FROM THE ARCHIVES: Eino Laikadaikonen & Francesco Pontiverde (17/2/09)

Welcome back to From The Archives, as we continue our passage through Series 2 of The Yesterday Show. This week's episode focusses on Formula 1 and features two guests - one a shrinking Scandinavian violet, the other a boisterous Italian, both of them played by yours truly (or should that be Trulli?).
Regular listeners will remember that Tom and I had done shows about motoring before (here and here), but those had usually focussed around or in some way involved Top Gear. Choosing to look at Formula 1 enabled me to play around with accents quite a bit, and to play two roles for the first time in the second series. In this regard, however, I have to give a lot of credit to Tom for his production. During recording it became apparent that my Finnish and Italian accents were all too similar, so Tom substantially altered the pitch to make the Finn higher and the Italian lower. I originally pushed for it to be the other way around, but it really does work better this way.
The inspiration for these characters was pretty straightforward, with Eino Laikadaikonen (geddit?) being equal parts Mika Hakkinen and Sven-Goran Eriksson, and Francesco Pontiverde being my standard Italian voice with a little extra sleaze on the side. I had played a greasy Italian footballer called Pomegranate (pronounced Pom-i-gran-ah-tay) in a sketch for Riding Lights at their 2006 Summer Theatre School, so it wasn't all that hard to find the rhythm of the character. In hindsight making fun of sportsmen's sex lives is kind of low-hanging fruit (no pun intended), but we did play the concept through to its natural conclusion, with the interview degenerating into innuendo in a pretty funny way.
At this point in the last series, we gave Alex a two-part storyline with the eventual intention of killing him off. Like last series, this is the first of a two-parter, though I will say he'll be in slightly better shape next week than he was in Series 1. Once again I have to give props to Alex for his deadpan acting and Tom for his excellent use of background noise - I'm praising them so often for these things that I almost don't need to mention them.

This is the last motoring-themed episode of The Yesterday Show, with next week's episode having a somewhat more feminine feel. So gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines and click below for Series 2, Episode 6: