Gregor Fisher recovers Scotch & Wrys Rev IM Jolly

adminDecember 27, 2018

Gregor Fisher

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Only for one night: Gregor Fisher becomes Rev IM Jolly

This Hogmanay will see a return to TV screens by Scotland's most miserable Rev Rev Jolly.

Actor Gregor Fisher will greet one of Rikki Fulton's most iconic characters to mark the 40th anniversary of Hogmanay's favorite Scotch & Wry.

Rab C Nesbitt star dons a clothing to become Fulton's comic morose priest for a one-time sketch.

It brings Monday's Hogmanay Live celebrations to BBC One Scotland.

Gregor Fisher, a close friend of Rikki Fulton who died in 2004, said he was happy to take on the role.

He said, "I think it was a bit of Rikki who always saw me as the heir. He's sure he had many heirs clear – and I think he'll have the idea that Jolly will be back on the screen.

"It's not an impression of Rikki – it wasn't something we wanted to try, you just couldn't do it. He was completely unique."

"Great and fun and happy"

He added: "The script is based on many Rikki things, but hopefully there is a taste of his beliefs about it.

"I looked at the last IM Jolly sketch he did, just to get the timing for it before I got into the movie. It was great and fun and happy. He was sometime."

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Become jolly: Gregor dons the iconic dog collar that he enters into miserable character

The sketch sees Gregor Fisher in the well-known, original wing-shaped, green leather armchair Fulton used in Scotch & Wry sketch Last Call – a send-up of the 70's and 80's television sermon Late Call – where IM Jolly first appeared in 1978.

Fisher joined the show in 1979.

He added: "When I was told it was the 40th anniversary of Scotch & Wry, I thought it couldn't be right. But then I did the buzz – I was about 25 when I started it, and I'm now 65 so It adds.

"It would be nice if a new generation of viewers were introduced to Jolly by viewing this sketch. I'm sure it would be quite easy for them to find old clips from Rikki on YouTube. is still fun, in a mild, slightly talkative way, and it is no worse for it.

"Rikki was a good friend. He was always nice to me. I hope today when I come across youths, I am as understanding and kind to them and as encouraging as he was to me."

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Rikki Fulton took Rev IM Jolly to Hogmanay TV screens

Hogmanay Live Executive Producer David Staite gathered the script from some of the most famous IM Jolly sketches and called in original Scotch & Wry script editor Colin Gilbert to check for authenticity.

He said, "Scotch & Wry was, and still is, such a large part of Hogmanay in Scotland. The writing was so clever and has been very much time-tested. Going over old scripts, it struck me how the lines are still so fun today as they ever were.

"I think Gregor brings the ideal mix of deadpan droll and smart comic timing to Jolly – something I'm sure Rikki Fulton would have approved. We hope the audience has so much fun watching it as we did."

Colin Gilbert said: "It's nice to be involved again all these years later. It's a sketch that has a real place in Scotland's hearts and was such a fixture of Hogmanay.

"Anyway, people will compare what Gregor does with what Rikki did, but it's not about it. Gregor doesn't make an imitation, it's more of an emulation. Rikki was sometime in every word and it's nice to greet him and the character.

"I know Rikki saw Gregor as his apprentice – if anyone has the right to do so, it's Gregor."

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Rikki Fulton and Gregor Fisher were good friends

Hogmanay Live will be broadcast on Monday, December 31 at 11:30 pm on BBC One Scotland.

Host Jackie Bird presents from Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow and will hear from Bryan Burnett, who will be at The Mound in Edinburgh for BBC Radio Scotland.

Performances come from Britain's Got Talent star Alesha Dixon, BBC People's Singer of the Year Karine Polwart, and Hogmanay Stalwarts Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain.

Des Clarke will also give his own comedy take the events of the past 12 months.

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