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Page last updated at 09:07 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Top bands join new radio comedy

By Sarah Jane Griffiths
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

Kevin Bishop, Chris O'Dowd and Nina Sosanya
FM is set in a fictional indie radio station with real life bands and top comedians

It's got real life bands, top comedy talent and skinny jeans a go-go - Newsbeat's been behind the scenes of new ITV2 comedy FM.

Set in a fictional indie radio station called Skin FM, it stars the IT Crowd's, Chris O'Dowd as DJ Lindsay Caroll, while Star Stories' Kevin Bishop plays his loose canon sidekick Dom Cox.

Both visited Radio 1 as part of their research for the show, so after a few minutes watching the filming Newsbeat dragged Chris O'Dowd to the make-up room to ask him which real life DJ his character most resembles.

"He kind of wants to be Russell Brand," he told Newsbeat.

Which explains the skinny jeans, and maybe even the chunky knit cardigan and indie cravat-style scarf tied around his neck.

"But he's no style, or panache, or charisma," Chris continued. "He'd love to be a sex addict, but it's a bit difficult."

So will there be any of Moyles in his interpretation of DJ Lindsay?

"I did go to watch a few different shows and I think people will notice some things I've picked up on," he said.

"But it will be more fun if I don't say anything. Most of it is actually how the DJ makes their way around the mic and stuff."

Acting career

Each of the six episodes features a performance from a real life band.

First up it's Guillemots and Ladyhawke while The Charlatans, The Subways and Sway turn up later in the series.

The Wombats, struggling to stay awake in their very unglamorous dressing room, have been on set since 6am.

Stars of FM visited Radio 1 as part of their research
Leaving bassist Tord to sleep it off on the sofa, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy and drummer Dan Haggis explain their parts.

"We're all playing ourselves which is a first I think for our acting career," Murph said.

"We deviated from the lines slightly and improvised a bit though," added Dan. "We're method actors really."

"I've been drinking this home brew stuff. I don't want to give it away that it's not real booze, but it's alcohol free beer mixed with diet coke and lemonade to look really disgusting."

Filming duties

This is not the start of a beautiful acting career for The Wombats, however.

"We might have a few more eggs to fry before that!" Dan laughed.

We all improvise a bit, but Tim Westwood came on set and I thought he was going to end someone's life
Kevin Bishop

Next we drag Kevin Bishop from filming duties. He is dressed in his indie uniform of skinny jeans - with a beard grown specially for the role to make him look 'more rock'.

"I require several hours in makeup every day, just to turn me into a human being," he joked.

The acting skills of the bands have impressed the professionals though.

"Surprisingly the bands have been really good," Kevin admitted. "Just proves that acting's actually really easy. In fact I'd say some of them are probably better than us."

The Wombats
The Wombats struggle to stay awake in their dressing room
Radio 1's very own Tim Westwood gets a cameo too.

"There's an episode where Kevin's character is pitted against Westwood as team captain at a pub quiz," Chris explained.

"They're bitter rivals and one of them cheats.

"We all improvise a bit, but Tim Westwood came on set and I thought he was going to end someone's life.

"He was just uncontrollable, but in a wonderful way. He did exactly what we were looking for."

FM airs on ITV2 at 10.30pm on Wednesday 25 February.

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