Disgusting Bliss: The Brass Eye of Chris Morris
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The Sunnewspaper asked if Chris Morris's July 2001 Brass Eye Special on paedophilia was 'the sickest TV ever?' It was certainly the most controversial, though Morris's uncompromising style of comedy meant he was rarely far from trouble. Morris first came to national prominence at the heart of a group of virtually unknown comedians which included Armando Iannucci, Patrick Marber, Stewart Lee and Richard Herring, and Steve Coogan. Disgusting Blissfollows them from their 1991 news satire On the Hour, later reinvented as the equally successful The Day Today, and examines the mysterious, anarchic figure of Morris, whose total avoidance of celebrity left a gap filled by a kind of mythology, while the fury of his work polarised opinion and prompted government ministers to threaten to ban him. Drawing on exclusive new interviews and original research, Disgusting Blisspaints a compelling portrait of Chris Morris from childhood to the height of the storm he created in taking on the media industry in which he worked.
the surprising, and in its sprawl there was always room for something to come shrieking out of some side alleyway to give you a shock. That was the nature of the city and what GLR reflected so well. Morris’s show was constantly shifting, impossible to pin down. Bristol listeners would have recognized features such as ‘Ten ideas to change the world’ with Michael Alexander St John, the interjections of Sergeant Murphy and Feedback Reports. An occasional contributor to GLR was Paul Garner, who had
Marber. ‘There was a violent disagreement between me and Richard Herring. I thought he was a brilliant writer, but there was one sketch in which I thought Steve should play the part that Richard was playing. He got very upset, very angry with me, understandably, because it was hurtful, what I said, but I just felt it was true. I thought he was ruining his own sketch . . . Anyway, it all kicked off.’ The Guardian review was almost literally correct in observing of the show, ‘Inside this
convincing enough? They would know only when the series was broadcast. It was a long time coming. The pilot was begun in early 1995, just after the conclusion of Morris’s Radio 1 shows, and absolute secrecy about the true nature of the show would have to be preserved for almost two years. Most importantly, the crew had to avoid interviewees making a connection between the various campaigning organizations and Talkback. For the most part, they were successful, after an initial hiccup involving
difference it could make to family life, he’d had the odd night that, if not exactly sleepless, was at least slightly disturbed. But he never seriously wavered in his opposition, and requests to do ads virtually dried up entirely when agencies at length realized that his management company would always turn them down. Not only that, but they would be warned as a matter of course that PBJ lawyers would be watching with interest to see if an advert would appear based on Morris’s work without his
comfortable house as the head of a happy family, all laughing slightly too loudly to illustrate a society in which nothing could be better. There was the human-sized model of Britain in its sickbed, animated so it was breathing shallowly – until Morris shot it to put it out of its misery. And a pastiche of Pulp came in the shape of ‘Me Oh Myra’, a love song to moors murderer Hindley. All before the end of part one. Even the cut to the commercial break itself was a fake, interrupted by a Channel 4