Chris Morris to appear in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle | And BBC Two sets launch date

Chris Morris to appear in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle

And BBC Two sets launch date

Chris Morris is to appear in the new series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle.

The news comes as BBC Two revealed the launch date for the third series: Saturday March 1, at 10:15pm.

As well as acting as script editor for the six half-hour episodes, Morris will be grilling Lee on his ideas in between the stand-up.

He takes over that job of ‘hostile interrogator’ from Armando Iannucci, who was executive producer of the last two series. Series three is executive produced by the BBC’s Mark Freeland, produced by Richard Webb and directed by Tim Kirkby.

It will also feature Kevin Eldon and Paul Putner in filmed sketches.

Writing about the return of the show, Lee said: ‘For me, the material is cooking with gas. And there was lots of fun real interacting with actual unpredictable live events in the room which was, once more, the Mildmay Club, Stoke Newington.’

But he pointed out that the announcement of the launch date meant it was ‘almost too late to do any press, promotion on publicity for the series now’ – but ‘I hate doing press anyway’.

‘The alternative was that the series go out in late May/June,’ he added. ‘By which time some of the routines in it would have been begun over 17 months ago like, for example, the one that examines politics from the springboard of the death of Margaret Thatcher (anyone remember that?)’

The news about Morris explains how he came to surprise fans with a rare and unannounced stage appearance on Saturday night, opening for the last night of Lee’s Much A-Stew About Nothing tour at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank. The show was a collection of all the stand-up routines Lee is using in the series.

Morris came on stage without introducing himself, and gave a not entirely truthful account of their their previous work together including how Lee had pitched the idea of Alan Partridge. Lee and double-act partner Richard Herring did work as writers on Morris’s breakthrough radio show On The Hour, where Steve Coogan’s most enduring character was also created.

The third series was recorded in December. Series two won a Bafta and two British Comedy Awards – critical acclaim which Lee says could have caused problems for his work.

He said: ‘There’s an obvious logical problem with maintaining my persona of a man who, irrespective of his obvious privilege, seems unreasonably grumpy with the world, especially in the light of the near blanket critical acclaim lavished upon series 2.

‘We struggled to accommodate this. How would it make sense for me to maintain a grudge against comedy and all media when its machinery -– The Baftas, The British Comedy Awards, Steve Wright In The Afternoon etc – had welcomed me into their bosoms?

‘The fact that series three is creeping out unheralded at least takes some of the curse off this problem. SLCV3 will, inevitably, remain something the unwary viewer discovers for themselves, and has a sense of personal ownership about.’

The fourth series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle has already been commissioned.

• Read Stewart Lee on the return of Comedy Vehicle here.

Published: 19 Feb 2014

What do you think?

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.