Brian Pern

Series 1 - 1. Birth of Rock

Radio Times
Review by:
Gary Rose

"I invented world music; I was the first musician to use Plasticine in videos," boasts Brian Pern, instantly unveiling himself as an affectionate parody of Peter Gabriel, with a dash of Brian Eno. Simon Day stars as the eponymous prog-rocker in this entertaining mock-rockumentary, which plays out like an extended, premium-grade Fast Show sketch.

An impressive array of deadpan cameos – including Jools Holland, Rick Wakeman and Nigel Havers – all seem to be having fun. And there's a treat for Vic and Bob fans when Mulligan and O'Hare pop up, looking hilariously pickled by decades of real-ale abuse. "When Dylan plugged in, we plugged out," they slur into their glasses.

About this programme

1/3. The host (Simon Day) presents his guide to The Life of Rock from prehistoric man to the present day, in a spoof three-part chronology of some of the biggest moments in rock history. In the first episode, Pern examines rock music's prehistoric origins, tries to discover the world's smartest band, and recalls the time he dressed up as a crab.

Cast and crew


Brian Pern
Simon Day
John Farrow
Michael Kitchen
Toddy Chunks Burnett
Winston Garvey
Vic Reeves
Bob Mortimer
Ray Baker Thomas
Matt Lucas
Pat Quid
Paul Whitehouse
David Cummings
Michael Philips
Philip Pope
Tony Pebble
Nigel Havers
Mickey Murray
Michael Smiley
Captain Cupnutz
Tony Way
Various roles
Rhys Thomas
Various roles
Lucy Montgomery


Rhys Thomas
Executive Producer
Saurabh Kakkar
Rhys Thomas
Simon Day
Rhys Thomas