Interview with THE BRUVS’ producer IAN BROWN, one of the team behind the animation series appearing on Dave. He told us why you should watch it, which series he hopes to emulate and working with motoring show legend Jeremy Clarkson.
The Bruvs follows brothers Doug and Den. “It’s about a family of dodgy East London villains. The other characters are their old Dad, Janice (sister), Jason (Janice’s son) and Chanterelle (Doug’s girlfriend). The brothers run the family firm and have moved for a fresh start in Essex – after they discovered the delights of cargo shorts, frothy coffees and other pastimes.”
“We have been described as Eastenders meets Family Guy. There seems to be great appetite for a grown-up animation, but the UK has never had a home-grown animated sitcom. Our hope is to grow The Bruvs stories in that direction.”
So who exactly are Doug and Den? “They both have short fuses and things wind them up easily. Luckily most of their aggression these days is vented on each other; they like to keep it in the family. They’re not based on any person in particular, more a type of person.”
“It is never said what their line of work used to be, but there is an episode where they borrow a plane to run some international pharmaceutical import/export errands. We also see that they use some old lock-up with nasty looking tools lying around.”
The concept came about ten years ago. “I just thought a couple of heavies trying to go straight and failing was fun, bashing each other up in the process. Animation director Eoin Clarke did some character designs and I touted the idea around various broadcasters. The trouble is that animation is very expensive and time consuming.”
“Paul Richmond (sound and editing) got involved 3 years ago and we recorded a couple of episodes. Now we are on Dave late at night, on UKTV Play and have our own YouTube channel. It might have been a good idea after all.” Also in The Bruvs currently are the music team Stig Winslet and Pete Harbour who did the theme tune and more.
In a previous interview, Ian described the team as a tiny setup. “We are just five people and we are limited on budget and time. Eoin often has to adapt an idea because it would take too long to animate. We are enjoying the bijou and bespoke nature of things. If we think something is funny, it tends to go in the show.”
“I guess we’d like to emulate US animation juggernauts such as American Dad, Family Guy and The Simpsons – in the sense that we would like to make longer and more episodes. We have several longer episodes voiced, but we need to be bigger in all senses to pull them off.”
Jeremy Clarkson promoted The Bruvs on Twitter, by jokingly calling Ian useless. “I worked with Jeremy for about 20 years on his solo projects, and then on several special projects for Top Gear. I suppose I witnessed its evolution over the years. There is a lot of work done behind the scenes to make things look so much fun on screen.”
“I’ve had a varied career as a writer and producer. I started as journalist at the very last Knockings of Fleet Street. I worked in television news, documentaries, entertainment shows and comedy panel shows.”
“I worked on This Is Your Life for 17 years with Michael Aspel. It was a special show and I was lucky enough to have dealings with so many different people. I met George Michael, George Best, Ross Kemp, Liam Neeson, Harrison Ford, Gordon Ramsay and so many more. It’s all been enjoyable.”
So what’s the next step for The Bruvs? “We have several new films already voiced and we want to get them posted online. We are also looking at graphic books, merchandise and just growing the show. We are so thankful and constantly surprised by all the support we receive. Doing The Bruvs has been an amazing experience and we want there to be much more.”