A Look Back At Rock Profile


Rock Profile, Matt Lucas and David Walliams's absurdist comedy parodying music icons probably isn't the first thing that you'd remember when you think of Lucas and Walliams, but it's actually some of their best work.


Created in 1999, for UKTV's now defunct channel Play UK, Rock Profile compiled short 'mockumentary'-style interviews, conducted by a deadpan Jamie Theakston, interspersed with music videos from the real artist.


These short ten-minute interviews focused on one artist in particular, such as Gary Barlow, Damon Albarn, Paul McCartney or Prince, and parodied them almost to the point of ridiculousness! The aforementioned Gary Barlow (played by Matt Lucas) is portrayed as having fellow Take That member Howard Donald (played by David Walliams) living with him as a kind of slave, who isn't allowed to do anything without his permission and is only allowed to make Gary Angel Delight.


There's a lot of Reeves and Mortimer's influence in this show, not surprisingly as Matt Lucas got his first big break with them on The Smell Of Reeves and Mortimer, and then later more famously on Shooting Stars as George Dawes with the scores.


Rock Profile gained a cult following and was picked up by BBC2 for a second series in 2000. Segments were even incorporated into the 2001 relaunch of Top of The Pops (much to the confusion of Top of the Pops fans who apparently were unfamiliar with the concept of the show).


The second series included celebrities such as Elton John, Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones. Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones's episode is a particularly highlight!



Interestingly, the Andy Warhol and Lou Reed episode inspired the iconic Little Britain characters 'Lou and Andy' using what later became the catchphrase, 'Yeah, I know!'


There was even a Rock Profile feature-length spin-off episode In 2001, Rock the Blind, in which some of the characters across the series got together to record a charity single.


Although Rock Profile is clearly the forgotten Lucas and Walliams show compared to Little Britain or even Come Fly With Me (in fact, it would be fair to say that Little Britain was more than a comedy show at the time; it was a phenomenon), I think it's actually Rock Profile that has aged the best. Despite the passing of some of the parodied stars, this show could easily be on TV today, but both Matt Lucas and David Walliams have both individually expressed doubt about whether Little Britain could be.


After a long hiatus, during which Lucas and Walliams became household names thanks to Little Britain, Rock Profile returned online in 2009, this time with Dermot O'Leary as the interviewer. It hasn't come back since, but we can tell by the fact that they've returned to it again and again over the years that we can't rule out another series. Especially as Lucas and Walliams have recently revealed that they might start working together again - after all, there's a whole new generation of musical stars that are ripe for parodying.


Written by Rhianna Evans

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