From Andy Hamilton: People often ask me (well, journalists sometimes ask me) where I got the idea of writing a comedy set in Hell, and I usually tell them that I found it in Woolworths. I give them this flip, smartarse answer because the truth is I can't actually remember. No doubt, in part, I was attracted by the notion of consigning the likes of Robert Maxwell to the torment of the eternal fires. Who wouldn't find that funny? And playing Satan, of course, was always going to allow me to generally show off in a shameless way, and pretend I had the nether regions of a goat. So that was another attraction. But the actual specific trigger that caused me to sit down and write Old Harry's Game is a mystery to me now. Another question that is frequently slurred at me by swaying journalists is 'Which one of the characters do I think is most like me?' Now, this is a tricky one. The Professor, certainly, is the person I wish I was. He's kind, balanced, enquiring and optimistic. The part I actually play, though, is the jaundiced, cynical Satan, and the ease with which I slip into the hooves of this sadistic schemer is, frankly, a little worrying. There are times, too, when the disgusting, depraved Thomas starts to look disturbingly familiar. But, of all the characters, the one I suspect I resemble most is the disaster-prone, eager-to-please Scumspawn (who made his first appearance in the second series as Satan's bungling assistant). From time to time, I get quizzed about the prospects of Old Harry's Game transferring to television. Well, it wouldn't be an easy transition because the show is so quintesentially radio. After all, on radio we can transform a character into a 40-foot aubergine, and no one writes in to quibble about how convincing it is. Every listener visualises their own impossibly gigantic eggplant. If we attempted the same effect on BBC 1 then we would be inundated with pedantic letters from greengrocers. Finally, there is one question that journalists are always asking me, namely 'Is there any truth in the rumours about me and Catherine Zeta-Jones?' Well I'm sorry, but I feel it would be wrong for me to comment, especially when the poor girl is trying so hard to get over me. End of story. Andy Hamilton. Richard Curtis is a British screenwriter, actor, film director and music producer. Among his screenwriting credits are Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually, whilst for television he created and wrote Blackadder, Mr. Bean and The Vicar of Dibley. He created the first Black Adder series with Rowan Atkinson, before going on to write subsequent series with Ben Elton. Ben Elton is a British comedian, author, playwright and director. His early career was in stand-up comedy, as well as writing for TV series including The Young Ones. He met Richard Curtis, and together they co-wrote the second and subsequent series of Blackadder. Ben Elton went on to success as a novelist and stage writer.
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