Mr Flibble Talks To... Competition Winner
Fighting every natural instinct in his penguin body, Mr Flibble took a trip to Guildford to interview's competition winner. With typical interviewing skill, one question was uppermost in his mind - why couldn't the winner have been from Tahiti?
1 June, 2001
Ben Naish
Mr Flibble's right hand provided by
Andrew Ellard

Mr Flibble said he wasn't going to interview a 'normal person', even if he said he would as a competition prize - so Andrew kicked off: Firstly Ben, congratulations on your win! Do you remember the FIRST TIME you saw Red Dwarf?

Not really, no. I was probably only about eight - it wasn't on that often then, so when it came on it was a bit of a treat. (Laughs)

When did you become a 'fan'?

Probably only about two or three years ago. I think they started to show it a bit more often, so I watched it more often and got into it more. We got cable and they started showing it every single week on UK Gold, I used to watch all those ones. I've got them all on tape.

Have you read the novels?

I started! Then I had to stop, because I used to read them in English. We had one reading day a week. You were allowed to read whatever you wanted, so I decided to read the Omnibus. I only got through about forty-odd pages, but it seemed pretty good. Then they changed it so you had to read a specific book, I had to stop then and never ended up reading them again! (Laughs)

Mr Flibble muttered that seeing as he was here, he might as well ask a few questions about Ben's OPINIONS of the show. Which series do you prefer?

Probably series IV. It was one of the first ones I saw - I didn't really know what it was at the time! One of the first I saw was Justice, the final fight where Cat hits the guy with the spade. That's quite funny when you're eight years old...(Laughs)

The series seem to be very different from each other. The first two were more 'serious' in a way. Then they started to get monsters coming into it - and I prefer those! (Laughs) Three, four and five are the 'monster' ones. Gunmen of the Apocalypse has to be the classic of them all.

I saw the one where [Ace] first comes in after he'd been in [the show] afterwards - so his big entrance wasn't quite the same. I like the beginning of Stoke Me a Clipper... where he's riding the crocodile through the air- so cheesy! (Laughs) "This is my best top, dammit."

Series VIII was good - Cassandra was the best episode. I thought VI was quite repetitive, a lot of the jokes were the same. I still enjoyed it, but I thought it was repetitive. Space Corps Directive jokes...

Do you have a favourite character?

Probably Kryten - he has to serve, be polite, but he doesn't always do it.

Which are you most like?

Probably Lister. It's not that I'm like him, but I'm not like the other characters at all! (Laughs) So I'm more like Lister than anyone else. I'm a big curry fan, actually. My favourite's vindaloo.

The penguin suddenly realised that as Ben has been photographed with Mr Flibble, that makes him a celebrity. Mr Flibble entered smarm mode to ask about Red Dwarf's FUTURE. What would you like to see in a series IX?

Get rid of all the crew again - just leave it with the originals, maybe Captain Hollister as well. Although that wouldn't really work - you couldn't have them all die and him be left behind! Maybe a few flashbacks of him or something. They should keep Holly as well. I've got to say I prefer the male Holly - even though I saw the female one before I saw the male one.

I didn't like [Kochanski] much in series VII, but I thought she was better in series VIII. I was probably a bit negative towards her because she was Rimmer's 'replacement' - when he was back in it, it was better.

What about villains for IX?

Some simulants, a few GELFS - the classics. (Laughs)

Are you looking forward to the movie?

A bit... well, a lot. (Laughs) It's got to be stand-alone so that people can watch it. Otherwise, if you haven't seen the series then you're not going to understand the film, and it won't get as many viewers. That's the better idea in the long run.

Well, we'll know in a few weeks thanks to Doug's interview in BTL! If they gave you a part, what would you like to play?

I'd want a really small part; it wouldn't be the same to watch it if you'd been there as part of it. Just a little extra with a few lines - at least that way I can be pointed out.

What kind of storyline would you like to see followed?

It's had to think of one other than those I've already seen! (Laughs) I think the Cat history would be quite good. I can just imagine, on one of the floors of the ship, the cats chanting, worshipping a statue of Lister...

Having never done a DIMENSION JUMP before, would you be keen to go to the next one?

Yeah. Apparently at one of them there was a sneak preview of the series that was about to happen - which hadn't been shown on TV or anything. So maybe at the next one they might show something of the film!

Which member of the cast - aside from Mr Flibble, of course - would you like to meet?

Probably Robert Llewellyn. I've probably seen him in more stuff than I've seen anyone else [in]. He's got his own website, which gets updated frequently. Craig Charles has got a website, but that's been the same for... years, I think! (Laughs) I'd quite like to meet Chris Barrie - I quite liked The Brittas Empire.

When did you come across the Red Dwarf website?

Probably about a year ago, but it didn't really get updated at all, so I stopped visiting. Then I went [back] and it had 'coming soon - the new one'. Now I go back every couple of days, look at the movie storyboards. They don't give much away, but...

Mr Flibble enjoyed talking to Ben Naish, and now that it's over... Mr Flibble is very cross.