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Warp Films Chris Morris Nathan Barley

Chris Morris:
Nathan Barley


A six part comedy series Nathan Barley will begin on Channel 4 in February next year, co-written by Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker, who originally created the Barley character for his TVGoHome website. It stars Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, the Perrier-award winning pair behind the Mighty Boosh, regular Morris collaborate Kevin Eldon, plus Nina Sosanya and Ben Whishaw.

Nathan Barley is 26. He is a Webmaster, guerrilla filmmaker, screenwriter, DJ and in his own words, a "self-facilitating media node". He is convinced he is the epitome of urban cool and therefore secretly terrified he might not be, which is why he reads Sugar Ape Magazine - his bible of cool.

Dan Ashcroft writes searing columns for Sugar Ape style magazine, (whose editor, Jonatton Yeah?, added the "?" by deed poll). He's considered astonishingly cool, but only by those he despises. He is surrounded by idiots and practically worshipped by Nathan (whom he considers to be their king). He is 34. Why has he failed to move on?

Claire Ashcroft, 27, is Dan's sister. Like Dan she despises "cool". She hasn't met Nathan yet, but like him she is a film-maker. Unlike him she despises novelty, trash, irony and gadgets. She is furious that no one will fund her hard-hitting documentary about a choir of reformed junkies.

Nathan, Dan and Claire work in the industrial conversions of Hosegate. They are about to become spliced together in a three way split. Claire no longer listens to Dan - which is a shame since he'd be the best person to warn her about Nathan. Claire is right about Dan; Dan is right about Nathan: Nathan is just wrong. He's an absolute fucking tool.

Barley has a huge authentically cool record collection bought on eBay from a provider of huge authentically cool record collections, countless dolls including a suicide bomber Barbie and an mp3 jukebox featuring nothing but digitised versions of compilation tapes recorded by US college kids of the 80s.

As well as taking aim at style magazines such as iD and now defunct the Face, Nathan Barley also pokes fun at celebrity magazine Heat, Sunday supplements such as the Mail on Sunday magazine (satirised as Weekend on Sunday and featuring an unlikely cover story on Tom Paulin), and trendy style music channels - Fictional Channel 7 is home to rad chick VJ Dajve Bikinus who presents a weekly music show "Snoopy Beats" and its commissioning editor Ivan Plapp, voted best commissioning newcomer in 2002.

The show's advance publicity also features clothing chain bumphuk - a must-browse for Harmony Korine, Chloe Sevigny, Julian Casablancas and Sally Gunnell; gastropub Regime, where your food is chosen for you by assessing your electrolytes on a sensor at your table and the "beer is served in gourds"; and the Chimney Exchange bar, a "mecca for would-be trespassing renegades unable to discern that no one gives a flying fuck whether they're there or not".

Morris received a Bafta last year for his first short film My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117 starring Paddy Considine and produced for WarpFilms. He was also nominated for a Bafta for the tabloid-baiting Brasseye Special which became the second most complained-about programme in the Independent Television Commission's history with 992 complaints. His last TV series, Jam, was broadcast in 2000. He has also surfaced for assorted 9/11-related emissions such as the The Smokehammer, an observer special and legendary cut-ups Bushwhacked 1 & 2.


9th December 04

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My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117


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Featured - Bushwhacked

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