There is but a year until TV-am’s 25th anniversary , so what better time to start pencilling in a few putative signings for another TV Cream biopic?
Stephen Fry would have to be Peter Jay: suave, verbose, out-of-his-depth and an old bugalugs. Kristin Scott Thomas would be the perfect Anna Ford, while Jane Horrocks would do the business alongside her on the sofa as Angela Rippon. Michael Sheen, the bloke playing David Frost in the West End, could do the same job here, even though he is the one who does that crap impersonation of Kenneth Williams. Parky, meanwhile, would have to be someone who can do miserable Yorkshire bastards. Timothy Spall, then.
The supporting cast would comprise of Bill Nighy playing Robert Kee, John Fortune doing Jonathan Aitken (and John Bird, inevitably, starring as his cousin Timothy Aitken), Barry Humphries camping it up as Bruce Gyngell and Philip Glenister, for want of anyone else with a big mouth and an accent, playing Greg Dyke.
Rob Brydon could be Nick Owen: the lowly everyman with a penchant for bad puns. Caroline Quentin would be an ideal Anne Diamond: simpering, matronly, obsessed with what’s in the papers. David Morrissey would be John Stapleton, Ashley Jensen his on-screen wife Lynn Faulds-Wood (a particular highlight being the scene where Morrissey would be reporting on the Brighton bomb from a phone box while Humphries minced around his office yelling).
Plus there’d be a special cameo from Geoffrey Palmer as Commander Philpott, Roland Rat would play himself, and Catherine Tate could be Mad Lizzie: annoying, loud, and with a penchant for repeating the same catchphrases years beyond the point at which they first became irritating.