Gorden Kaye is best known as Rene in the successful BBC comedy series 'Allo 'Allo. Although it's years since the programme was made it is still a huge hit whenever it's shown.
Gorden Kaye live on beeb
97081145: "Did you enjoy playing Rene?"
Gorden Kaye: "The answer to that question is yes, certainly. Quite apart from the wonderful writing of Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft (because you can't make bricks without straw), it enabled me to work with some of the finest comedy performers in Britain. For instance, the late Kenneth Connor, Carmen Silvera and the rest of the Cafe Rene gang. As I have said before, we did ten years and Hitler only did six."
Shaun Ritchie asks: "With the repeats of Allo Allo at the moment are you surprised at the response? And would you ever consider coming back as Rene in another series of Allo Allo?"
Gorden Kaye: "I'm delighted at the response given that the stories that are being repeated are 13 years old (1985), and it is a thrill for all of us to start off BBC1's Saturday night viewing menu."
Helen: "Who was your favourite character in Allo Allo?"
Gorden Kaye: "It probably sounds arrogant to say Rene, but honestly, there is no other character I would rather have played."
Alain P asks: "Rene - I was very envious of you, having two gorgeous waitresses who couldn't keep zere 'ands off you! Did one ever get jealous of the other?"
Gorden Kaye: "Given that it was a very small cafe, as far as I know, neither of the waitresses was aware of what Rene could possibly have been doing with the other one - if that makes any sense. Whereas there were a number of close calls with my wife Edith, better known as "you stupid woman"!"
Eric: "Is it hard to speak with a French Accent?"
Gorden Kaye: "What French accent? I'm from Yorkshire where there is a tendency not to pronounce the letter H, very like the French. David Croft did incorporate my own phrase "o 'eck" into the script."
"Because Rene had so much to say, we decided very early on not to make the French accent too strong, otherwise the audience might not be able to "translate" quickly enough to get the joke. Of all the characters, the accent of Michelle of the Resistance was the most "French". It was a strong decision not to make him like Clouseau."
pazzarezo: "Can you speak real FRENCH"
Gorden Kaye: "Um..pity..peu."
David: "Are you in panto this year?"
Gorden Kaye: "I'm not performing in panto this year which will give me the opportunity to go and see those of the Cafe Rene gang who are. Please note, Yvette is in Richmond."
Benji: "Did you become good friends with the rest of the cast and are you still friends?"
Gorden Kaye: "Yes, yes. We spent ten years of our working lives together and we became like a real family. And yes, we do still see and talk to each other even though we finished working together in 1992."
JohnL: "On average, how many takes did it need to film a particularly funny scene in 'Allo 'Allo?"
Gorden Kaye: "It would be almost true to say that we did everything in one take. This is very important because if the live audience have already seen the joke they will not laugh as hard if they have to see it two or three more times."
James Sewell asks: "Did you ever consider leaving the show during the ten year period ?"
Gorden Kaye: "The only time that I thought it would be appropriate to leave the Cafe was in 1990, when I had rather a serious accident and brain injury. I was persuaded by the writers, the producers and the rest of my family not to close the Cafe."
Ben X asks: "How are you after the accident"
Gorden Kaye: "Vertical and sober. I was very fortunate to be taken within "The Golden Hour" to a top class neuro surgeon who was able to put me back together again properly. As it happened on January 25, 1990, it is to be hoped that I am feeling better this much later."
Shaun: "Would you like to bring Allo Allo back for another series, or a spin-off series?"
Gorden Kaye: "Because the nine series of 'Allo 'Allo that we recorded had a very definite finish, it is unlikely that there shall be another series of stories from Cafe Rene. It has been suggested by viewers that we might do what is known as a "pre-quel" but then we would not have the joy of Herr Flick and Colonel Von Strohm because they would be back in Germany then."
linda: "Who was your favourite actor to work with and why? from linda; dublin ireland"
Gorden Kaye: "As far as "Allo 'Allo is concerned, it would have to be Kenneth Connor. A superb, meticulous comic performer."
Teddy: "Do you still use any of the puns invented in the series in every day speech? For example "Good moning""
Gorden Kaye: ""Good moning" was not one of Rene's catchphrases, but there are occasions when certain ladies of the female persuasion are occasionally described as "You stupid woman"!"
Rich: "What's your favourite episode ?"
Gorden Kaye: "One of my favourite episodes was in fact Ep 4, which has recently been repeated in which Rene was shot by a firing squad. This is mainly because I had the "punch line" to the episode when I had to utter the line "my bum is on a thistle"."
max: "What do you think of modern comedy shows"
Gorden Kaye: "I hadn't realised there were any, I am a great fan of The Fast Show and Dinnerladies."
Andy: "Did you see the British Comedy Awards on Saturday? What did you think?"
Gorden Kaye: "Yes, I did. Although I thought the show itself was a bit like "The Parson's Nose". I was thrilled by the lifetime award to Dame Thora Hird for her stunning performance in Alan Bennett's "Waiting for the telegramme" and all the other magnificent work she has carried out over many years."
CAR: "Have you shaved off your mustache since the photo?"
Gorden Kaye: "If this were in "real television" and not the internet, you would see that I am sitting here drinking BBC coffee and sporting Rene's bedraggled moustache."
Roy: "Have you ever been to an internet cafe?"
Gorden Kaye: "No. I have not. But I do have a computer at home. Sorry, I will not tell you my website."
Alain P asks: "The series has been bought and watched by Germany and France. How does the English humour translate, and did they like the satire?"
Gorden Kaye: "We were led to believe that "Allo 'Allo was the BBC's biggest selling international sitcom, sold in more than 60 countries around the world. This does make it difficult to go somewhere for a quiet holiday but I do recall seeing an episode of the show in Majorca. Everything was translated into Spanish except for Edith's singing. Even the Spanish weren't able to cope with her voice."
Teddy: "What is BBC coffee like?"
Gorden Kaye: "It tastes brown."
Johnmccollum: "What are your acting plans for the future?"
Gorden Kaye: "I have nothing in the pipeline at the moment (any offers?) but it is my hope that I can continue to entertain people for many years to come."
matthew -Netherlands asks: "Who is your favorite comedian?"
Gorden Kaye: "Robin Williams from the USA and the only comic genius Britain has; Ken Dodd. I call him a genius because he does what he wants: this is because the audience want him to do what he wants."
Hailey: "What's all this about Water Rats?"
Gorden Kaye: "The Grand Order of Water Rats was formed one hundred and nine years ago. It is a charitable organisation devoted to the care of people in the Show Business Profession. In 1889, six top class musical performers owned a trotting pony called Magpie. They were coming back from a race, the weather was foul, and a passing London bus driver said of the pony "it looks like a drowned water rat". It was decided there and then that these performers should start a club called The Friends of the Water Rats. The word Rats is an anagram of Star, and a water rat is a type of vole which is an anagram of love. ..."
"Harmony and sociability is one of the strongest tenets of the Order and I am honoured and privileged to have been elected "King Rat" for which I was crowned yesterday evening. What a year 1999 is going to be!"
Darryl: "Was there much ad-libbing on the set of 'Allo 'Allo?"
Gorden Kaye: "Only out of ear shot of the microphones. With writers of the calibre of Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, why would any actor need to ad lib?"
lizzy: "When was you first TV role, and what did you play?"
Gorden Kaye: "It's going back a long way and it was Champion House (for the BBC) in which I played a railway guard. This was filmed at Bradford City Station and we used a real train. I had to blow my whistle and wave my green flag and jump aboard as the train drew out of the station on its way to London. I had then to jump off the train as the next stop was to be Wakefield. I managed to get it right on take three!"
David Allen asks: "How much does the character of Rene compare to your actual self?"
Gorden Kaye: "The Rene you can see at 5.30pm on BBC1 on Saturdays has more hair, more weight and fewer wrinkles. Well, it was 1985!"
pat: "What was your greatest memory making 'Allo 'Allo?"
Gorden Kaye: "There are so many. When the series ended in 1992, I vowed that I would not shed a tear as we bad farewell to our audience at the end of the recording session. Strive as I might, there was still a little liquid dribbling down my face on that night all those years ago."
Amy: "Did you enjoy playing Rene in the series or on stage the most? (a very big fan of Allo Allo and I did see it live in 88)."
Gorden Kaye: "As an actor playing such a wonderful comic role, it is a joy to receive the response of laughter from a live audience whether it be in the television studio or in any of the large theaters in which we play. The difference is that in the live theater when the curtain goes up the first "take" lasts an hour and we cannot do retakes as would be available on television should we fluff a line or a door handle come off in our hands."
James Sewell asks: "Gordon when you first landed a job as rene did you ever think the series would be as popular as it rightfully was?"
Gorden Kaye: "When the script arrived at my home there was a note attached from the writer, David Croft. It said "Please find enclosed a pilot script for 'Allo 'Allo in which I would like you to consider the role of Rene". Before reading the script I thought this could possibly be about the backstage angst of a female impersonator and that the character was pronounced Renee. This clearly was not to be and my abiding memory is of how the laughs leapt off the page at the first reading. You can only imagine the joy and laughter we all had during the read through/rehearsals for every one of the 91 episodes that we brought to the global television screens."
beeb: "That's all we have time for I'm afraid. Here's Gorden with a final word..."
Gorden Kaye: "You are probably wondering what I am about to do in the years to come. Well I will tell you, but listen very carefully, I shall say this only once ... oh dear, we appear to have run out of time. Thank you for your questions. Bye."