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Old 29th November 2017, 11:00 AM
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Default The League of Gentlemen.

With this excellent show returning to our screens this Christmas with three new episodes i thought i'd start a thread for the series that stars and is written by Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton along with co-writer Jeremy Dyson.

Here are a couple of exclusive to Empire magazine promo pics.



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Old 29th November 2017, 04:33 PM
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From the Christmas specials



Reece Shearsmith has certainly been working on his 'nose-work'!
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Old 29th November 2017, 06:03 PM
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I've just recently re-watched all the prior seasons in anticipation. It's a brilliant show and I'm really looking forward to checking the new episodes out.
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Old 29th November 2017, 06:46 PM
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I'll rewatch the Xmas Special shortly methinks. With this and a new film due soon (???) from Chris Morris apparently things are looking up for once
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Old 29th November 2017, 06:58 PM
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My favourite skit from the show

It regularly gets quoted!

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Old 6th December 2017, 04:37 AM
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The new trailer

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Old 8th December 2017, 06:50 PM
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EPISODE 1: Return To Royston Vasey - MONDAY 18 DECEMBER 2017 10pm BBC TWO

Familiar faces return to Royston Vasey, settling old scores and digging up some old friends - with more bad blood than an abattoir with septicaemia.

EPISODE 2: Save Royston Vasey - TUESDAY 19 DECEMBER 2017 10pm BBC TWO

Royston Vasey is facing a threat more terrible than anything it has faced before: boundary changes that will erase the town from the map forever. The fight to save the community from administrative annihilation comes from unexpected and surprising directions, all of them local...

EPISODE 3: Royston Vasey Mon Amor - WEDNESDAY 20 DECEMBER 2017 10pm BBC TWO

The local authorities, the local paper and the local police all play their part as the developing situation in Royston Vasey reaches its earth-shattering climax. Can the genie be put back in the bottle? And what dark forces have been unleashed in the amphibarium?

New interviews:

Reece Shearsmith

Q: You’re all really busy. How did you find time to reunite to make these specials?

A: We finally did the thing that we had never done before, which was decide a point in the future when we would do this. Because time rolls on, and another thing happens and then you’re not free. So we thought, “Right, let’s really decide we will all write The League of Gentlemen and do it in this timeframe.” And we did; we stopped things happening and this became the project that we were doing. So it had to happen then!

Q: Have you all enjoyed the reunion?

A: Absolutely. It took a long time to get us back together again. But, it’s been joyful and the writing process has been completely easy, organic. It flowed out of us without it being a difficult process. We weren’t thinking, “Well, what would we do if we brought it back?”

Q: Why did you decide to do it as three half-hour episodes?

A: It actually worked better that way round for the unfolding story because we could make it more cliff-hangery. We could make it so you can’t wait to see the next one, hopefully. An hour is a very different thing to three half hours. And it fitted with the idea that we wanted people to feel that when it comes back on, it’s like it’s never been away.

Q: How did you choose which characters to include and which ones to exclude?

A: Well, that was hard. Certain ones presented themselves that we thought we should bring back and that it would be remiss for the audience’s sake to leave out. Sadly, we couldn’t fit them all in. We had story lines for some and we had to completely extract them because of time pressures.

Q: Which characters do you enjoy performing most?

A: I do enjoy doing Geoff. He’s a funny character. I also like doing Legz Akimbo, the theatre company. We could do a whole series of them touring - that would be fantastic. That’s next!

Q: You throw yourself into the characters, don’t you?

A: Yes. Like today we did Charlie and Stella. Once you’re in it and doing that character, you’re suddenly embodied as that person. It’s the funniest thing you’re doing that day and you want to completely commit to it. I just went up to Jeremy as Stella and he said, “Oh, there she is.” I said, “What?” He replied, “It’s just the Stella I remember. It’s not a man in drag, it’s just a woman.” I thought that was the best compliment he could have given me. But you know, you love every character when you’re doing them, and you give every effort to make them real.

Q: Was it essential that Edward and Tubbs appeared in the specials?

A: It would be strange to not have some sort of return from those two as they were very iconic to the show, so we’ve given that some thought. They have struck such a chord over the years. You see our catchphrase, “a local shop for local people,” everywhere now, with no irony.

Q: Is there a worry that critics might carp that it was a mistake to bring it back?

A: Yes, there is that worry, but if you thought too long about that, you wouldn’t do it. Of course, even if this was better than the original League of Gentlemen, there’d be some who would say, “They should never have done it and it’s terrible now.” Because to them, it’s in aspic as this brilliant thing and you meddle with it at your peril. They think you should just remain enigmatic. But then you’d never do anything.

Q: Is it hard to know if you have gone too far in certain scenes?

A: Not really. I think we have always been very diligent about how we do that and about how we shock - if we do shock - and what line you cross. We learned very early on that we have a responsibility as we are piped into people’s homes. I think we earn it if we do something shocking. We’ve always tried to have you care about the characters, so if something happens, it matters. And if we swear, we do it for a reason, not willy-nilly. In this, we’ve just tried to be really truthful to the story we’re telling and hopefully it won’t feel like it’s gratuitous. I never felt like we were gratuitous. I always think saying that is a bit of a cop-out. It does us a disservice to think that we are just shock merchants. We really try quite hard to craft it.

Q: When viewers leave Royston Vasey, what will they take with them?

A: I think we do deliver all you would expect if you were a fan. I think there are a lot of questions answered and lots of new questions posed, and it is quite moving. It is an absolute celebration of that world and those characters.

Mark Gatiss

Q: Have you felt a sense of joy making these specials?

A: It's been genuinely lovely, honestly. I said the other day, you know, if this all went south, and suddenly we’d lost the money or something, it would still have been worth it because it has just been such a good laugh. We’ve had a great time getting back together.

Q: You’ve been discussing this for a long time. What was the thing that finally prompted you to do it now?

A: We just set aside the time to do it - and we knew the 20th anniversary of us winning the Perrier Award and doing our radio series was coming up. We never split up. We just stopped for a break - like Abba! We’ve talked about it for ages and said that we would love to do something.

We didn't want to feel like a 90s band getting back together! But the lovely thing actually is that we are doing it because we want to, not because we have to. The thing that finally made a difference was the question: “Oh, I wonder what happened to...?” That’s the logical question which takes care of a lot of it. That immediately gives you somewhere to go.

Q: Did the characters instantly come flooding back to you?

A: Pretty much. It didn’t feel strange shooting here in Hadfield. The first day was in the Town Hall with Bernice and Murray. The first shot was on some stairs, and it felt like we’d just stopped two minutes ago! We were immediately back in the flow of it. Weird but great.

Q: Can you explain the thinking behind the premise of the specials, that Royston Vasey is about to be wiped off the map?

A: Right at the beginning of The League of Gentlemen, we linked it with the idea of a new road coming. We wanted that to be the most basic sort of thing, like a little bit of connective tissue. What we found, to our astonishment, was that people would say, “What’s happening about the road?” It’s amazing - you can do a lot with a little thread like that. Then the second series was the nose bleed epidemic. So for the specials, we wanted something like that which is simple. Royston Vasey under threat.

Q: You’ve got such a range of wonderful characters. How did you decide which ones to run with?

A: Obviously, some of them reached their natural conclusion – although that doesn’t always stop you bringing them back! It was mostly led by wanting to do certain things again and having a good laugh about it. We wrote more than made it into the specials but we wanted to go with the strongest material obviously.

Q: Is there an overriding theme to the specials?

A: Mortality, I suppose! Inevitably if you go back to something that you last did 15 years ago, then it’s about all of us getting older. Looking at people’s responses to the announcement that we were going to do it, inevitably, like all these things, it’s actually a reminder of happier times for some people. It seems extraordinary for The League of Gentlemen to be like that!

Q: Which characters do you personally love the most?

A: Les McQueen, probably. I love the tragicomedy of his life! I also love Geoff, Mike and Brian, the businessmen. Dare I say it, I think over the years Geoff’s tragedy has developed a lovely richness to it. I just love it. It makes me laugh a lot. And Pauline, Mickey and Ross. I’ve always loved playing Mickey, and it’s one of those ones where once the teeth are in, he’s back!

Q: The “local shop for local people” has become an iconic sketch, hasn’t it?

A: Yes, that catchphrase is actually used in shops, without irony. Politicians also use it a lot, and I always get cross, thinking, “Do you know where that’s from?” That sketch works so well simply because it’s funny. The shopkeepers, Edward and Tubbs, are very silly, and they are disproportionately suspicious of anyone going into their silly little shop. They treat customers like they’re going to burn the shop down and kill them!

Q: That shop came from personal experience, didn’t it?

A: Yes, we were treated with great suspicion in a shop in Sussex. So from that little acorn grew this ridiculous Wicker Man-infused melodrama.

Q: How do you hope people will react to these specials?

A: I think there is something very joyous about it. Looking back, I think that our Christmas special was probably the best thing we did, and that was written in the same spirit of joyous enthusiasm. We thought, “Why don’t we just do it like a horror movie for Christmas?” and this has that kind of flow to it. It's happened very quickly in a similar sort of way. I think it is just very funny and we’ve had a great time doing it. I hope that translates to what people see because it really has been a joy to do.

Steve Pemberton

Q: How does it feel to be back?

A: It’s been brilliant. It’s like time is elastic, and it is really delightful but weird being back here. We’ve got Steve Bendelack back who directed all the original series and we’ve had one or two actors come back. For all of us, it’s just like we’ve never gone away.

Q: What made you decide to set the specials in Royston Vasey?

A: We felt that we wanted to revisit the place, we wanted to catch up with the characters, we wanted to see how time had treated them and whether anything had changed.

Q. How did you go about the writing process?

A: The good thing is we didn’t over-think it. We just said, “Let’s just go away, think of a character, start writing some scenes and let’s see what we generate.” That’s how we always worked.

Q. Did you find it immediately easy returning to play the characters?

A: Yes and No. You do the rehearsal and the first take, and then you say, “Is that right? Is that the voice?” You’re never quite sure. But actually it’s a muscle memory, something that’s been in there. We didn’t have a load of time for rehearsal. We had to launch straight into these scenes, and it has come flooding back.

Q: Is that because you all know each so well, there is a shorthand between you?

A: Yes. We have it in the writing process and doing scenes. We know each other so well. We’re like a football team. We know where the others are going to be, we know where the pass is going to go. We don’t spend ages rehearsing. We just say, “Look, this is what we think is right.” It’s a very collaborative way of working, and that’s what we’ve always enjoyed.

Q: Did you listen to the fans’ clamour for the return of Edward and Tubbs?

A: No, we didn’t really read what fans were saying. We chose the characters ourselves. Edward and Tubbs are very iconic, and we felt it was important that they had a life beyond being nearly hit by a train in series 3!

Q: There are so many memorable characters. Was it hard to choose which ones to go with?

A: They sort of chose themselves. If you’re sitting there with a blank sheet, you want something to make you start writing. So it’s those characters that are very vivid, very iconic which you wanted to make sure had a presence. But we have had to leave a lot of stuff out. So we weren’t short of material, put it that way.

Q: Can you outline the set-up that Royston Vasey is threatened with being expunged from the map?

A: In the first series, we had the threat of the new road being built, and the second time round we had the threat of the special stuff which nearly decimated the population. So we were looking for something that would do that job. I was reading about The Boundary Commission in the paper, and it was there in the back of my mind that a lot of places are up in arms that they’re going to be incorporated into other towns. People are generally very proud of their little plot of land and the name of it. So we wondered what the Royston Vasonians would think of that.

Q: Jeremy doesn’t perform, but can you please talk about his strengths as a writer?

A: He absolutely drove a lot of the writing. He was the first one to come up with ideas. What I love in particular is doing a character like Pop, where I haven’t had to think about the writing. So I can get Jeremy’s scripts like a treat, like a little Christmas present. His scripts are always brilliant, they’re such a joy to play.

Q: Can you please amplify that?

A: Jeremy has a great use of language - remember the very particular way Harvey Denton spoke? – and he understands character brilliantly. There is a great trick for a writer – if you cover up the names of the characters and just read the dialogue, you should always be able to know who is saying what. That’s absolutely the case with Jeremy.

Q: Do you feel emotional about the fact that all four of you are still so close after nearly three decades?

A: Yes. It’s very moving that we are all still great mates and that we get to work together like this. But what is also really moving is the warmth with which the news that it’s coming back has been embraced. And, you know, coming onto the set, a lot of the crew said, “I fought tooth and nail to get on this job.” I find that really touching, too
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Old 16th December 2017, 10:26 AM
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"You're my pint, now!"

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Old 21st December 2017, 05:22 AM
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League of Gentlemen rejects transphobia accusations: ‘There is room to have a laugh’ | PinkNews

I don't get this at all

Admittedly I'm a fan, but I have never thought of the character of Babs as being offensive to transgender people. In fact, I know a lot of 'hairy-trucker-in-a-dress' girls!!!

It seems that those who are complaining about the current series are just Viz style Millie Tants, jumping on the bandwagon and moaning about something that doesn't exist

There are/were shows that were much more transphobic - the hideous 'Little Britain' immediately springs to mind - but I have always found The League to be a show that is very gay/transgender friendly
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Old 21st December 2017, 05:30 PM
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Presumably this is going to be a DVD extra when the latest series is released

"Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith, Jeremy Dyson and Steve Pemberton (AKA The League of Gentlemen) visit the BFI Southbank to introduce series four of their comedy-horror show, a three-part return to Royston Vasey that is being broadcast 20 years after the sketch comedy first appeared on radio."

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