Fungus the Bogeyman: Meet the cast!
Raymond Briggs’ classic story of slime and bogeys is coming to our screens this Christmas.
Fungus lives a simple bogeyman life below ground, popping “Up Top” to howlificate babies, squeakify doors and generally wreak havoc in Drycleaner (or human) homes.
However, when the family have an argument, “Drycurious” son Mould decides to run away to live “Up Top” where he is luckily taken in by a human called Eve.
Fungus and Mildew have no choice but to disguise themselves as humans, move into suburban Daventry and try and get their son back. The question is, will the neighbours realise there’s a stink about the place?
Meet the cast
Timothy Spall (Fungus)
Beloved English actor famous for roles in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and the Harry Potter series leads the cast. In his own words, he describes the story and his character:
“It’s about the life of a Bogeyman who is having a mild existential crisis and is starting to doubt what he does a little. He lives down there, and then he comes up here and scares people. That’s his job. He does it with great politeness, not wickedness and has done it out of duty for hundreds of years. It’s a mutual relationship with the people on the surface, who the Bogeymen call Drycleaners and they’re all happy with it.”
However, things change when Fungus and his wife relocate to a house in Daventry and the neighbours suss that something isn’t right…
“It gets worse when Wendy catches Fungus and Mildew as they are strewing their house with rubbish. Fungus is in his pants painting the walls with slime, and Mildew is engraving the floor with dog poo from a bag.”
Joanna Scanlan (Mildew)
Comedic actress known for her role in The Thick of It, Scanlan plays Fungus’ wife, Mildew. Described as your average anxious mum, Mildew’s cookery skills are particularly noted:
“Yes, she feeds her husband and her son very well – with the most edible morsels of nastiness. She gives them all their favourite dishes – they eat worms, cockroaches, slime, snot, scabs. You name it.”
And it’s the snot and scabs that Joanna believes will ensure everyone will want to watch Fungus the Bogeyman:
“It’s witty and the disgustingness is very entertaining. Plus, I think it has a lot of heart. There is a lot of family love there, even though these great obstacles are put before them.”
Victoria Wood (Eve)
Actress, comedienne and general national treasure Victoria Wood plays Eve in the show. Although she initially takes runaway Mould under her wing, she may not be as kind-hearted as she appears. Victoria spoke of the fun she had on set, particularly in filming some more active scenes:
“We did a scene in a barn where the Bogeymen had to clamber up these bales of hay and throw themselves out of the window. It was exactly like It’s a Knockout – it was something to do with the hay and the barn. I love physical comedy, and I thought, this is so funny. It’s like something out of the Keystone Cops. It made me laugh so much.”
Keeley Hawes (Wendy) and Marc Warren (Daryl)
Returning as a husband and wife duo after starring together in Mutual Friends, Hawes and Warren play mother and father to teenage Lucy (Fern Deacon). Keeley describes Wendy and Daryl’s relationship:
“They have been married for quite a long time and he is driving her mad because he is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis. They are very real – they aren’t perfect. Ultimately, though, they love each other to bits and I think all this Bogey business is quite good for them as it starts to bring them back together.”
When asked what was so enduring about the Fungus story, Marc summed it up nicely:
“Because there is a little bit of Bogey in us all.”
Andy Serkis (narrator and founder of The Imaginarium Studios)
The show comprises both live action and animation provided by The Imaginarium Studios. Actor and director Andy Serkis not only narrates Fungus but has also plays a large part in bringing the animations to life with motion-capture technology. Serkis believes that Briggs’ characters are perfectly suited to this kind of animation:
“His characters are beautifully written. They say something profound and honest about the human condition, often with sadness but also with great humour. The worlds he creates are utterly believable in that they all have a real logic to them. The Bogeys are obviously a stinkier version of us and it is their humanity that we connect with. The actors’ facial performances, unhindered by layers of prosthetic make-up, are mapped and then followed by the animators, who skilfully translate those performances, allowing us to connect deeply with them.”
As a digital creator Andy Serkis has become synonymous with motion-capture technology.
“I’m passionate about it because it is so liberating and allows any actor to play anything at all. It’s a mindblowing thought – the ability to shape shift into anything, be it animal, vegetable or mineral. It really excites me when I think of what actors and CG artists will collectively be able to achieve in the next 20, 30, 40 years as storytelling engages with next-generation technologies.”
The first episode of Fungus the Bogeyman will be broadcast on December 27 on Sky 1 at 6pm.