The Hottest Act North of the Northern Line

Hudson and PepperdineIn recent weeks, the interest in seeing an unnamed actress topless has tailed off, and a new contender has emerged for Most Popular Search Term Leading to This Site… so step forward Melanie “Mel” Hudson and take a bow! It’s rather sad to see that my screencaps of Hudson from KMKY, are among the biggest/best images of her currently available via Google, but it does at least explain why that page gets so much traffic. Unfortunately I don’t actually have anything to offer visitors, by way of brilliant insight or a fuller gallery of images, so I can only apologise for the wasted clicks. As a fanboy myself, it’s rather frustrating to find that there are so few pictures of Hudson, or her comedy partner Vicki Pepperdine, on the internet at present… and that this photo is the only one I can actually dig up of them together… despite the fact that they were a working double-act for a decade or so, and had a number of reviews and articles printed about them. I can only assume that this paucity is part of an evil plot by Catherine Tate to claim the “Cutest Flame-Haired Comedienne” crown for herself, by using the TARDIS to travel back in time and erase her competition from the comedy history banks. Jinkies!

My own search for more information regarding the radio show that they recorded together, revealed that sneaky old BBC Radio7 have actually been repeating the first series of The Hudson and Pepperdine Show (2000-2005) for several weeks now. My newspaper’s listing guide doesn’t cover the digital stations, so I was completely unaware of this until it was almost over. Pesky! But now, at least, I’ve learned how to find fuller listings online, so hopefully I won’t get caught out when/if they choose to continue the run. I also managed to acquire the second series via “alternative sources”, and would describe it as an amusing combination of flat-share banter, celebrity impressions, musical parodies and recurring characters skits… frequently hilarious, and never less than entertaining. I particularly enjoyed the pervy nuns obsessed with the torturous martyrdom of various saints, and ‘Edie’ the old-timey stand-up, whose moth-eaten “observational” material dates back to the 1940s.

In the opening titles of one episode, our heroines sing this jaunty little couplet, regarding their radio series: “And do we want to do it? No! We’d rather have a TV show…” The question of why, after logging so many hours, and racking up so many laughs, behind the microphones, they weren’t thrust in front of the television cameras together, is quite an intriguing one… especially considering how many other comedy acts have followed that route to great acclaim. If forced to venture a theory, it would be that the most successful double acts in TV/Film history have all exhibited a distinct physical disparity between the two members. To put it more crudely, there’s usually a “thin one” and a “fat one”… or a “tall one” and a “short one”… or, at the very least, a “cool one” and a “dorky one”. My point is that to really make an impression in a visual medium, you generally need that clash and contrast of styles or aesthetics. Hudson and Pepperdine, however, are both trim, attractive, well-spoken redheads… which may add to their appeal in my eyes, but doesn’t have quite the same comedic impact. Obviously Hudson’s impressive vocal skills set her apart, but the impressions that she does are auxiliary to her main persona, if you see what I mean, and her “multiple personality” transformations might not be quite so easy to render on screen. It is just a theory though, so feel free to add a pinch of salt, where applicable.

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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4 Responses to The Hottest Act North of the Northern Line

  1. Pepperdine is brilliant in ‘Getting On’, looked back for her previous work and found this gem of a show. It’s a shame that BBC7 only ever rebroadcasts the first series, the show really gets into its stride in the latter three series. Plus we are still waiting to hear the infamous ‘lost episode’ of series 6, which was pulled due to the July 7th bombings, and is still unavailable, even through ‘alternative sources’.

  2. babybounce85 says:

    Lovely articles, nice musings on why they didn’t transfer to TV. They were VERY surreal, which I imagine may have made TV executives scratch their heads, and occasionally very rude, even if it was very funny.

    But considering the female comparisons we can make are either French and Saunders and Mel and Sue, the observations about different physiques and ‘looks’ seems pretty likely. Message me if you’re interested in listening to some of the other series.

    Thanks for the high quality though, and writing about these comedians!

    miki
    x

  3. andrew jones says:

    Mel Hudson oozes sex appeal: quite stunning, in fact.

  4. Scott-Heron says:

    I’m in love with Mel Hudson, but I haven’t told her yet.

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