Interview – Rhys Thomas and Simon Day on Brian Pern: A Life in Rock Series Two
Sir Roger Moore and Peter Gabriel star in the new series of mockumentary Brian Pern: A Life In Rock
Of all the amusing turns and cameos in the latest episodes of mockumentary mini-series Brian Pern: A Life In Rock, featuring Fast Show star Simon Day as the eponymous and luckless prog rocker, Paul Whitehouse, Nigel Havers and the likes of Kathy Burke, Martin Freeman, Jack Whitehall, Paul Young and James Bond film composer David Arnold, the most memorable comes from former 007, Sir Roger Moore.
Spoofing his Wild Geese co-star Richard Burton's role in The War of the Worlds, Moore narrates Pern's ill-advised rock opera version of The Day of the Triffids with a total absence of ego, and was 'absolutely brilliant' claims the show's co-creator Rhys Thomas. 'We filmed it all in one morning and he got it straight away, even though we were in complete awe because he was our Bond'. 'Yeah, so in awe we had a go at him by mentioning he was in [dire action flick] North Sea Hijack!' Day laughs.
However, the greatest star the pair were able to call on was Peter Gabriel, chief inspiration for Pern and according to some accounts, creator of the stage dive. 'He jumped, nobody knew what he was doing, so obviously they moved' Thomas laments. 'He landed on the floor and broke his face.'
Still, the former Genesis frontman is almost as big a fan of The Fast Show as Day and Thomas are of his music. So in addition to returning to haunt Pern in the new series, he also gifted them a storyline for the Triffids episode. 'He was in concert in Germany and had this idea of running round the back of the auditorium during the drum solo, appearing in the back seats and continuing to perform' Thomas explains. 'But the guy on the door didn't recognise him and wouldn't let him back in!'
Day can't disguise his joy at bonding with his hero. 'If you told me years ago when I was listening to So in my little council flat on a cassette tape that one day Peter Gabriel would hug me, I'd never have believed you. I tried to French kiss him but he wasn't having that.'
Brian Pern: A Life in Rock Series Two starts on BBC Two, Tue 9 Dec, 10pm.