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In its day Smack the Pony was a groundbreaking show that proved to male comedians everywhere that women had what it takes to be funny, and now it might be coming back. Sally Phillips and Fiona Allen are reunited tonight in Glasgow to perform in Celebrity Autobiography, and admitted to The Hour beforehand that they are working on a new format.
“It’s a very different thing,” said Fiona, who also appeared in Coronation Street and as Maxxie’s mum in the second series of Skins. “It isn’t sketches, we’ve done that and it’s great and I think basically Doon [Mackichan] and [Sally] were just all sketched out with it really.”
The show ran for three series between 1999 and 2002, with two specials over the New Year period into 2003. Without recurring characters or catchphrases it managed to retain a certain freshness but according to the creators it made them virtually no money.
“If we had just a few catch phrases we could have made keyrings or something,” said Sally, who also played Shazzer in the Bridget Jones films. “What’s good is that the show hasn’t dated that badly on YouTube because we had no celebrity references… so it means that it’s lasted but means that we’re still poor.”
The two joined The Hour ahead of their performance tonight in Celebrity Autobiography, a tongue-in-cheek look at the biographies of the world’s hottest stars that has come to Scotland from across the pond.
Fiona said: “We basically read, word for word, books that celebrities have written and it’s a show that’s been very successful in the 'States and has come over here now.”
“They change the cast all the time,” added Sally. “We’ve done it twice together before and we’ve had David Tennent do it and Greg McHugh doing it tonight with Siobhan Redmond.”
One superstar who won’t be having her biography read out and spoofed tonight is former Pop Idol winner and The Hour presenter Michelle McManus. You Are What You Eat: Michelle's Diary was released in 2005, but she joked that it’s not an autobiography, rather “a diary of a specific period in my life.”