As a stand-up comedian, Ed Gamble has definitely found himself in some funny situations, but none quite so odd as one particular TV how he took part in.
Appearing on White Wine Question Time alongside his Off Menu co-host James Acaster, Gamble spoke about the most embarrassing job he’s ever done.
He told host Kate Thornton that he did a TV show that ‘sounded like a good idea’ called Blue Go Mad In Ibiza – and yes, it was all about the boy band Blue.
“It attempted to do what it said on the tin,” he told Thornton. “I was pitched it and it made me laugh.”
Listen: Ed Gamble and James Acaster talk friendship, best man speeches and who they’d be in witness protection with
The premise was that Blue would be filming a reality show in Ibiza, where they ran a beach bar. However, things weren’t quite as straightforward as that for the chart-topping band.
“What they actually did was book loads of actors and comedians to play all the people coming into the bar and interacting with Blue and everything was deliberately going wrong,” said Gamble.
“Blue didn't know it was a set-up.”
The 34-year-old comedian, who played the fiancé of a mad Blue fan who won a competition to have Blue sing and officiate at their wedding, said the problem was that the band seemed to work out quite quickly what was happening – especially after one particularly harrowing prank.
Explaining that the band were on a photo shoot at the time, the event involved a dodgy caravan.
“I think it was Simon, who got into this caravan and it was on the edge of a cliff,” Gamble recalled.
“Then he got out the other side when they, the others, weren't looking and then they rolled the caravan off the cliff.
“So, they all think he's dead. It's so brutal. You wouldn't be able to do that now. They basically watch their friend die. They run to try and stop the caravan going off the cliff and Lee sinks to his knees and screams at the sky!”
The comedian, who won Taskmaster last year, said the band soon worked out what was happening and started using their own language to communicate to each other what was going on.
“They get pranked so much that I think they cottoned on too quickly,” admitted the star.
“Once we got down to the nitty gritty of it, I think they didn't want to push the comedy too far because they didn't want to upset Blue.”
He continued: “I don't think the show came out quite right. That's the closest I ever felt to committing career suicide because it wasn't a comedy show. By the end of it, I was in a reality show.”
However, that’s not to say that Gamble didn’t have some interesting times during filming, recalling one night when he went on a stag night with Anthony Costa, staying in his character the entire time.
“We played a game of 'I have never...' and I was trying to come up with a really weak 'I have never' as the character and I said, 'I have never been to Rome',” said Gamble.
“Anthony Costa had to ask his manager if he'd ever been to Rome, which really, really shows you the life of a pop star where you're just going around various places, not even looking at the side of the airport – and his favourite food is potato salad. That's what I found out.”