TWO years and ten million You Tube views since Horse Outside captured the public’s imagination, The Rubberbandits’ long anticipated television pilot for Channel 4 is to be broadcast this Friday night.
The half-hour episode cost €300,000 to produce and features an all-Irish cast and crew, but the stars are the ‘Bandits themselves, who wrote the script and accompanying score, made the prosthetics and performed every character.
For the first time on the pages of this newspaper – and ahead of anticipated crossover success for the ‘Bandits in the UK – we finally unmask the duo behind the plastic-bag-wearing rappers as Limerick city men Dave Chambers and Bob McGlynn - pictured above in heavy make-up in a still from the pilot episode.
During the hype and hysteria we resisted naming the comic rappers, but do so now with the blessing of theirmanagement ahead of the screening of the show this Friday.
The pilot is the first Irish written and performed comedy to be commissioned by Channel 4 since Fr Ted in the mid-90s. It was made by the duo and Irish production company Sideline, under the control of Fr Ted director Declan Lowney.
The pilot, which “delves further into the crazy world of the Rubberbandits”, follows on from the series of short online comedy ‘blaps’ the duo made for Channel 4 last year.
Friday’s half hour episode forms part of a wider series called 4Funnies, a process from which most of the major comic names on the UK tv station, including the Mighty Boosh, have emerged.
A spokesperson for the Rubberbandits said that prospects for a full series are “very good”, while Channel 4 management has said the pilot has “series potential”.
Channel 4 has also notably lauded the Limerick duo as “one of most unique comedy talents around”.
Acting head of comedy Nerys Evans said Channel 4 were aiming to support these “stars of tomorrow as early as possible in their careers and give a crucial platform to bring them to the wider attention of comedy”.
Fiona McDermott, Channel 4 commissioning editor added: “We always hoped that the comedy blaps would provide the perfect stepping stone for inspiring new talent to find their feet and hone their craft and that’s exactly what’s happened with the Rubberbandits”.
The pilot airs on Channel 4 this Friday night at 11pm.