[quote:6ffef13b00]Now Chris Morris sees the funny side of suicide bombers
By Cahal Milmo
Published: 17 March 2007
First there was drug use as comedy. Then came paedophilia as entertainment. Now it seems the satirist Chris Morris is preparing to demolish one last comic taboo - suicide bombers.
Channel 4 has confirmed that it is working on a film with Morris, variously seen as the genius and villain behind the Brass Eye series, which will examine what a casting sheet describes as "a bunch of Pakistani lads living in Britain now".
The channel, which is still feeling the reverberations of the race row surrounding Celebrity Big Brother, insisted the television film was "in the early stages" and no script had yet been written.
But the leaked casting note for the project, due to start filming this summer and directed by Morris, describes one of the characters as being "the sort of guy who'd protest against cartoons in a bomb belt". Another source said the film would look at "suicide [attacks] with at least some of the dark humour that Chris excels at".
News of the project comes after Morris, who famously parodied the mainstream media's attitude to paedophilia in a Brass Eye special in 2001, told an audience last week that he wanted to make "the comedy version of United 93" - the award-winning film about the airliner destined for the White House on 9/11 which crashed in a field after a passenger revolt. Members of the audience at Bournemouth University said that the remark was laden with irony, but it is the latest evidence that the comedian, who has kept a low profile since the height of Brass Eye's popularity, is looking to explore Islamic extremism.
He was seen at a debate on what motivated al-Qa'ida. When asked about the "war on terror", he has said: "There are many eminently mockable things about it. I'm just not sure what you could do with it all."
Unknown actors for the film are being sought in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow ahead of shooting in the capital and the north of England.
The casting note, obtained by a fan website, Cookd and Bombd, states: "A TV film about a bunch of Pakistani lads living in Britain now. It's about what they do for work, for play, what they believe, how they relate to their parents, families, the culture around them, their sense of heritage." The document describes seven characters aged from 17 to 38 who are variously described as not good with people, fearless, mouthy and mad and brooding. The youngest character is "insanely intense, bright, very focused, blind to anything he's not focused on, small seething boffin".
A Channel 4 spokesman said yesterday: "Chris Morris is currently at the early stage of development of several projects with Channel 4. No script has been written. He always involves actors at an early stage to develop his ideas."
The satirist has previously said he is not interested in returning to the stunt parody style perfected in Brass Eye, which lampooned celebrities by persuading them take part in spoof documentaries on subjects such as "cake", a fictitious narcotic.
More recently he has been involved in more-mainstream entertainment with two Channel 4 sitcoms - Nathan Barley, about an objectionable web designer, and The IT Crowd, focused on a computer support team in the basement of a corporation in London.
But news that Morris, who once announced the deaths of Michael Heseltine and Jimmy Savile as a joke, is returning to more hard-hitting subject matter is likely to lead to nervousness in the higher echelons of broadcasting.
The Brass Eye special on paedophilia provoked one of the greatest volumes of complaint in Channel 4's history. The programme, described by the Daily Mail as "the sickest TV show ever", featured child actors and various celebrities, including Phil Collins, backing the cause of a fictitious charity called Nonce Sense.
Broadcasting watchdogs later ruled that the programme should be shown on the ground of public interest. Channel 4 has also remained a staunch supporter of its arch controversialist. After the special edition was broadcast, a spokesman said: "We justify the programme because we think of it as a serious piece of satire. Satire is comedy with a serious purpose."[/quote:6ffef13b00]
this'll be EXCELLENT,
we'll all be able to make lots of Pakki jokes, but pretend we're only quoting a Chris Morris skit, so it'll be Valid! :-D
Let's just hope no *actual* Pakki suicide bombers decide to retaliate with some hairlairious practical farce (involving a real bomb)