People Just Do Nothing star and co-writer Allan Mustafa has said he hoped to give the characters from the hit BBC mockumentary “a taste of everything they never had” in the film version of the comedy.
The Bafta-winning show, which premiered in 2014 and ran for five series, followed the hapless MCs and DJs of pirate radio station Kurupt FM.
They finally get a taste of the big time as the TV show receives the big-screen treatment in the film People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan, when the group learn that that one of their songs has been used on a hugely popular game show in Japan and they swiftly head east in the hope of finally landing a record deal.
Mustafa, who plays the group’s leader MC Grindah and also co-wrote the screenplay, told the PA news agency: “We looked at other UK comedies that went on to be films and people always go abroad, and that was a deterrent for us at first.
“We didn’t want to necessarily follow the formula that’s always been done.
“Yeah, we did in the end … but we started thinking about maybe setting it at a UK festival. We wanted to show them getting a taste of everything that they never had, a little bit of success. We’ve never seen that in the TV series.
“Our producer at the time was sitting in the room and he suggested Japan, and we thought ‘that’s insane, it doesn’t make any sense’. And then we started thinking about the documentaries that have been set in Japan of little niche acts that have been big out there, ‘big in Japan’ is a saying, and then we thought of this game show idea, and then it started to make sense.”
Steve Stamp, who plays Steves and co-wrote the script with Mustafa, added: “We always want the series to be progressing, and it got bigger and bigger.
“You had deaths and weddings and stuff towards the later series and I think, with the film, it was about finding a way to take it up a notch and put them in a sphere that we hadn’t seen before, and we liked the idea of it being about them experiencing a level of fame and success and what that’s like, because obviously we sort of experienced that in real life and we had so much to draw from.
“The Japan thing was a way of doing that and a way for it to feel believable that Kurupt FM could suddenly be catapulted into a level of success, and it gave it that cinematic scale that you need from a film.”
While in the TV show Kurupt FM never achieve any level of fame or acclaim, the cast has won a Bafta and an RTS award, and have played Glastonbury.
They now tour in character, selling out the kind of gigs they could only dream of in the world of the show.
Stamp said: “In the TV universe they’re not allowed to have too much success.
“So in the real world, the version that we’re taking to Glastonbury or that is headlining shows is way ahead of them.
“And this film was an attempt to try and catch up and ask what would it be like if they did experience a level of that, and had those kind of experiences, because they are weird and they do test your friendships and they do test even the idea of what fame is for people, which is so different to when you’re actually experiencing it.”
People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan is released in UK cinemas on August 18.