Author Topic: Nailing Morris Rumours  (Read 3607 times)

TJ

  • Cook'd & Bomb'd - A Richard Herring Forum
    • Tim Worthington's Newsround
Nailing Morris Rumours
« on: December 29, 2017, 11:49:59 PM »
As the Oxide Ghosts screenings have answered so many longstanding questions about Brass Eye and even a couple of other things, I thought I'd start a thread where we can list some of the more plausible rumours about Chris Morris-related matters from over the years and see if we can thrash out answers to any. I'll start us off, then, with a couple from the very early days of Morris fandom...

- Quite a few people speculated back in 1997 that ridiculous girl band Vanilla may have been part of a hoax intended for a second series of Brass Eye. For what it's worth, while I believed this at the time, I now doubt it - for starters, Blue Jam was already well in hand by the time that they appeared. I still think there was *something* not quite right about the whole venture, though...

- There were reports circa 1999 that Morris had submitted a script to Talkback called Fear Of A Black Planet, for a comedy-drama series about a global ethnic uprising, which was so contentious that only the absolute top brass were being allowed to read it. This always sounded plausible to me, though it's also surprising that nothing has emerged about it since. I don't doubt such a script existed, but maybe it was by someone else connected to the Morris camp?

- An extremely reliable source claimed in late 2000 that he'd been walking past the Battersea Arts Centre in the small hours one Saturday, and had seen a small crew filming 'Christopher Morris' shouting through a megaphone to some protesters carrying typically Brass Eye-esque Anti-Globalisation banners. This was shortly *before* work started on the BES, and apparently he was definitely in the Presenter getup and not Ted Maul. Also obviously Morris' brother was director of the BAC at the time. Never, ever got to the bottom of that.

Any theories or indeed any more suggestions?

Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 12:19:36 AM »
- Quite a few people speculated back in 1997 that ridiculous girl band Vanilla may have been part of a hoax intended for a second series of Brass Eye. For what it's worth, while I believed this at the time, I now doubt it - for starters, Blue Jam was already well in hand by the time that they appeared. I still think there was *something* not quite right about the whole venture, though...

The rumour I always heard about Vanilla was that they were the result of two higher-ups in the music industry betting over whether or not one of them could make a chart-topping group out of some girls randomly picked off the street.

Glebe

  • So here we are, then.
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 07:35:59 AM »
- Quite a few people speculated back in 1997 that ridiculous girl band Vanilla may have been part of a hoax intended for a second series of Brass Eye.

No way, no way!

Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 10:17:01 AM »
Filling the radio station with helium isn't true, is it? It would be a logistical nightmare and all the tapes that supposedly exist sound very haphazard.

Thomas

  • well they do all sixteen dances.
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 10:24:06 AM »
Filling the radio station with helium isn't true, is it? It would be a logistical nightmare and all the tapes that supposedly exist sound very haphazard.

I suspect it's absurd and untrue, but somebody asked about it at the Oxide Ghosts screening I attended, and both Michael Cumming and Arthur Matthews didn't seem to know. Perhaps they were cagily preserving the myth.

Good thread idea, TJ.

Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 10:30:45 AM »
I suspect it's absurd and untrue, but somebody asked about it at the Oxide Ghosts screening I attended, and both Michael Cumming and Arthur Matthews didn't seem to know. Perhaps they were cagily preserving the myth.

Good thread idea, TJ.

Lucian Randall disputes it in Disgusting Bliss but you're right; the rumour seems to persist unabated.

Incidentally, Morris was recently mentioned on Snopes: Was a Woman Killed by a Frozen Shaft of Urine?

TJ

  • Cook'd & Bomb'd - A Richard Herring Forum
    • Tim Worthington's Newsround
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 04:35:58 PM »
As far as I know, the clip of the 'helium incident' in circulation was clipped by me from the Radio 4 panel show Wireless Wise in 2000 (where it was included without any backstory); it later turned up in an edition on Radio 4's Bloopers from around 1990, produced by Iannucci, which fuels further speculation. My guess though is that whatever did go out, it was a prepared sketch as part of some bigger thing about, I dunno, Twenty Years Of Radio Bristol or something.

Fascinating about Vanilla up there. That could quite possibly be true. They didn't look like stars, just like everyday clubbers; I met enough, erm, girls off the street around then to know that!

up_the_hampipe

  • Crowd appeaser
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2017, 06:02:33 PM »
Isn't there a clip of the helium thing during Morris' segment on Comedy Map of Britain? They go back to his old radio station in Bristol and dig out the tape of it. It used to be on YouTube, but no more.

Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2017, 06:12:26 PM »
Isn't there a clip of the helium thing during Morris' segment on Comedy Map of Britain? They go back to his old radio station in Bristol and dig out the tape of it.

IIRC that excerpt was supplied by this site, from the clip TJ mentioned.

It used to be on YouTube, but no more.

Still there.

Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2017, 06:28:33 PM »

Uncle TechTip

  • Take that fucking avatar down. It's horrible.
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2017, 06:55:23 PM »
Surely he'd die of asphyxiation before the concentration of helium in a room is enough to cause significant voice pitch changes. When I've tried it on a balloon I have to chug quite a lot to make a difference. You can also taste it.

up_the_hampipe

  • Crowd appeaser
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2017, 07:05:24 PM »

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2017, 03:15:01 AM »
When he gave all that ridiculous exam advice to those poor A Level students, is it true that there was a trained person who talked to them  afterwards off-air? I want to believe that's true.

TJ

  • Cook'd & Bomb'd - A Richard Herring Forum
    • Tim Worthington's Newsround
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2017, 06:18:34 PM »
When he gave all that ridiculous exam advice to those poor A Level students, is it true that there was a trained person who talked to them  afterwards off-air? I want to believe that's true.

I think they were 'debriefed' by Rebecca the Broadcast Assistant rather than an actual professional! That's what I heard anyway.

weirdbeard

  • Tonight, Mr. Kite is watching The Bill
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2018, 03:15:21 PM »
And here's that clip as-presented in Wireless Wise.

It's a great shame there's not more of that news bulletin.  My initial instinct is that it's referring to the Strangeways prison riot in Manchester in April 1990. Morris had only just left Radio Bristol by then, so it would prove he wasn't fired for that incident.  I'd like to think the whole thing was his doing as a final "fuck you" to Radio Bristol, but who knows?

Has anyone even managed to ID the guy and ask him?

weirdbeard

  • Tonight, Mr. Kite is watching The Bill
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2018, 03:26:12 PM »
Right, it was almost certainly from Radio York on 24th April 1990.

Article below taken from the 25th April edition of the Daily Mail. The date also puts it right into the heart of the Strangeways Prison Riot story.



This is him https://twitter.com/jenkywill
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 04:01:42 PM by weirdbeard »

Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2018, 04:49:04 AM »
The rumour I always heard about Vanilla was that they were the result of two higher-ups in the music industry betting over whether or not one of them could make a chart-topping group out of some girls randomly picked off the street.

I can't nail any Morris rumours, but I can nail this Vanilla rumour. From a Guardian article:

Quote
Swart laughs off the longstanding rumour that Vanilla signed to EMI as the result of someone losing a bet, but accepts that Vanilla were launched with what was unmistakably a novelty single. “When we first heard it we just laughed,” she remembers. “Then we looked at each other. Two of us wanted to be doing R&B. But we thought: ‘We might as well do it.’” Girl Power was at its peak; they reasoned that Wannabe had itself been gimmicky. No Way No Way got to No 14 but Vanilla’s second single only managed No 36 and the band were dropped. Nonetheless, Alida looks back fondly. “People still tell me today that they remember this song,” she laughs. “It’s been nominated as the worst song of the 90s quite a few times, but at least it’s remembered.”

TJ

  • Cook'd & Bomb'd - A Richard Herring Forum
    • Tim Worthington's Newsround
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2018, 02:18:31 PM »
Right, well here's some number-crunching for you... the edition of Bloopers with this clip in was repeated over Christmas in 1990 (I think it may have originally gone out in 1989). This was right when Morris and Iannucci were first hanging out, talking about collaborating and known to be sending each other tapes of their work. Total and utter speculation but maybe Morris heard this via Iannucci and saw an opportunity for either a staged hoax on GLR or a bit of myth-building...??

Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2018, 04:24:57 PM »
FYI the helium incident is included here, in New Year's Resolutions For Broadcasters (Radio 2, 30/12/1991):

https://youtu.be/HbQLMFHkWJk?t=9m


Relevant listings for Hewat's blooper programmes here (R2) and here (R4).

weirdbeard

  • Tonight, Mr. Kite is watching The Bill
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2018, 08:22:53 PM »
FYI the helium incident is included here, in New Year's Resolutions For Broadcasters (Radio 2, 30/12/1991):

https://youtu.be/HbQLMFHkWJk?t=9m

Who is the guy asking the questions at 22:13?

Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2018, 10:06:00 PM »
They didn't look like stars, just like everyday clubbers; I met enough, erm, girls off the street around then to know that!

He means prostitutes!!

TJ

  • Cook'd & Bomb'd - A Richard Herring Forum
    • Tim Worthington's Newsround
Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2018, 10:59:34 PM »
He means prostitutes!!

Nah, just e'd up taxi queue types. I'm not from what you might call sophisticated surroundings

Nice one on finding that other iteration of the non-Morris helium clip! Odd how it's been hiding in plain sight all along. Loads more great stuff on RandomRadioJottings' channel incidentally, and his blog's good too.

Re: Nailing Morris Rumours
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2018, 02:31:13 PM »
RE: Fear of a Black Planet, I wonder was it cancelled because of the lack of success of the similar White Man's Burden.
A few years later, though, Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses YA books explored a similar world.