As a boyhood Red Dwarf obsessive (a fairly short look through the family photo albums will find my mid-teens saw me basically living in either Red Dwarf t-shirts or Forest shirts) I never quite got to the SciFi convention level of fandom. But it was great to spend time at a relatively intimate ‘Evening With..’ the core members of the cast since the show’s inception (or since the third series at least, in the case of Robert Llewellyn).
With Danny John Jules arriving late (apparently not an uncommon occurrence!), it was left for Craig Charles, Chris Barrie and Robert Llewellyn to lead the entertainment in a fairly informal Q&A led by Al Booth. Most striking was their ease in the company of each other (for the time before Danny arrived, Craig and Chris were sharing a bar stool – although I’m not sure if they realised!!), and the natural banter they almost couldn’t help engaging in.
I guess being a soap actor now it shouldn’t be surprising, but Craig Charles has an amazing capacity for remembering lines from random episodes – be they his own or his fellow cast members – rivaling even the most avid Dwarf aficionado in the crowd where the other panelists might’ve been floundering a bit trying to remember disparate scenes or pieces of dialogue.
The predictably huge demand for photos and autographs at the end by the assembled gaggle of nerds and geeks (of which I include myself, of course) meant that I shelved the fourteen year old me, and headed home rather than queue for ages, desire for entertainment sated by four of my favourite TV personalities basically sitting together and having a laugh like the bunch of old mates that they clearly are, but including the room in their recollections and in-jokes.
Kudos to Lee for seeing up the evening, with it going so well there’s every chance this could be something that happens again in the future – if it does, then I would heartily recommend it.