Reclusive satirist Chris Morris has admitted in a rare interview that the controversial Brass Eye special on paedophilia could prove to be the show's last episode. By Owen Gibson. The last time he was in the news, it was for the 'paedophile special' of his TV series Brass Eye. Now he's made a film - just 15 minutes long - which is tipped to win a Bafta on Sunday. In a rare interview, Britain's greatest contemporary satirist talks to Xan Brooks about making the film, celebrities and why he won't be tackling the war on terror.
The problem with today's 'satire' is that it sets up an 'us against them' opposition, in which we snicker with the satirist at a host of immovable, indifferent caricatures. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Channel 4 commissioned a new pilot, which Brass eye site become called Brass Eye mixing together the titles of two popular current affairs shows, Brass Tacks and Public Eye. Edit Storyline Controversal spoof of current affairs television, and the role of celebrity in the UK. Alternate Versions When the show first aired insome of the Brass eye site controversial sketches were cut on the orders of the then-head of Channel 4 programming Michael Grade, most notably a piece concerning a musical based on the life of and starring the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe. But in truth, nothing has come Brass eye site. This is all an essential part of what 'Brass eye' does. Hatred of humankind? Granita Rocksand 2 episodes, Harriet Norcott Published: 7 Oct
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Best tv shows. Summer Genres: Comedy. Mail … headed 'Unspeakably sick', the words of one of the Ministers who hadn't watched it was preceded by close-ups of Princesses Beatrice 13 and Eugenie 11 in their bikinis; in the Star, beside Brass eye site shock-horror-sicko Morris story, sat a picture of singer Charlotte Church in a tight top Big titties on latinas a big girl now … chest swell! The reason many people don't like Chris Morris is not because of the 'taboo' subject matter he tackles, but because he doesn't play fair, he doesn't play cricket. Plot Summary. But it is more than that. Brass eye site exciting return to television of the comedians comedian Stewart Lee. Start your free trial. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Set in the corridors of power and spin, the Minister for Social Affairs, is continually harassed by Number 10's policy enforcer and dependent on his not-so-reliable team of civil servants. Meet Our Doctors. The Guardian.
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The Day Today, which aired in , had suggested that Morris was an unusually gifted writer and performer. But this was another level altogether — an artist operating fearlessly at the peak of his powers. From the captions to the graphics, the music to the magnificently mangled language, it seethed with ideas, almost all of them perfectly realised. The uncannily convincing setting made it hit even harder. Was that really beloved magician Paul Daniels making an appeal on behalf of an elephant that had got its trunk stuck up its own anus?
Could that actually be a sitting MP David Amess warning about the dangers of a made-up drug called Cake which could make users cry all the water out of their own bodies?
Most Brass Eye first-timers alternated between hysteria and gasping, wide-eyed bewilderment. Brass Eye was a lot to take in. To say it rewarded repeat viewings is an understatement. Arguably more than any other comedy, Brass Eye actively required repeat viewings.
These were startlingly odd ideas assembled with surgical precision and complete conviction. First, viewers processed the shock of the concept; then, they luxuriated in it.
Brass Eye rewrote the rulebook. And this, of course, encouraged all manner of imitators, from the provocations of Sacha Baron Cohen to the sub rag-week pranksterism of Revolting. But in truth, nothing has come close. He was operating at a cultural and historical sweet spot which may turn out to have been unique.
Brass Eye took shape in an era of turbocharged liberalism; after the polarised 80s and before the more culturally sensitive 21st-century took shape and social media arrived, heralding the end of secrecy and the advent of the global lynch mob.
But Morris tested the limits more fearlessly than most. And he did so with greater moral purpose. Here was a show about ignorance and hypocrisy — about celebrities blindly parroting scripts that 10 minutes of research would have confirmed as ludicrous; about news outlets manipulating and preaching and wallowing in self-orchestrated moral panics.
It was devastatingly funny and deadly serious too. Morris was brutalised by the tabloids. Which would be a tragedy, because a glance at the current state of media and politics suggests we need the likes of Chris Morris more than ever.
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The series was repeated in with the Sutcliffe sketch and some other material shown uncut, and with the subliminal message removed. Prior to the launch, an eight-year-old boy had been placed on board the spaceship with Cooke by mistake. Sophie V'Haalbjje 2 episodes, The screening of the series was postponed for nearly six months as it made comic reference to convicted child murderer Myra Hindley , who was back in the news at the time after her portrait was vandalised in the Royal Academy exhibition Sensation. Retrieved 1 June
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Appointment Request. Patient Forms. When it was first shown in , this episode galvanised press and public opinion. Chris Morris' satire challenged what he perceived as the hysterical way in which the media treated the issue of First shown in What can we do about the millions of new drugs like Yellow Bentines and Triple-Sod?
Award-winning Chris Morris takes another issue of the day and gives it a good spanking. Chris Morris turns his laser eye to the subject of crime. Highlights include shocking revelations of how elephants are being used to disperse rioters, and Vanessa Feltz's message Watch now.
A spoof of the British style of news broadcasting - including ridiculous stories, patronising vox pops, offensively hard-hitting research and a sports presenter clearly struggling for metaphors. After publishing a rant about 'idiots' - frantically hip, ignorant scenesters - Dan Ashcroft finds these same people embracing him as his idol and his nerves constantly tested by his biggest fan, moronic scene personality Nathan Barley. Alan Partridge, a failed television presenter, is now presenting a programme on local radio in Norwich.
He desperately tries to revive his broadcasting career. Alan Partridge hosts his own chat show on the BBC. He insults and belittles almost all of his guests and is humiliated by the rest. A British sketch comedy show where people in ordinary situations suddenly find themselves in absurd situations. The series is set in a Hospital in Romford, which is situated over the gates of Hell. Three misfit priests and their housekeeper live on Craggy Island, not the peaceful and quiet part of Ireland that it seems to be.
Set in the corridors of power and spin, the Minister for Social Affairs, is continually harassed by Number 10's policy enforcer and dependent on his not-so-reliable team of civil servants.
Friends Tim and Daisy, something North Londoners with uncertain futures, must pretend to be a couple to live in the only apartment they can afford. Controversal spoof of current affairs television, and the role of celebrity in the UK. In these brightly Orwellian days, where cynical governments can smile 'Trust me The problem with today's 'satire' is that it sets up an 'us against them' opposition, in which we snicker with the satirist at a host of immovable, indifferent caricatures.
Most of our most prominent satirists are of the same generation, background and ideology of the ruling classes, and their humour has the flavour of locker-room ribbing rather than devastating anger.
Most satire consists of an audience talking to itself, reassuring itself of its own worth, its own values against targets so clearly ridiculous they don't really exist.
It is satire as easy listening, as reassuring as old socks. The reason many people don't like Chris Morris is not because of the 'taboo' subject matter he tackles, but because he doesn't play fair, he doesn't play cricket. He never allows the audience the comfort of complacent complicity.
And then Morris will insert a crass joke that strips away the warm cloak of lazy irony - an imitation of the author of 'A Brief History of Time', for instance - that repels us, shakes us out of a cosy 'us vs them' mentality, forcing us to face up to the complexity of what we're watching, or - shock, horror!
When I was watching the 'Brass eye' repeats recently, I was struck by how little they had dated, how exhilirating and intellectually stimulating, as well as cripplingly funny, they still were.
Surely a media satire, with its inbuilt topicality, should become instantly anachronistic. You could argue that this is a damning indictment of a media that hasn't changed its mind-numbing habits in the last half-decade.
I would argue, however, that 'Brass eye' is not really a media satire at all, or is not one fundamentally, despite its destructively accurate potshots at sensationalism, the paucity of media intelligence, a culture with a media that no longer records or reflects reality, but actually creates it, as in the recent case of a major Sunday newspaper printing photos of paedophiles, encouraging the public to savage them, conveniently creating the next morning's news.
This is all an essential part of what 'Brass eye' does. But it is more than that. Morris is our century's Jonathan Swift, and last week's 'Brass eye special' on media hysteria about paedophilia was his 'A Modest Proposal', a satire so savage, so angry, so uncomfortable, so ironic in the true, original sense of that phrase, that people mistook the satire for its object, because Morris held up a mirror to our society, a totalitarian, propaganda-corrupt culture posing as a democracy; and to ourselves, we who conceal brutal, fascist instincts under a guise of ethical concern.
We didn't like it, and rather than acknowledge our own darkness, we tried to smash the mirror. Like Swift, Morris has always been more concerned with language and ontology than the media per se, the way words no longer mean what they are supposed to mean, in the way the advance of media technology has created an illusionistic world in which 'real' people have to live, in which we try to make the illusion real, to devastating results.
And yet, again like Irishman, the sheer invention with which Morris records this communicative decadence channelled through language, liberates and gives some hope - but only if we accept the challenge of 'Brass eye'. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! IMDb More. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.
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A sex offender is thrown in the stocks, presented with a small child, and asked if he wants to molest him. But 15 years after the episode aired , it remains a totemic, terrifying satirical vision. Few comedies since have dared to cross the boundaries of taste with such impunity. Brass Eye , a parody of a 60 Minutes -like newsmagazine show, had been dormant after airing one season in the UK in But it returned four years later for this surprise broadcast, one that saw its furious fictional anchors barking from a dark studio about the plague of seemingly super-powered child molesters stalking the nation, holding a funhouse mirror up to the climate of paranoia and fear that had built up around the country.
It was a bold, wildly insensitive piece of comedy, but one that captured the growing madness of the hour news media and foreshadowed some uglier aspects of its future. Morris has long been unafraid of tackling touchy subjects—his only feature film, Four Lions , is a bleakly madcap comedy about homegrown jihadist terrorists that ends in a hilarious cacophony of death and slapstick action.
The outrage quickly took on a life of its own, evidence of the exact kind of media-mob mentality Morris was poking at. Its main target might have been the news media, but as a result of its intentionally manic presentation, it feels broadly dismissive of almost every kind of victimhood. The episode presents itself as a serious warning about the dangers of sex offenders living among us. Then it quickly turns into a hyperactive call for vigilante justice, in which every scared parent is a maniacal fool and every child molester is a monstrous goblin, too absurdly caricatured to exist in real life.
Morris was mocking the weekly news show with Brass Eye , but he was also envisioning its apocalyptic future. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Channel 4. David Sims is a staff writer at The Atlantic , where he covers culture. Twitter Email.