If you didn't make it, we'll find a way for you to see it. And we'll do another. Promise.
It's weird. I know I say this a lot, but we're not a huge YouTube channel, and we seem to be growing at a glacial rate. By which I mean... shrinking intermittently.
Yes, Digitiser has been around a long time, but all logic indicates that we shouldn't be able to do a show like that. We shouldn't be able to sell out a venue of that size, with such an enthusiastic audience. We shouldn't be able to get other creators that we admire, with far, far bigger audiences than ours, to take part. And yet... something about whatever the heck it is that we do resonates enough that we can.
Imagine if we had a million subscribers! We'd be doing Digi Live at Wembley Stadium.
Anyway... we started to receive letters from many of you the day after Digi Live, so we thought a Friday Letters Page would be in order. And here? Why, here is that Friday Letters Page of which I just done mentioned. Clac-clac-clac-clac-a-claccer. Claclaclac.
Thank you so much for last night's show!
After a horrible 18+ months, it was just the escape from reality I needed. I also felt that the unfortunate delay had helped the production, allowing for the trends and jokes on the main channel to mature in a way that they might have done had we stuck to the original date.
Suffice to say I laughed very, very hard and very, very frequently ( I got the Adric joke...), and despite being very different to Digi Live 1 it was still the Digi we know and love.
The highlight for me was the attempt to summon Prince Albert via sexy twerking drag Victoria. That pushed all of my history nerd buttons!
It was clear throughout that a heck of a lot of hard work had gone into the production, and I want to thank everyone involved for making it not only a night out to remember, but a memorable return to live theatre!
I trust that for Digi Live 3, whenever that comes, somebody holds David Braben to account for what we know he did...
All the best, and may Beanus's love reach us all.
What a shame there wasn't any room for Forever Baby!
First just to say again loved the Digi show last night!
After the show, had a character idea.. probably stupid, maybe genius. More likely the former but on the off chance..
He'd be Beanus' cousin called "Runner Beanus" it'd basically be a green wig instead of orange, a mask similar to beanus' but covered in runner beans with broccoli eye brows and green beans for lips, maybe broad beans in the background and he'd wear a sweat band on his head and sorta running gear over a green body suit...
Admittedly, haven't thought much beyond the Runner Beanus name and him liking running and runner beans... I feel like he should be a vegan and a fitness addict and Beanus hates him for liking the wrong kind of beans..
Maybe one for Mr Gannon so he can appear with Beanus, I feel he'd definitely love playing it.
Not sure if you could/would want to do anything with that, but if you think it'd add to the Beanus legacy then you're welcome to do as you will with it otherwise file this away in the recycle bin.
Dear Mr. Biffo
Sexuality! Your laws do not apply to me! A nuclear submarine sinks off the coast of Sweden...!!
Jon Clay, North Curry, Somerset
I'm having withdrawal symptoms from laughing so much.
So DigiLive 2.0. What an absolutely amazing night. The effort you all put into making it happen was tangible, and it was so marvellously different from last time. Just as Digi should be. Utterly unpredictable.
Thanks too for taking the time to meet with us at the end. It was incredibly appreciated, especially as you must have been exhausted. I've never had so much fun in a car park (in recent memory)
Also, while I did mention it on the night, I'd just like to say again how great the music sounded before the show. I've only listened to your stuff through headphones and I my kitchen so hearing in full theatre... wow. Loved it. In its own way really reminded me how much I've missed live music (even though that wasn't live. You know what I mean.)
Anyway, thanks again for a really, really ridiculous night of laughs. Everyone involved really should be proud of what you pulled off. Amazing work.
Roll on next Kickstarter!
Also; thank you for the nice words about my music. You were the only person who said anything about it, and it made my night.
Buy my album, fuckos!
Well what can I say to that? David Braben must be feeling incredible intestinal relief after waiting two years to get that one out. As terrible as my actually-talking-to-anyone skills are, Digi Live still feels like being amongst my own people
The entire show had me creased up, from 'The Worst Of Found Footage' pre-show event onwards. I know you've been disappointed in Found/Lost Footage's viewcounts before, but I honestly envy anyone who was hearing/seeing Pie Vendors In The Night for the first time.
I love how Sanja always seems like she's playing the straight woman, but always with this edge that she's really egging you on. Especially eating worms. And Eli and Paul's bickering over the validity of "Roastboy Fridgedaire" as a name nearly killed me laughing.
Also god bless your own willingness to writhe around on the floor like a maniac, and Quang's breakdancing Braben, and honestly I could just rattle off everyone who appeared onstage because everyone was on top game. I'm fawning, but sometimes you just need to fawn
Chunky Fridge and The Antique Code Show were great too; at the end of the day I am an absolute sucker for trivia about Dizzy games. Whatever comes next, I'll be there.
Sedric A. Dragon
Consequently, I suddenly felt very self-conscious about my wobbly bits, and couldn't bring myself to go through with the original plan. Hence; screaming and scuttling rather than doing anything that might cause additional wobblage.
Thank you for putting on such a wonderfully chaotic show! As Favus kindly offered his tickets I was able to bring my son along and we had a great time. Not that it matters but I did reimburse him for the original cost, was only fair.
I did have to cover his eyes/ears on a couple of occasions but on the whole he was fine, he's a sweet lad who knows what he can and can't repeat! It was lovely to share something with him that was so important to me when I was his age, although back then the swears were always fffrrrgggkkkknnn implied. I was warned!
I first got into Digi at my nan's (terrible woman) and asked for a TV with Fastext for Christmas. I was an avid reader from that point on, often waiting for the new 'episode' to click over at I think, 1.30am? Misspent youth!
Your humour disappeared with Digi for me, although Bubblegun, and particularly the Gallagher sketches (coocoocachooooo!), were great.
Digitiser 2000 and the YouTube channel have been a real nostalgia hit for me, even if the source material has differed, the brand of humour is unchanged.
I am going around the houses a bit but I guess I'm trying to say thank you. What you do and have done is a happy constant for me and I'm sure others feel the same. What you do very much matters and my boy is already asking when the next show is.
I wish we could have stayed to say hi but we had a long journey back up to the Midlands.
Hope we meet you both at the next one, where we can ruin your son for life.
For the past... what, three, four years or so? - since we first watched Found Footage together - my girlfriend has routinely referred to her (many, various) moisturising creams, face masks, lipbalms etc. as her Poupon.
Her skin-care regime is intricate and diligent, whereas mine is, well, non-existent. In fact, I hate the feeling of any such oily moisturising gunk on my skin, and refuse all her attempts to get me to participate in the emollient rituals she considers so vital: it's one of those joyous mutual stubbornnesses that all good relationships hinge upon.
And so it comes to pass that, every night at bedtime, my girlfriend asks me if she can poupon my face.
You did this, Biffo. Hope you're proud.
I'm zany comedian Noel Fielder from the Giant England cooking channel.
I'm very disappointed in you appropriating my ideas for your little "show". The character of "Beanus" is clearly based on that time I said "suck my beans" on the Twitter, and "Forever Baby" looks an awful lot like my own offspring, "Moonwalk Transistor". Coincidence?
These days I sell curtains (and carpet cleaning equipment) on QVC. It makes me a living and I'm given as much free Shake n Vac as I can eat.
So please, stop stealing my ideas. Otherwise I'll send my friend Charlie Brooker round to break your legs.
PS. I think "Rubber Harris" is a dig at my plastic willy.
Biffo, once again thank you for a sterling whole day of entertainment, it was a delight to see so many happy faces before and after the show.
I think maybe next year we should start at 5pm and then maybe there'll be no over-runs...
It was fabulous to watch the Found Footage before the show too, and that got such a good reaction in the room (I personally was in tears through Omelette Ants, gets me every time) - and I think I've figured out why I love FF so much... it feels so dystopian, as if it were filmed around the time of nuclear cold war, and it tickles that particular weird bone in a funny way.
I have no idea if that was the aesthetic you were going for or whether it was just the old VHS era kind of vibe in general, but Xenoxxx DEFINITELY shouts radioactive wasteland at me!
Thank you to you, Sanja, and all of the team for another wonderful evening!
Yeah, all the Xenoxxx stuff is meant to be very dystopian... but a kind of capitalist dystopia, if that makes a certain sense. A world stripped bare by rampant consumerism. There are layers to it, but I prefer people to make their own interpretations.
Also, it's about poo and bums.
I was at the live show on Saturday, honestly one of my favourite shows I've been to, my stomach still aches from laughing. My favourite segments were Found Footage and the supernatural one. The whole team clearly put in a lot of love and work into the whole event and I'm looking forward to the next!
Hope you're having a great day.
We didn't get to meet as I'm a bit of an anxious snowflake so ran off at the end of the show, but maybe next time! Still, really enjoyed Digi 2.0 and it was my first trip out of Manchester since Feb 2020, what with all the COVID stuffs.
Definite highlights for me were the Tea Prancer, the truly bizarre animations of those things doing those strange coitus things (you know what I mean), and whoever that was doing ballet was really good at it.
Otherwise just really digged the welcoming and partisan (wildly so) crowd and the total ridiculous pointlessness of the whole thing. In being so utterly ridiculous, it entered a new realm of staggeringly important relevance. And I believe that's just the outright joys of silliness for you.
So thanks for that. The double vodka and coke prices at the bar were very cheap as well, with excellent straws. +1 right there.
Bestest regards, Alex "Wapojif" Morris
And I still can't stop shakin'!
I've written 7/8 emails now about how Digi Live 2.0 acted like a little beacon of hope and normality during lockdown after lockdown. I've deleted them every time before sending.
Why? Because Digi Live wasn't a beacon of hope, or a glimmer at the end of the tunnel in the end.
As I stood in a car park surrounded by friends and "online" acquaintances I hadn't seen in over a year, Digi Live revealed itself as a thundering behemoth - a Xenoxxx branded juggernaut of lasers, smoke and noise. An unstoppable freight train of chaos, poo, laughter and friends.
I wasn't involved in any way in the show itself, yet I somehow I felt proud of what the team had achieved, I felt relief that is was happening and so, so much joy it was a little bewildering - you've created a family with Digi and Digi Live is the yearly reunion where patriarch Biffo gets squiffy on brandy and says a swear.
Thank you to Biffo, Sanja, Gannon, Eli, Quang, Ryan, Sooz and everyone else that made it possible!
Anyway, apologies, that's a soppy rambling one.
Instead, how about I ask who drove into the bins with the van, and was it because Mr. T was shouting at you?
The audience was warm and supportive, and prepared to join in. It made the show, it gave us the fuel to keep going. You were all brilliant.
Yes, I drove the van into some bins, and lost my excess (thankfully I'd paid a reduced excess, but between that and the overrunning we were down £500 on the night).
Apropos nothing: www.patreon.com/mrbiffo
Much like the first one, it’s hard to quite describe the feeling of Digi Live, an incredibly unique and niche non-stop show of chaos (even when it goes right) and laughs. Me and my friends have been quoting it and laughing over the content ever since we left the Arts Centre…
Even if one of them doesn’t understand Found Footage and had a moment of panic at the start that the entire show was going to be like that!
It was nice to travel out of the West Country into London to see a show again, almost felt normal! It was made even better by being surrounded by a community of genuinely nice people who also ensured the energy in the room throughout the whole show was great. I loved being able to just be silly and sing along to songs about the bowel movements of respected industry icons knowing everyone else was joining in.
Also, huge respect to everyone who worked behind the scenes, the fact that the evening went off without anything going obviously wrong is a testament to the hard work everyone put in.
Thanks to all,
I had a wonderful evening. Not laughed so much in ages. It reminded me of seeing Vic and Bob live for the 1st time in 1990.
Sad I couldn't hang around after to buy some merch and meet you all. Curious to know if your Mother enjoyed the show?
Ultimately... I don't really know what the issues were, but there were loads of them, and they were more important than what she thought about the show that she couldn't even see anyway.
I was at Digitiser Live on Saturday and it was one of the best evenings I've had in a while.
I've been listening to Cheapshow and watching the Digitiser YouTube channel for a long time now and it was absolutely fantastic to see this live.
I genuinely haven't laughed that hard in so long.
Thanks for a great night!
I took two people who had never watched anything Digitiser before, and they want to go to the next one. If that’s an indicator of how good the show was then job done.
I also loved how you can just straight up over run by an entire hour and still have to cut sketches out, you mad bunch of swine.
Are you ever going to reveal what was on the pants or in those boxes?
Jae aka J Is Manchild, Tunbridge Wells
Glad your mates enjoyed it! That is a real big testament of yeah.
Just to say how much I truly enjoyed Saturday. It was my first night out since March 2020. It was strange to be out if I'm honest.
One thing I love about the Digi community is how relaxed it is. Although I didn't know or chat to anyone, my choice, it's just what I'm like, I still had a tea bag given to me from my seated neighbour after tea prancers deluge and packets of crisps from a gent in a Tyne Tees t-shirt (the lovely Stuart).
For me my highlights: the opening 'countdown' and David Braben's second poo, Sooz's American accent, Supernatural World, the Top Ten countdown had me crying laughing so hard, Sexy Christmas USA, corner shop corner live worm special, Sanja's line of 'I'm not having them they're not gluten free' getting a huge laugh from the audience, Live Tony Harris, Cheddar Man and The Man's Daddy videos and of course Beanus.
I could watch a Beanus gameshow all day long. His 'I've got my eye on you' to Gannon had me howling. We think you are awesome... Oh alarms gone off, best go!
Steph is real tired of this
Quite simply this was a superb show that delivered everything people love about Digitiser. Was great to see the Found Footage bits come to life, and see the bum faces in the flesh!
Everyone gave such an honest and heartfelt performance, loved that there was a Cheapshow segment too. Paul and Eli must have been chuffed.
The hard work and effort put in by everyone was visibly clear and 100% appreciated. So well bloody done everyone.
Quick question to end, what did the ballerina think of it all ?!
Master of the Porridge
What a night. I thought you'd have excelled yourselves first time round, but I was wrong. Live Footage - what an experience. You'll have Ridley Scott on the phone after that climax.
Chris Jerden-Cooke screaming "GUITAR" was a particular highlight for me. Even then, he's a musical genius.
The better half has a keen interest in monarchy, particularly the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha era. So it was good to boast to her that she missed out on a deeply thorough paranormal investigation into Prince Albert. I can't thank you enough for that.
I'd also like to thank some members of the audience that were within my vicinity, who seemed adamant that I should inhale the somewhat potent fumes of a pair of Y-Fronts that were thrown at me. Actually, I retract that. It was... an experience. Cheers, Gannon.
Every member of the team who put together such a brilliant night should be extremely proud of themselves for what they achieved. Bravo.
I am a long-standing Digi stalwart. I remember when Digi first launched, and taking an instant dislike to The Man With a Long Chin. With time, he won me over. I wrote the occasional letter to Digitiser, and occasionally they were published.
I'm sure you remember my rant about how "PGA Tour Golf on the Sega Megadrive is infinitely inferior to the PC version" as fondly as I do. And yes, I was the one who sent the letter about Dominik Diamond's uncouth lavatory behaviours. Those were the days, eh?
I remember back in the mid 90s buying a TV tuner card for my PC, just so I could cache Digi without having to wait for the carousel thing to change pages. Towards the end of the last century, I remember being an active member on Usenet's alt.digitiser. Oh, the abuse...
Donna, to her infinite credit, used to read Digi every day when she came home from school, or so she tells me.
Fast forward a while, and two marriage breakups later (one for each of us) I was supremely delighted when I happened upon your YouTube and web presence. I was particularly delighted to discover the pilot for Biffovision, a work of supreme genius that is also one of my son's favourites (he's 19, and uses it to vet the suitability of potential girlfriends).
Anyhoo... when Donna was browsing the scrapheap of broken souls, she found me, tattered and torn, dusted me off, and asked me: DO YOU LIKE DIGITISER? Ok, that didn't happen, but I did sit her down to watch Biffovision with me early on in the proceedings.
Donna wasn't so keen on Lost Footage / Found Footage as I was. What Donna really enjoyed was the lockdown chats we'd have on the sofa. Lockdown was shit, but when we were sat with Paul and Sanja, eating stupid food or whatever from the corner shop (a game we'd often play ourselves beforehand, usually involving weird variants of crisps or Jaffa Cakes), the world seemed right.
Yes, you heard that right. When the world was turning to shit, and it closed our business, and shattered our dreams, you were both there to help us smile and get through it all, and we thank you both.
Fast forward a little longer, and I bought a ticket to Digi Live. Donna was on the fence initially. She thought she wouldn't have a clue what was going on (!). We bit the bullet and bought her a ticket too.
Fast forward (again) to about a week ago. We were so sad to see the daily tweets and Facebook posts from all the people who couldn't make it to Digi Live. We could feel Paul's anxiety all the way up the M1 as he was worrying that only 5 people would turn up. We were determined to be there, come rain or shine.
And boy, did it rain. The week before Digi Live was filled with a family crisis so dark and draining, and it wasn't looking good. Happily, the clouds broke sufficiently for us to get in the car, drive down the M1, and we were on our way. Yay!
I suppose I should actually talk about the show now? Oh, alright then. Things are probably a bit jumbled up, but here you go.
Donna and I were surprised and delighted that we bagged the best seats in the house - front row, middle seats. We wondered why they weren't reserved or taken, which in hindsight was probably for worm-related reasons. Donna was anxious that she wouldn't understand what was going on, despite the briefing I'd given her previously.
First up - a musical extravaganza dedicated to a man I admire greatly, Mr David Braben. I had to remind Donna who we were singing about, and she joined in with gusto. It really was a surreal delight to be singing about poo for 5 minutes, whilst watching all the gang being the gang. Sanja, you owned that part of the show; grace and beauty in a world gone mental.
Also, Gannon needs to learn how to throw properly (more on that later).
Then the safety briefing. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping that Mr Safety from Biffovision would make an appearance. Instead, it was a man dressed as a bird, and amusingly, the man's voice could not be heard because of the thick rubber bird mask he was wearing.
I seem to remember a testy exchange between the man dressed as a bird and the man known as Gannon, which of course amused Donna. Don't tell anyone, but Donna has a bit of a soft-spot for Mr Gannon, and he pressed her buttons all night as he playfully sulked through the show.
If my memory serves me correctly, (and, let's face it, my mind was already blown,) we had a quiz about video games. I was delighted that the bucket of balls had been named something ambiguous (was it Nivin's Pranny?). And we did a fun quiz on video games. I was particularly amused by Sooz's ET game; was it ET's Sex Party? And where can I acquire a copy?
Did the Tea Prancer show up at this point? Want to know some fun facts about the Tea Prancer? He's a dinky minikin, who serves his tea hot and brown - just how I like it! I love the Tea Prancer. Donna does not. She can't even hear the Tea Prancer music without having a little meltdown, and I should know, because I whistle it to her often. Ryan is a superb Tea Prancer; the role he was born for.
Sensorium Girlybox! Live on stage! Sexy Christmas USA! What a treat for the eyes and ears this one was, although the sexy man did seem to be struggling to remain conscious at times.
Supernatural World! Sargent Pepper and Queen Victoria! (Eli was resplendent, and yes Paul, you were dapper). I chuckled hard when the man known as Gannon chastised Eli for his choice of his character's name. "Leave it to me, I'll make something up on the night, it will be funny" or some such. It was around this time that Donna faux-complained that her cheeks hurt from too much laughing.
I was almost decapitated by a flying canvas. The fellow behind me was actually decapitated by a flying canvas. Gannon!
Interval! I took too long taking a wee, and Donna was annoyed because she didn't have time to go. Luckily she has a strong constitution, and it didn't impinge on our enjoyment of the remainder of the show.
Everest. Ever-est. Eve-r-est. *Punchline redacted*
That goujon is a proper whopper, sir!
Corner Shop Corner! Corner Shop Corner! Worms edition? Tony Harris! There were two things that stood out for me in this section: 1. Paul really doesn't like being accused of ripping off Noel Fielding, something I'd already learned from Twitter. 2. Sanja is really generous with her worms.
Donna's had a bit of a go at me for taking and eating the worms - apparently I was only supposed to observe them, not help myself like a greedy kid in Woolworth's Pick and Mix.
Cheapshow! The Price is Shite! The contestant reminded me a bit of the Tea Prancer. Was it in this section that Mr Gannon returned some magazines to someone in the front row? What were the magazines? Did we witness a crime?
Beans! Biffo's sister! Terrible smells! (Not blaming Sarah for the terrible smells. I think we all know whose fault that was.) Such a terrible shame we ran out of time for the whole section. I caught a glimpse of some Mr Beans and Sean Beans on our way out, and some cows or something. What's the theme? Not cows! I was hoping I was going to get pinched, but no, that one can stay on the bucket list.
Let's get Tony hoooooome! Poor Janet and her oddly-placed nipples. It really is sad. I don't think Buzz Aldrin would qualify as a friend of Digitiser.
I almost forgot Cheddar Man! What a neanderthal I am. Sigh. He was awesome, and fully understand why he was done on film and not live.
To sum it all up: what an experience! There's no way I could describe what we witnessed to any normal sane person. Simply amazing. Thank you to everyone who helped put on this marvellous spectacle, which will long stay in my fondest of memories, or until they are repressed for my own safety.
Anyway, that's the end of my ramble. 10 out of 10, would Digi Live again.
And my bonus question: Will we ever get any more Scranton K?
Lots of love,
Andy and absent Donna x x x
And oddly... once people started giving away their tickets, all the anxiety about nobody turning up evaporated. That said, on the day I think we were all taken aback that every seat somehow seemed to be filled. Hurrah.
Just wanted to share what a fantastic, unique, eye-opening, manic experience it was for Tori and I to be a part of Digitiser Live 2.0! We had quite a busy morning, moving out things (and children) back into our own house after living out while some building work was (almost!) completed - managing to set off on our two hour drive just in time to arrive for rehearsals.
A warm welcome was received from Steve Horsenburger Horsley as we parked up and were escorted straight backstage to prepare for our roles as Goujon John and one of his bumfaced minions!
There was much bewilderment as none of our "half-time show" [(c) Sooz Kempner] crew had the faintest idea what we were going to be up to - this just added to the excitement, to be honest. I'd met some of them before (particularly Sam who was on the Found Footage panel with me at the previous Chunky Fringe) but even as relative strangers we all got into our roles with gusto.
Sanja handed me the LED mask (which was/is amazing - I didn't know such a thing existed) and everything you'd hinted at became clearer! It was great to see you had everything "blocked out" to sync up with the prepared video/cues etc. - this left me free to only have to worry about tripping on my cape (cape!) and Tori to get to grips with wearing a mask that had no eye holes whatsoever...
We were then free to enjoy the first half of the show, with a building sense of anticipation for our 'big moment'... Rushing backstage at the interval to find Sooz, Gannon, Eli, et. al. in various states of costume/makeup panic was brilliant and somehow calming that everyone was in the same barely organised boat!
It wasn't long before I was standing in the wings waiting for my cue to walk onstage and once again reprise 'my' role as Goujon John himself... I could hear my heart beating over the audio of the backing video - what if my mask fell off? What if I fell off the stage entirely? What if I missed my cue?
Turned out it was actually very empowering to wave my arms about pulling unseen faces at the front few rows of the audience while all the lights and smoke went on unseen - I really had no idea what was going on behind us until I saw the photos people put up on Twitter afterwards - it looked EPIC. I might get one of them framed...
Extra credit to Tori for finding her way off stage blind after she lost her grip on the bumface in front - I think that she even got a laugh to round off the segment!
We then got to watch from the side of the stage as Tony Harris ranted about a certain Bake Off host - one of my personal highlights of the evening - before creeping back to our seats to enjoy the end of the show. Can't wait to watch the whole thing back on video...
Not your average Saturday night, that's for sure. Thanks for having us!
Steve (and Tori) Baker
PS. Tori said yesterday: "Who even is David Braden? I've had that fucking song stuck in my head for days!"
That said, even after our rehearsal, and figuring out the lighting cues... I still didn't expect the final result to look as spectacular as it did. Suffice to say, now I know what's possible... it has me excited for the next Digi Live. I'm so excited I've got foam coming out of my hat!
I made the decision on a whim very late on to go to Digitiser Live 2.0, after hearing that there were a small number of tickets left for sale at the end of the Q&A video. And what a whim it turned out to be.
After attending an event a month or so earlier where attendance figures were impacted by the current situation, being part of an audience that felt so big and complete was incredible. And it fit so well with a show with such powerful lighting and sound. The look of it was incredible; an art piece on its own at times.
The segment that sticks with me most is The Golden Bean. Being able to laugh at something so much that it hurts is a magical feeling, and that’s what I got every time with the Golden Bean videos. Seeing it live was even better – having Beanus in the flesh, and Tweedy’s overbearing portrait taking pride of place on a stage, was truly special.
Hearing the phone ring during Bean Or No Bean, and having Beanus speak to The Banker was a masterstroke.
But it’s hard to highlight Beanus without acknowledging how great the show was overall. Corner Shop Corner was excellent with the dynamic of Sanja being the knowledge-imparting host and the guests despairing at having to eat more disgusting worms; the show within a show of Cheapshow being exactly as you’d want and expect; the Goujon John address flanked by the finest arses on faces around; and the search for Prince Albert’s ghostly enigma – the list goes on.
The whole thing feel like one magnificent whirlwind; an event I couldn’t possibly explain.
Now my task is to turn the sea of mystery faces in the crowd into people in future I look at, and think “oh, yeah, that’s who they are”.
Overall, it’s going to be (by far and away) the best event of this year I’ve attended.
From the very edge of the Tyne Tees region,
Sanja has a pelvic organ prolapse every time I mention this, but I really want to do a Digitiser Weekend.
Thank you for the super entertainment this past Saturday. First big out out since the pandemic began and was impressed with the set up. It all felt safe. Well…. until the show started and we were all mentally scarred for life.
As you know, Beanus is like Father Christmas to my 7 year old. He’s seen him on the tv, he knows someone’s inside that bean outfit…he just can’t quite put two and two together. “Is mr Biffo really Beanus and acting” he asked, as a child from a normal household would ask if their dear daddy was dressed as Father Christmas. “Who knows!” said I, “That’s why it’s all so magical!”
He draws pictures of Beanus as seen in some of your episodes. He showed my mother a video of Beanus and my mum was absolutely terrified and said it was reminiscent of the bloke who got his face burned in the 80’s. Can’t remember his name. She retched a little bit which I thought a bit much.
Anyway my little lad was very jealous I got to see Beanus et al and I know I wasn’t able to meet you in person due to the long drive home - please can smol child have a signed Beanus postcard at some point to preserve the magic of Beanmas.
Thanks for a glorious evening. Laughed so hard I nearly did a wee.
RP (and le hub) x
Very exciting to see a Friday letters page! How're you all doing? Are you feeling all rested up and better from the chaos of Digi Live? How are you feeling about the show now you're a little bit separated from it? What bits do you think went best, and which bits do you wish could have gone differently.
It was really lovely to be at the show and to see how your performing skills and stage presence have grown since the last one. It was WONDERFUL to see Sanja on stage and being effervescent, too. I really, truly love the energy you two have together and it was wonderful to see it in real life.
I hope you're all having a lovely time and are feeling optimistic about future Digi endeavors! Roll on the Kickstarter for the show series 2!
Best wishes and love,
Oh dear... an invite for long letters about Digi Live? I get a bit nervous about writing these sorts of things, I fear becoming "that one fan who won't stop trying to talk to me", but I do feel I should tell you what a great show Digi Live 2.0 was and some thoughts on the creative decisions you've talked about since making Digitiser The Show.
A lot of the comments on Sunday mentioned a feeling of "exactly what I needed after the last year", and I realised that's true for me also. Not just the experience of going to A Thing after months of being cooped up, either.
It's more that after a year where the only link with the outside world has been a constant stream of horrible people doing horrible things, it's a welcome break to venture into the real world and find a corner full of people spending their time making Spectrum games and doing clever things with Teletext.
It's weird to review a show in terms of its audience, but I think that's what makes Digitiser. Last time I only turned up for the show, and wished I'd joined for the events around it. This time I wished I'd taken the car, so I didn't have to dash for the last train across the perimeter before the Devil Dogs moved in. (Or have to feel guilty about taking up time chatting to you early on knowing people in the queue would also be thinking about train timetables)
I think this comes down to something you've talked about on a couple of the interview videos; the constraints of having an audience who are there for "gaming" rather than "Digitiser". For me, Digi Live 2.0 showed that breaking free of that typecast was the right choice creatively.
It had bits of classic characters, bits of Found Footage and Xenoxx, paranormal investigation, Beanus, Tony Harris and even some retro gaming... all different, but all of them recognisably part of the Biffoverse. I reckon that's why things like "Mount Everest Only 6p" go down so well.
You know when something starts like that there's going to be an unexpected release, because that's how the Biffoverse works, but also no idea whether it'll descend deep into the Xenoxxx conspiracy or turn into a poo joke.
And you have an audience who are there for the Biffoverse itself, which is why there's such a great atmosphere and reaction when the Funny Dancers come on, or a dystopian sausage catalogue turns into a Visit Scotland advert.
(Alright, maybe that last one went over a few heads. But that's what makes Found Footage great.)
Another thing that carries exceptionally well from the "Biffo manages to set his hair on fire attempting to Hadouken himself" nature of the videos is the sense everything is careening along moments from total collapse. Not the knowing, wink-to-the-audience type of carefully rehearsed "and here's the bit where it goes wrong", but more the kind of gleeful chaos where Gannon has to run off stage bent double from corpsing or there's an extended rant of, "look, this section doesn't work if I don't know which side of the stage people are coming from, that's why we have cues".
It reminds me a bit of distant school days in which a drama teacher would foolishly let the kids from the back row direct and perform a play. Which I guess has been the Digitiser vibe all the way back from the Teletext days - someone has made the mistake of leaving the naughty kids alone to accomplish a task.
Why does this make the surrounding Chunky Fringe and after-show chats so nice? I'm not sure, but I have a feeling there's something about people who continue to enjoy absurdist humour into their 40s, 50s and beyond rather than deciding it's silly and childish.
Thank you for continuing to create it, and for doing what you want to do creatively. The audience may be smaller, but it's a well-curated one.
Look forward to future events!
Basically, what I try to do is kind of bake the potential for errors into everything we make... so, we'll make a segment deliberately overcomplicated, or put someone in an unwieldy costume, or under-explain to the participants what's going on... and then either not rehearse at all, or do the bare minimum of rehearsal.
My favourite comedy is where it feels like they're winging it all the time, and just making it up as they go along. I always loved it when my favourite comedians corpsed. I find that flying by the seat of our pants thing really exciting, especially live.
Corner Shop Corner and The Golden Bean - now up on YouTube - are a good example; nobody apart from me knew exactly what was going to happen. Not even Sanja knew fully. I love getting reactions that are real. People can smell inauthenticity, and it becomes a barrier between the people on stage and the audience. If we're all similarly in the dark about what's going to happen we're all, hopefully, pulling for it to work. Or not work.
Wow, what a batshit-surreal, yet hilarious night.
From Found Footage, to Beanus and so much mayhem in between. Toilet rolls in all directions, being tea-bagged... the Blade Runner intro then becoming David Braben’s nightmare. So many characters, so many changes of direction.... a takeover by Cheap Show (lovely surprise)...
The whole show just flowed, and sadly, so did the time. Felt like minutes, yet the show over-ran and could have kept going.
You know it’s a great show when you can’t tell if the cock-ups are scripted (a-la “Bottom”) or genuine.
Great to see some old faces and meet some new ones. Some travelled many miles for the show, and everybody looked like they had a great time. Except maybe David Braben the next day.
A lot of work went into this, that was clear, especially when, thanks to Covid, everything was up in the air, and there was always that chance the night wouldn’t happen. The props (GIVE ME THAT GOUJON), the outfits (especially in the opening number)... all amazing.
Mr. B, Sanja... everyone involved, I tip my hat. That was my first night out since the pandemic started, and it more than made up for the wait. 10/10.
Only bummer was I couldn’t hang at the end as would have loved to get some photos and some goodies. ARSES.
Much love and guff.
Apparently there are letters again this week. Anyway I bet everyone else has already told you what a lovely time they had at Digi Live 2.0 (as did we, and it was a delight to see Beanus live, and Tony Harris, and the maniacal Tea Prancer) so thought I'd return to form and write about water related tat and maybe draw a picture.
A good way to meet people while boating is to drive past their boats at 3mph, usually they'll come out and wave at you when you do this. I've heard rumours that apparently this causes Welsh Dressers (whatever they are) to fall over as well, although I can't see why you'd need wobbly Welsh people to dress you, so it may just be a fiction.
And taking inspiration from Tony Harris's rightful ridicule of Noel Fielding, I've done a picture of an inanimate object combined with something else in an unexpected location which automatically makes it funny. I call it 'Poodriver on Tour'.
Mr.S (the one with Mr.J (the wife))
You can't put a price on that.
One reason I'm messaging you is regarding the XL Cheese Crisps. I hope you don't mind that I become impromptu fast food vendor at half time. I'd brought 100 bags to share all the way from Carlisle, they sat in the car park for a bit during the afternoon, but hardly anyone was taking them. So when it came time to go inside, I decided I had to go for the hard sell. I didn't want to make an exhibition of myself, (well, I already was with my trousers!).
But, once I started handing them out to people, it slowly snowballed. People were hungry and it filled a little gap! While I was haphazardly chucking them out, I was terrified I'd be kicked out or hauled backstage for a telling off.
But I thought, "People seem to be enjoying them! Let's go for it!". I'd already decided to give the remainder to you and the team, for doing such a brilliant show, so I slipped it into the van when it was being loaded up. I wish I'd stuck around, as there was a big queue to see you when I got back 10 minutes later. So, I'm sorry I missed you and the team, but there'll always be next time! If there is a next time, I'll bring more crisps!
So thank you for a great show, and thank you for acceptance and making my long trip down to London enjoyable. I will return. Oh, and you probably noticed during the bit where you did Runaround, Kim Justice turned to the audience and went "Yes, thank you Stuart!" That was directed at me, as I've sent her old episodes of Runaround to show on her streams! There was one with a man who made a knife with 1,822 blades which Kim liked!
But anyways, congratulations on a brilliant show, here's to Digitiser The Show Series 2 and maybe Digi Live 3!
Thank you all!
1. If you could play a character in a Star Wars movie or write a Star Wars movie, which would you choose? If the former, would you want to be some alien character so you were unrecognisable under lots of makeup/latex and such or play a human character?
2. A question for both you and Sanja, what was your favourite part of the first Digi Live and now the second? (unfortunately I couldn't go to either so i'm eagerly awaiting the video of the second one!)
2. For me, highlight of the first one it was the reaction it got, that so many people enjoyed it. For Sanja, because she was busy backstage it was getting to talk to people afterwards.
On the second one, I loved The Golden Bean. I could've just done that all night. And I loved feeling more confident on stage. And meeting so many people after, though I felt bad we couldn't speak to everyone. For Sanja, she too loved the meet-and-greet, but her real highlight was dancing with those amazing wings during David Braben.
Oh, wait! I've thought of another highlight. When Sanja first came on stage and somebody shouted "We love you, Sanja!". I can't tell you how proud I was.
The unpacking isn't finished, and I haven't even started the thank-you emails to all the Chunky Fringe contributors. So here's to those who I don't have an email address for.
To all those who left the fizzy pop scene in the car park to risk coming indoors for Chunky Fringe and The Antique Code Show. We were there for our own amusement, but it's always more fun with an audience.
To the fizzy pop scene, who barely passed comment when I jogged through carrying what were quite clearly Mr T's bins. It's nice to see people enjoy themselves, even though Digitiser is worrying enough when sober.
To the mystery cosplayer, who you should definitely employ to appear on the Digitiser channel as Rich Uncle Beanus. You were terrifying.
To Paul Gannon, who kept tabs on fizzy pop consumption, and was unfazed by my ill-considered backstage invasion. You are the real Mr Safety.
To Nadia at Harrow Arts Centre, who accommodated all the last-minute logistical shuffling, and never once questioned why you chose to call Chunky Fringe "Hot Squid" on your official booking form.
As for Digitiser Live, it oddly felt almost comfortable. Even the Sonic business, relatively speaking, but the greatest hits are comforting in uncertain times. My favourite part was Xenoxxx, one pop tune short of the KLF. It must mean another Found Footage movie. I mean, you can't keep an 8ft polystyrene goujon in your Dad's garage forever.
And you've hit the nail on the head with mentioning 'greatest hits'. That's precisely why some of the more familiar elements were in there. I'd hope they'd be comforting. Next time might be completely different.
I've thanked you multiple times since Saturday, but I'll do it once more publicly; you're a massive part of why the show worked so well, from putting on Chunky Fringe to paying for our rehearsal time, to supplying us all with water. You're a star.
Anyway. Right. Thanks, everyone. Support the new series of Digitiser The Show on Kickstarter later this month. Or come and sign up to Patreon, where there's something new all the time!