Dimension Jump XV


Breakfast: Cornflakes with grated raw onion sprinkled on them (Tabasco sauce optional).

With news that first-up guests Robert and Chris are stuck in motorway traffic, the raffle is drawn early. Fabulous prizes to be won!

Hattie Hayridge's Q&A is also brought forward: "Honestly, there will be people other than me!" she reassures. "There's no excuse, really. Chris loves fast cars. Rob's probably Twittering every few minutes."

Hattie tells of devastation at being written out at the end of Series V, though after twenty years, she's "just about over it". She also blames an increase in dress size during production being due to a lack of material in rehearsals, and constantly reaching for the biscuit tin to help pass the time. Aww.

Her passion for travelling is also mentioned, and in particular, how she always enjoys coming to Dimension Jumps. Concerning a past trip to America, she recounts how a member of the royal household once remarked, "Harry and Wills love Red Dwarf!"

To Hattie's recollection, both men and women auditioned for the part of Holly following Norman Lovett's initial departure from the series. She explains, having arrived too early for her first audition, was instructed to get a drink and come back, and when she returned, was then ticked off for being late!

Past stories concerning Robert complaining about the quality of Shepperton's rhubarb and custard, and not having realised he'd eaten half his Kryten mask, go down particularly well. Her beginnings on the comedy circuit are also vividly detailed - including how she first came to visit the now legendary Comedy Store, after a film she and a friend had wanted to see had sold out. Later, when a bloody fight broke out between audience and performer, she thought to herself, "This is great!"

As Hattie exits to a warm applause, inside-fanboy Andrew Ellard boldly takes to the stage to reveal a Top Secret email from Doug Naylor... which we can't possibly recreate here. Suffice to say it included the words "commissioned", "to write" and "new series".

The response was positive to say the least. More accurately, it was astonishing, crazily excited and wondrous.

Without pre-emption, the audience manages to organise two resounding show of hands concerning the reintroduction of studio audiences and the character of Holly in some shape or form. But on those scores we shall have to wait and see.

Going Back to Earth for a short while, Andrew also reveals details of the audience reaction for the Berkeley Square screening (the 2entertain bunch loved the DVD gags; everybody went nuts for Craig's 'priory' line), and talked about the possibilities Red Dwarf now has available thanks to Back to Earth's introduction of nearly a decade of potential new backstory for the characters.

Questions concerning the fabled Red Dwarf movie start coming in thick and fast, and while Andrew is determined not to give away any trade secrets, he does recall working on the extensive pre-production that got everybody so excited at the project's potential - the storyboard artists and designers bringing the project agonisingly close to Doug's reality before it was all cruelly snatched away by misfortune.

One of Andrew's final Q&A questions, "What will the next series be called?" is answered with, "We're going straight to series seventeen!" after Doug Naylor's infamous red carpet aside concerning dropping Series IX for continuity reasons.

After lunch, a uniquely-protracted "Eeeexcellent!" signals the arrival of everyone's favourite underachieving hologram. Chris Barrie bounds onto the stage and, wide-eyed at the crowd's hyper-enthusiastic greeting, he responds, "After you with the Marijuana Gin".

Chris recounts stories of making the most recent Back to Earth specials, and how Doug once remarked during filming, "It's nice to be wanted again", and an even-lengthier, "Awww..." ripples throughout the sniffling crowd.

"How similar are you to Rimmer?" someone from the audience enquires. "I'M NOT THAT SIMILAR, AT ALL!" Barrie-Rimmer replies. "I'm completely and utterly and totally different!" On learning of the existence of a Facebook group entitled, "I have a crush on Chris Barrie", he beams, "Charmita..!", and suggests his Tomb Raider co-star, Angelina Jolie might be one of its two members.

Impersonations of Kenneth Williams, Tony Blair and, yes, even a two-stroke motorbike engine further incapacitate the audience with laughter. And despite giving a resounding 'No' in response to requests for a live rendition of Tongue Tied and/or the Rimmer Munchkin Song, Chris is only too happy to recreate his iconic Rimmer salute, despite suffering from excruciating tendonitis. What a guy.

Following on from the success of the recent Red Dwarf specials, he also reveals there has been some talk of his second-most-famous character, Gordon Brittas, appearing again in the future, possibly on stage, although currently nothing is set in stone.

True to form, Chris' favourite episode remains Dimension Jump, in which he played the now-legendary Indiana/Bond-hybrid, Ace. On answering a question concerning how he so effortlessly pulled off wearing the unforgettable 'Low Rimmer' garb from Series V's Demons and Angels, he replies, "Maybe it's an alter-ego that hasn't fully emerged yet!"

Later, we're treated to a special, video message sent in by special effects supremo, Mike Seymour, all the way from Sydney, Australia. Apologising for not being there personally (least of all as he is self-confessed "Red Dwarf geek"), he proceeds to treat the crowd with a slideshow of behind the scenes stills which prove to be both hilarious and informative in equal measure.

At around 15:00 (that's 3pm if you're not Rimmer), it's time for Robert Llewellyn to take to the stage. He talks of the demise of his first, favourite gadget - a Walkman that he accidentally dropped from a moving car which predictably smashed into a million pieces, before praising his latest Kryten costume as being the "coolest yet", and "not as unspeakably vile" to wear as certain models that came before.

Bobby also recounts how excited he was at the prospect of an episode in which Kryten would become father/mother to a baby mechanoid, which he admits very nearly happened one or two series back, and conversely, how he was once recognised in a pub as "the guy from Red Dwarf!" by screen legend, Harvey Keitel. Ooo-oooh!

Confirmed future guests for his popular web show Carpool are announced, including the biggest Dwarf fan in Starfleet, Patrick Stewart, Duncan Jones (director of recent sci-fi smash, Moon), and one-time Bottom co-stars, Ade Edmonson and Rik Mayall (having met after mutual series director, Ed Bye recommended him for a part in a classic episode).

Recounting how he got the gig on Dwarf, Bobby explains how he was forced to turn down an offer to develop a six-part adaptation of stage play, Mammon, Robot Born of Woman for Channel 4 in order to take over the role of Kryten from future Talkie Toaster, David Ross.

The Q&A is over and the longstanding Red Dwarf Olympics soon follow. Suddenly people are trying to drop bullets close together on a floor-mounted target, make a hole in one with a golf ball the size of a pea, and hit a treble-twenty with their backs to the dart board.

Downstairs, the merchandise room and autograph bay are reopened once more, and a queue as long as the Re-Mastered Red Dwarf model slowly stretches out the door, up the stairs, and into infinity...

It's a queue that would take us all the way to Saturday night...