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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006, 09:06 GMT
Talking Shop: Robert Webb
For those who yearn for comedy sketch shows that actually have jokes in them, Robert Webb could be a shining hope.

With David Mitchell he has created BBC Two's That Mitchell and Webb Look, as well as Channel 4's cult series Peep Show.

Now they have taken to the road with a live show - The Two Faces of Mitchell and Webb.


It has taken a lot of work to get this far. How does it feel?

We started with a show called Bruiser which was in that well known comedy slot right after Newsnight. Then we went over to a channel called Play UK and was watched by about eight people. Now it's more of an enjoyable conveyor belt where people don't ask what we are doing but just ask if we want to carry on.

You have taken your act on the road. How does that compare?

Robert Webb and friend in The Smoking Room
The Smoking Room was a successful solo project
It adds a new dimension to the show. An audience makes noises and reacts - usually in the places you don't expect. Then there is the timing you have to get right - the costume changes are less fraught now.

Do you improvise?

When things go wrong, yes. That seems to be the bit the audience enjoys the most, but we play by the rules and don't do it deliberately.

There is a part of the show, a discussion programme called Big Talk, where we go into the audience and they get to ask their big questions, which is always unpredictable. Fortunatley as I play the host Raymond Terrific, I get to watch everyone else struggle.

You both have done solo projects so how do you prioritise?

In general the Mitchell and Webb stuff gets first call on our time. David started doing panel shows because I got The Smoking Room. But now of course there is no more Smoking Room, whereas he is established as the new Ned Sherrin.

Do you have a favourite character, or part of the show?

I have a soft spot for Raymond Terrific if for no other reason than I get to shout at David which is very cathartic. The big characters who get into the most trouble are always the most fun.

Are you enjoying any perks of success?

I spend most of my time on a garish gold tour bus so that is hard to say, but at least it isn't an estate car. The transport now has a kettle, that's the big difference.

What does the future hold?

We are to film a new series of Peep Show and another of That Mitchell and Webb Look, so without being greedy, that is doing pretty well.

What about a movie role? A Bond villain perhaps?

I would love to be a Bond villain. But even more I would like to be a Dr Who villain. Even if it was just a short cyberman, I would jump at the chance.

Mitchell and Webb are currently touring and the show is available on DVD


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