Stephen K Amos The TV That Made Me


Stephen K Amos

Celebrities choose the TV moments that have shaped their lives. Stephen K Amos looks back at the classic TV that shaped him into one of Britain's funniest men.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Stephen K Amos. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Telly, that magic box in the corner.

0:00:020:00:04

It gives us access to a million different worlds,

0:00:040:00:07

all from the comfort of our sofa.

0:00:070:00:10

In this series, I'm going to journey through the fantastic

0:00:100:00:13

world of TV with some of our favourite celebrities.

0:00:130:00:17

They've chosen the precious TV moments that shed light...

0:00:170:00:20

Pick that one out.

0:00:200:00:22

It's called scone pizza.

0:00:220:00:23

..on the stories of their lives.

0:00:230:00:25

I used to go mental if a swimmer was on.

0:00:250:00:27

It would just, like, make my life.

0:00:270:00:29

'Some are funny...'

0:00:290:00:31

-Oh... Ooh, sha-bob.

-Oh, my word!

0:00:310:00:34

-Some...

-There's been a murder.

0:00:340:00:36

..are surprising.

0:00:360:00:38

My mother didn't laugh that much. It was, sort of, hard going but,

0:00:380:00:41

God, she laughed at that.

0:00:410:00:43

Some are inspiring...

0:00:430:00:44

In all of those programmes, in different ways,

0:00:440:00:46

there's something special going on.

0:00:460:00:49

..and many are deeply moving.

0:00:490:00:51

Oh!

0:00:510:00:52

The death of John F Kennedy...

0:00:520:00:54

Now we can't imagine what it was like to receive such

0:00:540:00:57

devastating news then.

0:00:570:01:00

So come watch with us

0:01:000:01:01

as we hand-pick the vintage telly that helped

0:01:010:01:04

turn our much-loved stars into the people they are today.

0:01:040:01:08

Welcome to The TV That Made Me.

0:01:080:01:10

My guest today is a star stand-up on TV

0:01:180:01:21

and the international comedy circuit.

0:01:210:01:24

He's also a writer, presenter and actor.

0:01:240:01:26

He's famous for his easy charm and honest wit - sounds like me, really.

0:01:260:01:30

It's Stephen K Amos,

0:01:300:01:32

who is the biggest thing to come out of Tooting since Citizen Smith.

0:01:320:01:36

The TV that shaped him includes

0:01:360:01:39

a record-breaking children's show...

0:01:390:01:41

-Well, dance away, then...

-Right.

-..and we'll watch.

0:01:410:01:44

..and a series of sinister stories with more twists than

0:01:440:01:48

a bag of pretzels.

0:01:480:01:49

The child was trying to warn me.

0:01:490:01:52

It can only be the one and only Stephen K Amos...who's here.

0:01:520:01:56

Are you excited about this, this trip down memory lane?

0:01:560:01:58

I'm very excited. I can't wait to see what you've got in store.

0:01:580:02:01

Well, I'm going to take you on this journey that made you into,

0:02:010:02:04

-possibly, the person you are today...

-Oh, hope so.

0:02:040:02:06

..with regards to television.

0:02:060:02:07

-Because I love what you've done with the flat. I mean, it's amazing.

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

0:02:070:02:11

It already takes me back, looking at the TV and, what looks like, a gramophone.

0:02:110:02:14

Because I actually do have my parents' gramophone from back

0:02:140:02:17

-in the day in my living room today.

-Really?

-Oh, yes.

-Oh, right.

0:02:170:02:20

-It's got a drinks cabinet that lights up when you open it.

-No!

-Yes!

0:02:200:02:24

And it's got a padded velvet back

0:02:240:02:26

-and it's got the wireless radio tuner thing.

-Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:02:260:02:29

And at the top, you lift it up and up comes the turntable.

0:02:290:02:33

I have got flat envy, do you know that? I really have.

0:02:330:02:37

So we're going take you on this path, but first up we're going

0:02:370:02:41

to have a look at what it was like to be the young Stephen K Amos.

0:02:410:02:46

Stephen K Amos and his twin sister Stella were born in London in 1967.

0:02:460:02:54

Theirs was a large family

0:02:540:02:57

and a family who didn't stay put in any one place for long.

0:02:570:03:01

-Your family, they moved a lot, mate.

-We did move...

0:03:020:03:06

Ha-ha-ha-ha! You have done your research! Yeah, we moved quite a bit

0:03:060:03:09

because, I think, my parents, in the early days, thought of

0:03:090:03:11

-themselves as property developers..

-Oh, right.

-..and we thought we were

0:03:110:03:15

in the Witness Protection Programme because they moved around...

0:03:150:03:17

I went to about five different primary schools and three different

0:03:170:03:20

-secondary schools.

-Really?

-Yeah, not only did they move around a lot,

0:03:200:03:23

-there was a lot of us in the family.

-How many of you?

-Eight kids.

0:03:230:03:26

-Eight...!

-It's not necessary.

0:03:260:03:28

Because you had to have a voice in the family household. I mean, there's nothing worse,

0:03:280:03:32

sitting around the dinner table, all these kids, all of us, my mum

0:03:320:03:35

leaning over to my brother, pointing to me and going, "Who is that?

0:03:350:03:38

"I don't recognise him."

0:03:380:03:41

"I'm your son. I'm the son, I'm the middle one."

0:03:410:03:44

-So you had to do something to have your voice heard...

-Yeah.

0:03:440:03:46

..and mine happened to be comedy.

0:03:460:03:48

Something that really got the family excited...

0:03:530:03:57

-Yeah.

-..and me too.

-Oh, good.

0:03:570:03:59

-Yeah, Record Breakers and the brilliant Roy Castle.

-Oh!

0:03:590:04:02

There he is there.

0:04:020:04:03

# Dedication's what you need Dum-dum-dum...

0:04:030:04:06

BOTH: # Dedication's What you need..

0:04:060:04:10

# If you wanna be a Record Breaker. #

0:04:100:04:15

The good thing about watching this programme as a family...

0:04:150:04:18

-Because he used to try a lot of the stuff himself.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:04:180:04:21

Are there any records on tap dancing?

0:04:210:04:23

Well, no, not really.

0:04:230:04:24

The nearest we've heard of is

0:04:240:04:26

a heel-stomping record in

0:04:260:04:28

Flamenco dancing.

0:04:280:04:29

It was set in September 1967 in Australia by a man

0:04:290:04:32

called Solero de Jerez.

0:04:320:04:34

And that's the power of television, you see?

0:04:340:04:36

When you see someone that you admire doing a challenge and you think,

0:04:360:04:41

"Maybe I could give something a go."

0:04:410:04:43

-Right, well, dance away, then...

-Right.

-..and we'll watch.

0:04:430:04:46

17, he's done 17 there, in that second section.

0:04:460:04:49

Go on, Roy!

0:04:490:04:51

24, that's fantastic! He did 24. That's enough, you've shattered it.

0:04:510:04:55

Well, that was 24, which is 1,440 taps in a minute.

0:04:550:05:00

So you are a record breaker!

0:05:000:05:02

APPLAUSE

0:05:020:05:04

Without a doubt, the greatest all-round entertainer.

0:05:040:05:08

All-round, without doubt. He could put his hand to anything and do it.

0:05:080:05:12

Yeah, he'd give it a go, didn't he?

0:05:120:05:14

And that's what, kind of, encouraged us to think we could do anything.

0:05:140:05:17

Did you ever want to see just how big the world's biggest seed is,

0:05:170:05:21

or how many people it's possible to summersault over?

0:05:210:05:25

Well, if you did, then you probably

0:05:250:05:27

watched Record Breakers.

0:05:270:05:29

And the programme almost broke a record itself,

0:05:290:05:31

as one of the longest running children's series

0:05:310:05:34

in British television history,

0:05:340:05:36

running for 29 years and seven days.

0:05:360:05:40

Did it make you realise that ordinary people could do

0:05:400:05:43

extraordinary things?

0:05:430:05:45

That's the point. It meant that, because... You saw him

0:05:450:05:47

and you knew he was a professional,

0:05:470:05:49

but then he was also encouraging people, ordinary people,

0:05:490:05:52

to try and achieve something.

0:05:520:05:54

And, even though it's something that can, maybe, be seen a bit as silly or

0:05:540:05:58

frivolous, it's still an achievement in doing something

0:05:580:06:01

and it gets recognised. Everyone, back in those days,

0:06:010:06:05

had a Guinness Book of Records, do you know what I mean?

0:06:050:06:07

Everybody had those.

0:06:070:06:09

-You...

-Oh!

-..have got one right now.

0:06:090:06:12

Your very own Record Breakers Annual...

0:06:140:06:16

-Oh, my goodness.

-..from 1976.

0:06:160:06:18

-Wow.

-Yeah, there he is.

-God!

0:06:180:06:22

-It's like the evolution of man, there, isn't it?

-Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:06:220:06:26

What were you not allowed to watch on television?

0:06:300:06:32

-Oh, my god, if any bit of flesh...

-Yeah.

0:06:320:06:36

..was on TV, that was it.

0:06:360:06:38

That was it, you had to get out of the room?

0:06:380:06:40

-No, Mum would leap, like... She could be in the kitchen...

-A gazelle.

0:06:400:06:44

..she could be upstairs, you'll be watching even an advert,

0:06:440:06:49

a holiday advert, you know, somebody in a bikini...

0:06:490:06:52

She's down there, like a gazelle,

0:06:520:06:54

changing the channel, you know? "Dirty, dirty."

0:06:540:06:58

How did this affect the Stephen Amos growing up?

0:06:580:07:04

Well, I can't wear a bikini now, can I?

0:07:040:07:07

The thing is, I don't know how it was for many families,

0:07:090:07:12

but if anything sexual was on the TV, you know,

0:07:120:07:15

we're not that kind of family, we didn't talk about things.

0:07:150:07:17

You know, I never had the talk for example, you know,

0:07:170:07:20

"The talk. The talk." I had no idea what you did.

0:07:200:07:23

Couldn't watch anything like that, if it's not educational,

0:07:230:07:26

if it's not entertaining, you can't watch it.

0:07:260:07:28

Well, this is something you weren't allowed to watch, you were sent

0:07:280:07:31

up to your room and...I'm sorry, your mother's had a word with me

0:07:310:07:36

and said you can't watch it.

0:07:360:07:38

-There's naked ladies in silhouettes, it's wrong.

-Yeah, these were...

0:07:400:07:45

This was one of the...yeah.

0:07:450:07:47

Look, as long as you don't say anything to her...

0:07:470:07:49

-I won't say anything, if you don't.

-There we go.

0:07:490:07:51

-Yes.

-Tales of the Unexpected.

0:07:510:07:53

So did you ever get a sneaky peak at this or...?

0:08:020:08:05

Yeah, I did, yeah.

0:08:050:08:07

You did get to watch this eventually?

0:08:070:08:09

Well, yeah, when I got older, I'd get to watch it.

0:08:090:08:11

But when we were sent to bed, you know,

0:08:110:08:13

Mum and Dad would be on the couch and I'd be sneaking my head

0:08:130:08:16

through the little door, like that, having a good look.

0:08:160:08:19

Because the good thing about this show was that every single episode

0:08:190:08:24

was a stand-alone story and so...

0:08:240:08:27

And sometimes it was quite scary.

0:08:270:08:30

Despite being made on a relatively modest budget,

0:08:300:08:33

this long-running series often featured huge Hollywood stars,

0:08:330:08:37

such as...

0:08:370:08:39

The public couldn't get enough of this spine-tingling stuff.

0:08:410:08:45

You've got to help me. Don't you see what it is? It's a spell.

0:08:450:08:50

Like this one,

0:08:500:08:51

a creepy tale of a newlywed, who thinks her house is being

0:08:510:08:54

haunted by the ghost of her husband's first wife.

0:08:540:08:58

There is an evil spirit in this place that wants to get rid of me.

0:08:580:09:04

-It is eerie, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:09:040:09:06

You know? You can imagine getting a bit spooked out by this,

0:09:060:09:08

-especially as a young kid.

-I know.

0:09:080:09:12

-Even the lighting.

-Yeah.

0:09:120:09:15

"Prince of Darkness, I make me a sign..."

0:09:150:09:20

-Ooh!

-I think we know where it's going, don't we?

-Yeah.

0:09:200:09:23

"Death in the morning shall he know."

0:09:240:09:27

-Oh, my goodness! See what I mean?

-Yeah!

0:09:270:09:29

Every single episode was like, "Arg! Ooh!"

0:09:290:09:32

Do you think something like this would have given you nightmares?

0:09:320:09:35

-Oh, absolutely.

-Really?

-Yes.

0:09:350:09:37

Many nightmares and...that's probably why I'm not a big

0:09:370:09:42

fan of horror movies or sci-fi, or fantasy at all.

0:09:420:09:47

No, I like things that are a bit more real.

0:09:470:09:49

What did the Amos family watch together?

0:09:540:09:57

Any programme that featured a black family or a black

0:09:570:10:00

character, suddenly the whole family were like, voom, hey!

0:10:000:10:04

Mum would call out,

0:10:040:10:05

"Children, there's a black person on the television, come quickly!"

0:10:050:10:10

And we'd all gather round, mouths open, going, "Oh, wow!"

0:10:100:10:14

Shall we have a little look at this then?

0:10:140:10:17

Edward, could I have a word with you...in the kitchen?

0:10:180:10:22

The kitchen? We've got guests.

0:10:220:10:24

-It's personal.

-Annie, Susan has come to visit us.

0:10:240:10:28

Now, obviously, because of her...

0:10:280:10:30

Well, because she is what she is... Thank you.

0:10:300:10:33

Can you believe it?

0:10:330:10:35

Now, then, what is it?

0:10:350:10:37

Thomas and Susan are married.

0:10:370:10:39

Oh, my god!

0:10:390:10:41

AUDIENCE LAUGHTER

0:10:410:10:44

Thomas, what have you done?

0:10:440:10:46

-Dad, you've got yourself a daughter-in-law.

-Well...

0:10:460:10:48

Well, really this is... This is something that we

0:10:480:10:51

should have been prepared for.

0:10:510:10:52

It was difficult for us, Mr Simson. We didn't know if you'd understand.

0:10:520:10:56

Understand? Of course we understand.

0:10:560:10:58

I understand it's bloody ridiculous.

0:10:580:11:00

AUDIENCE LAUGHTER

0:11:000:11:02

-Look at the big laughs on that line.

-Yeah.

-Whoa!

0:11:040:11:07

It makes me feel quite sick inside, a bit,

0:11:070:11:10

because it may have been a reflection of the times and one of the ways

0:11:100:11:15

people address and deal with what was happening in the country

0:11:150:11:18

at the time, you know?

0:11:180:11:20

Something that's never been seen before, you know?

0:11:200:11:22

People of different cultures, different backgrounds getting together.

0:11:220:11:25

So, for us, watching this as a family, we could really empathise

0:11:250:11:28

-with the young black actress there.

-Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:11:280:11:32

And particularly when we saw more of this programme,

0:11:320:11:34

where the parents come in, and it's always...

0:11:340:11:36

Whenever these, sort of, '70s shows,

0:11:360:11:39

when they deal with race in this way,

0:11:390:11:40

it's always the female figure of whoever she's married to,

0:11:400:11:44

like the white guy or the black husband...

0:11:440:11:47

The female matriarch of that household seems to be the one of the

0:11:470:11:50

voice of reason, the one that's, kind of, trying to diffuse the situation.

0:11:500:11:54

And it's always the male figure that's either, kind of,

0:11:540:11:57

bigoted and has got these...

0:11:570:11:58

Who maybe represents a view that was prevalent in society.

0:11:580:12:03

My point now, when I look back at this,

0:12:030:12:06

is that was there not a way where we could laugh at that

0:12:060:12:09

but not in such a blatant and ignorant way?

0:12:090:12:13

Maybe that's what it was all about, though.

0:12:130:12:16

Dad, has it ever occurred to you, you don't have to

0:12:160:12:18

-do anything about it? I mean, it's our problem.

-No, it's not.

0:12:180:12:20

I mean... What are the neighbours going to say?

0:12:200:12:23

Oh, for God's sake, don't give me any of that, Dad. To hell with the neighbours.

0:12:230:12:26

You talk about shows that had black actors in it,

0:12:260:12:29

how excited you were to watch those sorts of shows.

0:12:290:12:31

What other shows were you excited about watching that

0:12:310:12:33

focused on black actors?

0:12:330:12:36

Well, when I look back, you can't ignore the miniseries that was called

0:12:360:12:40

Roots by Alex Haley.

0:12:400:12:41

I mean, that was groundbreaking for a young kid like me

0:12:410:12:45

watching that with my whole family.

0:12:450:12:47

It was on, you know, every week for about six or seven weeks

0:12:470:12:51

and it told the story about this guy's family history, his family tree

0:12:510:12:55

from slavery to the present day, stuff I hadn't learned at school.

0:12:550:12:59

It was so amazing and moving and it really, kind of, made me think

0:12:590:13:04

and realise the differences that other people had to go

0:13:040:13:08

through before we got here, do you know what I mean?

0:13:080:13:11

Your name is Toby.

0:13:120:13:14

I want to hear you say it.

0:13:140:13:18

Your name is Toby.

0:13:180:13:21

You're going to learn to say your name. Let me hear you say it.

0:13:210:13:25

What's your name?

0:13:250:13:27

Kunta.

0:13:270:13:29

Kunta Kinte.

0:13:290:13:31

And so that was very ground-breaking because we got to school

0:13:350:13:38

on the Monday and everybody was talking about it, it was so powerful.

0:13:380:13:42

That was one of the first things I'd ever seen which was

0:13:420:13:45

an entirely majority black cast with a very important story.

0:13:450:13:49

So that was very important to the family? Did they all sit down and watch that?

0:13:490:13:52

Oh, God, yeah, we all sat down and watched it together, just transfixed.

0:13:520:13:55

So did that give you a feeling of acceptance, you know,

0:13:550:13:59

-them representing you?

-That...

0:13:590:14:01

The word you used their, "Representing,"

0:14:010:14:03

is so important because that's what it was like.

0:14:030:14:05

It was like, you're representing, brilliant, excellent.

0:14:050:14:08

And it meant that you were visible and visible in a way that wasn't

0:14:080:14:11

derisory. It was more of a celebration and that's why...

0:14:110:14:15

Even watching Lenny from back in the day, you know,

0:14:150:14:18

all his early TV stuff, I was like, "Wow, go on, you're representing."

0:14:180:14:22

The guys behind the Real McCoy, you know, showing us that, yeah,

0:14:220:14:27

we can on there, we can be funny - groundbreaking.

0:14:270:14:30

That must have been huge weight on those performers' shoulders

0:14:300:14:33

thinking that they're representing a whole generation of young

0:14:330:14:36

black kids, you know?

0:14:360:14:38

Even when I look back

0:14:380:14:39

and think about watching TV on a very basic level, whenever you saw

0:14:390:14:43

the news and it had Trevor McDonald came on, we were transfixed.

0:14:430:14:48

"Oh, that's Trevor!" And Mum was just like, "Oh, his sultry voice,

0:14:480:14:52

"I want to marry him. Why did I marry...?

0:14:520:14:54

Talking to my dad, "Why did I marry you? I could be with him." Brilliant.

0:14:540:14:58

Do you feel that pressure?

0:14:580:15:00

Do you know? When I first started, I didn't think I would

0:15:000:15:03

because I had this rose-tinted view that everyone

0:15:030:15:06

was on a equal level playing field.

0:15:060:15:09

Whenever I go out now, I get stopped by young black youths, male,

0:15:090:15:13

female, go, "Yeah, well done, Steve, representing."

0:15:130:15:18

That's the word you get all the time,

0:15:180:15:19

even till today, "Representing."

0:15:190:15:22

So I'm very much aware of what I'm doing and the choices that I make.

0:15:220:15:25

-Does that influence your comedy?

-It makes me be a bit more real.

0:15:250:15:29

When I first started doing comedy, it was all about jazz hands,

0:15:290:15:32

"Look at me, I'm funny, ha-ha."

0:15:320:15:34

But in the last few years, I've been talking about stuff that

0:15:340:15:37

really matters to me and that's where I'm at.

0:15:370:15:41

Did you, sort of, get into comedy quite late?

0:15:460:15:49

I did get into comedy quite late.

0:15:490:15:51

This is the genuine story about how I got into comedy.

0:15:510:15:53

You may remember, quite a few years ago, I think it may have been '95,

0:15:530:15:57

when Hoover did a promotion,

0:15:570:15:59

an advertising promotion in newspapers and TV,

0:15:590:16:02

if you bought one of their Hoovers,

0:16:020:16:04

you got two return tickets to America, New York or Florida.

0:16:040:16:08

-So off you went to America?

-I went to America.

0:16:080:16:10

I was seeing a friend of mine who lived there

0:16:100:16:12

and, at the same time, there was another friend of his from England

0:16:120:16:15

and we were there for a week and she was like, "You're really funny.

0:16:150:16:18

"Why don't you to comedy?"

0:16:180:16:19

I'm like, "Don't be silly. I'm funny, you know, one-on-one."

0:16:190:16:22

She went, "No, no, I'm running a comedy club in England,

0:16:220:16:25

"come and do some stuff."

0:16:250:16:26

And I got back to England a couple of months later and I called her,

0:16:260:16:29

I went, "Were you serious?" And she went, "Yes!"

0:16:290:16:32

-That's how I started.

-Yeah.

0:16:320:16:34

I've never looked back.

0:16:340:16:35

So your whole career started from a television advert and here is

0:16:350:16:39

another. We've got another...

0:16:390:16:42

If you can say this word, vacuuming-ing advert.

0:16:420:16:46

# It's all you have to do

0:16:490:16:51

# Do the Shake n' Vac and put the freshness back... #

0:16:510:16:54

# Do the Shake n' Vac and put the freshness back... #

0:16:540:16:57

BOTH: # Do the Shake n' Vac and put the freshness back... #

0:16:570:17:00

# Remember what to do

0:17:000:17:02

# Do the Shake n' Vac and put the freshness back... #

0:17:020:17:05

Ha-ha, you've always got to put the freshness back into your carpet

0:17:050:17:08

-and, do you know what?

-What?

0:17:080:17:09

When this advert was playing all over the country,

0:17:090:17:12

we didn't even have a vacuum cleaner.

0:17:120:17:14

No. And I was so amazed that people were

0:17:140:17:17

-so excited...

-Yeah.

-..about cleaning their carpets.

0:17:170:17:20

But what made it even worse was that you could get talcum powder,

0:17:200:17:24

sprinkle it on your carpet, on your dirty carpet, make it dirtier

0:17:240:17:27

and then... Why didn't you just clean the carpet?

0:17:270:17:29

Yeah, what if you didn't have a Hoover?

0:17:290:17:32

I mean, you were at home not having a Hoover,

0:17:320:17:34

putting the Shake n' Vac down, covered in talc.

0:17:340:17:36

I can't see the telly.

0:17:360:17:38

We've got the Shake n' Vac, but we haven't got a Hoover. Oh, bless.

0:17:380:17:42

This is one of the best known adverts of all time.

0:17:420:17:46

Never before had anyone been so happy to vacuum

0:17:460:17:50

and Jenny Logan brought an energy to the role that has

0:17:500:17:53

since become lodged in the minds of anyone

0:17:530:17:55

who lived through the '80s.

0:17:550:17:57

# Do the Shake n' Vac and put the freshness back... #

0:17:570:18:00

The catchy tune has stood the test of time for over 35 years.

0:18:000:18:05

In 2010, the jingle was rerecorded

0:18:050:18:08

by pop sensation...Jedward,

0:18:080:18:12

who were born a decade after the advert was first released.

0:18:120:18:15

Pop-tastic!

0:18:150:18:17

She looks so happy...

0:18:170:18:19

-Oh, yeah, you have to do a little dance.

-..so happy.

0:18:190:18:21

You know, I mean, I thought we could... As a homage to that,

0:18:210:18:25

pay tribute to it, you know, this afternoon.

0:18:250:18:28

I've got...

0:18:280:18:30

You haven't got Shake n' Vac?!

0:18:300:18:32

I can't give it to you like that.

0:18:320:18:33

You always have to hold things like this.

0:18:330:18:35

Oh, my...! Do you know? I've never...

0:18:350:18:37

-Huh! It...

-I've got the Hoover.

0:18:370:18:40

This is actually...

0:18:400:18:44

We're going to get you doing a bit of Shake n' Vac for us now.

0:18:440:18:49

Well, you have to acknowledge that this place is a bit pongy.

0:18:490:18:53

Yeah. Here we go, let's do the song.

0:18:530:18:56

BOTH: # Do the Shake n' Vac and put the freshness back... #

0:18:560:18:59

I've broke it! You hold that, I'll hold that.

0:18:590:19:02

# Do the Shake n' Vac and put the freshness back... #

0:19:020:19:04

-You're the singer.

-Whoa, thank God, that's why you stick to comedy.

0:19:040:19:07

Cor blimey, that was awful singing.

0:19:070:19:11

-At least the freshness is back.

-There you go.

0:19:110:19:14

-I have to say...

-It does smell good.

-It has livened it up a bit

0:19:140:19:16

and got us out of our chair, and a little bit of exercise there.

0:19:160:19:20

Yeah, because I love an ad that we could sing along, all right.

0:19:200:19:22

That's the key to an advert - it makes you remember things.

0:19:220:19:25

One of my best adverts I can remember, as well,

0:19:250:19:27

because we love biscuits in our house.

0:19:270:19:30

My parents were into Rich Tea, I was into...

0:19:300:19:33

-My dad was into Jacob's Cream Crackers.

-No Digestive?

0:19:330:19:36

-No Digestives, no. Jammie Dodgers.

-Ah, yes.

-Yeah.

0:19:360:19:39

-An, of course...

-Custard creams?

-Custard Creams, yeah.

0:19:390:19:42

-..Bourbons.

-Bourbons, yes.

0:19:420:19:44

And the favourite, right, Ginger Nuts.

0:19:440:19:47

-Your favourite?

-Yeah. Do you remember the advert?

-No, no.

0:19:470:19:51

# I'm a Jamaican ginger grower and I'm very proud to say

0:19:510:19:54

# I grow the finest ginger In the world today

0:19:540:19:56

# You pick the best and packet them

0:19:560:19:58

# McVitie's come to buy it

0:19:580:20:00

# You snap into a McVitie's Ginger Nut

0:20:000:20:01

# The taste is Jamaican ginger

0:20:010:20:04

# The world's best is waiting for you

0:20:040:20:06

# I knows it I grows it. #

0:20:060:20:08

Stephen K Amos is available for advertisements.

0:20:080:20:11

There it is.

0:20:110:20:13

That was brilliant, that deserves a round of applaud.

0:20:130:20:16

Thank you very much. I'll take that.

0:20:160:20:18

I'll do round of applause, there you go.

0:20:180:20:20

What did to your mum and dad enjoy watching?

0:20:250:20:27

My dad... As I said, my dad liked nature programmes,

0:20:270:20:31

anything that Dickie Attenborough produced, loved them.

0:20:310:20:36

Anything about the world as well.

0:20:360:20:38

-Mum, on the other hand, was all about glitz and glamour.

-Oh, right!

0:20:380:20:42

-Variety shows...

-Yeah?

-Danny La Rue.

-Ah-ha!

-Oh, my God.

0:20:420:20:47

Well, have a little look at this. Here's the man, Dan.

0:20:470:20:51

# Down the road there lives a man

0:20:510:20:53

# I'd like you all to know

0:20:530:20:55

# He grew a great big marrow for the local flower show

0:20:550:20:59

# Now when the news got round of it

0:20:590:21:01

# They came from far and wide

0:21:010:21:03

# But when they saw the size of it

0:21:030:21:09

# Everybody cried

0:21:130:21:15

# Oh what a beauty

0:21:170:21:20

# I've never seen one as big as that before

0:21:200:21:25

# Oh what a beauty

0:21:250:21:28

# Why it must be two foot long or maybe more

0:21:280:21:32

# Now it's such a lovely colour Nice and round and fat

0:21:320:21:37

# And I've never seen a marrow quite as big as that

0:21:370:21:40

# Oh what a beauty

0:21:400:21:43

# I've never seen one as big as that before. #

0:21:430:21:47

-So this is something your mum enjoyed?

-My mum loved that.

0:21:480:21:52

To be honest, I think she missed out the word drag

0:21:520:21:55

because she was genuinely convinced that Danny La Rue was a woman.

0:21:550:21:59

-I worked with Danny La Rue.

-Oh, wow.

0:21:590:22:01

I worked with him, I did seven pantos with him,

0:22:010:22:05

and he really was a legend.

0:22:050:22:07

I saw him when he was... When I was seven and he was

0:22:070:22:11

starring at the Palace Theatre,

0:22:110:22:12

and Danny La Rue would do 22 weeks there.

0:22:120:22:15

I went there and sat right up in the gods

0:22:150:22:17

and I was seven years old, and I said to my mum and dad...

0:22:170:22:20

They said, "Did you enjoy the show?"

0:22:200:22:22

I said, "One day, I'm going to marry that woman."

0:22:220:22:25

Danny would always want me to tell that story.

0:22:250:22:29

But, no, he was a very kind man, very gentle, very quiet man,

0:22:290:22:33

of course, once he got into the gear...

0:22:330:22:35

I think even then he, sort of...

0:22:350:22:37

He doesn't mind me saying it now,

0:22:370:22:39

but he was past his sell-by date slightly,

0:22:390:22:42

but when he was a young man, you honestly...

0:22:420:22:46

He was the most beautiful woman you ever saw.

0:22:460:22:49

And the clothes, you know?

0:22:490:22:51

Yes, the costumes were amazing and,

0:22:510:22:53

in fact, I think he was the first

0:22:530:22:55

drag artist I ever saw

0:22:550:22:58

and, also, one who could perform and sing live, which was quite rare.

0:22:580:23:03

The amount of attention to detail that went into the clothes,

0:23:030:23:07

the hair, the banter...

0:23:070:23:09

Really, really quite something special.

0:23:090:23:11

Do you enjoy these sort of shows?

0:23:110:23:13

I suppose we did, in a way, because, as I say, it's a variety of stuff.

0:23:130:23:18

-You get singing, maybe you get some...

-Comedy.

0:23:180:23:21

-..comedy...

-Magic.

-..maybe some magic.

0:23:210:23:23

All, kind of... Something we could all enjoy as a family entertainment.

0:23:230:23:27

It was in the era where variety was alive and well.

0:23:270:23:30

You know, from the mid-'70s to the mid-'80s,

0:23:300:23:34

when a lot of variety stuff was on, including the Royal Variety show.

0:23:340:23:38

We watched it religiously every year.

0:23:380:23:41

And then we wind on 30 years...

0:23:410:23:44

-and you're on it.

-And I get to be on it. Who'd have thought?

0:23:440:23:46

You know, me as a ten-year-old kid watching the Royal Variety

0:23:460:23:49

with my parents and family, never in a million years did I think,

0:23:490:23:53

"Oh, one day I'll be on that."

0:23:530:23:55

And I was.

0:23:550:23:57

I love doing this job, folks,

0:24:030:24:04

and I swear to God...

0:24:040:24:05

Let me tell you a bit about myself first.

0:24:050:24:07

I come from quite a big family

0:24:070:24:09

and as kids my dad tried to think of ways to keep us occupied.

0:24:090:24:12

His solution was to get my mum pregnant eight more times.

0:24:120:24:15

LAUGHTER

0:24:150:24:16

Car journeys were a nightmare.

0:24:160:24:18

I have a twin sister, she is my best friend.

0:24:180:24:20

However, I get asked two questions on a regular basis,

0:24:200:24:22

one of them is, "Are you identical?"

0:24:220:24:25

LAUGHTER

0:24:250:24:28

Oh! What was I wearing?!

0:24:280:24:30

Go on, Stephen.

0:24:300:24:33

The London I grew up in is very different to the London that it is now, right?

0:24:330:24:36

Because I grew up in a time where the young people... There's a 90-year-old...

0:24:360:24:39

Is there a student here somewhere? Is it you, son? Hello, how old are you?

0:24:390:24:43

-19.

-19. What year were you born?

-'88.

0:24:430:24:45

1988.

0:24:450:24:48

Did you hear that silence? LAUGHTER

0:24:480:24:51

That's called jealousy.

0:24:510:24:53

There are people in this room with underpants and socks older than you.

0:24:530:24:58

You know who you are.

0:25:000:25:01

How does it feel watching it?

0:25:010:25:03

-Do you know what? My heart has stopped...

-Really?

0:25:030:25:05

I'm not even joking.

0:25:050:25:07

Oh, my goodness! People make an effort, they all wear their

0:25:070:25:10

dicky bows and their DJs

0:25:100:25:13

and they paid quite a lot of money to sit there,

0:25:130:25:16

and you've got four minutes to, kind of, get them and they...

0:25:160:25:19

For me, it wasn't my target audience

0:25:190:25:21

because those people don't normally go to comedy clubs.

0:25:210:25:23

What was your mum and dad's thoughts on you doing a Royal

0:25:230:25:26

when you went back?

0:25:260:25:28

I kid you not, I'd been doing stand-up for about ten years,

0:25:280:25:31

my parents had never seen me do a live gig before.

0:25:310:25:34

I did a couple of warm-up gigs and my parents came.

0:25:340:25:38

It's about 4,500 people and so they came and they

0:25:380:25:41

were sitting in the stalls, and I was like, "Can I just say...?"

0:25:410:25:43

Halfway through the show...

0:25:430:25:45

I was nervous and people were backstage going,

0:25:450:25:47

"Your going to do your jokes about them? But they're here." "Yeah, I've nothing to hide."

0:25:470:25:51

So halfway through the show, I just went, "Can I just say, folks, my

0:25:510:25:54

"mum and dad are sitting there?"

0:25:540:25:56

The crowd went electric. Mum stood up, took a bow. She's like that, "Yeah."

0:25:560:26:00

-Like the Queen.

-"Yep, that's my son, my son."

0:26:000:26:02

Had never seen me before, "My son."

0:26:020:26:05

When I got to do the Royal Variety show,

0:26:050:26:07

afterwards, as you know, you meet whoever's there,

0:26:070:26:09

be it the Queen or Prince Charles,

0:26:090:26:11

and in the line-up there's a picture of me with the Queen,

0:26:110:26:15

that is now pride of place in my mum's living room.

0:26:150:26:18

-Oh, isn't that lovely?

-Yeah.

0:26:180:26:20

Going full circle now, what do you watch now?

0:26:240:26:26

-What do you watch on TV?

-Do you know what?

0:26:260:26:29

I've got a soft spot for soaps

0:26:290:26:31

because, obviously, I travel quite a bit with this job,

0:26:310:26:34

which I'm very grateful for and so the things that

0:26:340:26:37

I watch now are soaps, you can catch up on them because they

0:26:370:26:40

-tend to repeat them.

-Yeah.

0:26:400:26:41

And since I was a kid, you know, I've liked things like Dallas,

0:26:410:26:45

Dynasty, Knots Landing, all the dramatic soaps,

0:26:450:26:47

all the big money American soaps.

0:26:470:26:50

So I've come full circle and it's EastEnders, now it's Corrie,

0:26:500:26:54

which is just hilarious, do you know?

0:26:540:26:56

Is that what you watch it for? To have a good laugh?

0:26:560:26:58

-Well, Coronation Street, yes.

-Really?

0:26:580:27:00

That's probably the best soap out there.

0:27:000:27:02

It's got humour, it's got pathos, it's got, you know,

0:27:020:27:06

real deep storylines as well.

0:27:060:27:08

Would you, if you could wave a magic wand, would you love to be in Corrie?

0:27:080:27:12

I'd love to do a season in Corrie, yeah. Can you imagine?

0:27:120:27:16

-I think you'd be brilliant.

-I'd even try my hand at putting on

0:27:160:27:19

some sort of northern, sort of, twang...

0:27:190:27:21

-if that's not too bad.

-You're awful!

0:27:210:27:24

I don't know where that's from.

0:27:240:27:26

-Well, I have got no idea, but I'll give it a go.

-Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:27:260:27:29

-Yeah. Weatherfield.

-Yeah.

0:27:290:27:30

Can you imagine me being the landlord of Rovers Return?

0:27:300:27:33

-I think you'd be brilliant.

-Thank you.

0:27:330:27:35

I'll even wear high heels, a blonde wig in homage to Julie Goodyear.

0:27:350:27:39

We would love to see that.

0:27:390:27:41

-There's people watching this now going, "Hmmm."

-"We can make that happen."

-Yeah.

0:27:410:27:45

-I think you've been a wonderful guest, you really have.

-Thank you very much. Thank you, Brian.

0:27:450:27:49

Very funny and I want to thank you for doing the show.

0:27:490:27:52

At this point, we ask our guests to pick a theme tune to go out with.

0:27:520:27:55

What would you like to go out with?

0:27:550:27:57

Well, let's pay homage to the lovely Roy Castle,

0:27:570:28:00

-let's do Record Breakers.

-Yeah, Record Breakers.

0:28:000:28:03

Many thanks to Stephen and many thanks to you for watching

0:28:030:28:05

The TV That Made Me.

0:28:050:28:07

See you next time, bye-bye!

0:28:070:28:10

# Dedication that's all you need

0:28:100:28:16

# If you wanna be the best and you wanna burn up the rest

0:28:160:28:19

# Then dedication's what you need Dum-dum-dum. #

0:28:190:28:24

Comedian extraordinaire Stephen K Amos joins legendary entertainer Brian Conley to look back at the classic TV that shaped him into one of Britain's funniest men.

From the terrifying, spine-tingling Tales of the Unexpected to the stunningly gorgeous entertainer Danny la Rue, Stephen's early television influences are wide and varied... but why does he believe he owes his entire career to TV adverts for vacuum cleaners?


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS