Thursday, 26 October 2017

Happy anniversary, Armstrong and Miller!

Today, 26th October, is the 10th anniversary of the day in 2007 when the first episode of Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller's The Armstrong and Miller Show was broadcast. It carried on from where their 1997 to 2001 Paramount and Channel 4 sketch show left off.

Now on BBC1 in prime time, the show introduced a whole range of new recurring characters, including filthy Flanders & Swann parody Brabbins & Fyffe, Divorced Dad (who gives entirely unsuitable advice to his young son), and Pru and Miranda, who run Dandy Lions, a spectacularly inefficient vegetarian restaurant in Hampstead. These sketches invariably end with the line: "Pru, It's kicking off!, at which point their customers (and their front window) feel the full force of their pent up frustrations with each other.

But their most popular new characters were undoubtedly the WWII RAF pilots, who spoke modern-day street slang in cut-glass 1940s accents.

After their previous series ended in 2001, Xander and Ben decided to work together again on this show after having appeared together in a 2005 charity show at the Groucho Club. As Xander explained:
It was the first time we had performed together for many years, and it was lovely, really good fun. Because we'd worked together so much and so intensively, we thought we'd done enough to last a lifetime. But we realised how much we missed it and how the chemistry just worked. Re-uniting suddenly seemed the sensible thing to do. 
Ben added
Our wives Belinda and Hannah were there to watch. They had never seen us do our act before, and they encouraged us to get back together.
 Since the last series of The Armstrong and Miller Show in 2010, Xander and Ben have worked together on sitcom pilot Felix & Murdo in 2011, but there have been no signs of another sketch series, possibly due to both men's busy work schedules. Maybe one day...

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