Dimension Jump 2K

Sunday Q&A Sessions

Pale of face and tired of feet, the DJ2K attendees dragged themselves up on Sunday morning - and, the odd splitting headache aside - didn't regret it for a second. Raffle prizes were distributed in minutes before the big Weekend fundraiser - the auction.

The stage was then deluged with talent as Chris Barrie, Norman Lovett and Chloë Annett took questions from the floor. Chris was immediately presented with a gift from some international visitors, but as soon as he bent over on stage, the cameras came out. Flashes went off in rapid succession as female fans attempted to get a shot of the Barrie buttocks. "I won't take my trousers down," Chris announced, to equal measures of disappointment and relief.

Beginning the Q&A, Norman pointed to a fan with a Holly T-shirt who had his hand raised: "You, with that bald git on your chest." Chris, meanwhile, was pouring water for his co-stars. "Shall I be mother?" he asked. "You've always been a mother..." Norman muttered.

Norman's laconic manner, the crowd rapidly discovered, was no mere stage act. "This is my daughter," Norman said, introducing Kitty, who had joined him on stage. "Not my granddaughter, as some horrible woman in Hamleys once asked me." So does Kitty think her Dad's funny in Red Dwarf? Kitty replied with an unspecific, "Nmf..."

Chloë voiced the rumour of a cast read-through of the Red Dwarf movie script this winter, and said that one of the things that really makes her laugh is The Royle Family. Then she spent valuable minutes trying to explain to an American fan that she was talking about the TV show, not the Windsors.

Ed Bye picked the perfect moment to heckle from the back of the back of the room: "Keep going - it's really good."

What professions would the three performers have gone into if they hadn't been, well, performers? Norman opted to be a bus conductor while Chloë plumped for the life of an artist. Chris, meanwhile, rather embarrassedly admitted that his alternative career would have been fairly unglamorous: "Accountant."

Unfortunately for Chris, Red Dwarf fans have long memories, and his promise two years ago to relearn, line-by-line, the Rimmer Munchkin song had not been forgotten. "When I said line-by-line," Chris back-pedalled, "I meant one line this convention, one at the next..."

However, always true to his word, the set ended with Chris Barrie's tour de force performance of the dreaded song - albeit with a hurriedly-written lyric sheet provided by a member of the audience. Sadly, the handwriting was not as legible as it might have been.

Following three talented performers is not easy, but Ed Bye seemed unfazed as he mounted the stage and fielded a bombardment of questions about the Red Dwarf movie - no mean feat considering he hadn't yet read the script! The inordinately tall Ed seemed particularly keen to see merchandise spin off from the movie, in particular an Ed Bye action figure, which he believed would be a doddle to knock up. "Just get a Mr Bendy and put my head on it."

Completing an anecdote about trying not to laugh in a BBC meeting about swear-words, Ed was asked what he had wanted to be when he was younger. "Clint Eastwood - I wanted to be him a bit. Sergio Leone said he was great because he didn't do anything [on screen]. I thought, 'I can do that.'"

And what of Ed's own appearance in Red Dwarf VIII? "The Grim Reaper? Good actor, very good actor, brilliant. Very difficult though, asked for a lot of money..."

SFX master Bill Pearson then mesmerised the crowd with pictures of his work in TV and film - all the way from Alien to Dr Who, with Red Dwarf naturally the pinnacle. His work on the Canary guns was recalled particularly fondly, although this was perhaps because they were "remarkably Craig-proof."

Bill also revealed the complex technology involved in working Back to Reality's AR suite - a technique known in SFX circles as "Handomatic." Bill was stood inside the central column behind the four AR chairs, pulling on cables to raise the crew's virtual reality helmets!

There was a final chance to have a crack at the Red Dwarf fruit machine before the Weekend drew to a close. With autographs signed, photographs taken and the bar drained, the Dimension Jump and Fan Club team mounted the stage to say a final fond farewell and receive a well-deserved round of applause.

Here's hoping they don't have to pick up the tab at the bar...