In adapting the novel he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett, showrunner Neil Gaiman has introduced some subtle guest appearances – from a famous Blue Peter presenter to the host of Newsnight.
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We reckon these might go over the heads of many American and international fans when Good Omens launches on Amazon, but British fans will spot some familiar faces.
Here’s the rundown…
The host of Pam & Sam is… Konnie Huq!
When Crowley (David Tennant) switches on his telly to take his mind off the apocalypse with a spot of breakfast TV, he tunes in to a show called Pam & Sam In The Morning just in time to catch the beginning of a new segment.
“Welcome back,” says Pam. “Now, the government’s foreign affairs spokesman will be here to comment on the recent increase in international tensions. But first – do you know what’s in your fridge?”
Who is Konnie Huq?
Pam is played by former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, who was actually voted the nation’s favourite Blue Peter presenter in a poll of nearly 7,000 RadioTimes.com readers. Director Douglas Mackinnon was clearly excited to film with her, tweeting:
— Douglas Mackinnon (@drmuig) April 15, 2018
Unfortunately, we never hear the government’s foreign affairs spokesman or find out Pam’s thoughts on the contents of our fridges, because Pam & Sam are swiftly replaced by evil demons Hastur and Ligur. They use the TV show to “check in” with Crowley about preparations for the End Times.
The TV news presenter is… Kirsty Wark!
Newsnight host Kirsty Wark clearly had a brilliant time filming her role in Good Omens, informing her viewers about the extremely strange events taking place around the world with the straightest face she could manage.
“Some initial reports claim that the land that’s risen in the Atlantic is the sunken continent of Atlantis,” she says through the TV screen. Showing a snap from David Morrissey’s brief cameo as Captain Vincent, she adds: “This photograph of so-called ‘Atlanteans’ has been posted by passengers on a holiday cruise ship. Strange times indeed.”
Later in episode four, she returns with a new clip: “Scientists have pronounced themselves baffled by the emergence of an enormous sea creature which the internet has begun to refer to as ‘the kraken’.”
By episode five, Wark herself is baffled. “Motorists are being urged to avoid the M25 London orbital motorway because, in the words of a transportation department spokesman, ‘It’s on fire or something.’ What does that even mean?”
Who is Kirsty Wark?
American viewers might think this is just any old actor playing a newsreader, but UK fans will know Kirsty Wark is the real deal. The Scottish journalist has fronted BBC current affairs programme Newsnight since 1993 and is a staple of British TV.
However, this is far from her first cameo: Wark has previously starred as herself in Doctor Who, Spooks, and Absolutely Fabulous.
The voice on Crowley’s radio is… Nicholas Parsons!
When Crowley climbs into his Bentley in episode one, his radio is tuned to BBC Radio 4 (naturally) and we are mid-way through an episode of Just a Minute.
Who is Nicholas Parsons?
For those unfamiliar with this classic comedy game show, Just a Minute requires competitors to talk for 60 seconds on a specific subject, “without hesitation, repetition or deviation.” It launched in 1967 with Nicholas Parsons as host – and it has been his show ever since. Parsons is now 95.
“Talk about the Isle of Skye,” Parsons says. “And your time starts – HELLO CROWLEY.”
Via Parson’s voice, a demon then introduces himself as “Dagon, Lord of the Files.” For long-time listeners of Radio 4, this is extremely disconcerting.
The smell in the bookshop is… a Jeffrey Archer book!
Episode two brings angels Gabriel (Jon Hamm) and Sandalphon (Paul Chahidi) into Aziraphale’s bookshop, where they hustle him into the backroom for an unsubtle ‘chat’ about the apocalypse.
“Something smells evil,” says Sandalphon, presumably picking up on the scent of demon Crowley – who Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) is definitely not meant to have been consorting with.
Who is Jeffrey Archer?
Jeffrey Archer is a former Conservative politician who is also a best-selling writer and novelist. After a political career as an MP (1969-74) he became a well-known novelist and was made a life peer in 1992.
Archer was sent to jail between 2001 and 2003 for perjury and perverting the course of justice during a 1987 libel trial.
His three-volume memoir A Prison Diary became a bestseller and since the 70s he has been an a prolific novelist, selling hundreds of millions of copies. Of course, he will be known internationally – but the reference to Jeffrey Archer seems like a special nod to the Brits.
Good Omens will be released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 31st May, with a BBC broadcast following later in 2019