A beloved 90s comedy sketch show is set to make a come back, with a 30th anniversary live tour.
The Fast Show, created by Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, both 65, will be embarking on a 14-night tour reviving some of its most famous characters.
Cast members Simon Day, Mark Williams, John Thomson and Arabella Weir will join the creators in bringing the show to the stage.
Speaking to The Sun about the show’s return, Paul joked: ‘We need to do it quick before we’re all dead.’
Charlie added: ‘We’ve had some ideas about using the characters in another format, like the Carry On films, or even a panto, so this tour is just to test the waters.
Paul Whitehouse and Mark Williams as Ken and Kenneth in The Fast Show: Just A Load of Blooming Catchphrases
The Fast Show, created by Paul Whitehouse (pictured) and Charlie Wigson, will be embarking on a 14-night tour reviving some of its most famous characters
‘But it’s been 20 years since we last did anything on stage and thankfully we all still get along, probably because we’ve allowed each other to do other things outside of The Fast Show. Sleep with other people and the marriage stays strong.’
The celebratory live tour will be a huge treat for fans of the sketch show and provide a real behind-the-scenes insight into some of their favourite characters and catchphrases as they come alive on stage once again.
The cast will chat together about how it all began, how they made the TV show, and created the characters and the fun they had doing it.
This will be interspersed with performances of some of their best-loved sketches monologues and songs, with on-screen inserts and a moment to remember their former collaborator, the late, great Caroline Aherne.
Fans will be thrilled to see the return of many of their favourite characters, including: Ted & Ralph, Jesse, Swiss Toni, Does My Bum Look Big In This?, Dave Angel, Jazz Club, The Suit You Tailors, Ron Manager, The Mad Painter, Rowley Birkin, Bob Fleming, Competitive Dad, Professor Denzil Dexter, and The Girl Who Boys Can’t Hear.
Running for three series between 1994 and 1997, The Fast Show revolutionised TV comedy with its rapid-fire format of one sketch per minute on average.
The Fast Show devotees ranged from Robbie Williams to the late Amy Winehouse, while its rich cast of characters and catchphrases soon struck a national chord.
Paul and Harry Potter star Mark, 64, played an iconic duo of tailors Ken and Kenneth with the catchphrase ‘Suits you sir’.
The iconic skit even attracted Hollywood royalty Johnny Depp to star in the series’ initial farewell episode, which he later called one of his ‘proudest achievements’.
The offices and bars of Nineties Britain echoed to cries of ‘Niiice!’ and ‘Does my bum look big in this?’
Charlie, Paul and Simon reunited for a charity one-off special following the death of former cast member Felix Dexter – which excited fans as the prospect of a tour.
But Charlie had to dispel the hopes, adding: ‘So I had to say, ‘No, it’s just for a one-off charity event’.
Speaking to The Sun about the show’s return, Paul (seen with Charlie), 65, joked: ‘We need to do it quick before we’re all dead’
The Fast Show characters The Dirty Tailors, played by Mark Williams (left) and Paul (right), appear in one of a series of advertisements for Holsten Pils
Charlie (seen with Paul), 65, added: ‘We’ve had some ideas about using the characters in another format, like the Carry On films, or even a panto, so this tour is just to test the waters’
Running for three series between 1994 and 1997, The Fast Show revolutionised TV comedy with its rapid-fire format of one sketch per minute on average
‘But we thought, OK, people are interested, and Paul and I have been talking about doing something live for a long while but never had the time where we’re available to do it. That was a spur to say, ‘Let’s do this’.’
The programme first ran on BBC Two between 1994 and 1999, and was set apart from the competing sketch shows due to the quickfire ‘blackout’ style of gags, with some lasting no longer than 10 seconds.
The show was resurrected by the Foster’s lager brand for a 13-part online series in 2011.
The sketches later re-packaged with some older material in 2014 for a 20th anniversary show on BBC Two.
Then in 2020, they paid tribute to the late Caroline Aherne in an anniversary special, The Fast Show: Just A Load of Blooming Catchphrases.
Actress and comedian Caroline died from lung cancer on July 2, 2016, aged just 52. She was an integral part of the comedy show and played characters including Poula ‘scorchio’ Fisch the weathergirl and Checkout Girl.
The cast members started the show on Gold by raising a glass to Caroline and paying homage to one of her popular characters, Renee.
In a new sketch, Renee, who talks non-stop to her quiet husband Roy (Thomson) was remembered by her spouse as he sits alone on a sofa with an empty space where his wife should be.
Paul (pictured) and Harry Potter star Mark, 64, played an iconic duo of tailors Ken and Kenneth with the catchphrase ‘Suits you sir’
Charlie, Paul (seen as the Duke of Wymbourne) and Simon reunited for a charity one-off special following the death of former cast member Felix Dexter – which excited fans as the prospect of a tour
The show was resurrected by the Foster’s lager brand for a 13-part online series in 2011
Paul, 62, told The Mirror at the time: ‘Let’s say the spirit of Caroline imbued us all with that idea.’
Saying the idea of paying tribute via a Roy and Renee sketch came ‘really quickly’ to the crew, Paul praised Caroline’s stellar body of comedy work in Mrs Merton, The Fast Show and The Royle Family.
He added that the cast missed Caroline ‘terribly’ and that he and Caroline had a ‘soft spot for one another.’
Arabella, 62, recalled her first meeting with Caroline, saying: ‘The first thing I thought when I met her – and that was probably to do with her addiction issues – was this person was not only unbelievably talented and funny but there was the remoteness of a genius, the impenetrability of a mind that was always working on comedy.’
Arabella added that she was troubled by Caroline’s heavy drinking when they first met and branded her a ‘fragile genius.’
Tickets for An Evening With The Fast Show go on sale on Friday 26 January at 10.00am from TheFastShow.live.