TV Cream

100 Greatest TV Moments

61) “I’m really scared!”

Dominik Diamond and David Walliams end their friendship, 14th May 1996

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The early days of multichannel television in the UK are fairly intriguing thanks to their low budgets making for pleasingly shoestring broadcasting. Sometimes this could be truly awful, a la the work of Friendly TV, but the combination of limited resources and the requirement to fill as many hours as possible could create something out of the ordinary. The RDA on BBC Choice falls out of this list’s jurisdiction (because it’s not in the Cream Era) but certainly delivered that kind of thing in spades, whether it was spying on Huw Edwards or waving faxes out of TV Centre windows. A few years earlier, Dominik Diamond found himself anchoring a similarly shambolic live “show” on Paramount which basically involved half-arsed quizzes and smutty jokes, emphasised by its regular slot called, sigh, The Totty Slotty. One week this rather t edious programme was enlivened when Dominik’s university mate David Walliams was invited on to plug his new show on the channel with his comedy partner Matt Lucas, their double act trading under the name of Mash and Peas. The whole of this instalment used to be on YouTube but no longer so you’ll have to make do with this extract from a clip show which intersperses the action with comments from Dom Joly and Leigh Francis. Nevertheless, it gives over a feel of the episode quite well, as Lucas (especially) and Walliams decided they didn’t really like the show and, after their opening song (which goes on for quite some time) took part in an “interview” which involved them ignoring all the questions and trampling over all of Diamond’s gags. Then invited to play regular phone-in quiz Dart In The Head (basically, Bullseye), both decided to take the name of the segment literally and aim darts at Diamond’s head. This was too much for Diamond who completely lost his cool on air, promising to “kick the shit out of them” if they didn’t behave. After the show stumbled to a shambolic ending, in which nobody won any prizes thanks to Lucas and Walliams putting off all the callers, the argument between Lucas and Diamond apparently continued off air with Diamond having to be physically restrained. OK, so it’s not the most edifying spectacle but seeing a presenter completely lose all attempts at professionalism on air because he’s so fed up with his guests is not something you often see on TV, and we don’t doubt the two or three viewers were spellbound by the complete breakdown in cordial relations. Of course, these days Lucas and Walliams are huge stars and don’t have to do that kind of thing anymore. Dominik Diamond, er…

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