XFM Vault - Season 02 Episode 46
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: Okay lets have a great show everyone. Good luck.
steve: Oh yeah. Good luck.
ricky: Um..right, that was Jane’s Addiction, Just Because on XFM 104.9. Right. Everybody up, lets give ‘em a great show, yeah. Two hours of like fun chat. Lets keep it, you know, lets keep it cutting edge. That’s not gonna be too hard. I mean that’s what the listeners of XFM would... oh no it isn’t is it. No, because, hold on wait, wait a minute because we came in yesterday and did this little skit didn’t we, where we bleeped it out...
steve: We did a little sketch. It was quite annoying, it was quite controversial.
ricky: …And then Karl called me last night and we’re not allowed to play it out ‘cause Andr….
steve: Oh we’ve been censored?
ricky: Yeah. Uh…
steve: Interesting. Interesting. So it’s a cutting edge alternative station, wants to push the boundaries, wants to be thought of as rock and roll, a bit punk, a bit punk rock….
steve: …but we’re not allowed to play that stuff.
ricky: ’cause I um, uh I said something about the radio authority. I bleeped it out, what I called them….
steve: Sure. Yeah.
ricky: …but uh couldn’t do it. Done it before. Couldn't do it.
steve: Sensored. Sensored
ricky: Karl agrees though. What’s your thoughts Karl? You agree with that?
karl: Yeah, I agree. Yeah.
karl: Well, what’s the point?
ricky: Well it was funny wasn’t it? And it wasn’t offensive to anyone.
karl: Not…not really. It’s not some of the best stuff that would have ever gone out on this show but you know…
steve: Right, what are you putting it up against exactly?…
steve: …Cheeky Freak of the Week?
karl: Well that..that springs to mind.
steve: And Rockbusters?
ricky: But I mean the thing is you know the things that you have put out there, I mean we better be really careful. He was worried about complaints. I mean it’s not just swearing is it. It’s taste and decency and everything…
karl: Well yeah.
ricky: …so we can’t, we can’t laugh about the disabled anymore…
ricky: …in the Cheeky Freak of the Week. Uh..can’t do stories about elderly relatives with genitals looking like a split tennis ball…
karl: That’s right.
ricky: ..um. Can’t do your bad dad puttin’ a child with learning difficulties in a bin. So, well should we just play music.
steve: I think that’s all this is gonna have to be. Yeah.
ricky: Play a record.
ricky: Accidents Will Happen by Elvis Costello on XFM 104.9. Karl’s a little bit stressed. Which it’s not his fault. It was the boss that overruled him. He came along. What’d he do? He heard you, he heard you listening to it.
ricky: What’d he say?
karl: He says “What’s that?”, I said “It’s what Ricky wants to play out tomorrow.”…
karl: …and he said “Well, can’t go out like that. Too many….”
ricky: But they’re all bleeped. We, we bleeped the swear words.
karl: Yeah but he didn’t want it to go out. I mean you got to remember, right, you came in yesterday to have a chat about what we gonna do…
karl: ...one of the topics that I said lets talk about. Which I came up with…
karl: ...was lets talk about swearing.
ricky: No, you said you’d never had a problem with swearing which is annoyin’ you...
karl: Yeah, that’s right.
ricky: …and then we did the thing about isn’t it funny that you can, you know, the thing about that you can bleep a swear word by taking out the vowel. So, we were going, so, it’s the vowel that’s offensive and we did a little sketch around that and then ended, you know. Uh, and uh he wanted to completely obliterate the word in the end and didn’t wanna put the thing in we said about the Radio Authority which I don’t think, i think, i think it was valid and wouldn’t have got a complaint.
karl: Yeah but at the end of the day he’s the boss and what he says goes, dunnit?
steve: Yeah I was just gonna say... bwaaaaak.
karl: Alright, but, but, but but what you gotta remember is what he also said is if you wanna pay the 70 grand fine, then go ahead and do it Steve.
ricky: What? It wouldn’t be…there wouldn’t be a 70 grand fine though would there.
karl: Well, you don’t know what it’d be, but will you pay it, will you pay for my mortgage, will you pay for his mortgage, will you feed his kids.
ricky: You wouldn’t be fired.
karl: What’d you mean? Well if, I tell you what if it’s not a fine we’d lose the license then we’d all be fired...
karl: ...and you’re sat at home.
ricky: ...do you seriously think you’d lose the license for that sketch.
ricky: Does he really seriously think you’d lose the license for it.
karl: Well I don’t know but...
ricky: It’s, It is not the worst thing we’ve ever put out or done or ever will do.
karl: Yeah but it’s the fact he said don’t put it out and you’re like, you know, throwing your toys out the pram.
ricky: No it’s just…
karl: ”Oh I wanna say it, I wanna say it.” How old are ya, but you still wanna put swearing out.
ricky: No. It’s a discussion about the Radio Authority and the way people are interested.
karl: Yeah but leave it. Lets move on.
ricky: Don’t get annoyed.
karl: Yeah but I’m annoyed because you’ve been at it since about half past 12.
ricky: Yeah I know. Well I like to get in early to plan the show.
karl: Yeah but there’s been no planning, so to be honest I’d turn off today, anyone listening ‘cause there’s nothing.
steve: Karl there’s never anything.
karl: There is. There’s sometimes some good things but today, seriously, I’d leave it.
steve: What is there? What is there? What? Name us something half decent that’s been on this show.
karl: Loads of little interesting topics.
steve: Go on. I can’t remember any.
karl: Right. Gays and toilets.
steve: Eh. Not particularly interesting. Fascinating to you perhaps.
karl: Right well I’d prefer to hear that then just a load of swear words.
steve: Well I wouldn’t
ricky: We’re, we’re not gonna hear, we wouldn’t have heard any swear words. We’d have heard some bleeping.
karl: Right then, so that’s that’s entertaining innit. Load of bleeps.
ricky: It’s just because you don’t wanna stand up to your boss or say anything. Don’t get annoyed at us.
karl: I’d stand up, I’d stand up to him if I, if I, agree with what I’m arguing about, but I’m not falling out with him over some crappy thing you wanna play out.
ricky: Don ’t say crappy.
steve: Uh uh. Don’t slag it off.
ricky: Don’t say crappy.
karl: Well it doesn't matter ‘cause I’m not here next week I’ll tell you that. I’ve canned this in.
ricky: Don’t say crappy.
karl: Right so if Andrew is listening…
ricky: Don’t say crappy.
karl: ...someone else can be here next week.
ricky: Play a record. We apologize for the word “crap”.
steve: That’s out of order. We should bleep that.
ricky: Big Sur, The Thrills Xfm 104.9 - Started off on a nice atmosphere again... in the studio.
steve: Don't blame me, it's not my fault.
ricky: No I know... I know.
steve: Well it's your fault. Mainly.
steve: You are bad. You are quite bad.
ricky: Don't. Come on.
steve: Come on.
ricky: Don't try and win him round, just 'cos he scared you. Bawk...
steve: I don't know who that's against. Is it me or him.
ricky: It's you, yeah. It's you.
steve: Right, well I'm not a coward.
steve: I'm just thinking of the listeners rick, and I just want them to be entertained.
ricky: Yeah. Luckily that's not a big problem for us.
steve: What you mean we're effortlessly entertaining, or there's no listners.
ricky: Well... Yeah. Somewhere in-between. Karl! What's happened to you this week, mate.
karl: Nowt's happened.
ricky: Go on...
steve: What? Nothing's happened?
ricky: Come on. I came in. I came in. He had an hour's lunch break. You know he's talking about how he never gets a break. I came in one day. He was out for an hour and I sat and had a nice little chat with Andrew Phillips about where we were going with the show... you know...
steve: Where are we going? Come up with anything?
steve: See how far can we run it into the ground...
ricky: Yeah I know. If we go off air, it certainly won't be though being cutting edge or controversial. It'll be because people just turned off because it's too boring to listen to.
steve: (quietly) Bawk!
ricky: Brrak! But he was out for an hour.
steve: Having a lunch break for an hour... Always saying he's too busy...
ricky: I know, yeah.
steve: It is interesting.
ricky: So err.
steve: Actually on the subject of that, I've noticed dan here has emailed in. He says "I was listening to last week's show, and I think Karl is taking his job for granted. I'd love to swap with him for a week. My qualification are that I can press play on a CD player, and stop..."
ricky: Karl, what do you think of that?
karl: He can come in next week. Seriously.
steve: It says here...
ricky: Don't get ratty karl!
karl: I'm not getting ratty. Dan, e-mail me. You know me address. Email it, it'll be sorted out. You can be here next week.
steve: Dan suggested we could call it "Karl Idol" - where people audition each week. Or perhaps "Bone Idol".
ricky: I like that... "bone idol".
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