Kurupt to the core: Bafta-winning People Just Do Nothing star Steve Stamp gets set for the BBC TV sitcom’s big screen debut

It’s been seven years since People Just Do Nothing first aired, and in that time this niche, rather underrated BBC Three mockumentary has steadily gained a devoted cult following, writes Fin Kettle.

“It was a few things that just came together at the right time,” says star and writer of the show Steve Stamp.

Seven years on from its pilot, the Kurupt FM guys have almost done it all, they’ve toured as their musical alter egos to the likes of Glastonbury and Ibiza, had a failed US remake, made a highly anticipated spin-off film releasing this summer and have even won a BAFTA for best scripted comedy in 2017.

Stamp is well known for his role as the creatively named DJ Steves, whose drug-fuelled antics and all-round obliviousness lead to some of the funniest moments in the show. Such as his anecdote on his relationship with drugs. “I wouldn’t say I’ve got a drug problem, I’ve got the opposite of a drug problem to be honest. I’ve got no problem with drugs whatsoever. I’ll try anything!”

“I’m quite lucky in many ways, but people seem to love Steves. He’s a soft, sensitive character that people are genuinely really nice when I see them in the street,” he says.

While many know him from his screen persona, he often goes under the radar in terms of his writing talent. After all, it was the script that ultimately got them the BAFTA win, but Steve explains that their writing process is uniquely collaborative.

“Because all of us work on the script, we sit down and talk about it, but I was basically given the role of main writer although it is very collaborative, which isn’t unique to our show, but the fact that all the lead actors are so involved in the writing is quite special,” he says.

“I’d say I’m most proud of the Valentine’s day episode, where Steve’s nan dies. I think that was like the big emotional moment. That is the one we won the BAFTA for as well.”

It is safe to say the BAFTAs were a surreal moment for the Kurupt boys, being surrounded by childhood heroes and red carpets, but Steve says it was just like a fancy wedding.

“It’s surreal man, it’s a bit like going to a wedding, like everyone’s in suits and there’s all this champagne knocking about,” he says.

“At first it was a bit stiff and awkward, like I don’t think I really belong in a place like that. It’s also nerve-racking being nominated because deep down you want to win but you know if you do you’ve got to get up in front of everyone.”

Steve reveals that he isn’t into the whole celebrity culture and rarely gets starstruck, but there were a few ‘pinch me’ moments at the BAFTAs.

“I remember seeing David Mitchell and I don’t really get starstruck, but he’s Mark from Peep Show!”

“Steven Graham came up to us and was just saying that ‘you lot are all so funny,’ that was mad for me,” he says with an excited grin on his face.

People Just Do Nothing, a sitcom about the hapless crew who run a pirate radio station in West London, had simple origins: just a group of friends messing around trying to make each other laugh with a bit of MC’ing on the side.

“It started with me and Hugo (Chegwin) MC’ing over these beats and doing these characters, trying to make each other laugh,” he says.

“Then I met up with Seapa (Grindah) in Thailand while I was travelling and we would do these characters that we’d seen in these pirate radio documentaries and just make each other laugh. When we got back, I thought there was potential for it, so we filmed some of it just to showcase that we were funny.”

Eventually they were picked up by BBC producers who saw potential, but Steve says it wasn’t an instant process.

“We had a little bit of YouTube fame, which in those days wasn’t really a thing as it is now. It kind of naturally evolved after that. It wasn’t like the next day we were on telly or whatever,” he says.

“Originally we were scared of those TV people, like we didn’t want them to ruin our authentic idea, but actually they developed it more and encouraged more of the drama and family elements.”

In terms of what it’s like on set, you may think it would be relaxed with improv encouraged but that isn’t always the case.

“None of us really know our lines a lot of the time,” he laughs.

“Most of the talking head portions are 80% improvised, whereas the other scenes are 80% scripted. You have to be careful with improv as there is a rhythm to each episode and you have to stick to that and make sure the viewer is carried along with it.”

“Improv is fun to do, but sometimes it can sort of take away from what’s important.”

People Just Do Nothing was clearly influenced by classic British sitcoms like The Office and Peep Show, but it was also just as much inspired by documentaries. This was the case when it came to finding a story for the much-delayed spin off film, People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan.

“When you’re writing a film, things have to be more cinematic in that you have to have scenes that feel bigger with more impact, otherwise it will just feel like a long episode,” he says.

“We had a lot of ideas like going to a festival or Ibiza, but they seemed obvious and cliched. So we started talking about their song becoming famous in Japan and it kind of made sense and felt believable. That came from this documentary we’d seen about a Grindah-esque music manager being completely lost trying to get his client a gig in Japan.”

The film was scheduled to release last year but with the rise of the global pandemic it was decided to delay the release till August 2021.

It is safe to say that Steve’s career in the entertainment industry is only just beginning. He has various other comedy projects being commissioned at the BBC written by and starring himself but says he wants to take more of a backseat from acting, instead focusing more on his skills as a writer and maybe even directing. The sky is the limit for the multi-talented Steve Stamp.

“I’ve got a couple projects lined up, mainly writing jobs and some acting gigs with the PJDN crew. Honestly, I mainly see myself as a writer.  I’ve done acting but I want to write and who knows maybe go into directing.”

People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan is due to be released on August 18.

Caroline Flack: Let’s stop blaming everybody for her death

OPINION by Ben Sanderson

Here we go again.

Everyone’s favourite villains, the English media, are apparently at fault for Caroline Flack’s suicide on Saturday.

They reported on her assault charge and her death and not a lot in between, and so led the charge against Caroline Flack, bullying the 40-year-old ex-presenter of Love Island into a position she could tolerate no longer, so say those on Twitter and Facebook who now seek moral vigilance via the usual hatred of The Sun, The Daily Mail and every other newspaper which even dared report on Caroline Flack’s assault charge.

The reason why her assault charge and death have been reported to such great lengths is because of their great news value. These are massive stories that millions of people want to read and the appeal of the English media, which few other national media outlets hold, means that these reports are read by people not just in the UK but all over the world – including, oftentimes, by the very people blaming them for the suicide.

The media also reported on how Lewis Burton, her 27-year-old tennis player boyfriend whom the assault charge was against, sent a Valentine’s Day message via Instagram declaring his love for her, furthering the outreach of his support.

The Sun removed an article concerning a Valentine’s Day card sent to Miss Flack by someone who wrote “I’ll f*cking lamp you!” (in reference to her assault using a lamp as a weapon), but even then this was neither written or endorsed by The Sun, and has most likely been removed due to the poor taste of its unfortunate timing.

In all these cases, the media have reported the facts and have done so to further public discourse. That is their job. It may suit a lot of people to blame The Sun and The Daily Mail for everything that is wrong with the world, but on this instance it is entirely unjustified.

The reach of the blame has reached such worrying levels that there are two petitions, both with hundreds of thousands of signatures, for “Caroline’s Law” to be enacted to regulate press conduct surrounding supposed bullying, prompting Nick Ferrari to correctly quip, “Where was the bullying?”, and to call it “insanity”.

If the media cannot report on news which millions are interested in, which is the only crime they can actually be charged with from all this, they cannot do their work. The fact is that the media had as much to do with Miss Flack’s suicide as they had to do with the origin of the coronavirus: zilch.


The front pages of The Sun and The Daily Star in the wake of Miss Flack’s untimely death

The ill-founded crusade against them has been in turn reclaimed by them to offload to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who, despite Mr Burton’s not supporting legal action against Miss Flack, pressed ahead with the case to charge her with assault and take her to court, for a court date on Wednesday, 4th March which shall of course now not go ahead.

Again, this does not stand to be fair. The CPS have at many times, including just last month in The Guardian, been accused of not doing enough to defend victims of domestic abuse cases and not taking sufficient action against domestic violence. This is because they give in too quickly when a victim (who may have been coerced and inevitably often has been) relents and decides not to press charges.

The action against Caroline Flack was hence honouring the commitment to defending victims of domestic violence. It is very necessary that the CPS defend victims of domestic violence because they usually cannot or will not defend themselves.

On Good Morning Britain this morning, legal expert Joshua Rozenberg explained why the CPS take action when victims will not and why they have to: “[Say a man and woman] live together [and there is domestic violence reported] and the woman has second thoughts and she says I want to withdraw the charges… or is coerced as you might well imagine could happen in other circumstances.

“Should the CPS say ‘oh well, don’t need to worry about it any more, because she has been persuaded to drop the charges?’ It’s not up to her. It’s up to the state to decide.”

Concerning allegations they continued the prosecution even though Miss Flack forewarned of mental troubles because of it, Mr Rozenberg said: “I’m sure that the CPS is sympathetic as we all are this morning about this tragedy, but if you could simply say to the CPS, ‘I am vulnerable, I am likely to take my own life’, well, a lot of people would say that, and it wouldn’t be true.

“It’s very difficult for the CPS to judge, we don’t know what evidence Caroline Flack’s lawyers gave to the CPS about her state of mind.”

He added that a charge would be dropped in extreme cases such as what this one turned into but as of yet we have no reason to believe that the CPS knew it would escalate to this stage.

Nasir Afzal, a former CPS prosecutor in the North-West, also weighed in that using 999 call recordings, statements, interviews and police body cameras, the CPS managed to convict for 120 domestic homicides all without the use of victim evidence, via Twitter, as reported in the same article which features Mr Rozenberg’s comments.

Miss Flack and Mr Burton’s case was different, as there was no serious injury and he was clearly the far stronger of the two of them, but exceptions cannot be made for the specifics, and it also cannot be ignored that domestic violence is an issue which faces men as well.

They have been accused of using Miss Flack’s case as a show trial, akin to Adam Johnson’s excessive sentence for child sex crimes, but this is important too. When celebrities are made examples of, it sends a deterrent to people against committing these crimes.

This is the low ebb of being a celebrity. Those who want to enjoy a rich and famous lifestyle and are lucky enough to lead one have to be mindful that publicity is a two-way street and that their behaviour hence has to be impeccable.

It is an ugly truth, but there are a million and one people who would jump at the chance to do Caroline Flack’s job, and for stepping out of line, she had to expect a backlash. The CPS raised awareness of domestic violence by prosecuting Miss Flack and this is very important in protecting vulnerable men and women nationwide.

The Twitter trolls who have abused Miss Flack online (or those who, like the card sender, did so in print) have also been blamed by the moral warrior brigade on that same site, but this is frankly ridiculous.

Again, part and parcel of being famous is that one receives flak in equal accord with fandom and strength is needed to rise above this. There was far more support on social media for Caroline Flack, anyway – her social media was consistently full of fans expressing love and support for her and this continued right the way through the mire of her assault charge.

There was even a consensus that although Laura Whitmore was a good host, Love Island  was Caroline Flack’s gig.

Besides, are we really going to accuse @akj78987 (that’s not a real Twitter handle, I checked) or whomever else, of having played a part in her death? No!

That would be ludicrous. When everything else was going on, some nobody having a go at her (at which point she would have been rigorously defended by most other nobodies anyway) would not have had such a dramatic effect.

The point to this whole article is to address a major issue surrounding Miss Flack’s death: Why is anybody being blamed at all?

Caroline Flack killed herself. Nobody else did.


Caroline Flack (picture unedited by Scottish Beauty Blog via flickr.com) was found dead at her house she had been renting in Stoke Newington

She was fearing the loss of her job, her image and reputation, her relationship (Lewis Burton still loved her, but after the charge it would never have been the same again) and her life as she knew it.

In amongst all her sadness, she broke and committed suicide.

Perhaps an opinion should be that she should have been stronger in the face of these struggles, but that would be a worthless contribution. The only lesson that can be learned from this is a valuable one to those of us still on this Earth: to be stronger when faced with these issues ourselves and carry on, because suicide is never way out, but a surrender – and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

There always is, so long as we hope.

It is tragic that Caroline Flack is dead and what we need to do is acknowledge the tragedy and mourn.

Creating a blame game using lies and half-truths to throw more people under the bus, due to aggravation, only makes the event more grotesque than it already is.

Rest in Peace, Caroline Flack. From the reaction felt nationwide, it is clear you will be sorely missed.

It was nobody else’s fault, so let’s not blame anyone, and come together to mourn.

Halloween film marathon to be hosted by The Shed

By Alex Leadbitter

On Halloween night, The Shed is hosting a film marathon where they will be showing and range of horror movies throughout the day.

Beginning at noon on October 31, films will be playing back to back until 12 o’clock midnight with five minute breaks in between each film.

The films that will be shown will get progressively scarier as the night progresses so for those that turn up at the start of the showings won’t be frightened too much.

Elisabeth Barker-Carley, owner of The Shed said: “We wanted to offer a place for people to turn up and enjoy Halloween without having to stress about having to go out and getting really drunk.

“They can show up here, sit down with their friends and just have a really cool night of watching horror movies, and it’s free entry.”

The Shed currently offer a monthly film night that they call ‘Shedflix and Chill’ where they show a wide variety of films on the second Thursday of every month.


A small look at the impressive 15 foot TV and Halloween decorations

Miss Barker-Carley continued: “We want this to kick off the first of a monthly horror night because the Shed is a club on Tuesdays and Thursdays so we wanted to do something a bit more easy going.

“We’re the only small venue to have a 15 foot LED TV and it’s curved so you’ll be able to get a great view no matter where you’re sitting.

“It’s an amazing chance to see classic old school films on a modern TV and sound system.”

Although they are subject to change, as of now the films that are showing are Halloween, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Final Destination, Insidious, Nightmare on Elm Street and Amityville Horror.

“We’re encouraging fancy dress; all the staff will be dressed up and we’ve set the venue up with all kinds of Halloween decorations but most importantly we just want everyone to have a fun time.”

Information about the event can be found on the Shed’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/getintheshed94/.

For further information about the Halloween film showings or any upcoming events at The Shed, you can visit their website at www.getintheshed.co.uk


Black History Month speaker hopes to inspire change in media industry

By Matthew Chandler


Beverley Cooper-Chambers (left) and Yvonne Connikie (right), who gave talks at the same event

Changing the way Black Caribbean families are represented in British media is the ambition of a speaker at a De Montfort University (DMU) Black History Month event.

Beverley Cooper-Chambers, whose family are of Jamaican descent, spoke last week about the stereotypical portrayal of British Caribbeans in UK television and the media.

In her talk, Beverley referred to Channel 4’s crime drama series ‘Top Boy’, about a London gang comprised of predominantly black members, to explain how prevalent this stereotype is in mainstream media.

“I’m black 24/7, 365 days a year. It must be that we’re part of the mainstream”

“You get to the situation where they get the guns, the drugs, the money, they’re having kids left right and centre without any responsibility,” she said.

“That image now is coming on the TV screens, so you think all black men are wearing hoodies and taking drugs and that’s not the reality. So my idea is there needs to be more positive TV drama.”

Beverley, former editor of Jamaican newspaper Love Herald, is doing a PhD at DMU on ‘The creation of a blueprint for television drama series that elevates the perception of British Caribbean families beyond the historical and sociological trauma of ‘fictive kin’ and the psychological manipulation of social engineering’.


Beverley at her graduation

But she hopes to offer viable solutions to these well-documented issues. She said: “I want to be able to create a solution so it stops happening. We know what the problem is. What we need to do is how to solve it.

“It’s all very well that you have Black History Month, but guess what? I’m black 24/7, 365 days a year. It must be that we’re part of the mainstream.

“In reality the people that control the mainstream aren’t going to do that – they don’t have to. We need to do it ourselves and stop waiting for other people to do it for us.”

While she also feels there are similar issues in the education system – saying it’s like black people “didn’t exist” before slave trade – Beverley is concentrating her efforts on changing the television industry, with her philosophy entitled ‘transform your viewing’.

She added: “I’d want us to have a British Caribbean television network where we have a similar thing to Sky, but it’s British Caribbean, so we have our drama, our own news, we have our reality shows, we have everything, and we are the gatekeepers.”

“I’m not saying I want to isolate us, but you need to have a base from which we can work.”

Game of Thrones 7th Anniversary: What do you think?

GOT photo

By Ruairi O’Connor

Game of Thrones celebrates its 7th anniversary today, so we asked a few De Montfort University students what their favourite moments from the smash-hit HBO show.

“My favourite moment from Game of Thrones so far was when Ned Stark was killed because it was a massive shock. I haven’t read the books and they built him up to be a main character and had a great story arc, bit of a surprise.”  – Talhah Mulla, 22, Biomedical Science student.

“My favourite moment from Game of Thrones is when Jamie Lannister pushed Bran Stark from a window, after he found Jamie and his sister Cersei, having sex. It was two shocking revelations in one!” – Kiran Bal, 20, Accounting and Finance student.

“My favourite moment from Game of Thrones is the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ because it was the culmination of events that were building for multiple seasons. It was visually stunning and a kept you on the edge of your seat.” – James Sampson-Brinkley, 19, Games Programming.”

“My favourite moment from Game of Thrones was when Ramsay Bolton is finally killed because Sansa gets her revenge on him by making sure he is eaten alive” – Ali Morgan, 20, Mechanical Engineering.