As Shooting Stars returns, producer Lisa Clark reflects on her attempts to organise chaos.


  • Production company Pett Productions

  • Shooting Stars' original run BBC2, 1993-1997; BBC Choice 2002

  • All New Shooting Stars commissioners Katie Taylor, Roly Keating

  • TX BBC2, Tuesday, 30 December, 10pm - the show is a one-off special

  • How did the original show come about?
    Shooting Stars started as a small part of BBC2's Christmas Night with Vic & Bob and both Jim Moir [Vic Reeves' real name] and Bob Mortimer wanted to find a way of doing a quiz again within a show. The title came from the lyrics to a Bad Company album they were listening to when they were writing the show.

  • How was it pitched?
    A shortened version of Christmas Night aired the following Easter and the quiz part proved very popular. One phone call later, a series of Shooting Stars was commissioned. There was no written proposal, no long meetings and no scripts written before this commission - they were just told to go ahead and make it.

  • What made it stand out?
    Its harmless playground jokes rather then clever Oxbridge h-umour - in its way, it pricked the celebrity bubble. It was unpredictable: guests weren't briefed and there was no rehearsal.

  • Why do you think it worked?
    Jim, Bob and Matt Lucas genuinely make each other laugh. Jim and Bob never know what Matt will say or do: when he sang his Peanuts song, he laughed through the whole thing, and so did they. The director suggested doing it again, but I said no, that's what it was about. And it was a great way to use a lot of material - they're prolific writers.

  • What challenges did you face?
    Guests who tried to outdo Jim and Bob pretty much always ended up on the cutting room floor. Johnny Vegas was great when he was on the panel, but you can't have a 15-minute rant in a 30-minute show - and the shoot, usually one hour, ran to two when he was on.
    Normally as a producer you'd know every inch of a show. But they'd ask me for a mandrill monkey, a baby hippo and a pelican and I'd have to not only find them all but get them to the studio, with no idea what they'd be used for.