Mr Flibble Talks To... Replacement Flibble
Gordon Kennedy and the Absolutely team revolutionised TV comedy, and, as Hudzen, he very nearly revolutionised Red Dwarf by removing Kryten after his first season. Mr Flibble grabbed lunch with the man with the silly oiled nipples...
9 March, 2001
Gordon Kennedy
Mr Flibble's right hand provided by
Andrew Ellard

How did you get started in comedy?

Writing and performing comedy shows - to start with at school, then moving on to the Edinburgh fringe, then Radio 4 Light Entertainment, and then moving into telly - which at the time when I was doing it was a pretty well-trodden path. You know, the Pythons, Fry and Laurie, and in fact Rob and Doug in a writing sense. They'd worked on Radio 4 and then they'd moved on to Spitting Image. So that's how we did it.

When they were doing Spitting Image, that's how I first met them. They were writing with Morray [Hunter] and Jack [Docherty], who were the main writers on Absolutely. So we used to see them quite a lot.

How did the Absolutely team get together?

Four of us [Jack Docherty, Morray Hunter, Peter Baikie and Gordon Kennedy] were at the same school at different times, and we all did charity comedy shows. Eventually someone else, outside the four of us, decided to put a show on at the Edinburgh fringe and asked us to help them do it. We got noticed by a Radio Four producer, Alan Nixon, who's now controller or Entertainment at Channel 5, and he thought we should do a radio show.

So we did a radio series, and it was okay, but we were much more used to performing visually; and the four of us on radio sounded like one Scottish person with a personality disorder! (Laughs) We all sounded very similar, because we were all Edinburgh boys. But in the meantime we'd met Morwenna Banks and John Sparkes on the comedy circuit. 'Wen doing stuff with Footlights, and John doing his stand-up act. So that's when we did a radio show together, and then we did a television show - which became Absolutely.

We did four series of that, and then we weren't quite sure what we wanted to do next. Morray and John wanted to write sit-coms, I wanted to do more acting. We all stayed together as a unit, but we didn't work together because we had the production company by then, we wanted to do our stuff through that.

So we all went off and did our various things. I started doing some television presenting up in Scotland for a series called The Insiders, which was really good fun. The best fun of any of those sort of jobs I've ever had because I was given a very free reign.

Meanwhile, Jack Docherty was working on a sit-com idea, which was for me and him, which we eventually made a pilot of; and about that time I did the National Lottery as well - which, obviously, changed everything in terms of my profile. And for quite a while in terms of my... artistic currency. (Laughs) I don't know, you'd have to ask other people about that.