Friday, August 6, 2010


Being Human Goes Global

SFX 21/04/2009

Russell Tovey (George) and Lenora Crichlow (Annie) were at Collectormania last weekend, and SFX Blogger (and Being Human bit-parter) was there to take notes, just in case they let slip anything about season two.

The phrase “universally acclaimed” gets bandied about a fair amount in entertainment circles, but in recent memory no show has deserved it more than Toby Whithouse’s Being Human. The pilot comedy drama (never dramedy) which sees a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire sharing a house in Bristol inspired a mass lobby for a full series, which in turn, received great reviews from critics and geeks alike when it aired earlier this year. Hell, it’s the only show I can think of that even posters on the SFX message board all agree is utterly brilliant. And there’s a few grumpy people on there – not even just me.

But having become so beloved of British audiences, Being Human is set to go global, as stars Lenora Crichlow (Annie) and Russell Tovey (George) explained at a special fan Q&A this weekend.

Appearing at Collectormania Midlands, Tovey revealed that he was in Cannes last week fronting the Beeb’s pitch to sell the show abroad and things had gone very well indeed: “It’s already due to air on BBC America, and Italy, Australia, Brazil and France all bought it as well. France especially is a big deal apparently,” he said amid laughter. “The last TV show they bought from the UK was Cadfael.”

Tovey told fans he was “overwhelmed” with the success of the show, and confirmed the new series would start filming in August ready for transmission in January 2010. He said the first run had averaged around a million viewers an episode, with the web being especially important for the show with the Being Human blog ending up the most viewed part of the entire BBC website after the news.

He also explained how internal BBC polling had seen the show prove popular with all demographics: “They have a thing called the API where they show things to people of all ages, and backgrounds and ask them whether they like it. Usually nothing gets above about 85 per cent popularity. Being Human got 92 per cent. People of all ages can link into the show. We’ve got the sci fi element, the comedy, the individual characters’ issues. We’re like the Spice Girls. There’s one of us for everyone to identify with. Dead Spice. Hairy Spice. Old Spice.”

As well as answering questions on the first series of the show, which comes out on DVD today both Tovey and Crichlow gave an insight into what fans can expect from season two.

After an entire season wearing leggings, a cardie and some Ugg Boots, Lenora Crichlow looked visibly gleeful as she told the audience: “I’ve been promised relationships and new clothes for Annie. She’s at peace with herself and her death… And ready to put on a skirt.”

She added: “I know what Annie whispered to Owen, although I’m not allowed to say. Toby [Whithouse, show creator] told me. It’s very dark and something I’m hoping will be explored in series two.”

Meanwhile, while Tovey was explaining the intricate prosthetic process he went through for George’s transformation, he said changes were afoot for that in the second season, addressing one of the few complaints from fans: “They’re going to improve on the final werewolf for the second series. He was a bit of a mincing werewolf.”


* The Being Human house is currently up for sale. The pink palace is being sold by estate agents in Bristol with an asking price of £200,000.

* The cast of Being Human are desperate to be made into action figures. From a flip-top headed version of George which will transform between his human to wolf forms, to a Mitchell where you pull a switch and his eyes go black, a lot of thought has been put into how it would work, with Crichlow joking: “We’ll make them ourselves if need be, out of Playdoh.”

* Russell Tovey is, ahem, fairly at one with his frequent nude scenes now. He told the audience: “I keep myself well covered,” before Crichlow interjected: “Do you hell! Covered from who? I saw everything!” Tovey added: “The first time I was naked there were 30 people around and while most people say men don’t look at another man’s tackle you could see everyone sneaking a look. I got over it quickly. You just have to go for it. I find it oddly liberating.”

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