Between 2001 and 2012, Harry Hill’s TV Burp was as much a part of the British TV schedule as Emmerdale, EastEnders, and the other shows it made fun of. It had up to 8 million viewers every episode and numerous BAFTA wins.
The host said, however, that it turned out not to be warmly received by everyone.
The show’s fundamental structure would be comedian Harry Hill playing footage from the previous week’s TV and making comments about it, highlighting amusing details or strange things that happened in the background.
There are other YouTube videos, and in one of them, Harry claims to have been “surprised to witness Eastenders.” A film of June Brown as Dot smashing a broken washing machine at the laundromat is shown after the line, “Dot Cotton is to fill in for drummer Roger Taylor on the next Queen tour,” while Harry leads the crowd in the chorus of “We Will Rock You.”
In an interview with the Guardian, Harry and Paul Hawksbee, one of the show’s authors, discussed how the show was put together and how it made them unpopular with the EastEnders cast in particular.
There weren’t any shortcuts to locating clips because you didn’t always know what was humorous. To get one footage, it entailed viewing the two-hour documentaries, the EastEnders and Emmerdale omnibuses, Paul explained.
“The ideal programme for us was one that took itself extremely seriously and was developed in a hurry, which was essentially EastEnders,” Harry continued. The BBC would not allow us to licence the clips, so for season two, we utilised them under the guise of “fair dealing,” which meant the actors were not paid.
Harry received an irate call after the first episode of series two aired. Mal Young, the executive producer of EastEnders, was shouting down the phone, saying, “This is outrageous. Actors here are in tears as a result of what you’re doing!
Harry also recalls Todd Carty, who played EastEnders staple Mark Fowler, yelling, “Where’s our money?” during the Soap Awards.
In the end, TV Burp had to come to a stop due to the enormous amount of effort required to produce each episode. I didn’t lead a separate life. Harry says, “I know it sounds incredibly whining, but I can’t convey the pressure.
Paul continued, “You’d wind up watching TV but not watching TV.”