Saturday, 19 March 2016

Theme Time : David McNiven - Naked Video

A favourite to watch with my dad when I was a kid in the '80s was the Scottish comedy sketch series, Naked Video, which ran on BBC2 on Friday nights from 1986 to 1991. 

Starring the likes of Gregor Fisher, Elaine C Smith, Andy Gray, Tony Roper and Louise Beattie and created by Colin Gilbert, the man responsible for A Kick Up The Eighties, the show began life on the radio in Scotland in 1981 as, ironically enough, Naked Radio. The show proved such a success that, in 1985, the cast took it to the Edinburgh festival where Gilbert realised its potential as a TV vehicle - thus Naked Video was born a year later. The radio series continued to run alongside its TV counterpart until both shows concluded in 1991.

Most famously, Naked Video is the show where viewers first met Rab C Nesbitt and The Baldy Man, both successful characters for actor Gregor Fisher that would ultimately have their own spin off series. Other characters who regularly appeared in the sketch show included Helen Lederer's Drunk Sloane, John Sparkes' Siadwell, a geeky Welsh poet reporting direct to camera from his bedsit, and Highlander Angus (Fisher, again) the anchorman for OHBC News (The Outer Hebrides Broadcasting Corporation) and the show boasted sketched penned by not only the cast but also Ian Pattison, Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, Steve Coogan, Nigel Planer, Jennifer Saunders and Rik Mayall.

The show's theme was by David McNiven (pictured above and who was also responsible for the theme to Rab C Nesbitt and that other brilliant Scottish sitcom City Lights starring Gerard Kelly) a composer and one time prog rock/acid folk musician with his band Bread Love and Dreams who started his performing career busking on the streets of Glasgow with actor Bill Paterson, providing a musical accompaniment to his Shakespeare recitals. Sadly, I've just learnt that McNiven passed away on December 28th last year, so this blog post serves as a belated obituary and tribute to him. RIP

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