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Comedian Paddy Raff proud to team up with top TV talent for 'polished' pilot

Rising Belfast funnyman's big break as he gets his own lockdown sketch show on BBC

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The Paddy Raff Show

The Paddy Raff Show

BBC

Smack The Pony

Smack The Pony

Scottish comedian and actor Brian Limond aka Limmy

Scottish comedian and actor Brian Limond aka Limmy

Getty Images

The Paddy Raff Show

Funnyman Paddy Raff says studying Bafta award-winning Scottish comedian Limmy gave him the confidence to take on his own sketch show.

The Belfast comic, also known as his alter-ego and BT9 resident Nigel, has been commissioned by the BBC to produce a pilot for his own comedy series.

Paddy (36) says studying classic 1990s comedy like The Fast Show and watching the work of double Bafta winner Brian 'Limmy' Limond convinced him he could take on a sketch show himself.

He said: "It's a huge milestone and goal achieved to have my own show, I always loved sketch shows as a kid.

"I look back at the 1990s stuff like The Fast Show and A Bit Of Fry And Laurie. I have always been leaning towards that kind of stuff although I was a bit wary of it because it seemed complicated to achieve, but my work just lends itself to that.

"I was always a big fan of Billy Connolly and Smack The Pony, I also love watching Limmy. Limmy already has his own show so it was good to watch it again and see what could be achieved.

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Smack The Pony

Smack The Pony

Smack The Pony

"I was a bit hesitant around making it a 'lockdown show' until I realised that's sort of what he has been doing for a number of series, it made me realise it can be done.

"I had a few wee reservations and wanted to wait until lockdown was over and do it with a proper crew and so on but this was the time to do it and that show helped me realise that.

"So to have my own show like that, resting on my shoulders, sounded a bit daunting but I had a look at it and I had more than enough material.

"It's huge and is something I never anticipated when I set out but it's great, it's really nice to be talking about this body of work we have created and I can't wait to show it to everyone.

"Also I'd like to thank my wife Kim because the show was filmed in the house and before we started she was like, 'Right I have to do that deep clean I've been putting off'.

"She really beavered away helping out with moving furniture around and ironing costumes for the characters as well as looking after the kids. She's amazing."

The Paddy Raff Show, on BBC One NI this Friday at 9.30pm, is written and performed by Paddy and brings to life his much-loved characters in a lockdown setting.

Paddy added that he felt fortunate to be working with an award-winning team who have worked with some of the biggest names in television.

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Scottish comedian and actor Brian Limond aka Limmy

Scottish comedian and actor Brian Limond aka Limmy

Getty Images

Scottish comedian and actor Brian Limond aka Limmy

He continued: "I have always been doing my own short sketches since I started out doing this in 2018 I suppose.

"When lockdown kinda started I assumed people wouldn't have the appetite for comedy but if anything there was more of an appetite as a result.

"The BBC put out a call for pitches and we felt that now was the time to pitch the idea for the show.

"So we pitched it to them and ended up getting commissioned which is great. We wanted to elevate the quality a bit and I wasn't quite prepared for how much it was going to be elevated, it looks amazing.

"Chris Jones the producer has worked with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, we also had award-winning writer George Kane as director and fellow writer Ed Tracy was on the team and he won a Bafta for his work on Phone Jacker.

"So it's amazing to be working with them all and it looks great on screen.

"Which is funny considering the only person I really saw during the whole process was Marty the cameraman who came and showed me how to work the cameras and get everything set up.

"They told me this is as difficult as it will ever be to film something like this but I am glad we did because it looks incredible and has really jumped up a few notches.

"It has been challenging but also rewarding and really enjoyable because I have been able to push on.

"People might think it would be just like my Facebook videos but there is a real jump in quality having these guys to bounce ideas off and so on.

"I was a big fan of Phone Jacker and we used some of the green screen stuff which works really well, the show has a polish I would never have been able to achieve on my own.

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The Paddy Raff Show

The Paddy Raff Show

BBC

The Paddy Raff Show

"It features me doing sketches myself, mostly observations about daily life, but then we have Nigel, Granny Raff and Father Pat as well as some other characters that may become a regular thing if we get a series.

"It enables me to bring these characters more vividly into reality and is a continuation of what I had been doing but taken up a step."

As Paddy's star continues to rise he has added another date to his already sold-out run at the SSE arena in Belfast which was postponed at the start of lockdown. Originally a four-night run Paddy has now added a fifth show to the series of gigs now scheduled to take place in March 2021.

Despite the continued success the former wedding singer is not getting carried away, as much as he would love to be commissioned for a full series.

He added: "I very much take life as it comes, I don't set targets I just go with the flow. It's actually worked out well as a lot of comedy has been put off due to coronavirus meaning I have had time to focus on writing the pilot.

"Hopefully it lands well with the public and then yeah it would be great to get a series because I am not going to be out touring for a while."

Belfast Telegraph