The Ricky Gervais Show

By Organ Grinder's Monkey

Originally published in EUG #71

Since shows like The Office and Extras went global, Ricky Gervais has moved from being 'another' stand up comedian to become possibly the most famous person on planet earth. He's been in the public consciousness for about seven or eight years now with each stand-up show, podcast, tv series or film being funnier than the last.

His latest show, The Ricky Gervais Show has been doing the rounds on Channel 4 over the past few months and is basically a random conversation between Gervais, Stephen Merchant (with whom he collaborated on many projects) and Karl Pilkington. The show has been created by drawing cartoons (in the style of The Flintstones) to run in sync with audio from the conversation. The running theme of each is simply to ask Karl questions and wait for the inevitable nonsense that he spouts in reply.

The show, with its very colourful and simple visuals, was an obvious candidate for a BBC/Electron demo - the only real problem in coding it was choosing exactly which bit, from the hilarious montage of clips out there in cyberspace, to do. Finally we decided on the 'Who would you save from a sinking ship, Ricky or Steve?' question. The images were then grabbed, hoisted over to a .ssd disc image using Image2BBC and BBC Explorer, and a bit of code to display the text appended. A decision was taken to use Mode 5, despite it only having the four colours, because of the ease of varying the palette for each colour. This works very well - the colour limitation is scarely even noticeable.

The demo is quite slick, and could easily be !BOOTed up on either an ADFS or DFS BBC/Electron (It even works with PAGE at &1D00 so will run on a ADFS Electron!) to show off 'modern' graphics ported to these aged beasties. It has twenty pictures in total and lasts for about four minutes (It adapts its speed based on the machine it is running on). No doubt it looks as if a lot of work has gone into it but, in actual fact, it was knocked up in little more than a day. Testament indeed to the power of Image2BBC when working with simple images - barely any 'cleaning up' was needed upon them at all!

This being the case, this first Ricky Gervais Show demo has been swiftly followed up by a second, and it's not easy to imagine that these can be the first of many (if they are well-received out there). This first demo takes up a large proportion of EUG #71 but is also available over in the PD World section. However you choose to view it, it can be used to impress your friends next time they ask why you've still got a Beeb in the corner of the room!