?
steve: Is that working alright, Rick? Is it? Hey? All the fame and everything? How’s, how was, how was David Bowie on Tuesday? I read about that. Why-why did I have, why did I have to read about your presence at the David Bowie gig in the Evening Standard? Why’d you keep that from--
ricky: Right, okay.
steve: Why’d you keep that from me?
ricky: Right, okay. Right. I know what you’re thinking. I got an invite, it was freebies and I did get invited.
steve: Cause I’ve discussed this in the past.
steve: I said that if you get invited to David Bowie or any of the big name concerts, I’ve got to go as well. That’s the rule.
ricky: Right. Right.
steve: That’s the rule that is that we make the TV show, you’re in the show, you become famous; fine.
steve: But I need to be able to also get the benefits of that.
ricky: Well, I didn’t go. Was- did you read this in The Standard?
steve: Yes, I did.
ricky: Yeah, no. It said--
steve: Well, I- it was in the paper, Rick.
ricky: I know.
steve: It was in the paper.
ricky: It said, “Present at the concert-” It's absolutely true. I’m not bullshitting you. Absolutely true, um, “In the concert were Ricky Gervais and Jonathan Ross.” Now, we were invited, but we couldn’t go. Neither of us could go.
ricky: So, just, I just think they must have seen a copy of the guest list or someone said they were coming or something like that. Or just guessed. But I didn’t go. I couldn’t go. So there you go. It was Wednesday and I couldn’t go. If I’d have gone… you’d have been there, mate.
steve: Cause what worries me is--
steve: That you-you-you were invited or-or you requested tickets and then you didn’t go.
ricky: No, no, um, what happened was, um, Bowie’s people, um, just said, uh, “Are you coming to the concert tonight?” and I-I-I said I-I couldn’t. But--
ricky: Let me tell you something, let me tell you something--
steve: Wait a minute.
ricky: To get you off this track, right? The next night… we did go to dinner with Bowie at someone’s house.
ricky: But-but wait, right. Listen. It was a very, it was a small affair. It was just, it was, um, me and Jane, Jonathan, uh, and Jane. It was, um, David, uh--
steve: First names.
ricky: Yeah, no, no. And, uh, I think it was old friends of the family. It was a beautiful house and, um, it was just us lot and, um, Richard E. Grant and, uh, Pete Townsend and Charles Saatchi an’ that. And it was just-just, you know, I think it was--
ricky: And it was set places as well, so I couldn’t have got another… It was weird cause we got there. I mean, it said eight or eight-thirty and I got there at, like, five past eight and Jane went, “You can’t go too early.” And we went in there and we, um, the, uh, the-the-the-the... servants, um, gave us, uh, a drink and we’re just standing there and I was looking around. It was an amazing house. It was a beautiful house and there’s Damien Hirst paintings and Lucian Freud and I thought, “Oh, when the host comes in, I’m going to go, ‘You didn’t tidy up for us, did you?’” But I was actually so overwhelmed and in through the door, let himself in through the door, was Richard E. Grant. And I went, “Alright?” and he went, “Yeah, I’m Richard.” I went, “Yep. Alright?” And, uh, I went, “Just-just let yourself in?” and he went, “Yeah, I just live next door.” I went, “Oh, okay.” And then, and then David Bowie came in and he came 'round and spoke to me. He went, “I’ve just seen your video.” and, uh, and then, um- This isn’t helping, is it, cause your- this isn’t helping.
steve: Well, when you- I mean, the phrase I was just going to pick you up there on was, “I’ve just seen your video.”
steve: Um, cause what- no, I just feel that what--
steve: Just-just for a second--
steve: What-what I feel, what I feel that David should know is that it wasn’t made, sort of, solely by you.
steve: Or-or written entirely by or directed entirely by you.
ricky: No, no!
steve: It happens to feature you amongst a myriad of other actors, all of whom are brilliant and equally worthy of an invite to that, uh, particular do.
steve: But you’ll notice that-that the person that’s representing the show, what got you a place ‘round this table, you'll notice the one person invited is you.
steve: Just-just, it’s just you.
ricky: Yeah. Well, there’s a very good reason for that--
steve: And the woman, what do you know, who wasn’t involved with the show.
steve: Your girlfriend.
ricky: Well, we’re partners. You’ve got to, you know, that’s it. It’s-it’s--
steve: Well, yeah, but once again, she could have stayed at home.
ricky: And you could have gone in her place?
ricky: Well, I did actually say if ever I get invited to see Woody Allen and it’s two people, that it’d have to be you and Jane that went cause you’re both bigger fans than me.
ricky: And I-I promise that.
steve: So, um--
ricky: She went along with that.
steve: So David enjoyed the show, did he?
ricky: He did, yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah, he did, yeah.
steve: And, uh, and how did the evening pan out? Was it suitably rock ‘n roll?
ricky: Um, it was very nice. It was really nice. It was pleasant, family-
claire: What did you have to eat?
ricky: Um, I had, uh, it was, it was nibbles, sort of, coming around--
claire: Nice, yeah.
ricky: And then, um--
steve: They fed you the food, didn’t they?
steve: I bet you- I bet they fed you the food.
ricky: And then, um, we had, uh, um, oh, what was it? What was for starter? Um, oh, it was like a ravioli thing for starter. I thought, “I won’t have too much. I’ll fill up before the fish dish.” The fish was lovely. Then there was, sort of, a chestnut mousse.
steve: And what did you talk about with David Bowie?
ricky: Um, just… you know.
steve: You know--
steve: You appearing on his next album.
ricky: Yeah! Yeah.
steve: No, what, seriously, cause I’m interested to know.
ricky: He was really nice. He’s really, he’s really so nice and normal and, uh, he actually came over and said, “I’ve-I’ve just seen your video.” and it- then he went, he said, “Are you going to get the band back together?” He meant he’d seen the “Room 101”--
ricky: And that- he was basically taking the Mickey out of me.
steve: Mm. Mm.
ricky: And he was going, “Oh, I thought it was really good.” And, uh, uh--
steve: Cause you were just a, sort of, Bowie rip-off, weren’t you, essentially?
ricky: Yeah and- yeah. And, um, no, he was really, really nice and normal affair. Seriously, it was just really- I mean, I was going, “Oh my God, there’s so and so, there’s so and so.”
ricky: Um, but it was really- we really enjoyed it. It was really pleasant and, uh, everyone was, you know. And at the end, um, uh, the-the-the people whose house it was, a f-friend of his, like-like, sort of, really old friends of his, got out a photo album, just like you do, and there’s pictures of, like, David… Bowie and, uh--
steve: Dave, yeah, sure. Well, no, I mean, that’s the thing about DB is he’s--
ricky: And Iggy Pop and them cooking and David Bowie’s going, “Look at Iggy cooking!”
ricky: And he was laughing like you do a mate you haven’t seen.
ricky: It was so sweet! It was just so nice and then- I’m gonna, I’m gonna- see- play a record, Claire, cause he’s actually a little bit annoyed with me. Play a record.
steve: Then Robert DeNiro popped in.
steve: And it all got a little bit depressing.
ricky: And Woody Allen.
ricky: And he went, “Do you know anyone that likes my work more than you do?” I went, “I don’t think so.”
ricky: “I don’t think so.”
ricky: Coral, “Dreaming of You” on XFM 104.9. I’m Ricky Gervais.
steve: One of the, uh, one of the only tunes on the album I think worth listening to.
ricky: I haven’t heard it.
steve: Aw, it’s rubbish.
ricky: Is it really?
steve: But everyone is singing its praises like they’re the saviours of British rock, but it just sounds like The Inspiral Carpets and I don’t mean that as a good thing.
ricky: We were--
claire: “Skeleton Key” as well, Steve.
steve: That’s not too bad, yeah, but the rest of it.
ricky: I think it’s not, I think it’s more, sort of, like, nineteen, sort of, seventy-eight, seventy-nine, sort of those…
steve: Mmm. I don’t know what that means, Rick.
ricky: Well, I don’t think, I don’t think they ripped off the nineties--
steve: Old hat, you mean. Yeah, sure.
ricky: Like it.
steve: Let me just return, briefly, very briefly to your, uh, your, um--
ricky: Oh, God.
steve: No, I don’t mean- I’m not, I’m not going to embarrass you, but just returning very quickly to your, uh, your dinner date with, uh, David Bowie.
steve: What-what intrigued me is you said when you, um--
ricky: No, it wasn’t, it wasn’t because of “The Office.” It was through, um, the, uh, I think- oh, cause I met him with Jonathan Ross--
steve: Sure, no. Wha-what-what I thought was interested is you--
ricky: And I think it was people he’d met over in his times. I think he was going back to American.
steve: Of course, but I love the fact that you say that, uh, he came over to you and said, um, “I saw your tape last night.”
steve: Cause I just like the idea that people are sort of saying, “You’ll be having lunch tomorrow with Ricky Gervais.” “I don’t know who that is.” “Well, now here’s a tape. Watch that and you’ll be able to engage in some conversation.”
steve: “He’s a minor celebrity here in Britain. He’s, uh, had a relatively successful TV show, but we think he’s a little bit of a one-trick pony. Probably won’t be able to repeat that success, so, uh, probably won’t be eating with him in the next five years, but be polite tomorrow. He’s a big fan of yours. Used to embarrass himself in the eighties, uh, doing sort of vague pastiche of you and, um, other than that, there’s not much else to say, really. Just be polite to him and then move on.” “Okay, who else is--” You know, just, sort of--
steve: It’s very odd that he was given a tape. It's like someone, uh, you know, if you were doing a chat show you imagine Michael Parkinson would be given a tape.
ricky: I know, yeah.
steve: “Just watch this, David.”
ricky: Oh, actually, I think he’s been a fan for a long time.
steve: Oh, what!?
ricky: I think he’s followed my career from the eighties--
ricky: No, I- oh, yeah. And when you put it like that, it’s not as flattering, is it?
steve: It’s very awk--
ricky: But he’s very nice and very polite and, uh, we got on like a house on fire.
ricky: No, he’s great--
steve: Did you do your impression of him?
ricky: No! Of course I didn’t.
steve: Did you not, did you feel, like, the urge to snap into it just occasionally.
ricky: Uhh… And I didn’t, I didn’t- I was just going, “That’s David Bowie, there.”
ricky: “Oh, that’s still David Bowie. That’s David Bowie talking to me now.”
ricky: “Oh! That’s David Bowie talking to me now.”
steve: Yeah, yeah.
ricky: “Yeah, that looks like David Bowie. Yeah.” That was what was going through my head.
ricky: And we’re talking about his songs and that was bizarre.
ricky: It was, it was quite surreal and, uh, you know, and I do know a lot about his stuff cause- I mean, he really- he, I mean, he’s quite a musical hero of mine.
ricky: And that- so it was--
steve: You didn’t, you didn’t mention Tin Machine.
ricky: I didn’t mention Tin Machine, no.
steve: Cause I’d just be there just thinking, “Don’t mention Tin Machine, don‘t mention Tin Machine.”
steve: “Don’t even bring it up. Don’t even men- don‘t-don’t even say you like it cause you don‘t know what he feels about it.”
ricky: You see, I think if people listen to this show, they go, “Don’t invite Steve Merchant, cause he’s insulting.”
ricky: “He insults people. He sends e-mails to people when he reads them wrongly.”
ricky: “He’ll bring up a period of your life you don’t want to talk about.”
ricky: “Get the little, short, fat one. He’s-he’s-he’s a lot more polite.”
ricky: “Leave out the lanky one.”
steve: Yeah, yeah.
steve: They probably wouldn’t say lanky, Rick.
steve: They don’t know what I look like, cause they listen to me on the radio!
steve: I don’t- I think they’re insulted- they might say, oh, you know, West Country. “Oink” or something.
ricky: Who was it I was listening to… Someone sommat yesterday that someone had a, um, a Bristol accent.
ricky: And no, but no, I think- oh yeah, it was, um, one of those, uh, um, the “Fame Academy.” Disappointing, but I think you'll have to get into it. Um, bit of a shambles at the moment, but, I mean, no, there’s no investment; I didn’t know them. And one of them had a Bristol accent and I just thought it really is a stupid accent. What have we got lined up, Claire?
ricky: What have--
claire: A bit of John Spencer Bluuues Explosion.
steve: Oh, I love this. I love this.
steve: This is an old, classic--
steve: That I brought in today and I think you’ll enjoy it.
ricky: ‘Ello (unintelligible).
steve: Don’t even start on that, Rick. There’s so much I could attack you about. I mean, look at you. Look at you.
ricky: My weight?
steve: You’re laughable.
ricky and steve: John Spencer--
steve: Blues Explosion.
ricky: Oh. Oh, you do it. Sorry.
steve: Well, I just thought I would.
steve: On account of I brought it in.
ricky: And then someone was complaining that we speak over each other.
steve: Yeah, we had an e-mail saying we gabble too much.
ricky: And we were- and we both went, “I don’t think we do.”
steve: Did you say that? I didn’t hear you. I was talking at the time.
steve: Yeah. “Right Place, Wrong Time” by John Spencer.
ricky: Yeah. I don’t, I- yeah, I don‘t- mm.
steve: We also had an e-mail- you didn’t enjoy that? You didn’t enjoy that?
steve: No, no, no, no. Um, we also had an e-mail saying--
ricky: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
steve: Again, don’t--
ricky: No, go on. I won’t- this- go on. Sorry. No, no, you--
steve: You can see why that would annoy me.
ricky: I know!
steve: You can see why that might annoy me and--
ricky: Take your headphones off, then. Cause that, it must be loud in your headphones. Cause I don’t wear headphones.
steve: No. I’m not so much thinking of me as the people listening at home.
steve: The people who pay our wages.
ricky: I think- go on, then.
steve: We had an e-mail that said, uh--
steve: I don’t know who’s the victor in this, Rick. I don’t know who’s winning with you making that noise. What- you’re the only person who’s enjoying it.
ricky: I know! I only do this for my amusement.
steve: But there’s a handful of people listening, Rick!
steve: Whose-whose-whose Saturdays, Rick, are empty. They’ve got nothing.
ricky: I know.
steve: They’re running on empty and this is all they’ve got.
steve: And they-they want conversation more than--
ricky: Okay, well, what were you going to say, then? It depends if it’s interesting or not.
steve: Well, let me say it before you make the judgement!
steve: So, let- alright. What about this? If you don’t like it, if it’s not interesting, then you make the noise.
ricky: Okay! Alright.
steve: So it’s just- we had an e-mail.
steve: It said, “Is Claire Sturgess drunk when she does the show?”
steve: I swear to God that was a real e-mail. I’ve lost it now. But, um--
steve: So does that warrant the noise? Or…
ricky: No, that’s alright. That’s quite interesting, yeah.
steve: Okay. Yeah, that’s quite interesting.
ricky: No, she’s not. No, she’s not drunk, is she?
steve: A bit coked up.
ricky: That’s not true! It’s not true.
steve: Yeah. Just a bit. The old Charlie.
ricky: No. Not true at all.
steve: No, you don’t- you don’t do drugs do you, Claire? You’re not into drugs.
claire: No. No, no, no.
steve: No, you’re clean now.
claire: I am now, yeah.
ricky: Yeah. Dried out.
steve: How did that go for you, the detox?
claire: It was great. Mainly thanks to you two.
claire: Your support on air.
ricky: At least, at least you don’t have to steal so much now to feed the habit.
steve: Are there any drug addicts on this station?
claire: No, not any more. No.
steve: Cause I bet there are. I mean, you don’t have to name names, but what about initials?
steve: Who’s- are there any scag heads? Any smack addicts at all? Seriously.
claire: Not anymore, no.
steve: Cause I’m intrigued. Can you tell me off air who’s-who’s a drug addict?
claire: Off air I’ll be happy to tell ya.
steve: But there are some, then?
claire: Yeah, there were. Not any more.
steve: What do you mean? That, what--
ricky: No, there weren’t! Stop this.
steve: Are there any people who, like--
steve: They think that they’ve got it under control, but they haven’t really?
steve: It is, there are some aren’t they?
ricky: They go in. They think that no one’ll notice, but they’ve got no pupils.
ricky: And they just stare at you for ages and go, “What?” at the end of each sentence.
steve: Yeah. Cause there’s a couple of drunkards, I know.
steve: It’s boring now? Okay, play a record.
steve: It’s boring.
steve: Ricky Gervais telling us he’s bored.
ricky: Queens of the Stone Age there. “No One Knows.” It’s going well. Forty minutes to go.
steve: I’ve enjoyed it, yeah.
steve: Not bad. Yeah. Yeah.
ricky: Adverts, or what?
steve: Um… what do you reckon?
steve: “Getting Away With It” from Electronic, of course.
steve: A classic tune, yeah. No, that’s a beautiful tune, that.
ricky: It’s a mutual favourite of ours. We-we both like that, don’t we, Steve?
steve: We do, indeed.
ricky: We both like that.
steve: We are mutually appreciative of that track. Ricky Gervais, of course. Friend of the stars.
steve: Claire Sturgess is here. My name is Steve Merchant. Ahoy.
ricky: Yeah, XFM 104.9.
steve: So, uh, I saw you the other day, cause I haven’t seen you this week, but I did see you, uh, walking around the street holding a gum shield that’d you just bought. How ’d that work out for you, the, uh, the boxing?
ricky: Oh, it was really good, right--
steve: Are you aware of this, Claire, that he wants to become a boxer? This is something that Ricky talked about the other week on the air.
steve: He suddenly decided at the age of forty-something that, uh, boxing is really professionally--
ricky: Well, no. Hold on! Forty-something means forty-seven.
ricky: I’m just forty-one.
ricky: I am forty-something, but don’t- forty-summat is like a euphemism for nearer fifty.
ricky: So don’t say forty-something.
ricky: Say thirty-something!
steve: Um… So, yeah. He’s taking up- apparently there’s something called White Collar Boxing, Claire.
steve: Did we mention this last week?
claire: No, you didn’t, no. But I-I didn’t know something about- I was think you mentioned it on air, but you not last week.
claire: White Collar Boxing?
steve: Yeah, it’s basically- it’s like a, kind of, it’s like an, uh, classier version of “Fight Club.”
steve: The film “Fight Club,” if you’ve ever seen that.
steve: So it’s an, um- they don’t meet in, sort of, dingy cellars--
steve: They meet in, what, office blocks or--
ricky: And it’s usually for charity at The Grosvenor or summat or a big hotel- I don’t know. And, uh, you just have like a bill there and- and, uh, you… punch each other. For charity.
claire: You serious?
ricky: Yeah. But anyway. I’ve been training, I’ve been training boxing for-for a while now, just like, you know, the pads and everything and last week we started on, uh, sparring and it is… a different level. Honestly, I mean, I can work out now for an hour on the pads and I did about one and a half rounds and it was like I was asthmatic. Cause you also- the trainer, who is a, who’s a, you know, a bit of a boxer himself, put the gum shield. He goes, “Okay, I’m not gonna--” and I was giggling with fear. I was giggling with fear and he said, “You’ve got to get a gum shield just in case.” and that’s when he saw me. I’d- I’d gone into the Lonsdale Shop and I got a gum shield.
steve: I just- I-I said this before, Claire, is that I just don’t think it’s a good idea. I mean, you know Ricky. You’ve known him for a while now.
steve: He’s not, he’s not mentally tough--
steve: Which is a problem, I think. He’s not, he’s not- sort of, psychologically he’s quite un- he’s quite weak.
steve: But he’s scared of a lot of things, you know. Cars.
steve: Um, I mean, he’ll get--
steve: Obviously like edgy like if a car blows its horn and he’s in the house.
steve: You know what I mean and then he’ll hear it outside. “Err!” “What’s that!? Is it coming through the door? Is it--”
steve: “No, it’s alright, Rick. We’re on the eighth floor.”
steve: “And it’s across town. It’s fine, don’t worry.”
ricky: I don’t like crossing roads.
steve: No, he can’t- I mean I’ve never seen a man so terrified.
ricky: And on the motorway, if, uh, someone’s going on the motorway, I’m looking at the speedo and if it’s like eighty-six, uh, seventy-six or something, I’m going, “Well, you know, let’s go in the slow lane.” and I’m looking- my eyes, like saucers, just taking all the information.
steve: But cause you can’t drive, as well--
ricky: That’s a rational fear, though, isn’t it? Roads are scary.
steve: But I think it’s because you can’t drive.
ricky: Yeah. Possibly, yeah.
steve: So, for instance, the fact that you, you know- I’ve seen, I mean--
claire: Actually, Ricky, you’re right, cause I can’t drive and I do exactly the same thing on motorways.
ricky: Yeah. That’s alright, yeah.
steve: But do you, do you do this, Claire, which is when you’re in the back of a cab and you feel the cab’s going too fast, despite the fact that you‘re, say, driving up Shaftesbury Avenue in rush hour--
steve: So you’re never going to pick up a great deal of speed, but Ricky will- he won’t mention it to the driver, “I feel you’re going a bit too fast.” He’ll whisper it to me.
claire: No, I don’t do that.
steve: He’s basically suggesting to me that I should, I should say something. (in high pitched voice) “I’m Ricky Gervais off the telly! I don’t want to cause a fuss! You better do it, Steve, cause you’re nobody.”
steve: Is basically what he’s insinuating.
ricky: No. The roads, the roads are scary.
steve: So I’ve always got to sort of make the complaint--
steve: Or I got, you know. But you’re terrified- yeah, you’re terrified of, um, of that. You’re terrified of spiders, as we know.
ricky: Well, that’s rational. Cause that’s--
steve: Terrified of pictures of spiders.
ricky: There’s no smoke without fire!
ricky: I know who made those webs, Steve! And they live there.
steve: Yeah, it was you that got the certificate, wasn't it, raised on the “Spiderman” film.
steve: So they couldn’t show the trailer before, you know, you’d gone to bed.
ricky: Although, I--
steve: Are you scared of Spiderman? Does he terrify you?
ricky: I’m not scared of Spiderman. No, I’m not scared of anything with- but I quite got used to the, uh, you know in “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!” that one that kept walking across the street and I got quite used to him. I don’t know him.
steve: Uri Geller?
ricky: Yeah! He was alright.
ricky: Yeah, he was alright.
steve: So you’re scared of that and, um--
ricky: Tarantulas aren’t as scary as the bath ones. Tarantulas are, sort of, like more furry. But, um--
steve: But what about these, cause you know these programs where they have, they’ll have people on and they’ll, kind of, they’ll-they’ll- like I saw a show once that was about phobias and a woman was terrified of dogs and a psychologist, kind of, got her to spend some time with the dog and slowly--
steve: You’ve-you’ve got no urge to, sort of, try and have that-that therapy done and- so you can maybe deal with your, uh, your- which is basically, let’s be honest, a-a woman’s concern.
steve: It’s a woman’s fear, Rick, isn’t it? Essentially.
ricky: Like I stand on a chair.
steve: Exactly, exactly.
ricky: Yeah. Um, no, but I saw one, um- what’s that one, um, he’s really nice. He’s not Jerry Springer, he’s really nice and he has, you know, weird people on it. What, is he--
steve: Montel Williams?
ricky: No, no.
steve: Montell Jordan?
ricky: ‘Bout fifty. Um--
claire: Maury! Maury.
steve: Maury Povich, Maury Povich.
ricky: Yeah. Is he, he’s the one without glasses, innit he?
steve: Who cares? You saw Maury Povich--
ricky: Yeah and there was like these women on there, right, and they, you know, were sort of trailer trash and, uh, they were going, “You’re scared of snakes aren’t ya?” And then people brought out a snake and she’d be screaming, knocking things over and, uh, I go, “Well, that’s not doing anyone any good.”
ricky: Really. That’s just for the audience to prove our point that she’s terrified.
ricky: And it was like tin foil, when someone brought on millions of bags of tin foil and she was screaming--
steve: What, and she was scared of tin foil?
ricky: Yeah, that’s worse, innit?
steve: Scared of tin foil is pretty mad.
ricky: Yeah. Well, that’s- I mean, it’s-it’s irrational and you can’t link it back--
claire: I know someone who’s-who’s afraid of buttons. Buttons.
ricky: Yeah, anything--
steve: Afraid of buttons?
claire: Yeah, afraid of buttons.
ricky: Summat weird going on in your head, innit? Some kind of weird symbolism.
steve: But I understand the snake, the snake one or the spider one because I understand, you know, there are poisonous spiders and snakes, but-but tin foil?
ricky: And also there are- it could be, sort of, chemical memory. That could be, you know, it, but it’s usually summat, you know. Um…
steve: But how do people- cause I don’t know- I- that- see, cause I don’t have any irrational fears--
ricky: Wha-don‘t, yeah. Don’t confuse phobia with--
steve: Except when you’re flatulent.
steve: That, I’m terrified of cause you never know when it’s going to spring. Cause he’s not got any of the social graces, Ricky. He’ll just think it’s funny to just pass wind, you know, dinner. I don’t imagine he did it during dinner with Bowie, but if I’m having lunch with him; oh, it’s just-- Cause he’ll just start grinning and you know--
steve: You know it’s on the way, Claire. You know there’s something in the post when Ricky starts just- and a little, kind of, when his lips curl up. You’re having lunch, maybe. Here it comes, here it comes.
steve: And it is- I’ll tell ya, it is eye-watering stuff, I mean, it’s intense.
ricky: Oh, tell that story when you were on the, um, the train.
steve: There is, there is only one smell worse than Ricky Gervais flatulence. I was on a train once and, um… a dog was on there, a guy on there with his dog and the dog passed wind. Right? I don’t know what he’d been feeding it. Like, Sheba or something.
steve: You know, cattle. He must have been feeding it something, you know what I mean? Like intestines or something. It was intense. This smell pervades the carriage. You know, cause they’re all, like, air, they’re all air conditioned--
steve: Or air tight, so there’s nowhere for the smell to escape. So it’s just, it’s just kind of spreading, like, in this kind of invisible--
steve: Sort of, stench that fills up the carriage. I tell you, people’s eyes were bleeding, you know what I mean? It was like that’s how bad- it was just- it was unbelievable. I felt like my face was melting like that bit at the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
steve: That is how it felt, right? And the bloke, who was obviously a bit embarrassed, said, uh, “Ohh. Ohh, I don’t know sometimes. I don’t know, uh, I don’t know who’s worse, you know, with their flatulence. You know, people or dogs.” And I wanted to go, “I’ve got an idea! How ‘bout dogs!?”
steve: “What about your dog?”
steve: It was unbelievable, but it's that- try-try to make a joke of it? No! Get off the train at the next stop! It was just- I mean, oh. I mean, I don’t like people with dogs, anyway, just generally. You know, you’ll see people--
steve: No! Rick. When you see people walking down the road with dogs and they just let a dog, you know, do it’s-it’s ones or it’s twos on the side of the road--
ricky: I don’t --
steve: And then they just walk on. I just don’t know what that is.
ricky: No, you’re not meant- no, that’s wrong, yeah.
steve: But it is, right, and it really winds me up cause you’ll see people who’ll be, like, old ladies or, kind of, toffs.
steve: Or something like that and they’ll be the sort of people that will complain about, you know, bad language on TV--
steve: Or youths, you know, or ne’er-do-wells hanging out by bus shelters--
steve: But as soon- but they’re happy for their dogs to, you know, crapping on the sidewalk.
steve: It really- they anger me, people with dogs who just are irresponsible like that. Do you know what I mean?
ricky: I agree! But that’s- no, that’s nothing to with liking dogs, is it? That- again, that-that’s arrogance of people who think it’s--
steve: But there are a lot of people, as I say, who are, kind of- you know what I mean? Who think that they’re better, they don’t have to worry, they don’t have to bend down and scoop it up.
ricky: I know.
steve: Which is what they should do.
ricky: Well, that’s a--
steve: I got that off my chest.
steve: Play a record.
ricky: U2, “Electrical Storm.” They’ve done it again. I- that is beautiful, that track.
steve: I know you used to disrespect U2.
ricky: I just didn’t like them for ten years and then, uh, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” came out and I-I, sort of, thought, “Well, I could’ve been wrong” and that’s brilliant.
steve: Rick, you know earlier on I mentioned, uh, you- uh, Prince.
steve: And we asked the question, “Is Prince a genius or not?”
steve: We’ve had a lot of response, mainly--
ricky: What’s the answer?
steve: By email. Interesting, Rick, some people think he is and some people think he isn’t.
ricky: Mm. Well, this-this debate willl rage on. Can we have some adverts?
ricky: Well, in the last half hour, Steve, they’ve heard, they’ve heard Nirvana, they’ve heard, um, Oasis, they’ve heard great- they’ve heard Dylan. We’ve got coming up, we got Cat Stevens, we’ve got Tom Waits--
ricky: You know what I mean? Now--
steve: It’s great music.
ricky: We’re playing a lot of music and talking less in the last fif- Now some people, right, would say that’s cause we’re running on empty and we ran out of things to say at twenty past the first hour.
ricky: I say it’s cause we want to get in some great tracks.
steve: Well, that’s my excuse as well.
ricky: What’s next? Cat Stevens off “Tea for the Tillerman.” (quietly) I’ve got nothing, Steve.
steve: You’ve- you’re running- I know. Well, it’s the noise. I think the noise--
ricky: It’s uh, “Miles from-” Is it the noise?
steve: The noise was really--
ricky: Cat Stevens from “Tea for the Tillerman.”
steve: So many people, Rick, haven’t even got a Cat Stevens record in their collection and you hear tunes like that, you-you just think--
ricky: Why? You think, “Why?”
steve: You know what I think of ‘em, I think, “Why?” Rick.
ricky: We just had someone phone up saying, um, they want a bit of, uh, Psychedelic Furs and Claire said, “Oh, what’s your favourite track?” and we both went, “It’ll be ‘Pretty in Pink.’”
steve: Of course.
ricky: And it was.
ricky: But you know, you know you’re meant to say, um, uh, like a, uh, like on Heart or Magic, you’re told to say, “Coming up, a classic by so and so” and people stay, watch in case it’s their favourite and if it’s not, you don’t give that away. But it doesn’t work when it’s things like- hear people all the time, like, “And after this, uh, a classic from Men at Work.” That’d be “Down Under,” then.
steve: Yeah. Yeah.
ricky: “Coming up next, a beautiful tune by Danny Wilson.” “Mary’s Prayer!” It’s “Mary’s Prayer." It can only be “Mary’s Prayer.”
ricky: So it doesn’t work with those that- they have had one hit.
steve: Yeah. Or, “A tune from, uh, Hear’Say.” Ooh, I hate ‘em all!
steve: You know, cause like rock ’n roll and that--
ricky: Oh, c’mon Steve. Don’t kick ‘em when they’re down.
steve: Yeah. It’s true enough. Call, what other pop group do we hate?
ricky: You know that thing um, um- Yeah!
steve: No, we all hate pop music, don’t we?
steve: That’s why we’re an alternative station.
ricky: “Agadoo’s” rubbish.
steve: Oh, I hate it. Ross Abbot, “Atmosphere.” There’s no atmosphere in here with that playing. Oh…
ricky: Um. Last night, things started- the “Fame Academy” and I’d been- I’m quite a sad telly watcher and I’ve been looking forward to that for about two weeks. I fell for the hype, I can’t believe it. I loved “Pop Idol,” I love “Popstars the Rivals,” I love “Celebrity Fit Club.” I-I love all those things, right? Um, but, um, just disappointing because they’d already picked them. I think it’s-it’s investment and, uh, I’ll be honest; I think the standard was poor.
steve: The standard was poor?
ricky: I think so. You know, I don’t--
steve: Now, were these people with different abilities or was it all singing?
ricky: It’s just all singing in it. I-it’s rather like, it’s rather like they’ve got us down to the last twelve of “Pop Idol,” say.
steve: It’s like that, you come in at that level.
ricky: Yeah, but-but-but to be fair to the program, I think it’s all about what happens next cause now they get voted out like “Big Brother.”
ricky: Um, and--
steve: So do they, do they write their own material and stuff or is just--
ricky: They’ve got to do that, they’ve got the whole team together and everything so they-they’re-they’re, um, filmed, you know, like filmed twenty-four hours a day and everything and so, uh, I think you’ve got to get into it and get to know these people. There’s always a few, there’s already a few I go, “Right, she’s annoying.”
ricky: Right? “Vote her out.” And they have to- there’s three that the-the-the teachers say each week, “Okay, you’re up on probation” and then you-you vote them out and it gets to, it gets it down to one person, but the interesting thing is, um, it’s not just that they get a record and release a single, they live the life for a year.
ricky: So they get this beautiful, sort of, pad in Notting Hill Gate. They get a sports car, right, and it says they get to go to parties. They’re already set up to go to the FA Cup Final, the Brits and all those things--
steve: Dinner parties with David Bowie.
ricky: Yeah. Meet all these people and then after a year, it’s taken away from ‘em.
ricky: They just take everything back.
steve: And you don’t like this cause you feel it cheapens, like, your celebrity lifestyle, which you’ve worked for.
ricky: No, but-but, um, the other thing is, ah, of course, they could be big stars by then and then they just have to get their own car, but...it- how do they- what--
steve: That’s, psychologically, is going to be grim.
ricky: But are-are we going to follow it up for that year? Are we gonna- is it, like--
steve: Well, that’s when it becomes interesting. I mean, now camera crews following Hear’Say; now that’s interesting.
ricky: Yeah, I know and, like, what Jay did next--
steve: Now we see what happens next. Yeah, exactly.
ricky: Yeah, yeah. That- but I don’t know how they’re going to do it.
steve: Do- how long, Jane- Jane. Why did I call you Jane? There’s so many- the name Jane’s been mentioned so many times.
claire: You can call me whatever you like, Steve.
steve: Uh, love!
steve: How long do you reckon Ricky would last in the “Big Brother” house?
steve: If he was in “Celebrity Big Brother,” how long would Ricky stay in there?
claire: Well, you see, as the--
ricky: Well, it depends, you see. Go on, you answer.
claire: Oh, that’s a tough one. No, because as someone who has, who would be watching “Big Brother” if he was in there, I would make sure that he stayed in right till the end just for comedy value.
steve: Of course. Well, of course, because you know he’s irritating, he’s the sort of--
ricky: So I’m Chris Eubank, then, aren’t I?
steve: You’re the Chris Eubanks of the house.
steve: But obviously a lot of people tend to vote out the most irritating, annoying, most loathsome person straightaway.
ricky: Well, they’d want to get rid of me, but the public, presumably, might want me in there as (laughs) as the irritant.
steve: No, I think the public would turn against you, as well.
steve: I know you, Rick.
steve: It would expose you for the charlatan you are. Go on.
steve: We haven’t played a Song for the Ladies for some weeks.
ricky: Go on.
steve: Cause I just keep forgetting to bring ‘em in.
claire: I need one. I need one.
steve: Thank you, Jane.
steve: Um, um. I, uh… I thought, you know, I haven’t played Tom Waits for a while and this is one of his classics and it’s just beautiful, beautiful tune and however many times you’ve hear-heard it, it’s still brilliant. “Downtown Train,” Rick.
ricky: Oh, I can’t believe it.
ricky: That’s it!
steve: We’re back next week and Karl, hopefully is back with us?
ricky: Karl, I think, will be, yeah. Um, well, we don’t know.
steve: Let's hope everything’s okay.
ricky: I’m sure it is and, uh, we’ll see you next week.
steve: Thanks Jane!
ricky: Goodbye everybody.
Season 01 Episode 01
Season 01 Episode 02
Season 01 Episode 03
Season 01 Episode 04
Season 01 Episode 05
Season 01 Episode 06
Season 01 Episode 07
Season 01 Episode 08
Season 01 Episode 09
Season 01 Episode 10
Season 01 Episode 11
Season 01 Episode 12
Season 01 Episode 13
Season 01 Episode 14
Season 01 Episode 15
Season 01 Episode 16
Season 01 Episode 17
Season 01 Episode 18
Season 01 Episode 19
Season 01 Episode 20
Season 01 Episode 21
Season 01 Episode 22
Season 01 Episode 23
Season 02 Episode 01
Season 02 Episode 02
Season 02 Episode 03
Season 02 Episode 04
Season 02 Episode 05
Season 02 Episode 06
Season 02 Episode 07
Season 02 Episode 08
Season 02 Episode 09
Season 02 Episode 10
Season 02 Episode 11
Season 02 Episode 12
Season 02 Episode 13
Season 02 Episode 14
Season 02 Episode 15
Season 02 Episode 16
Season 02 Episode 17
Season 02 Episode 18
Season 02 Episode 19
Season 02 Episode 20
Season 02 Episode 21
Season 02 Episode 22
Season 02 Episode 23
Season 02 Episode 24
Season 02 Episode 25
Season 02 Episode 26
Season 02 Episode 27
Season 02 Episode 28
Season 02 Episode 29
Season 02 Episode 30
Season 02 Episode 31
Season 02 Episode 32
Season 02 Episode 33
Season 02 Episode 34
Season 02 Episode 35
Season 02 Episode 36
Season 02 Episode 37
Season 02 Episode 38
Season 02 Episode 39
Season 02 Episode 40
Season 02 Episode 41
Season 02 Episode 42
Season 02 Episode 43
Season 02 Episode 44
Season 02 Episode 45
Season 02 Episode 46
Season 02 Episode 47
Season 02 Episode 48
Season 02 Episode 49
Season 02 Episode 50
Season 02 Episode 51
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