NME Radio Show
The NME Radio Show was a one-off programme by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. It was recorded on Thursday 5th June in London and premiered on Monday 9th June 2008, 12pm (BST). The two-hour radio show was part of the test transmissions for the new radio station NME Radio which had its official launch on Tuesday 24th June 2008. It is available for free download here.
The format of the NME Radio Show was more like their Xfm Shows than the podcasts. Whereas the podcasts were purely conversational, the NME show had music. However, due to it being pre-recorded there was no listener interaction. Sammy Jacobs, NME Radio's managing director and friend of Ricky and Steve's from Xfm in 1997 said, "Gervais' show will involve banter between the trio, who have recorded a series of hugely successful, record-breaking podcasts together in the past, as well as their favourite songs."
Sky channel 0184
Virgin Media 975
DAB (South-east only)
|First air date||24th June 2008 (test transmissions: 2nd June 2008)|
1. Testing (0:00:00)
Ricky Gervais opens the show in a tried and tested manner. For those unfamiliar, this show was a test broadcast for the new NME radio station as well as a one-off special for fans of the Ricky Gervais Show podcast. With Ricky, of course, Stephen Merchant (his long term partner, "not in that way") and "the little bald manc twat, that is the "shaven monkey" Karl Pilkington. Steve points out that some people may be unfamiliar with that monkey and Ricky proceeds to explain the situation further. Ricky and Steve first met Karl when they returned to Xfm after it changed hands. As they had shot to household status with The Office since they left, they no longer felt they should have to run their own sound desk and so they were assigned a "stupid lackey" in the form of a bald Mancunian. Ricky still remembers his first encounter with Karl. He was first struck by his head. Karl thinks the listener gets the message. Karl also recalls his first meeting with the comedy duo as odd. Karl was looking at Steve, Ricky was looking at Karl, all thinking it was a bit weird, it resembled a triangle. Steve once again is curious as to why Karl has started having a go at him for no reason. Karl thinks people are just attracted to weird stuff like in museums (Ricky notices how Karl has branded himself weird also with his metaphor). Steve asks if Karl has gotten over his obsession with his looks, but Karl simply replies that you get used to a look. Karl mentions how he's interested in weird stuff, causing Ricky to pounce and go on to say that Karl only ever watches programmes about deformed people. Karl recalls a recent program about a man with a big head ("the new elephant man") in a small village and the other villagers don't double take any more. The discussion swiftly returns to Steve's weirdness causing Steve to lash back at Karl. Ricky talks some more about Karl's head but claims his mind is the real draw.
2. Graham! Of All The Names! (0:05:32)
Ricky goes into more detail about why this particular show is special (despite the fact that he actually thinks it's not as the three have done this so many times in the past). Sammy Jacobs, the founder of Xfm, was heavily involved in the creation of NME radio. He got in touch with Ricky and asked him to do a one-off special with Stephen and Karl for the launch of the station. Ricky agreed as it was Sammy who gave him his big break back in the old days of pre-takeover Xfm. Ricky got in touch with Steve who was unsure on whether or not he wanted to do it, he then got in touch with Karl who definitely didn't want to do it. So it was up to Ricky to persuade his co-hosts to do the show. Ricky expresses some frustrations he has in relation to Karl: the podcast had been stopped, the podcasts had to be paid for by fans as he had left work and he still didn't want to do the show. Ricky tried playing Karl from every angle, asking him to do the show as a favour for Sammy, do it as a favour for Ricky, do it for the fans who paid for the podcasts, but Karl was still unwilling to co-operate. Karl claims Ricky was out of line by saying Steve and Karl would do the show with him. Gervais responds by saying that Steve didn't want to do it either, he was busy as well as already having a show on 6Music, but he did it as a favour for Ricky who gave him his big break. Karl was not so easily swayed by this argument. Ricky goes on to list his efforts at getting Karl to comply, including his internet campaign and daily blog. When asked by Ricky, Karl said friendship played a role in his coming around to doing the podcast. Or did it? Ricky reveals to a previously unaware Steve that Karl has negotiated some money for this show unlike Ricky and Steve who are doing it for free as a favour to Sammy and the fans (and Ricky in Steve's case). Karl claims he owes Sammy nothing and he has bills to pay. Steve is struck by a thought. Ricky is repaying a debt to the man who gave him his big break, Sammy Jacobs. Steve is repaying a debt to the man who gave him his big break, Ricky Gervais. But there is one man in the studio who has done nothing to repay his debt to the man who got him to where he is and who gave him his big break, Mr. Ricky Gervais, and is only doing this show for selfish gain, Karl Pilkington. Ricky notes how "the people on the internet" are also aware of Karl's meanness. Karl maintains the fans need to be cut off for the sake of the podcasts' quality, he also thinks the internet users don't deserve more and all they do is moan. He also mentions that he still bears a grudge for the fact the internet users claimed he was a scripted creation of Gervais and Merchant who was an actor (real name Graham).
3. Think What You're Saying! You Want a Worm to Have an Arm! (00:10:48)
More talk about how miserable Karl is. Karl thinks he does loads of favours for people. He generously took Ricky's television off his hands... and kept it. Steve wonders who is the last person Karl treated without expecting something back. Karl claims that if he has a great day he will treat a homeless person or a charity. Karl does admit he doesn't have "great days" but he can be "content" at times. The subject quickly changes to whether or not Karl accomplishes anything in his day to day life, obviously Ricky and Steve think he doesn't, recalling the time he spent his day going to the cobbler's and the diary he kept for a year as part of the podcast in which he wrote nothing of any real consequence. Karl defends himself by saying he learns something everyday (Steve has learned that Karl is a "mean bastard"). Yesterday, Karl learned from Ricky that scientists have attached a robotic arm to a monkey who then used it to feed itself. Karl thinks this is a wasted invention and it should be put to more interesting use and given to a different animal like a worm to see what it does, a scientific explanation/rant ensues from Gervais.
4. The Kid had the Voice of an Old Man (00:16:06)
Steve has ventured to Vietnam. One event of note was when a European man shouted to Steve that Karl has a "head like a fucking orange". Ricky is bemused by Steve's choice of holiday destination, constantly choosing exotic yet deadly locales. Steve thought Vietnam was a beautiful country with some intriguing traditions and customs, he believes Karl would enjoy life if he was more adventurous and went on more exotic holidays as opposed to going to big dusty rocks. Karl doesn't like going to exotic locales such as 'Nam, as things like the food are too different, such as the bag of locusts his mate was sold when he was on holiday. Steve revels in the exotic environment. Although he didn't venture to Snake Village where the natives kill and slit open a snake in front of you and you must drink the blood and heart. Karl wouldn't like it, but Steve says it's not about liking it, it's about seeing it and experiencing things unlike Karl who stays walled up in his own little world and moans about everything. Karl thinks the negatives (weird food) outweigh the positives ("Floating villages an' that"). Karl has gone to Majorca, which Ricky and Steve think is more or less the same place he's been going to all these years. There were some Scottish people in the same hotel as Karl, the kid had the voice of an old man. Karl thinks we should see and explore things by watching the telly.
5. Me Ears Got Bored (00:22:00)
Steve lets us know about his show on 6Music. Steve doesn't have a lot of respect for the NME or its readers. Karl's taste in music is brought up. He is quickly sidetracked to the ever-pressing matter of his boiler. Karl is annoyed that people keep suggesting he get a new boiler. British Gas and a less official bloke both said they don't want touch it because it's too risky. Steve is perplexed and doesn't believe that Karl cannot get it sorted. Karl claims that the only way he could get it fixed is by knocking a wall down, which he isn't willing to do for hot water. The conversation shifts back to music and again Ricky and Steve can't believe Karl's lack of enthusiasm for it. Steve explains the effect music has on the brain. Perhaps there is too much noise in the world? While Karl is writing his book, the ears hear something and go "what's that?", the eyes decide to have a look when given the go ahead by the brain. Karl explains the connection between the brain and the ears and other parts of the head.
6. Gay People Get It (00:29:30)
After his holiday, Karl went to visit Ricky in Boston and also to make a cameo in his film - This Side of the Truth. Once again when asked to do a favour, Karl refused instantly. However, Ricky said that Suzanne could come as well and they could have a holiday. The flights were arranged and Karl flew out without Suzanne, who wasn't allowed more time off work after coming back from Majorca. According to Karl, Boston isn't worth seeing. Nothing there except Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. There was "something about teabags" also (The Boston Tea Party). Karl had four days in the hotel (all expenses paid) for one day's work. Ricky feels he is ungrateful. For his cameo, Karl had to wear an outfit made out of fake animal fur. Karl had trouble sleeping without Suzanne. Ricky complains, saying Karl was ill after one day's work. Karl thinks that's understandable, seeing as sloths never get the flu because that's when your body is "replemishing". Steve must understand because he is a sickly child. Karl decides to go to the doctor who he hardly sees. He believes Karl has some kind of virus. Karl also notices he has a skin problem on his leg, which turns out to be ringworm. Maybe it was due to the fake fur he had to wear on set. The doctor said that it is common amongst gay people, wrestlers and people who stroke bald animals. Ricky thinks the doctor was gay. This doctor was not to be confused with the one who told Karl his nerves were too short.
7. Dong! Lanky Man Wears Hat (00:39:05)
Steve has another go at the NME. Steve is concerned that he looks very English when abroad. Pasty and white. But, he has the remedy to this situation... he has bought a hat to make him slip seamlessly into the background. Ricky is shocked. It looks like Ms. Marple's hat. Ricky puts a picture up on Rickygervais.com. The hat isn't the perfect remedy however, as "they" can sense Steve is a wealthy Briton. Steve is also confused by the conversion and tipping. When Steve ventured to one of the markets, locals started mocking him, a local postman did a "Frankenstein" walk in jest at Steve's expense. A local woman puts a 'kick me' sign on Steve. Steve is annoyed because in England he has finally earned himself respect but in Vietnam he is just a lanky-goggle-eyed-freak. Steve goes back to the hotel, but is once again confused by the tipping of taxi-drivers. He isn't tight, but he didn't want to upset the financial equilibrium. On top of that, this driver may spread the word and Steve would become known as a big tipper.
8. Hello? Giant Gerbil Beetle People (00:47:00)
Ricky presents Karl with more scientific trivia. Instead of constantly knocking an animal out with anaesthetic, scientists are now using a beetle to take blood samples from animals safely. Karl, of course, has questions. The beetle is going to get sick of blood by the fifth monkey. Ricky is annoyed again. Karl has a theory about size and its relation to health. Taller people like Steve are always sick, but smaller people, like midgets, are never sick and therefore don't go to the doctor's as much. Nor do they get hit by cars because they are so small. Karl goes on about a beetle the size of a gerbil that was found in a banana crate after about three months. It only lives four months and has to have sex before it dies, and many people were concerned about this. The people in charge of giant gerbil beetles came around and knew straight away what the issue was. Steve wonders why people are concerned about this. Ricky doesn't know why Karl cares about beetles more than chimpanzees. The conversation moves onto instinct, and yet another thing Karl is annoyed by... babies wouldn't survive in the wild, they're so lazy. Are the beetles better than us? They have instinct but probably couldn't write or direct The Office.
9. Karl, You're Hired (00:55:15)
The show is approaching the end. Ricky and Steve had a good time. Karl is looking after number one. He thinks he is entrepreneurial. Karl doesn't believe in engaging in "debts of gratitude" because it's hard to draw the line. The world is about making money. Alan Sugar wouldn't be impressed with Karl, but would fire Ricky and Steve. Ricky and Steve would love to see Karl on "The Apprentice". He isn't a team player and would question why he had to do tasks. Steve tells Karl of an old interviewing technique where the interviewer would ask the interviewee to sell them a cheap pen. Karl tries to flog the pen to Steve.
- Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma
- Arctic Monkeys - Flourescent Adolescent
- Richard Ashcroft - Check the Meaning
- Guillemots - Falling Out of Reach
- Bob Dylan - Positively 4th Street
- Rilo Kiley - Portions For Foxes
- Razorlight - In the Morning
- Maximo Park - Books From Boxes
- The Cure - Lullaby
- Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place
- The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
- Neil Young - Old Man
- Rolling Stones - 19th Nervous Breakdown
- The Clash - White Riot
Steve: [We were given the person] who was lowest on the rung at a radio station.
Ricky: I'd have thought so...
Steve: The caretaker didn't work Saturdays.
Karl: The way you looked at me and thought "He's weird", I saw Steve, it was like a triangle, Ricky was looking at me, I was looking you, thinking that's weird.
Steve: Why aren't you having a go at Ricky for being fat and old.
Karl: I'm just saying it's like a museum, everyone rushes to the weird stuff first.
Ricky: You only watch programs if it's about someone who's got summat wrong with 'em, that's what you do, if ever you say "Did you see that thing last night?" It's gonna be summat like The Kid Born With Too Many Legs or 'The Baby With An Arse For A Head'".
Ricky: [Sammy said to us on our second day at Xfm] when are you two cunts gonna do some work before I fire you?
Steve: What I like is, you're a busy man Rick and I know you're involved in a lot of projects, how you found time, cos you don't like writing and doing any form of administration, to do a daily blog is quite remarkable.
Ricky: Well, I knew it was irritating him.
Karl: Cut [the fans] off. With the bible they didn't keep adding volumes saying "people seem to like this story".
Ricky: Yes they did, the New Testament...
Karl: Alright, they did it once then, they did like a special for the fans.
Karl: [People on the internet] calling me Graham! Said I'm not even real! "He's an actor called Graham", that annoyed me the most, "Graham"! Of all the names! It's just, if I'm not me, what am I?
Karl: I do loads of favors, I shifted your telly.
Ricky: Shifted..! I gave him a television.
Steve: I cashed that bloody check you wrote me.
Steve: I've learned that you're a mean bastard.
Ricky: And that's coming from Steve Merchant
Karl:: Don't you think [a robotic arm] is wasted [on a monkey], all they seem to do is eat and chuck shit about.
Karl: [Scientists] gave a worm anti-aging cream, when have you ever seen an old worm.. give it 'a tortoise.
Steve: I am an adventurer by spirit, I'm sort of an Indiana Jones figure.
Karl: See something...
Ricky: Hold on, this is what Steve is saying.
Karl: I know but I'm saying.. watch it on the telly.
Karl: Me brain is happy doing that book, but me ears got bored.
Karl: Sloths never get flu, cos that's when your body is replemishing.
Ricky: Were these all euphemisms? "Well, wrestlers get it, know any wrestlers?", "No doctor." "Hmmm, stroke any bald pets?", "No." "OK, gay people get it! Look, are you gay, are you gay? I'm gay, I'm gay. I wanna stroke summat bald."
Karl: You never see a midget in a doctor's waiting room.
Karl: [to Steve with a pen] Stick it up your arse.
- This show contains the first time Karl has used a major swearword on a radio show. Saying how monkeys "chuck shit about". Other times that Karl has sworn on a recording are during Ricky Gervais: New Hero of Comedy when he recalls David Brent telling Chris Finch to "fuck off" in The Office, and he also used both "shit" and "fuck" in the later Guide To shows.
- Despite Karl's theories about most animals being "do we need 'em?" or "what do they do?" he has always been fascinated by monkeys and chimpanzees but in this show we see the only time where he questions their worth and sees them as useless just like other animals such as Jellyfish
- Karl's cameo in the film was filmed for BBC 2's The Culture Show.
- This show was met with a generally negative reaction on the forum, with most pointing out the downbeat and volitile nature of the show as hampering the guys' usual rapport.
- Pilkipedia forum show discussion
- Pilkipedia forum pre-broadcast discussion