From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

















Now Chris Morris sees the funny side of suicide bombers
By Cahal Milmo  /  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

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.”

Breaking taboos: his highlights

*”CAKE”, BRASS EYE, 1997: The spoof documentary featured a show about
a dangerous – and fictional – drug. Public figures were persuaded to
speak on camera about its evils. Bernard Manning told the show: “If
you’re sick on this stuff, you can puke yourself to death. One girl
threw up her own pelvis.”

* PAEDOPHILIA , BRASS EYE SPECIAL, 2001: Public figures were duped
into making statements about child sex crime. The DJ Neil Fox said
“paedophiles have more genes in common with crabs than they do with
you and me. Now that is science fact. There’s no actual evidence for
it, but it’s a fact.”

* MYRA HINDLEY, BRASS EYE, 1997: Morris performed a spoof song in the
style of Pulp. The lyrics included the line: “Every time I see your
picture, Myra/I have to phone my latest girlfriend up and fire her/And
find a prostitute who looks like you and hire her/Oh me, oh Myra.”


Chris Morris Planning ‘Comedy Version Of United 93’

The casting sheet for ‘the terrorism project’ has been doing the
rounds, and today popped up in my e-mail. Here’s what they’re looking
for – maybe you fit the part and would like to challenge the accepted
wisdom on all things nine-eleven and seven-seven.

CLOSING DATE: Sunday, 20 May 2007, 23:59

Chris Morris project (Film) a TV film about a bunch of pakastani lads
living in britain now, its about what they do – for work, for play,
what they believe, how the relate to their parents, families,the
culture around them, their sense of heritage.

It’s being written and directed by Chris Morris for channel 4 through

Producer: Derrin Schlesinger
Director: Chris Morris
Casting Director: Des Hamilton
Location: London and poss. north of England

Dates (Shooting, Rehearsal, etc.): Summer 07

Casting Details – please send CVs and photographs to:

Des Hamilton,
104c camden St.

Role: Ahmed (Male)
Description: British/Pakastani, 30, bright, intense, knowlegeable, not
good with people, attended islamic law school in damascus for a year.

Role: Omar (Male)
Description: British/Pakastani, 29, Ahmed’s brother, more streetwise
though not a gangster, persuasive, capable of empathy, smart around
people, all overlayed on a low self esteem.

Role: Waj (Male)
Description: British/Pakastani, 20, less bright but not totally dim,
loyal follower of Omar, big guy, strong, works out, fearless.

Role: Hass (Male)
Description: British/Pakastani, 21, bright, more middle class, poss.
public school, moralistic, funny, studying IT after doing good at

Role: Azzam (Male)
Description: British/Pakastani, 22, college mate of Hass, bright,
articulate, provocative, loves the spotlight, loves winding people up,
sort of guy who’d protest against cartoons in a bomb belt, mouthy.

Role: Crow Uncle (Male)
Description: British/Pakastani, 38, fairly bright, mad, brooding,
watches a lot of tv between odd jobs (nightwatchman etc), seems more
of a hick than the others.

Role: Crow Uncle’s Nephew (Male)
Description: British/Pakastani, 17, insanely intense… bright, very,
very focused, blind to anything he’s not focused on, small seething

Morris used to be the most important man in British TV. Perhaps he
still is, and we just didn’t realise. This project should let us know
for sure.

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