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Q&A: Thom Tuck on his new Radio 4 series Straight to DVD

Thom Tuck straight to DVD bbc radio 4 comedy

As one of the leaders of the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, one third of the Penny Dreadfuls, regular contributor to Radio 4 and a a Best Newcomer nominee at the Edinburgh Festival 2011, Thom Tuck is one of the busiest, respected and funniest people in the UK comedy scene.

Last year, he brought his brilliant Edinburgh show Thom Tuck Goes Straight To DVD  – a history of his heartbreaks told through the medium of mediocre Disney sequels – to Radio 4.

Both the BBC and the general public seemed to like it, and now Thom has a whole series dedicated to watching those sorts of films the rest of never quite get around to, from Steven Seagal’s many fighting classics and cinema’s many, many bodyswap adventures (only half of which star Rob Schneider).

We found out why he chose to put himself through such a tortuous process for our amusement.


Hallo Thom. How are you?

Hello, Laugh Out London (1). I am fucking marvellous. Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to swear. You guys can bleep that right?


This is an email interview…

Exactly. So it’s not going out live. So just put a bleep on top of it if I say fuck or jizzard or twatknuckle. [Bleep].


We’ll see what we can do.

Cheers, mate.


You’ve got a new show on the radio. What’s it about?

It’s about loads of films that pretty much nobody on Earth has seen. I would wager a large amount of money that there is nobody on this whole twatknuckling planet apart from me who has seen every film to which I refer in the series. They include three films about the Rapture (not the band (2), the idea that God’s chosen few will be lifted into heaven slightly before the apocalypse), ten Bollywood movies, all the Olsen (3) movies and a Steven Seagal one where he tries to do an accent.


What sparked your interest in seeing films nobody else really cares about?

Well. It started with my live show (4) about Disney straight-to-DVD films, which I made into a show for Radio 4. And then went quite well, so now the BBC think that that is all I can do. So I had to do a series on that, rather than what I wanted to do.


Which was what?

An musical exposé of the institutionalised child abuse in the Irish Catholic Church: “Diocese & Desist”. (5)


Why are there so many Steven Seagal films?

That just depends on your definition of the word “so”. Is it “so” many films to have released at least two a year since 2002? Is it “too” many films? Yes. But I think he could do more if he wasn’t such a damn good guy – going round the world solving all of its problems. I think between him, Tony Blair & Dennis Rodman (6) we could achieve world peace by 2030. Or, and this is the better option, he could make FOUR films a year. That way I would get a second series.


What’s the worst film you’ve seen?

“Countdown: Jerusalem”. It’s so boring and baffling at the same time. (Ed – From the trailer, it looks to be about Christians, nuclear bombs and the bionic man).


How do you think you’ve changed as a person after this straight-to-DVD odyssey?

I have a deeper understanding of what the bottom of the barrel looks like, and what scraping does to your fingers. I know that what I do isn’t that bad, because I’ve seen stuff that is.


Would you recommend our readers take a similar journey?

Christ, no! You’d have to be a complete cockmonster to do this after I have given you a get-out clause. I’ve done it precisely so you don’t have to. You can have a shallow knowledge of all of this bunk without ever having to do the hard work. Although a lot of the Bollywood ones are worth a go. Watch “Ghajini”. It’s incredible (7) (Ed – All three hours and five non-subtitled minutes are on YouTube!).


Do you have a genre you’ve yet to tackle?

I want to watch every single movie that has ever had a shark in it. And Nollywood.


Nollywood?

Nigerian Hollywood.


Of course. When/where can we listen to your show?

It’s in the 18:30 slot on Radio 4 on Tuesdays. The first show has already gone out, but it’ll be on iPlayer for a little bit. And I’m going to be doing the Disney live show a couple more times around the place (Ed – including the High Tide Festival theatre). Watch my twitter for details of that (@turlygod)… It’s still very good. So, yeah…


Bye!

Bye, you [beep] [beep] [beep]s.


(1) or, Jack and Tom. We’re on first-name terms. So…

(2) they had one good song once.

(3) Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Did you know that Mary-Kate Olsen was the last person to see Heath Ledger alive? True fact. And she definitely does not take drugs.

(4) It was nominated for “Best Newcomer” in my tenth consecutive year at the Fringe!

(5) Or the play about Hitler’s brother. Set in Liverpool.

(6) Lunatic former basketball player who went on a junket to North Korea recently.

(7) Imagine if Notting Hill & Memento were the same film.

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