Transcript: Brian “Flash Gordon” interview for The Web Show Pt 1 and 2



PT 2

LISA: Flash, of course, is a film that many people connect with their childhoods and 40 years later they still love it and it has, it resonates so much with them, what’s a film that you still love from childhood – like what is your “Flash Gordon”?

BRIAN: Well, the original “Flash Gordon of course, was part of my childhood. The Buster Crabbe version, Used to go Saturday morning pictures and see things like that along with “Bugs Bunny” and, you know, all those cartoons that were they used to run for kids – biggest film, I’m not sure really. I mean “The Wizard of Oz”. I as very big on the Wizard of Oz I must say. I think I always wanted to be the Tin Man.

ASH: Why the Tin Man”

BRIAN: I don’T know, just ‘cos he’s looking for his heart, you know, and he’s a very very emotional figure to me. I mean my parents used to watch things like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at Christmastime and I used ot get into that. I loved it, you know. I could see, I could feel the emotion in those things and you could see the work that went in – incredible physical work that went into those things. I remember as a teenager I was blown away with “Women In Love”, which really kind of I felt like it kind of pulled me into adulthood, that film, and I was very, I was hugely emotionally effected by that.

ASH: They’ve been threatening to do a remake of “Flash” for as long as I can remember and if there was ever the” scenario where they remade it and they came to you guys again and said, you know, “Can you, can you do it again please?”, would you come on board again? Would you ever consider redoing it, or would it be sacrilege?

BRIAN: I think it could be nice to revisit in the right kind of way. You, I wouldn’t want to tear it up and start again. I don’t think you could do that. I’d like to perhaps revisit and develop things a little further. That would be interesting but, you know, in reality it probably is best left alone for the good of us all because it was a moment. It is a moment. Everything came together perfectly in terms of the script and the actors, the look of the film and us. So, you know, I’m happy to leave it, you know. I can see it both ways, you know. If there was a good reason for revisiting, if there’s a sequel or something, then maybe we could do that.

LISA: That is one of the arguments of why “Flash Gordon” is so special because it is this standalone film and there aren’t sequels, and there aren’t remakes, and it’s kind of this special little film in its little pocket of time and that has just grown in popularity.

BRIAN: Yeah, it does have a very special place I think ‘cos there’s elements of humour and pastiche in “Star Wars”, for instance, but they’re not as up front a they are in “Flash Gordon”. “Flash Gordon” is all built around this, this feeling of you’re never sure what’s serious and what isn’t, and to me it works. I’ve seen films go too far in the opposite direction as well and you just, you find it gets rather tortury [?] and you don’t take anything seriously, but I think it just, it defines its own area for the “Flash Gordon” film and does it very well.

ASH: We, we’ve seen in the Press this week Brian Blessed has been coming out again telling it, reminding everybody that the Queen herself is he biggest “Flash Gordon: fan of all time and that she has said to him on a number of occasions that it’s her favourite film and I believe even asked him to say “Gordon’s alive“ at some point on some, some moment where he met her.

BRIAN: I saw that. It’s really interesting interesting, yeah. Well Brian is such a larger-than-life character anyway, and he loves going around saying “Gordon’s alive”, you know, and he doesn’t need a microphone. That’s the thing about Blessed. He’s a wonderful guy. He’s also a great animal activist and so he’s been of immense help to us in our work with animals, animal rescue and the work we do to try and change the law on protection of wild animals. Brian is right there with us and he’s a magnificent guy. Brian – you’re a magnificent person.

LISA: He’s a national treasure.

BRIAN: He is a national treasure.

LISA: Don’t you occasionally, or you used to, hear him yelling “Gordon’s alive” through the valleys?

BRIAN: Yeah, I think he’s just about close enough to us that we could hear him without any amplification, yeah. Yeah, he lives not too far away from us strangely down in the studio and he’s been over here frequently.

LISA: My Mum is a massive fan of yours and when she found out that we were doing this interview she said, “Can you please ask Brian this question?” She said, “What is it about Astrophysics that you love so much and that you connect with?”

BRIAN: Hey Mama!! It guess it’s what hits you in childhood. As a child we had better skies than we have now and I could see the stars from my house and I was absolutely entranced and I wanted to know what was out there. What is the Universe that we live in. I used to watch “The Sky At Night”. I used to beg to be allowed to stay up to 10 o’clock to watch Patrick Moore in “The Sky At Night” and suddenly he was there telling us what these things actually were and what they meant, you know, and they weren’t little pinpricks in the dome of the sky. They were actually great balls of gas, contrary to what Pumbaa says in …

LISA: “The Lion King”.

BRIAN: In “The Lion King”. I love that bit. So I was just entranced, yeah, and music and astronomy for me always were the two things which drew me and I thought it might be a conflict in my life. Occasionally it was, but generally as time has gone on the’ve complimented each other and I’ve been lucky that I could immerse myself in astronomy and astrophysics, but also in music too, to the top level.

ASH: Norma also said that if you’re ever in Hayling island, the kettle will be on and you’ll be very welcome to come around for a cup of tea.

BRIAN: Ahhh…. I love Hayling Island. That’s great. Thank you, Norma. I’ll be there.

LISA: She’ll hold you to it as well.

ASH: She’ll start baking now.

LISA: Yes. I mean 2020 obviously has been a pretty crazy year for everyone and for Queen, you’ve postponed some of your tour into 2021. What are your plans for next year?

ASH: Or can you even make plans at the moment? It’s kind of a very difficult time isn’t it?

BRIAN: You can make plans but it’s hard to have any confidence that they will come to fruition Yes, we postponed the whole tour by a year so we’ll end up, if it works out, in the same places just a year later. It was a gamble. It was just a punt and who knows whether we can do it or not. We’re ready to do it if we can and the wonderful thing is we offered people their money back or else holds for the tickets and they’ll be valid for the next time, and we only got out of I think it’s like half a million tickets that we sold, we got about 300 people who wanted their money back. So that was a wonderful kind of endorsement. Some people can’t get enough food, but they’re still holding onto the Queen tickets. So it’s a great kind of boost of confidence to us that people will wait for us to come back. I hope we can. We’re all praying.

Now I’ve had a terrible year for health as well this year, so it’s a really good job that it was in this year when we can’t play anyway I suppose, but I’m sort of battling to get my fitness back every day now. I’m doing massive amounts of physio to try and build up my bodily resistance ‘cos it went down a very long way.

ASH: Are you you feeling like you’e back – you’re back – back on track, sort of getting yourself back together?

BRIAN: I had a bumpy time. I had – I had this heart procedure and unfortunately I got a lot of complications, which needed to be dealt with, some from the condition itself, some from the drugs that you have to take following the procedure, and some just because I’m that age.

ASH: We need you to be out there rocking with the guys, because we’ll be there for sure. I mean, we’re huge fans and, you know, can’t thank you enough for all of the help you’ve given us in the documentary. We’d love to do, like I say, some sort of charity screening for one of your charities at some stage and hopefully we can make that happen.

LISA: Yeah. And as a thank you for doing this interview also on behalf of The Web Show, we’re going to be donating to The Mercury Phoenix Trust and also putting a link in the Comments, the pinned Comment, if anyone else would like to do the same.

ASH: Yes please do support the charity. Thank you so much, sir, Take care of yourself and we’ll speak soon.

BRIAN: Thank you Lisa and Ash. It’s a great pleasure and good luck with everything. It’s a joy to be part of something like this – and onwards we go. Okay.

LISA and ASH: Thank you.

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