Gregor Fisher will resurrect one of his old friend Rikki Fulton’s most iconic characters, Rev I M Jolly, to mark the 40th anniversary of Scotch & Wry.
The Rab C Nesbitt star will don a clerical collar and step into the shoes of the late Mr Fulton’s comically morose minister for a one-off sketch that will be part of BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay Live celebrations.
Mr Fisher said: “I’m delighted to do it. I think there was a bit of Rikki that always saw me as the heir apparent – I’m sure he had many heirs apparent – and I think he’d like the idea of Jolly being back on screen again.
“It’s not an impression of Rikki – there wasn’t any way we would even attempt that, you just couldn’t do it. He was absolutely unique.
“The script is based on a lot of Rikki’s stuff, though, and hopefully there’s a flavour of his performances about it. I watched the last ever I M Jolly sketch that he did, just purely to get the timing of it, before I came in to film. It was great and funny and joyous. He was a one-off.”
The sketch sees the actor sit in the familiar wing-backed green leather armchair his friend used in Scotch & Wry sketch Last Call – a send-up of 70s and 80s late-night TV sermon Late Call – where the reverend first appeared in 1978.
He added: “When I was told it was the 40th anniversary of Scotch & Wry, I thought it couldn’t be right. But then I did the sums – I was about 25 when I started on it, and I’m now 65 so it adds up.
“It would be nice if a new generation of viewers were introduced to Jolly by seeing this sketch. I’m sure it would be quite easy for them to find old clips of Rikki on YouTube. It’s of a different generation but it’s still fun, in a gentle, slightly colloquial way, and it’s none the worse for that.
“Rikki was a good friend. He was always nice to me. I hope nowadays when I come across youngsters, I am as understanding, kind and encouraging as he was to me.”
Hogmanay Live executive producer, David Staite, created the script from some of the best-known I M Jolly sketches and called in original Scotch & Wry script editor Colin Gilbert for authenticity.