‘I got the call from a frantic producer just after seven,’ said Rob. ‘Huw was due on air at eight, and they’d just found him at the bottom of the basement steps of a West End club in a completely incoherent state. Apparently he’d gone out for a quiet glass of pinot blanc the night before and had ended up in a drinking contest with Prince Harry.’
Brydon, still flushed with the success of his April Fool’s Day radio show in which he fooled millions with his portrayal of a ribald Ken Bruce, leapt at the chance.
‘I hopped in a cab and was at the studio in Buck House in no time,’ he said. ‘I settled on a delivery that was more or less Uncle Bryn from Gavin and Stacey, which went down very well, if I do say so myself. I just made it up as I went along; there’s no need to over-prepare for these occasions. The only difficulty was when Huw had to speak to camera, but the guys in the editing suite did a brilliant job using clips from the rehearsals at the top of the show.’
Rob said that during the ceremony in Westminster Abbey the producer kept telling him to stop mucking about doing his ‘small man in a box’ impression. ‘It turned out to be Huw, trying to get out of the room he’d been locked in,’ he said. ‘They cleaned him up and he was ready for the interviews afterwards. Most of the time he was just moving his jaw and I was improvising a voiceover, but somehow we held it together.’
Brydon said the hardest bit was restraining himself from making risqué comments. ‘In the end I just settled for one or two remarks about the full balcony and coming back for a second appearance. But what I did do was record some asides as if Huw had done them in his pissed state, just for fun.’
Huw Edwards’ new DVD, ‘Get them out for the lads’, is out on Tuesday.