Comedian Russell Howard is keen to bring us a follow up to his one-off BBC comedy A Gert Lush Christmas, but jokes he may struggle to book his increasingly popular sister Kerry Howard.
Russell’s first foray into acting saw him star in his self-penned Bristol-based sitcom about a madcap family desperate to impress his new girlfriend. Neil Morrissey, Greg Davies and Sophie Thompson were among the cast. Kerry – fittingly – played his on-screen sister.
If you’ve watched Russell’s stand-up routines, the family (and Bristol) theme comes as no surprise. He often talks about his mum’s belting one-liners– “I don’t see the point of flavoured condoms” – and his brother Danny is a constant wind-up (when Howard messed up a joke at the 02, he could hear his brother laughing over the 15,000-strong crowd).
But getting the Howards back together could prove tricky.
“I’d love to do stuff with Kezza,” Russell told RadioTimes.com. “I’ll be struggling to book her! She’s got another series – Witless on BBC3 – and Keeping Up Appearances [BBC’s upcoming prequel], which is going to be amazing.”
This is without taking into account his own hectic schedule: “I’m doing a world tour at the moment so struggling to fit it in,” he admits. That’s only the half of it, too. He’s also got a new series of Stand Up Central, is keen to do more Good News for BBC2 and is about to go on a road trip with his mum for a Comedy Central travel show (“God our mum’s going to be on telly, I don’t know what he’s thinking,” Kerry recently joked).
But he says the show is definitely worth the effort.
“That was the great thing about Gert Lush, that really cool feeling when you work with your little sister and you sort of don’t realise how talented she is until you see her working and you’re like, ‘Holy god, my sister is a lot better than me! It’s that weird mix of pride and real envy – ‘But I’m the older one, I’m meant to be the bestest…’”
Russell – who co-wrote the Christmas episode with his pal Steve Williams – says it was a “properly lovely moment” watching it over the festive period with his family. And he’s got plenty of ideas to keep the story going.
“The guy who played my brother [Dougie McMeekin], for example, you could go so far with him. We created this whole backstory that he was a pest control officer and he was the best and that was the only place he got respect. He has this one nemesis, which was a massive albino rat that he couldn’t kill – that was his whole story. We could see so much in it. It would be kind of a shame not to work with them at some stage, they really brought it to life.”
Although, the comedian has already got something else up his sleeve, too.
“I’ve got something I might be doing, a collaboration with an American comic which may come off, which would be kind of in America and in England which would be quite cool, but that’s very early doors. It would be a similar thing based around a family in America and a family in England. It would be really good.”
It all sounds lush to us.
Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central returns to Comedy Central UK on 25th May at 10pm