OLIVER Lansley does an uncanny impression of late DJ and comic Kenny Everett, as viewers of The Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story on BBC Four tonight will discover.
Lansley was the last person to be auditioned to play Everett in new biopic, and he believes serendipity had a big hand in him landing the part.
“I’d just come back off holiday so I had a big beard and I went in, met the casting director and did a couple of scenes.
“They must have been looking for a long time, because they basically went, ‘he’s got a beard, let’s audition him’,” he jokes.
For those who don’t know anything about Kenny Everett, The Best Possible Taste tells the story of his relationship with his ex-wife Lee, who was the first and only woman with whom he ever had sex, before he came out as gay and died of an Aids-related illness in 1995, aged 50.
After his marriage broke down, he had relationships with men, but was still possessive of Middleton and insisted on being best man when she remarried.
“It’s got all the ingredients of a classic love story,” says Lansley, 30. “It’s Romeo And Juliet, but the thing that’s keeping them apart is his sexuality.”
Everett got his first job in the entertainment industry in the early sixties, as a DJ for pirate station Radio London.
Then in 1978, he was offered The Kenny Everett Video Show for Thames Television, which featured celeb appearances and his own sketches with characters including lecherous Frenchman Marcel Wave, Sid Snot and Cupid Stunt.
“The girls usually get all the fun with jobs, they get the wigs and hats and tights, but this was so much fun it was ridiculous. You’ve got Cupid with her big wig, rubber boobs and fishnets, Angry of Mayfair with his top hat and stockings, Marcel with his cigarette holder and big rubber chin.
“We did all the studio stuff in the last two days and it was just relentless. But it kind of worked, because Everett was like this ball of energy that you had to point a camera at and capture.”
• The Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story, BBC Four, tonight, 9pm