Warning: Spoilers. This article contains revelations about the forthcoming Harry & Paul’s Story of the Twos'
Tonight the Beeb hosted a press preview screening of The Story of the Twos', Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse's 50th birthday tribute (of sorts) to BBC2.
From Grumpy Old Bores to Blackadder to Scandi import The Killing to The Singing Detective to The Forsyte Saga, no one is safe from their satire as Harry Enfield plays Simon Schama taking viewers through a spoof history of the venerable channel.
As Enfield said of the project: "BBC2 gave me my big solo break with Harry Enfield's Television Programme almost 25 years ago. They have been loyal to us over decades. We therefore felt it was only right that now we should stab BBC2 in the back.
"They kindly asked us to do a homage to 50 years of BBC2. It's turned out to be less of a homage and more of a homicide. Whoops."
But who really gets it in the neck?
Well, from last night’s screening, quite a lot of people. But they insist they are all "affectionate" mickey takes.
"There's not a single person or programme in the show that we don't like," said Whitehouse after the screening.
Judge for yourself here….
Stephen Fry and Blackadder
“Bum chums and willy biscuits. Ladies wee wees and poo poos,” Fry's character (played by Enfield) says at one point. Blackadder producer John Lloyd also appears a target in the form of the character of pompous and arrogant producer Jonathan Lloyd Cambridge.
BBC creative director Alan Yentob
He is played by Whitehouse as a Yoda-like figure from Star Wars dropping names (as is supposedly his wont). “Yentob also believe this to be true. How he love Orson. Orson! Orson! Oh Orson! Yentob is Orson’s friend…high culture he crave” You get the picture.
Characters from the legendary BBC Roman drama I, Claudius – or One Clavdivs as it is called here – are sent up with silly names like Actus Tremendous, Baftus Nomination with the token totty a certain Whatta Scorcia…
The comedy troupe’s classic parrot sketch is turned on its head – with the sketch and not the parrot being the thing that is “pushing up the daisies, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible”.
Of all the people to do a brilliant mickey take of Nigel Lawson, slender norf Londoner Paul Whitehouse is probably the last person you would expect to play the part. But he does it brilliantly in a sublime send-up of political reminiscence shows.
“Mark Egghead” quizzes various people including David Ponse, Paul Ghastley and Germaine Drearey. I think we know who some of these people are meant to be....
“I’ve got more money than both of you will ever earn in your lives..because I’m better than you,” M'Lord tells a hapless contestant at one point in the show.
Grumpy Old Men
“Grumpy old bores will say obvious things about anything for the money,” says the voiceover in a clear mickey take of the talking heads show Grumpy Old Men....
Having said all this the pair also make fun of themselves, with a snippet in which attention is drawn to the number of Baftas won by Whitehouse’s The Fast Show - compared with the lack of Baftas for the show bearing Enfield’s name….
So they can take – as well as make – the jokes these two. Or should that be Twos?
* Harry and Paul’s Story of the Twos is due to air on BBC2 later this year