© Auf Wiedersehen, Pet is copyright of ITV Studios, BBC & Franc Roddam.
‘I’ll crack your nuts Moxey if ya divint sling ya hook....’ Auf Wiedersehen, Pet - Behind The Scenes Series 4. These short interviews with the cast was done for the BBC Series 4 of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Tim Spall talks about Series 4 and a short bit about how Pet changed his life. The following is copyright of the BBC. © The images and text are copyright of the BBC and are not to be used or copied without permission.
The new series came to life as the result of a two-minute, last-minute conversation I had with an attaché at the British embassy in Havana back in January 2002. "Ian La Frenais had suggested Cuba as a possible location when we were filming in Arizona and I immediately liked the mental images it conjured up. It seemed just right for our guys. "We went out to Havana looking for storyline ideas with a view to setting the new series there but we didn't come up with anything really substantial during our allotted time. "Somewhat despondently we prepared to leave, empty-handed. Our last port of call, on the day before we were due to fly home, was the British Embassy, where we were given tea and biscuits by the Ambassador and his staff but not much in the way of story inspiration. "On the way out to the car I happened to ask whose job it was to look after the embassy building's upkeep, as it was in very good condition, unlike the rest of Havana, and was told about the O.E.D. This was Overseas Estates Development, a government department responsible for the upkeep of the Crown's buildings all over the world. A-ha! "On our return to the UK we were allowed to go and meet the men from the O.E.D. at their London headquarters and they were very helpful, explaining how they recruited tradesmen for their far-away postings and the work they would be expected to carry out. I found it truly fascinating and from this meeting came the storyline for the current series. "All set for Havana, then. But we were forced to relocate to the Dominican Republic at very short notice and shoot there. "It proved extremely difficult but I believe, with the aid of a fantastic effort from our design team, we've managed to pull it off. I'm confident, but in the end, as always, the viewers will decide for themselves. Fingers crossed, then. "One of Oz's main themes throughout the new series is the blossoming of his somewhat unlikely relationship with a beautiful Cuban prima ballerina, Ofelia Ortiz. "On a visit to the Cuban National Ballet, I happened to mention the idea of Oz having a fling with one of the leading dancers and Dick and Ian picked up on it. It turned into one of the show's main themes, but thankfully I wasn't required to don pumps. "The show seems to have developed into a kind of brickies' Whicker's World, where our guys go off to foreign climes and have their adventures while trying to avoid the many pitfalls of international travel and employment. Thankfully, in this regard they're almost always doomed to fail. "There are many reasons why this show is unlike any other, not least the bond that exists between the original cast members. "But the most important thing, the thing that keeps bringing us all back, time and again, is the script. If they weren't of the finest quality, none of us would bother. These new scripts are, in my humble opinion, the best the boys have come up with, and that's saying a great deal. "I just hope we actors have managed to do them justice.