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Ask your arse off

January 3, 2009


I promised I’d turn one of these comment threads into a Q&A, so let’s dance! Ask me what you want about ‘The IT Crowd’ and I’ll do my best to brighten the corners. Don’t expect immediate responses, as I really must get on with my life, and please don’t be offended if I don’t get around to answering everything. I’ll do my best, though.

240 comments

  1. What are some of the shows/movies/books that inspired the creation of IT Crowd?


  2. A small question about the competition in the DVD 2.0.

    What was Roy’s losing poker hand and how could we find it?


  3. Will you ever deal with time travel? Thanks lots for a great show.


  4. I’m a member of Netflix (U.S.) , but the IT Crowd series remains “unavailable”. I’m sure this is a boring licensing question, but any ideas when we will we able to rent it legally here.


  5. Can we expect another series?


  6. Do you take budget constraints into account when writing, and has it ever effected a storyline majorly?

    Do you encourage improvisation in development/rehearsals?

    Do you have “test audiences” of any form before the actual filmings?

    Is it a coincidence there is an Irish character, or do you think that there would have ended up being a minor reoccuring Irish character if Chris O’Dowd hadn’t have been Roy? (I win for most awkwardly phrased question)

    What would a day in the life of an IT Crowd runner be like?

    Would you like to make an IT Crowd film?

    Is there any element in the way that you work that you’ve been told by cast or crew is different to most other writers/directors?

    What are your favourite lines/contributions from any series from members of the cast?


  7. Do you use a website like FriendFace?

    (That bit killed me and was amongst my favourite bits, along with Hitler, Roy becoming destitute after a few hours on the street, and The Joker. I love the way that you put very contemporary pop culture references in the program)


  8. Are there any plans to give the characters life outside the series? It would seem like the perfect show for cross-platform antics that commissioners are keen on at the moment. For example Roy’s blog or Moss’ Twitter feed going on in real time in-between series?


  9. Who was the 37th President of USA?


  10. @Contains Nuts: Richard Nixon was the 37th President of the US


  11. Ooh, at this stage, I better introduce a new rule. Only one or two questions per person please.


  12. Assuming that you were yet start on The IT Crowd, but, you had secured almost limitless funding (as if!) – what would you change & why?


  13. What have been your real life experiences with IT people that lead to the creation of the show?


  14. Did the Stage ever publish the ‘full interview’ that they promised to after you rightfully criticised them for selecting a few negative comments? I can’t find it.


  15. What are some of the shows/movies/books that inspired the creation of IT Crowd?
    Structurally, ‘Seinfeld’ was the major influence, I guess. But it was actually the lack of things that were like the show that inspired me. There didn’t seem to be anything around that was dealing with the way technology was changing our lives. There also weren’t many good audience sitcoms. So I thought that was a gap I could fill.


  16. “What have been your real life experiences with IT people that lead to the creation of the show?”

    I called an IT guy and when my wife answered the door he said “You’re not Graham.” Later, I asked him why there weren’t more IT guys who made house calls. He said “They don’t have the people skills.”


  17. “Did the Stage ever publish the ‘full interview’ that they promised to after you rightfully criticised them for selecting a few negative comments? I can’t find it.”

    Can’t remember. I thought they did but maybe they didn’t…Anyone got the link?


  18. “Assuming that you were yet start on The IT Crowd, but, you had secured almost limitless funding (as if!) – what would you change & why?”

    I would move the office upstairs. Easier to get people in and out and therefore easier to kickstart stories.


  19. Do you try and balance the amount of screentime between the ‘more normal’ characters of Roy and Jen and the ‘wackier’ Moss & Douglas?


  20. Is there a lot of ‘corpsing’ when filming? I imagine it can sometimes be immpossible to film a scene caus everyone keeps laughing!


  21. “Are there any plans to give the characters life outside the series? It would seem like the perfect show for cross-platform antics that commissioners are keen on at the moment. For example Roy’s blog or Moss’ Twitter feed going on in real time in-between series?”

    I don’t really have the time…that’s a lot of work, when you think about it. And it’s hard enough doing the show…


  22. are you a nerd?


  23. Hi Graham ; Only TWO questions (I have hundreds but TWO is better for you I supposed – haha).

    1: How did Katherine Parkinson get the role? She is such a beautiful, talented & funny actress. (also can I have her autograph :-)

    2: Before my ex-fiancee moved on, we were scheduled to come & watch the recording of the show in 2007. My ticket was for Friday 20th April 2007. Can you confirm which show that was the recording for?

    Thanks. Best wishes for 2009 & Series 4.


  24. “Is there a lot of ‘corpsing’ when filming? I imagine it can sometimes be immpossible to film a scene caus everyone keeps laughing!”
    Richard and Chris are terrible for that, but I always like it because it means they’re enjoying the situation. Richard found it very hard to do the “I think you still have feelings for this young man” speech, for example…and a lot of the husband and wife stuff from ‘Moss and the German’…Katherine’s a rock. I can only remember Matt losing it during ‘Usually I can’t wait to get away from a woman once I’ve ejaculated’.


  25. 1. Back on the season 1 commentary, you said you were going to get arthur and some other writers to help you with season 2. Not complaining, but what convinced you to carry on as a solo writer?

    2. I noticed that the ‘will they/won’t they’ plot was abandoned this year. I know that the Rohypnol episode was originally going to see Roy and Jen together. Have you completely discarded of this theme now?

    You don’t have to answer them both, but please pick at least one!


  26. Will we ever find out what or who is behind the green door?


  27. Forgive this for being a little off topic: how do you feel about doing a brief-ish interview for my students on your humanism perspective? Please use the attached email address if it sounds at all interesting and I will send you some links that will make you more confident than a large round egg.


  28. Hi Graham. Is there any chance that Matt Berry might be let loose with a musical number in a future episode? Or would that be terribly inappropriate?


  29. where was the pitbull in lipstick thing that was mentioned a few posts ago?

    Is there any part of your job you don’t like so much?

    Thanks :)


  30. In my opinion the IT Crowd is an awesome show but do you really want to go on doing it? Don’t you wish for a change yet?
    Father Ted ended after the third series, Black Books finished after the third one too and – despite my extremely positive feelings towards those shows – I think it was right.
    Thanks in advance and best wishes from Slovakia.


  31. Which episode was the most thrown together at the last minute, and why?


  32. What are the chances of a standalone Christmas-themed episode of The IT Crowd before the next series begins? (preferably double-length, like ‘A Christmassy Ted’)


  33. hello mr graham, which it crowd episode are you most proud of so far? and which one did you put loads of work into the most?


  34. I’d loved to watch the outtakes.


  35. Will Richmond ever return to Renholm Industries?


  36. hello mr graham, which it crowd episode are you most proud of so far? and which one did you put loads of work into the most?

    3 and 1.

    “Will Richmond ever return to Renholm Industries?”
    I hope so.


  37. Hi Graham. In all your sitcoms, you seem to have cast a lot of actors who are also comedians/comedy writers themselves (for example, in the IT Crowd, Richard Ayoade and Matt Berry) – do you find that they try to get involved in the writing process by adlibbing or discussing the jokes with you during rehearsals? If so, do you find that annoying or is it welcome?

    Right, that’s technically two questions, so I’ll stop there! Thanks for a bazillion laughs this series.


  38. “What are the chances of a standalone Christmas-themed episode of The IT Crowd before the next series begins? (preferably double-length, like ‘A Christmassy Ted’)”

    The Ted Christmas episode was an absolute bugger to write, but still… I would like to do something along those lines at some point.


  39. “Do you find that they try to get involved in the writing process by adlibbing or discussing the jokes with you during rehearsals? If so, do you find that annoying or is it welcome?”

    I cast funny people because I want their input. The show is often substantially rewritten in the week leading up to the studio record. it’d be crazy for me to cast such funny people and then expect them to keep silent if they spot a funnier way of doing a scene. That said, in the end, I cast the deciding vote. It’d be chaotic if that wasn’t the case.


  40. Can you post the un-used ‘montage’ tune by Neil Hannon from the episode “Smoke and Mirrors” please? Tanx.

    Unrelated I was saddened to read about the recent death of Gideon Baws from Shynola who done your titles.


  41. When writing, do you find it easier to come up with dialogue or plot? Does one quickly form the basic structure of an episode and then the other one follows?


  42. I know a lot of people who would like to have their own ‘Internet’ at home (with flashing light, and all).

    Can you give us pointers, on how to make our own replicas?
    That is, if the Elders of the Internet don’t mind.


  43. Are you going to introduce some longer plot arcs in any future series or just keep it simple and immediate?


  44. When trying to get one of your scripts made into an actual TV show what process did you go though?

    im currently at Uni writing scripts and am curious as to how its all gets from paper to peoples EYEBALLS

    cheers


  45. Girl with a one track mind: You might want to track down the recent episode of Screen Wipe in which Graham talks about this very subject.


  46. Hy Graham

    I’m from Germany and a huge fan of your work.
    Just one question:
    How deep do you go when you developing a main character (family backround, …) for a show?

    And, (cough) sorry for that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9RLaKUiiqk

    On the other hand: If you want to know how to screw up a very good original by making everything wrong, knock yourself out:


  47. Your style of direction gives a great ‘cartoonish’ feel to the program and I love it. You use quite pronounced cuts to show close ups of certain things (for example, when you show the drinking water with gold flakes in it). There are probably other ways that you achieve this feel. I think it is one of the things that sets the program apart from many others.

    What influenced this, or how did you come to choose it and start doing it?


  48. I presume I’m meant to restrict myself to a question rather than commenting on the series (which on the whole I love pretty unreservedly anyway), so here goes:

    As you seem to like using film references in the series (e.g. Sons of the Desert, Roman Holiday) was the fight between Douglas and April meant to reference the fight in Terminator 3 (with the bathroom smashing up bit) or the film Mr & Mrs Smith? Or is my memory just playing tricks anyway as I haven’t watched either of them for a while.

    Must say though that I’m glad that it sounds like you aren’t going to stop with series 3.


  49. Hi Graham,

    I love the IT Crowd. For someone (like me) who works in the IT industry its an essential a survival guide as Office Space. I’m glad that IT Crowd hasn’t come to the US, we’d just screw up something that works.

    Forgive the ignorance of my question, but why is a single series in the UK only 6 episodes? My wife and I enjoyed the 3rd season but now we are going through withdrawal.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. I’m doing what I can to spread the IT Crowd gospel in the US.

    Peace.
    Jeff


  50. Shouldn’t “Das iTeam” have been called “Das reBoot”?

    Or should I have made that quip earlier, ie before someone else?


  51. “Forgive the ignorance of my question, but why is a single series in the UK only 6 episodes?”

    Shows with 20+ episodes per season are usually team-written. Unfortunately, there’s only one of me, so six is all I’m able for.


  52. what about a show with pc vs mac?
    (coughapplecrapcough cough;)


  53. ps. is moss’s hair by any chance an exaggerated version of kramer’s [seinfeld] doo?


  54. “What influenced this (the show’s cartoonish style), or how did you come to choose it and start doing it?”

    It’s just came naturally out of being a fan of that kind of thing. Pythons, Marx Bros, Laurel and Hardy…and I was always a big comics fan. That probably helped.


  55. “was the fight between Douglas and April meant to reference the fight in Terminator 3 (with the bathroom smashing up bit) or the film Mr & Mrs Smith?”

    I gave the note to the fight choreographer that it should be like one of the ‘boss’ battles in the first Bourne Identity film.


  56. How deep do you go when you developing a main character (family backround, …) for a show?

    I don’t do any of that stuff, though I should. I hate that dry checklist approach, though. There has to be a better way…


  57. “Are you going to introduce some longer plot arcs in any future series or just keep it simple and immediate?”

    Simple and immediate. The show works best that way.


  58. ps. is moss’s hair by any chance an exaggerated version of kramer’s [seinfeld] doo?

    No, but Richard and I have endless Kramer discussions.


  59. What is the most rare/unique item on the set? Is there a story behind it?


  60. I’ve been hearing rumors of a US adaptation. I understand that might not be something you’re fully able to discuss, but is there any substance to the rumors at this point?


  61. Having proven your solo writing ability with the fantastic IT Crowd, would you work with Arthur as a partner again in the future?


  62. Hi Graham really appreciate all this lovely stuff, loved the latest series had some awesome lines in it, would like to see even more moss if possible, he is a wonderful character, gets me on the floor with almost all of his lines.

    My question is more of a request, I loved Moss’s message alert, “Message for me” and I want it for my google notifier, is there a chance you could make it an mp3 file for me and others to download, in the words of Douglas, “I would be beholden to you”.


  63. Who would you Shag, Marry or Kill…Roy, Moss or Jen…Discuss ??? Watching Series 2 megathon on More 4 the other night and the Gay Musical episode was absolute genius….made xmas a long distance memory


  64. Did you intentionally tweak Roy’s character in series 3 or is it just me? He seems slightly different but not in a negative way. Also do you ever see there being a two parter in a series like Kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse?


  65. I don’t do any of that stuff, though I should. I hate that dry checklist approach, though. There has to be a better way…

    I totally agree. Checklist Charakter development is a bitch. The best or most interesting character flaws, skills, etc. will pop up as you wirte anyway. And the characters I’ve written where mostly mixtures of people I knew.

    Question:
    As the showrunner of “IT”, what are your thoughts about the US write room approach.

    AND

    Did anybody from the german production company approached you about “Das iTeam”?


  66. Did Richmond and Denholm really get it on in episode six or were they just having a sleepover?


  67. Do you ever intend to introduce a new perhaps short-lived IT guru-style character? Moss is the man, and he needs a friend *nod*.

    Love the show. I had been hoping for an IT related comedy before the IT crowd existed, so Thank You =P


  68. On Screenwipe you discussed the difficulties of television writing.

    I think each series of The IT Crowd keeps getting better and I’m wondering if they become easier to write as you go on.


  69. What is your preferred “part” out of all 3 series? Maybe a character’s behaviour, a moment, a line, or.. one of roy’s shirts?

    Also, I’m not specific to series 3, I know but… what’s behind the green door? =P


  70. Will Flight of the Conchords ever make a guest appearance on The IT Crowd?

    That would be a supernova of awesome.


  71. You also direct. That’s really odd. Or is it?… I suppose my question is, did you always want to direct your own stuff, or if not, how did you decide that’s what you wanted to do? And what, if anything, do you miss about having another director? And does it change how you write? Okay that’s loads of questions but really it’s meant to be one question, I just haven’t asked it properly. Thank you. Happy New Year!


  72. Is the Altair, and other stuff on the set of the basement on loan, or were they given to you to use on the show?


  73. Hi Graham,

    Just wanted to say that I absolutely loved Series 3, it was by far the most consistently funny of them all. Every episode was just as amazing as ‘The Work Outing’ from series 2. Matt Berry really came into the character of Douglas too. Everything just worked. :) I certainly hope you find the same level of inspiration for a 4th series, and continue to write the series yourself. There is just so much a great focus when there is one writer. I’m sure it must be exhausting to be the sole writer, but in the end…it’s worth it. Take your time…good things take time.

    I guess my question would be…are you interested in doing a 4th series?

    All the best.

    Tim


  74. “Is the Altair, and other stuff on the set of the basement on loan, or were they given to you to use on the show?”
    We got a lot of stuff from a very kind person in the UK Computing museum…I’m hoping we can get it back if/when we go again…(so, yes, I do want to go again, Tim…would be a shame to stop just when we’re hitting our stride).


  75. I suppose my question is, did you always want to direct your own stuff, or if not, how did you decide that’s what you wanted to do?

    I wanted to be a director from a very young age, but I actually didn’t really know what it entailed. Once I started writing comedy, I realised quickly that if I really wanted to get my jokes onto the screen with the correct timing, casting etc, then I had to take the reins, something I didn’t relish because the glamour was completely gone by then. Be careful what you wish for…

    And what, if anything, do you miss about having another director?
    I miss being a lazy, happy-go-lucky writer. When you’re directing, it’s full-on.

    And does it change how you write?
    Not really. But I despair every time I write a crowd scene.


  76. I’m an American fan, and I just can’t get enough of The IT Crowd. Thank you.. thank you for all your shows! It’s been many years since I’ve seen a program that is just wall-to-wall laughs (for me, anyway). Do you think that the first series (or more) might be released in the U.S. within the next five years, say?


  77. Hi Grahm,

    Why do British shows have such short seasons?

    Regards

    Jon


  78. Sorry I meant Graham!


  79. Jon, if you were a famous writer/director & took the trouble to do a Q&A, would it bother you that people didn’t bother reading before posting comments…

    (See Graham’s answer at January 3, 2009 at 11:02 pm )


  80. Sorry, that sounded really arsey – didn’t mean it to come out like that!


  81. I liked the part when you were like ‘dude you should http://askraza.co.cc


  82. Sorry Graham, must have missed that one, that was so dumb of me. Not arsey at all.


  83. great work by everyone on series 3, but Chris O’Dowd was the stand-out performer this series.

    i noticed in the ‘tramps like us’ episode (where Chris was first thrown out of the building) Chris had a little ‘krammer’ in his walk, was this intentional?

    also, is Matt Berry as fun to work with as he is to watch? he seems to turn any line in to pure gold.

    keep up the great work, and i hope to see another series.

    ps.
    i was super super super happy to see my art in the office set. (i took a few screen grabs highlighting my art prints) http://shambolic-art.deviantart.com/art/IT-Crowd-and-me-107621291


  84. At the nth time of trying… First episode ever of the Crowd, Jem descending in the lift to scary corridor, Half-Life tribute or not? And for free, Left4dead is boss.
    Thanking you


  85. Is there any episode of the IT Crowd, that you felt lacked something, or could of been better?


  86. Hey Graham,
    My question is:

    “Was their a point when you were a young writer that you thought that you were good enough to make it so to speak? maybe someone gave you a great response to some of your written work or something like that. and if so, can you remember that moment?”

    (I may have worded that wrong but you know what I mean.)

    P.S.Thank you for Recommending some funny books for me a while back. I got “The Inimitable Jeeves” By Wodehouse and it’s the funniest book I’ve ever read!


  87. I forgot the fact they had to be I.T. Crowd questions while writing my previous post.Sorry about that.


  88. Given your stance of deleting posts from those people who want to point out where you went wrong in each episode, (to clarify, I think you should because it’s just plain bad manners on the part of the poster) do you ever read reviews of the show (positive or negative) or do you prefer to ignore them, and just get on with it, so to speak?


  89. I think matt berrys character douglas is one of the best, but ive always thought of him as a kind of fringe character coming in just to give that bit extra to the joke. Do you think he is best employed in this way or would you think about bringing him in more for longer periods of the episode?

    ps dylan moran guest appearance you be nice..we can all dream!

    Cheers and all the best!


  90. We’ve seen shows like the Office, Men Behaving Badly blah,blah,blah translated into ‘American shows’, and frankly never getting out of the toilet bowl by comparison. Which ‘american’ actors/comedians/politicians would you see cast in the American IT crowd ? ( You may add the letters S and H somewhere in there after American )
    Oh and will Moss be coming out next series ??


  91. Obviously Richard worked with Matt Berry in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, maybe it’s just me who can see similarities between Matt’s characters; Sanchez and Douglas. Did you see something in Darkplace that made you want to kill off Denholm so Matt could replace him?


  92. Where can you buy the shirts that “Roy” wore in the new series ?? I loved the Sesame Street shirt…


  93. So you ever read reviews of the show (positive or negative) or do you prefer to ignore them, and just get on with it, so to speak?

    Someone once said “I never read reviews. The bad ones hurt and the good ones don’t help.” I generally try to avoid reading anything until the show’s been out a while–it’s less painful when you run across a bad one–but the internet makes that incredibly difficult.

    That said, the internet’s ridiculous diversity of opinion reminds me that I shouldn’t take any one point of view too seriously.


  94. “I loved the Sesame Street shirt…”

    Then get ye to urban outfitters.


  95. “Did you see something in Darkplace that made you want to kill off Denholm so Matt could replace him?”

    I LOVED Matt in ‘Darkplace’. Always wanted to work with him. But Chris being killed off was more to do with the latter’s availability. He just didn’t have time to do another series. I was very happy with the father/son thing, though. Gave the show some much-needed texture.


  96. “Was their a point when you were a young writer that you thought that you were good enough to make it so to speak? maybe someone gave you a great response to some of your written work or something like that. and if so, can you remember that moment?”

    There were a lot of nice moments along the way, but one of the best was waiting to speak to Griff Rhys Jones for the first time and finding a photocopied stack of our submitted sketches in Talkback reception. On quite a few of them there were these huge tick marks…sometimes double ticks. I pointed them out to Arthur and we sat there glowing.


  97. Another request for an MP3 of Moss’s “message for me!” sound — that’d be fantastic to have available somewhere.

    Also: Have you considered marketing official electric sex pants?


  98. Is there any episode of the IT Crowd, that you felt lacked something, or could of been better?

    Every single one could be better. But you can only do your best.


  99. At the nth time of trying… First episode ever of the Crowd, Jem descending in the lift to scary corridor, Half-Life tribute or not?

    Not.

    And for free, Left4dead is boss.
    I know! Wish there were more levels, though.


  100. “Do you think he is best employed in this way or would you think about bringing him in more for longer periods of the episode?”

    I think series 3 got it about right.


  101. P.S.Thank you for Recommending some funny books for me a while back. I got “The Inimitable Jeeves” By Wodehouse and it’s the funniest book I’ve ever read!

    That makes me very, very happy, James. Now that you trust me on the matter, can I urge you to do everything in your power to track down a copy of ‘Lonesome Dove’ by Larry Mac Murtry? It’s just ASTONISHING.


  102. “That makes me very, very happy, James. Now that you trust me on the matter, can I urge you to do everything in your power to track down a copy of ‘Lonesome Dove’ by Larry Mac Murtry? It’s just ASTONISHING.”

    Yes i will definitely get that book. It’s my birthday coming up soon aswell so I’m going to ask for alot of the books you’ve recommended.
    Would you say “Lonesome Dove” is your favourite book? If not, what is?


  103. Hey Graham! The IT Crowd series 3 was a triumph, and I’m extremely grateful that you’re up for a Q&A.
    Of the vast incestuous British comedy world, what actors would you love to work with the most in the future? Similarly, what comedy writer/s (other than those with whom you’ve already collaborated) would you most love to work on a project with?


  104. Graham
    How does an aspiring sitcom writer submit storyline ideas for series 4 of IT Crowd? Would it be a waste of time or would you consider reading them?
    Graham Pearce


  105. Hey Graham,
    There does seem to be a demand for more episodes per series from the audience and some of the WTD comments.

    1.Have Channel4 ever asked for more?

    2.And would you ever consider doing a Paul Abbott (à la “Shameless”) and supervise and direct a small team of writers who put together the scripts?

    Not that I have a episode idea that I’d like to pitch. [actually, I do... but I doubt whether you'd take unsolicited scripts]


  106. Everyone looking for a Moss ‘message for me’ mp3: tis here:

    http://www.mbd5882.net/?act=downloads

    Graham, apologies if this has been asked, but what’s the funniest line you’ve been sad to have to cut from the show?

    (Also, I think you were dead right on allowing the use of the f-word in the sex-pants episode.)


  107. Is there a future for Jen and Roy? IS THERE??


  108. Hello Graham,

    This has been bugging me: what building do we see in the establishing shot for Renholm industries?

    I’m sure I recognise it…

    Keep up the awesome work – I’m getting IT crowd withdrawal symptoms already. Time for a DVD purchase, I think.


  109. Hi there graham!

    I’d say it is undeniable that the show has improved incredibly over the last three years. Would you say it is because you’re finding it easier to write on your lonesome? or is it because you know the characters better? or both? or all three?


  110. PLEASE RELEASE IT Crowd ON REGION 1 DVD.

    I’ve seen them all, *multiple* times, albeit not entirely legally I suppose.

    Good British shows take eons to come out on Region 1 and most of the time they still don’t. I’m willing to pay when it’s supplied.

    I’d owned bootlegs of Spaced for years, but when it (finally) came out on DVD in Canada, I still bought it.


  111. @Mike: Multi-region players are very inexpensive. You can probably grab one for about $50 online (the price of one boxset, really). No tech knowledge required, honest. It was the best investment I ever made and now I buy all my favorite Britcoms off amazon.co.uk.


  112. “PLEASE RELEASE IT Crowd ON REGION 1 DVD”

    this year! I promise!


  113. “…finding it easier to write on your lonesome? or is it because you know the characters better? or both? or all three?”

    All three.


  114. This has been bugging me: what building do we see in the establishing shot for Renholm industries?

    Oh, man, good question. I can’t remember. Somewhere near the gherkin…


  115. Hi Graham.

    My 12 year old son, who only just discovered IT crowd a few weeks ago, would like to ask if we’ll ever meet Moss’s mum.


  116. “Is there a future for Jen and Roy? IS THERE??”

    No, I don’t think so. It just doesn’t seem to suit the show. I tried to write some will they/won’t they in the past and it just never felt right. Also, Chris and Katherine are longtime friends so I wouldn’t inflict it on either of them. It’d feel freaky for all of us.


  117. “Graham, apologies if this has been asked, but what’s the funniest line you’ve been sad to have to cut from the show?”

    can’t remember the funniest, but there’s one I do miss. In ‘the Gun’, i wanted Richard to say “I’m going to see a man about a dog, all over her house.” Someone claimed he’d never heard the phrase so we changed it to the ‘personal potatoes’ thing. I MUCH prefer the former and I wish I’d stuck to my guns.


  118. 1.Have Channel4 ever asked for more (episodes)?

    No, they’re happy with a six-pack.

    2.And would you ever consider doing a Paul Abbott (à la “Shameless”) and supervise and direct a small team of writers who put together the scripts?

    Yes, if I could find people who consistently made me laugh and had a firm grasp of the show.


  119. “Of the vast incestuous British comedy world, what actors would you love to work with the most in the future?”
    Andy nyman. He rocks my world.


  120. I’m afraid i don’t look at IT Crowd scripts…sorry.


  121. Hey Graham, I noticed that Jen said “computers” correctly a few times in the latest series instead of COM-puters. Was this a mistake or something to do with comic timing?


  122. hey Graham,do the actors pick out all the geeky crap like the comics and toys that clutter the place or is that all you?
    and one more question,if it`s alright with yourself:Do you prefer the IT Crowd to Father Ted,Big Train and the like?


  123. Irish fan here, I love the show, the more quality multi-camera Channel 4 sitcom in the world, the better.

    Just to suck up to you a bit more, I love the fact that there’s no sign of you stopping the show anytime soon.

    That said, would you be open to doing a show in the future where you have a team of writers, churning out more shows and developing characters to new heights?

    The Office was good, for example, but I’m about to start on Season 4 of the American remake and it’s miles ahead of the UK version. There’s far more characters, situations, development and payoff for the audience. It’s a more rounded show for it.

    I’m not claiming it’s fool-proof (the US pilot of The IT Crowd probably had no shortage of writers and still failed) but can you see a day when a British sitcom will have a 20+ episode season of quality shows?


  124. Have you ever thought about a wanabe geek in the IT crowd? The sort of person who knows a little about computers but is soon over their head and causes more problems than were origionally there.


  125. Well done with the lovely show. Don’t have a question. Perhaps you could click the link and imagine this guy asking you one. Creepiest. Movie. Still. Ever……Ever!

    http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/evil-clowns08/


  126. “Hey Graham, I noticed that Jen said “computers” correctly a few times in the latest series instead of COM-puters. Was this a mistake or something to do with comic timing?”

    Hmm…yes, we probably should have been more consistent there…but I think it’s such a weird way of saying the word, too many times and people would question the reality of it.


  127. Is there any way one could read some original scripts of the series for writing reference and at-work-silent-giggling purposes?
    Also, thanks for everything.


  128. Hi Graham
    First off, Diet Of Worms’ new show is going to be on RTE 2 this week. Thanks for helping to raise their profile. I’ve been a big fan for years and I’ve no doubt that your very vocal support has helped RTE to for once make a good decision.

    With promoting new comedy in mind, I just wanted about how your comedy production group you’re starting and whether or not you’ll be accepting unsolicited submissions?
    Many thanks
    Terry


  129. I noticed episodes 1 and 4 are not available on ‘4 on demand’. Any idea why this might be? I wanted to show a yet unconverted-IT crowd friend no. 4, in particular, as it’s a favourite.


  130. Thanks for the chance, and the show. Pick one or two:

    1. Are you trying to out your sexuality recently? Unfortunately we noticed with Moss kissing Roy (even if it was just in an emergency), the Douglas-Tranny Relationship and finally the geek calender gave series 3 a huge homosexual touch. If you look back to series 2 there’s also the gay musical. Is this out of an special purpose? What are you trying to tell us? Are you “gay” (without meaning it bad)?

    2. Will IT Crowd by any chance return to be like series 1 with more office-scenes? Me and my friend here felt in series 3 was too less of Moss and Roy, a little bit too much of Douglas (though WOW, a Gun! is classic) and overall a slight loss of ‘geekness’ compared to previous episodes of the other seasons. I understand it’s hard to reach both geeks and main stream, though I really prefer season 1 the most, followed by most of season 2 where you havn’t tried to reach more of the mainstream as much as in series 3. So where is the series heading to?


  131. Have you found writing fresh, original comedy getting easier or harder over the years?


  132. What is the most surreal moment you’ve had during filming? I can’t think of one more surreal than Chris Morris dancing his ass off at the end of season one


  133. oops, may I also say that Father Ted is one of my favourite television shows ever and I was rolling over the floor watching “The Work Outing” for the first time the other night (layering the unexpected gags so superbly in such a distracting way that a pretty simple and obvious gag like Moss behind the bar completely blew me away) and therefore it’s a real honour to be able to communicate with you in this way (just in case I say anything stupid and/or offensive down the line, which knowing myself seems pretty likely!) Also Richard Ayoade is fantastic and I deeply regret putting off watching IT Crowd for so long because I assumed his character would be an overplayed comic relief nerd archetype (when in fact he underplays it perfectly).


  134. Everyone enjoying the spam? I like the way it pads out the genuine questions from fans. You could say it brings out the flavour. Troll flavour, that is.

    Anyway, I’ll have a couple of questions tomorrow – some good ones have been asked already though. Nice of you to open this thread, Graham. Thanks a lot for all the laughs this series, by the way! Best one yet.


  135. “yes, I do want to go again, Tim…would be a shame to stop just when we’re hitting our stride”

    Thanks for that Graham! My wife and I are looking forward to seeing another series of this wonderful show. :)

    By the way, we’re from Prince Edward Island, Canada. A friend introduced the show to us after the first series, and we have kept an eye on it ever since. I’ve gotten more friends hooked on it as well. I’m working on building a fan base for the show here. :)

    All the best.

    Tim


  136. So Graham, any idea when we might see series 3 in Australia? I ended up getting season 2 from Amazon UK it took so long to be shown here… then about a month after the DVD arrived it started on telly. Still, I would have got the DVD anyway.


  137. Hi Graham,

    any chance we’ll see the failed US pilot, maybe as a DVD bonus feature? I’m dying to see it, for scientific reasons of course.

    Happy new year! Love your comedies!


  138. Hey Graham! Thought I’d get in a question before all of them are used up!

    I’m just starting out in writing, and my partner and I (one of two partnerships in a group of five) find that we sometimes really struggle generating truly original ideas that haven’t been done in some way or another at some point, somewhere.

    I know everything, like music, is pretty much a rework of the basics, with generic narrative structures and the likes. Do you worry about complete originality in your work?

    And what do you think is an acceptable level of pastiché or reference in anything you create?

    I’m not asking because I think you copy people (far from it!), I’m asking because it’s something I worry about when I write and it would be fantastic to get some professional advice.

    Thanks for doing this little question-time, Graham. x


  139. Hey Graham,

    could you upload a sample IT CROWD script? You would rock my world.

    Thanks!


  140. Hi Graham,

    I think it’s great that you do these open forum things where you get to interact with fans/grumpy people – but does it get annoying when people try to get use the site to ask for help/send you stuff?

    If yes – stop reading now!
    If no, I’ve written a script (based on an idea called N S Sherlock I tried to send you a while back) and was wondering if ‘Delightful Industries’ would be interested in having a look? Or if you were in Ireland at any stage in the future I’ll love to talk to you about it for 3 mins…

    Thanks a million, and sorry for the massive brass neck


  141. could you upload a sample IT CROWD script? You would rock my world.

    Hy Oang Utan Klaus

    Try this link:

    http://www.theitcrowd.co.uk/script/1.1/en/1-1.1-yesterdays-jam.htm

    Its a transcript of S1E1

    best


  142. Will we ever find out what IT truly stands for?


  143. I’m just starting out in writing, and my partner and “I (one of two partnerships in a group of five) find that we sometimes really struggle generating truly original ideas that haven’t been done in some way or another at some point, somewhere.

    I know everything, like music, is pretty much a rework of the basics, with generic narrative structures and the likes. Do you worry about complete originality in your work?”

    It sounds to me like you’re forcing it, maybe writing the kind of things you feel you should be writing, rather than the weird, unique stuff that floats up from your subconscious.
    You and your friends make each other laugh, don’t you? Presumably, you’re saying things that haven’t been said before…you’re not just quoting Simpsons lines at each other? Then why can’t you get this stuff down on paper?
    If you and your friends are not making each other laugh, you might need to find other collaborators.


  144. One of the funniest sketched I’ve ever seen was Matt Holness’s Ellis the IT guy in Bruiser – probably because I’m a software engineer (not IT, electronics thanks) myself, but still. I was really pleased when the same character turned up in The Office and was just as hilarious.

    Ommm [sic], so, my dream IT Crowd episode features Matt as Ellis in some sort of confrontation with Moss and Roy. There so much petty disagreement between techies and engineers in real life that I feel there should be more of it in the IT Crowd.

    My questions are:

    Have you ever considered asking Mat to reprise his role again? I mean you have the other two already, he’s almost conspicuous by his absence.

    AND

    What do you think in general about characters moving between ‘universes’.


  145. Hey Graham, what do you think of the new Doctor Who?


  146. The building is Thomas More Square near St Katherine’s Docks. Link: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=st+katherines+dock&ie=UTF8&ll=51.50754,-0.065875&spn=0.010578,0.043688&z=15

    Love the show :)

    John.


  147. One of the factors that really centers the show is all of the realistic nerd cack strewn about the office. For instance, I noticed a sign behind Roy that came from a Dinosaur Comics t-shirt design. Who finds it and places it all about?


  148. I have a rather large red rash on my upper left thigh.

    Can you help?

    If you can – reply.

    If not – don’t reply.

    If in doubt – call a doctor (and reply).


  149. “what building do we see in the establishing shot for Renholm industries?”

    It’s Trinity Town on Thomas Moore Square: http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=135877


  150. By which I mean “Trinity Tower”.


  151. I’ve some great interrogative questions – but, by the same measure, so did the Spanish Inquisition, and most of my questions are just as leading. Since no one here is expecting that, I’ll ask a simpler one:

    How important is character vs. situation to you going forward with the series? I mean, in my opinion, the strength of the IT Crowd hasn’t just been the surreal situations, but the fact that we, the audience, knew enough about the characters to see why the character’s own make-up was forcing them to react to a situation in a certain way and make choices that a more balanced person wouldn’t. They were almost ‘trapped’ by their characterisations – ala the characters in the old TV programme Lexx.

    Is Douglas’ (nearly) impervious nature a sign of things to come – i.e ‘monster-of-week’ without consequences – or is he going to remain a unique character in this regard?


  152. Did you base any elements of the characters on people you know? I find it hilarious (and a little bit scary) just how much my husband is like Roy and my best friend is like Moss.


  153. How do you find working for channel 4 is it a channel that allows you the freedom you want or have you received that from writing consistently great material. Alternatively do they just pay you the most?


  154. Thanks, Graham. Here we go again:

    1) What was your favorite episode to write?

    2) whatw as your favorite episode to film?

    3) what’s your favorite epiosodes, looking back?

    -mE!


  155. Hello, yes we did publish the full interview! It went in the issue dated the 31st August 2008 (page 32). We can send you the PDFs of the pages if you would like to see them, Graham. Back issues are also available to purchase if anyone else reading would like to buy them, or you could pop along to the Central Reference Library in Westminster, who have a full archive of our papers – or even pop into The Stage’s offices to read it in our foyer (we are based near London Bridge).


  156. Thanks, The Stage!


  157. 1) What was your favorite episode to write?
    2) what was as your favorite episode to film?
    3) what’s your favorite epiosodes, looking back?

    Good and bad moments in the writing and filming of all of them, and it all mixes together in my memory so it’s a very difficult question to answer. ‘Speech’ was good…’The Gun’, I very much enjoyed doing the photo session in ‘Cal Geeks’…


  158. It might be worth a quick reminder to American viewers that episodes of IT Crowd are being shown on IFC (I know you’ve covered it but still…)

    In any case, I applaud this brilliant show. It’s one of very few that I can watch repeatedly and still enjoy immensely (we watched the Stress Machine episode again just this past weekend and have committed the dialog to memory).


  159. Enjoyed the show from the start…
    Missed Richmond this series since he came down with ‘scurvy’.

    What show do you watch for entertainment?

    Hoping for a 2009 DVD Release for the US of The IT Crowd??

    Best of wishes in the new year.


  160. I understand not looking at IT Crowd scripts that people send you but what about plot suggestions? I only ask because my friends and I work on an IT Helpdesk with people who are uncannily like Roy, Moss and Jen. Everyday I see situations that are prefect starting points for future episodes of IT Crowd and the writer in me is unable to do anything with them. I could easily give you a dozen individual storylines for Moss, Roy, Jen and Douglas!

    And did you keep any of the comics that fans you to decorate the set in Series 3?


  161. “I loved the Sesame Street shirt…”

    Then get ye to urban outfitters.

    Please don’t. Read Hipsters for Santorum.


  162. This has plagued myself and the missus ever since series 1 can you give us an answer, is it pronounced the Eye-Tea Crowd or the ‘it’ crowd?


  163. Have you considered penning a separate series entitled ‘The Pit Crowd’ about a group of somewhat geeky miners?


  164. Graham, Re: the DVDs. How much input did you have on producing those? I’m guessing quite a lot, as they are very well produced compared to some others.


  165. I’m going to close comments for a while on this to give me a chance to catch up. Come back tomorrow and we’ll be open for business again.
    (Update: Actually, i just realised, I won’t be able to. tune in again on Wednesday!)

    One question before I go to bed…
    “This has plagued myself and the missus ever since series 1 can you give us an answer, is it pronounced the Eye-Tea Crowd or the ‘it’ crowd?”
    I usually say ‘both’, but these days I favour Eye-Tea.


  166. [...] just opened a thread on his blog where people can ask questions mainly pertaining to the IT Crowd, anybody can go ask a question and [...]


  167. “Graham, Re: the DVDs. How much input did you have on producing those? I’m guessing quite a lot, as they are very well produced compared to some others.”

    You guess right, but there’s a very clever team of animators, IT guys, designy types who are just as responsible for how they turn out.

    “What show do you watch for entertainment? ”
    ‘Outnumbered’ and ‘Apparitions’.


  168. “And did you keep any of the comics that fans you to decorate the set in Series 3?”

    Fantagraphics very kindly sent me a care package when I was living in Dublin, so I didn’t need to.


  169. “Did you base any elements of the characters on people you know?”

    Not really, but many plotlines come out of anecdotes that friends tell me. For instance, the kissing moment in ‘Are We Not Men’ is based on a true story, believe it or not. Too long to go into here, I’m afraid, but I’ll explain on the commentary for the episode.


  170. I once did one of those webchat things on the Channel 4 website after and Episode of Black Books. Having fired off many Paxman-esque questions I got a bit desperate and started asking any old rubbish. Which one did they pick? “Did you drink lots of red wine while writing it?”

    Soooo, what was your tipple this time?

    The Grand Inquisitor strikes again.


  171. Graha, how was the atheir bus launch?


  172. Hi Graham,
    Happy New Year, son! …

    Was interested in knowing what software you use for writing.

    How long does Channel 4 give you to write the next series.

    Also, I appreciate someone as funky and ‘down wid it’ as yourself is a busy bee and far from in need of extra curriculum tit-bits, but I still wanted to ask if you’ve ever accepted scripts to look over for an exorbitant hourly fee (something I’d be more than willing to do with my latest script)

    I know that’s technically 3 questions, so ignore the middle one if a bout of repetitive strain injury washes over ya…


  173. Graha, how was the atheir bus launch?

    it wer greet!


  174. I bet you’re regretting opening up this thread…

    I have a question about the “depth” of gags. For example, you think of a funny situation and you want to know if it’s strong enough to support an entire episode, or whether it’s more suited to just a throwaway comment in the middle of some dialogue. I’ve always hated Will Self for throwing away 24 Carat ideas in side-dialogue or footnotes. Each one of those I think could be extended into its own short story.

    So do you have a process you go through for testing the “size” of a gag, or is it simply intuition? If you have a process, I’d love to know it.

    Thanks!


  175. Found this nice collection of daily routines of writer types (http://dailyroutines.typepad.com/) and wondered do you have a routine for when you’re in the thick of writing a series? Crack of dawn stuff? Only at night? Office hours? Locked away in a room or do the family roam in and out? Solid writing all day or an hour of writing followed by a quick internet dip and then back again?


  176. Sorry, broken keyboard. Fixed now. Hope your talk will be up on youtube. Hope someone was filming. Here are some pics of you looking very fashionable and proving the adage that only real men can get away with wearing pink shirts – http://www.atheistbus.org.uk/nggallery/page-534/page-3/

    My (related) IT Crown question – Any plans to talk about the religious convictions (or lack there of) of the team in Series 4 (or do you think you have done enough with Ted)?


  177. i would like to see a big fat angry troll character behind the green door. or a cosplayer.
    that’ll be fun, and i hope richmond goth guy return in too.
    BTW great show


  178. Hi Graham,

    Are there any plans for an IT Crowd script book? I sure hope so.

    Thanks.


  179. Not a question. Just a thank you.

    Thank you.


  180. Not an I.T. Crowd question, but it will really help settle a bet with my friends!

    When Father Barty Dunne says.. “Hahaha… He won’t mind me telling you this… hahaha… ah no.. no..”

    Who is he talking about?! We’re dying to know. (more than likely no one I’m sure)


  181. Same here, just thank you :)


  182. Dear Graham

    I noticed that you have a script editor on the IT Crowd. I wondered how helpful this has been and if you could give any specific examples of how things have improved.

    Thanks

    Jon


  183. Graham!

    If you ever get bored of making the IT Crowd, how about getting some people together and making more Big Train?! That was so unbelievably funny!


  184. Graham, how much rehearsal do you let the actors do before performance? Do you let them change the words, do they ever add things, or is it pretty much as written?

    great q&a, btw


  185. I just watched the Virginia Plain Big Train sketch and had to come back and thank you for every single Friday night you (along with Arthur Matthews) have made so enjoyable for me growing up through Big Train, Father Ted, Brass Eye, IT Crowd, Black Books and bits of other things like Ted and Ralph from Fast Show (Wikipedi-yeah!).

    I genuinely feel very much that I should thank you and that you are an amazing person for what you have given Britain. Feel free to retire at any time because you’ve been one of the most consistent comedy enablers in the last 20 or so years and I love you for it. (Please don’t retire)


  186. Graham, is this you on Twitter?

    http://twitter.com/glinner


  187. yes, it is


  188. You’re all very kind, by the way. Thanks for being so sweet about the show and all the other things I’ve been involved in. I’ll try not to let you down. xx


  189. ha, ha! I just checked my e-mail account and discovered a bezillion new followers on Twitter. Welcome!


  190. I’m pretty sure that’s thanks to Wossy. He mentioned you on his twitter. (Jumps onboard the twitter bandwagon)


  191. I’ve got just two short-questions/recommendations:

    1- Have you published a list of the geek objects you included in the ambientation of the basement? I think it would be funny trying to find all of them.

    2- We’ve just start january… are you thinking about selling the geek calendar or including it in the 3 season DVD?


  192. Can I ask what would have happened with Moss’s toliet guy bully if The Work Outing had been about that?
    by Nick Ridley December 5, 2008 at 9:34 pm


  193. Okay. I’m trying to find a contact email for Graham but I just seem to have subscribed to a load of sites. Now what colour should the border round the edge of the border be? ….It doesn’t matter, no-one else knows it’s there. IT Crowd, yes, it’s great, my sort of comedy.
    Torgwen – Twitter


  194. Was the IT crowd in any way a response to The Office? When the show first came on I think a lot of people didn’t know what to make of it. It seemed old fashioned compared the naturalistic style of other comedies, but I think will become known as a classic.


  195. Dear Graham,
    Out of all the characters you’ve created for Father Ted, Black Books, and IT Crowd, which one do you most consider to be a kindred spirit? And are there any characters who you personally dislike?


  196. “Can I ask what would have happened with Moss’s toliet guy bully if The Work Outing had been about that?”

    Good one! I had him going into the loo over and over, lording it over the guy, taking all the sweets from the plate and asking for aftershave. By the end of it he stank, and the bloke managed to bully him again anyway. It was going to be called ‘The Blue Goldfish’ and actually featured a flashback to Moss as a kid.

    It was too out of character for Moss. Too unsympathetic.


  197. I had a problem with the temperature of one of the PCs at work: the casing was so hot that you could blister your palm if you touched it (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). A message would pop up on screen stating “Warning core processor temperature too high.. blah, blah.. etc”.
    So I phoned the IT helpdesk and they sent round their nearest engineer and he changed the fan.

    When the problem happened again I phoned the IT helpdesk and they sent round the nearest engineer BUT when I mentioned to him that the PC had been “fixed” by another guy… suddenly there was a dark look in his bespecticled eyes. He told me that the engineer was from another company and then proceeded to question whether there was a new fan in the PC… I had to try hard not to laugh because the 2nd engineer was trying to convince me of this evil plot by a rival engineer company to steal his customers… all I could think of was IT Crowd (and I had to bite my lip quite a lot)

    Oh yeah where was I, the question?

    Do you think there might be a strong nemesis type antagonist in a future episode… like a freelance IT squad (kinda sounds like A-Team) that could be offering a better service… or even that outside of Renholm Ind. The guys might have their own freelance gigs and have to face-off against rival IT engineers…?


  198. That actually sounds like a good idea Bob, but you’ve probably ensured it’ll never happen now…


  199. Well, i like the idea of The Dominator…maybe he’ll come back… with something more interesting to do…


  200. I see on your twitter you had kind words to say about The Mist, I saw it in colour in the cinema when it came out and was harping on about it for months, got the DVD over Christmas and watched the black and white version which is even better, but not many of my friends were too impressed. I’m glad you agree with me at least!


  201. A Polish man from Australia. Let me just say I have loved your previous works, Father Ted, Big Train, Black Books et al.

    I remember hearing about the IT Crowd on and off for the last couple of years and for some reason it never really gave me the itch required for a viewing. I don’t know how this occured, since we’ve had a relative lack of good situational comedies for the last few years..

    Let me just say I was incredibly wrong and I will never doubt you again. Have seen all episodes in the last week and rewatched them several times. It is excellent. In fact Series 2 is playing right now in the background.. as you probably know the show does improve drastically with each sequential series..

    One thing that has always shat me off, Graham, is the fact you didn’t make any commentary for Father Ted Series 3 .. I’m sure you probably had enough of it by then.. but was looking so forward to it :)

    With the amount of shite on tv it is remarkable that we have something relatively fresh, amusing and original to look at. I for one rarely watch normal tv here (in Australia) as its a bag of bollocks, and that includes the foxtel and so on.

    I’ve always wanted to thankyou, so this is it. Oh and Chris O’Dowd is fecking brilliant.

    Mike


  202. Mister Graham Sir: Please email your buddy Neil Hannon and ask if he can provide a nice MP3 of the theme music.

    And I’m stalking you on Twitter, so that should be fun. The recent influx of famous folk on there lately is quite fascinating.


  203. Hey Graham,
    Big fan of your work
    Just a quick query regarding the “cliffhanger” of series 1: did you always intend for that not be referred to again, or did yoiu make that decision during the production of series 2?
    Sorry if that’s explained in the second series dvd but Australia does’t have it yet.
    Thanks, man.


  204. Hello cupcake, was all the ZX Spectrum stuff on the Series 1 DVD your idea? I was so giddy with it and gathered all my family round to enjoy it because we’re all nerds.


  205. “Just a quick query regarding the “cliffhanger” of series 1: did you always intend for that not be referred to again, or did yoiu make that decision during the production of series 2?”

    I just dropped it. sorry. Couldn’t carry off the will they/won’t they plot. By the way, Moss didn’t sleep with Jen.


  206. What do you think of ‘The Big Bang Theory’? (in relation to IT crowd, as both shows draw comedy from geeks and geekiness.)


  207. One thing that has always shat me off, Graham, is the fact you didn’t make any commentary for Father Ted Series 3 .. I’m sure you probably had enough of it by then.. but was looking so forward to it :)

    No, we did! The DVDs were recently repackaged and Arthur and I did a commentary for series 3.


  208. “What do you think of ‘The Big Bang Theory’?”

    I’m looking forward to receiving my royalties.

    I was looking forward to it, but now I sport of hate it. it’s SO tame. And our Moss is miles better than their Moss.


  209. Oh, ‘The Mist’ was amazing! The B&W version sounds just the thing to take the edge off the CGI.


  210. Commentary for series 3 Father Ted? Where, when woman? I want it now..



  211. I thank you, chief. You are a man’s man.


  212. Software: I use Final Draft for writing scripts, Backpack for collecting notes, Stumbleupon’s search feature for research, netvibes for procrastination. I’m trying to get the hang of Zotero but it seems more useful for academic research. Anyone know wether I should stick with it?


  213. Graham, he’s our man,

    When the working day is done,

    He likes working on some….scripts

    Those scripts taste like baboons’ armpits..

    He is Graham the director of Father Ted..

    He is quite good in bed..

    When him and Dylan Moran are together in bed..

    Er..they orgasm hard in a shed…

    BIG … TRAIN…


  214. Mike that is shit on so many levels.


  215. Heh… I’m a Polish man from Australia, so this is gooc then yes? Listen I’ve been overseas being shot at ..so this is the best i can do. Come here and hug me.


  216. By the way I’ve ordered that new Father Ted with the extra commentary that wasn’t included years ago. Spending so much money on you Graham..i can’t “believe it”..


  217. I finally got my arse in gear and bought the Definitive Ted Collection last Sunday on my lunch break. After years of having all the episodes on video, I felt it was time for an upgrade. I’ve finished re-watching all three series now. I was most excited for the Interview With The Writers and the commentaries, so I’ve just the latter to listen to. It’s like Christmas is lasting longer than normal! Also, at our weekly pub quiz last night, a team was called The Craggy Island Parochial House. I wanted them to win for the name alone, despite us competing against them.

    Oh, and I’d ask an IT Crowd question, but I really can’t think of anything. I’ll come back!


  218. Dear Graham,
    I was wondering if you can tell us if there are any other wonderful (or perhaps bad ones you rejected) sitcom ideas brewing away in that big comedy brain of yours? Did you have a few ideas and chose to go with IT Crowd, or did you get that idea and devote yourself to it?


  219. [...] Linehan (of Father Ted, Black Books, Big Train et al.) is answering questions about The IT Crowd on his blog: “Do you find that [the cast] try to get involved in the writing process by adlibbing [...]


  220. So not to be left out…Just joined Twitter and choose to follow you(couldn’t they have used a different word instead of ‘follow’, makes me sound like either a stalker or an apostle).

    How many pages on average are one of your scripts and what format do you write them in?


  221. On the U.S. IT Crowd, I am surprised it hasn’t been leaked onto youtube by now. I would like to see it too…just out of curiosity.


  222. Oh, also to answer your question…I pay €20 a month with meteor and get free texts and calls to all meteor numbers. Text messages to other numbers cost me 9c the last time I checked.


  223. Hey guys, would anyone have a link to an interview with Graham which was conducted by Chris O’Dowd for the now defunct Mongrel Magazine in Dublin? Mongrel’s site is gone and I can’t find it anywhere else. I’m told the interview took place in early 2006 if that helps? Thanks in advance.


  224. “How many pages on average are one of your scripts and what format do you write them in?”

    About 21 pages, which is too short. I’m going to go for 25 next series. As for format…not sure what you mean. Just regular scripty format, I guess.


  225. I was wondering if you can tell us if there are any sitcom ideas brewing away?

    A few. Early stages so I don’t want to jinx them by talking about them here, but I’ve got enough going to keep me busy. I will say this–I have another idea for a studio sitcom, and I think it’s pretty good.


  226. “Robot Dinosaurs from Outer Space”?

    That’s more a film trilogy idea though, isn’t it?


  227. I noticed some parallels between Black Books and The I.T. Crowd (e.g. Manny’s/the geeks’ photoshoot; Fran/Jen going out with a man who turns out to be gay). Were you conscious of these and are they intentional?


  228. Would you go back to writing with Arthur? …or even a different writing partner?
    … (Can I write a comedy with you? :D )


  229. “Would you go back to writing with Arthur? …or even a different writing partner?”

    Well, we’re still mates, but I think it would be hard for us to recreate the magic that was there when we were living in the same flat, cranking out sketches and ideas and generally on fire with the possibilities that were suddenly open to us. It’s why bands don’t stay together forever…it’s difficult to burn with that kind of intensity forever. And if you’re not burning, what’s the point?


  230. “I noticed some parallels between Black Books and The I.T. Crowd (e.g. Manny’s/the geeks’ photoshoot; Fran/Jen going out with a man who turns out to be gay). Were you conscious of these and are they intentional?”

    I forgot about the Fran thing…haven’t seen the series since I worked on it. but I was a bit worried about the Manny thing. I guess there are things that strike me as funny and I tend to return to them.


  231. Hi Graham,

    Bit of an odd question, but it’s something that I have been dying to know. There are two very cool posters hanging in the IT office, one behind Jens desk and one just outside her door. One is of a pink geisha with arms folded, the other seems to be some sort of weird spider person. Where did these come from and who is the artist?

    Makes a difference from all the other questions posted here! Cheers!


  232. Adam,

    Many people are asking that question. The geisha picture can be found here:

    http://www.juggu.co.uk/html_/largeImages/paint/p38_2.html

    They have a Sumo one, too. Very cute!


  233. I’ve always wondered why you only worked on the first series of Black Books and not the other three. Was there a major reason why? If it’s to do with something like a Peter Kay-style partnership explosion then sorry I asked.

    Oh, and I too am becoming a follower of Andy Nyman. He was hilarious in Dead Set.


  234. Thanks for the reply Amy, I didn’t realise other people had asked, I couldn’t see anything out of all the replies here!


  235. Which comes first, the story or the gag?


  236. “There are two very cool posters hanging in the IT office, one behind Jens desk and one just outside her door. One is of a pink geisha with arms folded, the other seems to be some sort of weird spider person. Where did these come from and who is the artist?”

    Anyone know? I haven’t a clue. (sorry! Answered already!)


  237. “Which comes first, the story or the gag?”

    Random ideas for big events come first (like roy and the bank robbery) and they get tied together into a plot that makes sense. Maybe odd bits of dialogue at this stage but concentrating more on the overall humour of the situation. Once that’s set, the gags start popping up and you write them down.


  238. “I’ve always wondered why you only worked on the first series of Black Books and not the other three. Was there a major reason why?”

    Wasn’t enjoying it for various reasons.


  239. Right! That’s it! I’d better go because my Twitter site has been going nuts since @Wossy outed me and I need to figure out what that means.

    Hope there was something useful in all this. It was much harder for me to do than I thought it would be, and I think some of my answers might have been a bit rushed and unsatisfactory. I’ll tinker with the idea and run something like it again soon. Meanwhile, cheers m’dears.



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