Fast Show does not make a fast buck | Charlie Higson reveals how little he earns from iPlayer streaming © BBC

Fast Show does not make a fast buck

Charlie Higson reveals how little he earns from iPlayer streaming

He co-created one of the biggest comedy shows of the 1990s.. but if you believe Charlie Higson is still coining it in from The Fast Show, you’ve got another think coming.

Fans are constantly telling the comic and writer that the sketch show he created with Paul Whitehouse should be available on iPlayer now the DVD market has collapsed, to give him a lucrative source of income.

But the show is already on the BBC streaming platform, and he yesterday revealed just how much it is earning him: less than £2 a month.

Higson posted a statement on social media to show his earnings from April and December 2022 were just £15.35, after paying his union dues. He received an extra £3.49 in VAT, but that would have to be passed directly on to the taxman.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">"You should make The Fast Show available on iPlayer!" "Nobody buys DVDs any more" "You’ll make a fortune!" <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Charlie Higson (@monstroso) <a href="">April 16, 2024</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Mimicking things people have said to him, he tweeted: "'You should make The Fast Show available on iPlayer!', 'Nobody buys DVDs any more', 'You’ll make a fortune!’" 

One fan reacted to the figure by saying: ‘That's terrible, I didn't realise how badly they paid. I've also recently realised that buying physical media is also better for the consumer because you don't actually own anything that you've subscribed to on streaming sites.’

The statement came from actors’ union Equity, so Higson may get additional royalties for co-writing the show too. But as a performer, his characters on the show included Ralph, Bob Fleming, Colin Hunt and Swiss Toni.

He, Whitehouse and co-stars Simon Day,  John Thomson, Mark Williams and Arabella Weir have just completed a 30th anniversary  Fast Show reunion tour.

When it was launched Higson suggested the ensemble could return in a new project, saying: ‘We’ve had some ideas about using the characters in another format, like the Carry On films, or even a panto, so this tour is just to test the waters.’

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Published: 16 Apr 2024

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