Frank Skinner to play Johnny Cash | Another Urban Myths short

Frank Skinner to play Johnny Cash

Another Urban Myths short

Frank Skinner is to play Johnny Cash in another of Sky Arts’s Urban Myths shorts.

The one-off – which Skinner also wrote – tells a story from 1983 when the country legend was staying in a Nottingham hotel.

It co-stars Isy Suttie as hotel manageress Jean, who finds the room trashed. The pair of them  sit among the carnage and Cash explains that he has been visited by Waldo, a killer ostrich.  

In a series of flashbacks, Cash tells Jean how the ostrich attacked him at his theme park, home, The House of Cash in Tennessee, back in '81 and how that set him on a path of pain-killer addiction and reckless drinking. 

Now Waldo has turned up in the East Midlands and is aching for revenge.

Cash was the first musician Skinner saw live, when he went to a gig at the Birmingham Odeon, aged 14.

His short is directed by Man Down’s  Al Campbell and made by Avalon. 

The Urban Myths series starts on April 12. Chortle last week reported that one was to be set backstage at Live Aid.

Another will revolve around the mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926. Motherland’s Anna Maxwell Martin plasy the novelist, Bill Paterson is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rosie Cavaliero is Dorothy L. Sayers

Other previously reported episodes  concern the TV presenter Bill Grundy on the ill-fated day when he met the Sex Pistols; Marilyn Monroe on the set of Some Like It Hot, the drug-fuelled pairing of Salvador Dali and Alice Cooper; David Bowie and Marc Bolan taking on home decorating, and a Devon man who helped Public Enemy when they broke down en route to a gig,

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, says: ‘We are thrilled to be bringing Urban Myths back to Sky Arts.  With the first season we knew we’d hit comedy gold, mining the madcap worlds of urban folklore and once again viewers will get to see some of Britain’s most talented actors, writers and directors bring a selection of  terrific tales, mostly true, to life.’

Here is the summary of all the episodes. They will all be available on demand from April 12, but these are their Sky Arts broadcast dates:

April 12: Marilyn Monroe and Billy Wilder

One of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic roles was undoubtedly that of singer and ukulele player Sugar ‘Kane’ Kowalczyk in the 1959 romantic comedy Some Like It Hot. It is regarded as one of the greatest comedy films of all time but, behind the scenes, America’s sweetheart is struggling to deliver a line. Marilyn runs to Arthur Miller and Paula Strasberg for reassurance, leaving Billy Wilder tearing his hair out and Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon making side-bets. On the forty-seventh take, Marilyn nails it: "It’s me. Sugar!"

Starring Gemma Arteron (Marilyn Monroe), James Purefoy (Billy Wilder), Alex Pettyfer (Tony Curtis), Adam Brody (Jack Lemmon), Felicity Montagu (Paula Strasberg) Dougray Scott (Arthur Miller) and Irfan Shamji (Clapperboard Guy). Written by David Cummings. Directed by Sean Foley. Produced by Zoe Rocha and Little Rock Pictures 

April 19: Backstage at Live Aid

Live Aid was not only "the day rock’n ’roll changed the world", it was also the source of countless backstage music industry rumours.  Backstage at Live Aid is a reimagined story that takes place behind the scenes on that unforgettable summer’s afternoon in 1985 as egos clash, hair is sprayed, Double Denim is completely acceptable and Bob Geldof and long-time personal assistant Marsha Hunt struggle to keep control of the most famous faces of the 80s.

Starring Jonas Armstrong (Bob Geldof), Kerry Howard (Marsha Hunt), Martin Compston (Midge Ure), David Avery (Freddie Mercury), Rufus Jones (Elton John), Seb Cardinal (Ric Parfitt), Dustin Demi-Burns (Francis Rossi), Karla Crome (Sade) and Con O’Neill (Tony).  Written by Neil Forsyth. Directed by John Hardwick. Produced by Little Rock Pictures.

April 26: Johnny Cash and the Ostrich

It's November, 1983.  Jean, a hotel manageress in Nottingham, arrives at work to find there's trouble in room 211, currently occupied by country music legend, Johnny Cash.  Eventually persuading him to let her in, they sit amongst the carnage and Cash explains that he has been visited by Waldo, the killer ostrich.  In a series of flashbacks, Cash tells Jean how the ostrich attacked him at his theme park, home, The House of Cash in Tennessee, back in '81 and how that set him on a path of pain-killer addiction and reckless drinking. Now Waldo has turned up in the East Midlands and is aching for revenge.

Starring Frank Skinner (Johnny Cash) and Isy Suttie (Jean). Written by Frank Skinner. Directed by Al Campbell. Produced by Avalon.

May 3: The Dali and the Cooper

Facilitated in suitably surreal fashion by Alice Cooper’s agent Shep Gordon and Salvador Dali’s wife Gala, this is the incredible true story of a fascinating and weird few days in 1970s New York between the artist and his new found muse; one which led to the creation an extraordinary work of art involving a chocolate éclair and a brain.

Starring Noel Fielding (Alice Cooper), David Suchet (Salvador Dali), Paul Kaye (Shep Gordon) and Sheila Hancock (Gala Dali) with guest performance by Serge Pizzorno and music by Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley.  Written by Roger Drew and Ed Dyson. Directed by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard.  Produced by Richard Yee and Krishnendu Majumdar for Me & You Productions.

May 10: David Bowie and Marc Bolan

It’s the swinging 60s and teenagers David and Marc are yet to hit the big time.  In fact, such is their lack of success they are costing their manager Les Conn money.  So in lieu of payment the two spend an afternoon painting Les’s Soho office, an event which will springboard a lifelong friendship between the two young men who will eventually be known around the world as music legends David Bowie and Marc Bolan.

Starring Jack Whitehall (Marc Bolan), Luke Treadaway (David Bowie) and Ade Edmonson (Les Conn).  Written by Freddy Syborn.  Directed by Jim O’Hanlon.  Produced by Lion TV. 

May 17: Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s mysterious 11 day disappearance in 1926 gripped the nation and set off one of the biggest manhunts ever mounted.  In desperation, Britain’s most famous crime writers of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L. Sayers, were drafted in to help the search.  As they took matters into their own hands with their contrasting methods of detection, this was the beginning of crime’s most unlikely investigative partnership: Sayers and Conan Doyle, together at last and on the hunt for Agatha Christie.

Starring Anna Maxwell Martin (Agatha Christie), Bill Paterson (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Rosie Cavaliero (Dorothy L. Sayers), Adrian Scarborough (Inspector Danders) and Robert James-Collier (Colonel Archie Christie). Written by Paul Doolan and Abigail Wilson. Directed by Guillem Morales. Produced by John Rushton. Executive Producers Lucy Lumsden and Lucy Ansbro. Produced by Yellow Door Productions.

 May 24: Public Enemy

Multimillionaire rap legends Public Enemy are stranded, desperately trying to get to their gig in Sheffield.  With time running out, their knight in shining armour arrives in the form of Kev, an unassuming local and huge Public Enemy fan who offers the heralded Flavor Flav and Chuck D a lift in his Ford Focus. Cue a funny and thought-provoking road trip set against a soundtrack of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Starring Philip Glenister (Kev, the local guy), Paterson Joseph (Chuck D), Abdul Salis (Flavor Flav).  Written by Neil Webster.  Directed by Ben Palmer.  Produced by Happy Tramp. 

May 31: The Sex Pistols vs. Bill Grundy

This is the reimagined story behind The Sex Pistols’ infamous appearance on Bill Grundy’s show in 1976, a year before their legendary debut album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols was released. The foul-mouthed encounter catapulted The Sex Pistols into the public eye and signalled the arrival of mainstream punk, while simultaneously destroying Grundy’s career – and all because of a last minute cancellation by Freddie Mercury.

Starring Daniel Mays (Mike Housego), Steve Pemberton (Bill Grundy), Kieran Hodgson (Malcolm McLaren), Kayvan Novak (Freddie Mercury) Frankie Fox (Johnny Rotten) and cast members from the National Youth Theatre.  Written by Simon Nye.  Directed by Simon Delaney.  Produced by Spelthorne Community TV.


Published: 12 Mar 2018

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