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GONZO MAGAZINE #254: Jon meets Mr Biffo

Back in the late 1980s, when the Internet was not much more than a twinkle in Tim Berners-Lee's eye, I got mildly obsessed by Teletext, which was about as cutting edge as televisions could get. Then in 1993 the ITV and C4 Teletext services suffered an enormous upheaval, and all the different pages (proto websites) that I used to view each day ceased to be. They were replaced by a brave new world of replacement pages and characters, and - sad to say - I soon forgot about the pages that I had viewed so faithfully each day on Oracle, and started watching the new bunch equally avidly.

By far my favourite, though, was a Computer Games Page called Digitiser, which was presented by a mad bloke called Mr Biffo. The fact that I didn't actually own a computer at the time apart from an antiquated Amstrad word processor didn't matter. Nor did the fact that I had never played any video games, and had no intention of doing so, because Biffo made me laugh. His mixture of surreal inanity, peculiar Lovecraftian imagery and adolescent smut pushed all the right buttons for me, and he became essential viewing each day.


"Mr. Biffo, real name Paul Rose, is a UK screenwriter. He was the editor of the Teletext-based video games magazine Digitiser, which ran between 1993 and 2003. He is the co-creator of the CBBC children's sitcom Dani's House, on which he is also lead writer. He is also the co-creator and lead writer of CBBC's 4 O'Clock Club, the follow-up to Dani's House entitled Dani's Castle, and the screenwriter of Pudsey: The Movie, starring the Britain's Got Talent winner (a dog, voiced for the movie by David Walliams). In addition, he is writing for the fourth series of Stella.

He also worked on children's shows such as Half Moon Investigations, Barking!, The Worst Witch (1998), Sooty, My Parents Are Aliens, and a number of adult comedy shows, including contributing to The Armstrong and Miller Show, as well an episode of UK soap opera EastEnders in 2003. He has written for numerous magazines, including Empire, Total Film, .net, Official PlayStation Magazine and Deathray, Retro Gamer, and from 2003 to 2008 wrote a monthly column in Edge entitled Biffovision.

He also devised the storyline for the multi-format game Future Tactics. He has twice been nominated for a BAFTA award, once in 2004 for Best Children's Drama for My Parents Are Aliens, and again in 2012 for Best Children's Comedy for 4 O'Clock Club, and has won a Sony Radio Academy Award for his writing on the Christian O'Connell breakfast show on XFM.

He wrote a book entitled Confessions of a Chatroom Freak (published by Friday Books, which has since gone into liquidation). In it, Rose posed as a beautiful young woman called LoopyLisa21f who chatted to men online, mostly about sexual acts they wanted to do to Lisa, and then published the transcripts. He co-wrote a TV pilot which was broadcast on BBC3, but not taken up, Biffovision (Hartswood Films), a parody of children's television co-written with Tim Moore. He has also written a number of non-broadcast television pilots, including Too Much Too Young and Now The Weather.

In 2017, Rose successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to bring together "Mr Biffo's Found Footage", a comedy montage series in the found footage style."

When Richard Freeman and I started sharing a house in 1998, I introduced him to Biffo's humour, and (as I had thought) he took to it like a basket of prawns up an exhaust manifold, and soon was an even bigger fan than I.

Biffo left Teletext in 2003, and - a few years later - I got in touch with him, arranged a meeting, and eventually sent him to South America with Richard and the gang in search of giant snakes. That actually DID happen by the way pals, just in case you thought I was indulging in more surreal bollocks. The Biffster and I have been friends ever since, and he is a regular contributor to Gonzo Weekly, and even provided a foreword for a book I wrote a decade or so ago. Now, he has a remarkably peculiar webTV show out, and I had a great time interviewing him this afternoon.

Q: What do you call a giant killer bat?
A: Super beast 47!

Giggle me do.


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