The Culture Show

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The Culture Show is a weekly BBC Two magazine programme broadcast on Tuesday nights, focussing on the latest developments in the worlds of film, music, art, fashion and the performing arts.

Originally launched in November 2004, the show has had various different time slots and presenters but is currently hosted by Lauren Laverne and broadcasts at 10pm on Tuesday nights, with an extended version being shown Thursdays at 11:20pm.

The show occasionally features segments from or about new comedy acts or personalities. Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand have both done work for the show. Karl Pilkington is something of a friend to the show, having worked on it several times since his first interview in 2006.

Karl on the Culture Show


Karl's first appearance on the show was in late 2006, to promote his new book The World of Karl Pilkington as well as some animations based on the podcast created by Karl's friend Laurie Peters, known as Karl-Toons. During a Christmas podcast, Ricky and Steve were annoyed at Karl's lack of effort in promoting the book, Ricky adding that his only TV appearance was sub-standard and embarrassing, claiming he looked like "a little frightened frog." Karl didn't like the interview, namely the fact that the make-up woman was "colouring in his head."


Karl made his second appearance in the new year, to promote his new book Happyslapped by a Jellyfish (which he wrote himself, unlike his previous book which was transcripts from the podcast). Karl took his book to a convention alongside authors new and old, and got some feedback on his new work from his peers including Ricky Gervais and comedienne Jo Brand. Karl was uncertain of Happyslapped's place in the literary world.


  • A few months later, Karl did another feature for the show, this time on a topic he is familiar with from his years of work with Ricky and Steve; art. Karl went to a new art exhibition at the Hayward Gallery that presented what are allegedly humourous or comedic art works, as presented by the gallery's curator Mami Kataoka. Karl wasn't impressed with what he saw and didn't think it was that funny. In the feature, Karl interviewed two new modern artists, firstly he spoke to David Shrigley. David had two walls of work in the gallery, each covered with pieces of paper with peculiar or abstract pictures or messages on them. Karl wasn't impressed with the quality of David's drawing, but Shrigely claimed he could draw better (and he went to art school) but it wasn't necessary for this exhibit. Karl then spoke to Nedko Solakov an aritsit who used light and shadow as part of his exhibit. Nedko wrote a special message on his exhibit for the Culture Show crew. Karl liked Nedko and David but didn't quiet understand their work, and so decided to show a video of himself and Ricky to the gallery's visitors in an attempt to get a laugh.
  • Karl was invited to the set of Ricky's Hollywood writing/directing debut and offered a cameo role. The Culture Show filmed Karl's on-set exploits. Karl was annoyed from the start as his girlfriend couldn't come with him as she couldn't get time off. Karl was also annoyed because he believed he was only brought to Boston (where the film was being made) for Ricky's amusement. Similar to his experience on the set of Extras, Karl was frustrated by the waiting times, often being in costume for hours before being needed. For his brief cameo, Karl had to dress as a caveman and learn to speak like one. Karl's cameo is in the film's opening sequence. Much to the amusement of Pilkipedia forum users, Karl had a brief encounter with Rob Lowe, on set.


In 2008, building up to the new series, The Culture Show recorded several interviews with various celebrities and figures in culture, discussing what they thought "Culture" was. Karl Pilkington was one of the interviewees.


  • David Shrigely did some "art" for Karl and The Culture Show which was later put on
  • Ricky and Karl recalled the filming of Karl's cameo during the NME Radio Show. Karl claimed to have gotten wringworm from the "bear-suit" he had to wear in the film. Ricky denied this claim and also stressed that no real animal fur was used in the film.
  • In an interview with the Culture Show during the feature on Karl's cameo, Ricky said that Karl's being in the film was totally for his own amusement, and he liked flying Karl out "under false pretenses" and making him dress up and look like a fool.

External Links

  • A blog about Ricky's film work[1]
  • Karl's website, with art from Shrigely[2]
  • BBC's official Culture Show page [3]