The filming of Red Dwarf XI and XII is now complete and I think we will have twelve excellent shows for transmission in the autumns of 2016 and 2017. We had a magnificent crew on the series and it was very much a privilege to work with such dedicated professionals. There were some brilliant performances from our guest cast members and i am already missing the daily banter with Craig, Danny and Robert who were on cracking form from start to finish.

There are quite a few reasons why I do Red Dwarf, one of the main ones being the excitement derived from performing Doug’s brilliant writing. Another big reason is the audience. We had some wonderful audiences and seeing their reaction and meeting them over the last four months has really whetted my appetite for what is turning out to be a busy year of Conventions. My Convention schedule for 2016 so far looks like this:

1st May – Nottingham (Emcon)
7th May – Weston- Super-Mare ‘Stars of Time’
27th/29th May – MCM London
4th June – Showmasters Brighton
5th June – Swindon Film and Comic Con
12th June – Wycombe Comic Con
9th July – Lincoln Comic Con
30th/31st July – MCM Manchester
21st August – Worcester (Emcon)
10th September- Showmasters Belfast
23rd/24th September – MCM Glasgow
8th October – Gloucester Comic Con
15th October – Def Con 5, Totton
19th/20th November – MCM Birmingham

Earlier in 2015, I took up the role of Patron for the anti-bullying campaign I Cosplay. Being a regular convention guest, the Cosplay world is very familiar to me. Coupling this with 28 years of playing Arnold Rimmer, (who let’s face it has been on the receiving end of more than his fair share of bullying!), I am possibly an suitable person to be involved with the charity.

Regarding the possible return of The Brittas Empire, which caused a moment or two of excitement last year, things have gone very quiet indeed – in fact totally silent. I believe a script was being developed with a view to recording a special or pilot at some stage. So if you are a journalist, don’t bother emailing me about an interview as I would prefer to wait until there is something concrete to talk about and that doesn’t look likely at the moment. I tend to agree with Barry Humphries, of Dame Edna Everage fame, when he recently suggested that political correctness is sterilising modern comedy. I would very much look forward to returning as Gordon Brittas but given that he is probably one of the most insensitive people on earth, I am intrigued to see how he would fit into Twenty First Century Britain. Would he be allowed to say that overweight people should do something about their “thick, unattractive ankles”? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if even this were to make the modern TV executive a tad nervous. As for Carol keeping babies in cupboards…..

I was sad to hear of the passing of three of Britain’s favourite performers. I never met Victoria Wood but was always impressed by her sheer versatility. She really did excel in every area of creativity and will be sorely missed. I have known people in the world of magic describe Paul Daniels as a genius. After meeting him on one memorable occasion in the old BBC rehearsal rooms I have no reason to doubt this. There we were coming to the end of a fairly normal conversation when he announced that, before we parted, he should perhaps let one of our party have their watch back! Ronnie Corbett was a naturally funny man with brilliant comic timing and a true master of the shaggy dog story. Victoria, Ronnie and Paul… Rest in Peace

I need to clarify that I do not have Twitter or Facebook accounts, so if you do see or hear of a Chris Barrie on either of the two, it definitely isn’t me. As some of you know, I struggle to keep up with the webmail, without wanting to further disappoint anyone on social media.

Best wishes,

Chris Barrie