As a student at the Royal College of Art I lived in Greenwich in south-east London and happened across the most original lunacy – a Sunday night comedy show called Vic Reeves Big Night Out at the Albany Empire in nearby Deptford. Vic and Bob [Mortimer] are back on TV with a new series of Shooting Stars – 15 years since the show first aired in 1993. Apart from the odd Christmas special, it’s all been quiet from them in the past few years. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to watch it – perhaps it’s best to remember how surreal, bizarre and very original they used to be.
Although they might be criticised for shamelessly cashing in with this new series, there was something reassuring and, most importantly, funny about it. ‘What’s Amy Winehouse’s favourite Tube station – High Barnet’, and ‘True or false? Is Enid Brighton the most popular children’s author in Japan? False – it is, of course, Ray K Rowring.’
Design, like comedy, is a snapshot of its times, and at any time there are few genuine innovators and many also-rans. Few create anything as enduring and original as the work of Vic and Bob.