The fourth-floor suite of London's Corinthia Hotel couldn't be further from the nerd-stronghold of Reynholm Industries' basement. But GQ have created an approximation of The IT Crowd reunion by presenting Richard Ayoade ♥ with an issue that features Chris O'Dowd on the cover. "He seems happy...well you know he's living a kind of life," Ayoade says as he examines the shots of O'Dowd with swimsuit model Jessica Hart. He pauses for a second before continuing, "I just wish he wasn't so racist. He's a very racist man."
Needless to say O'Dowd is nothing of sort, but this exchange does give some early indication of the combination of deadpan humor and nervous awkwardness that defines any encounter with Ayoade. In person the 36 year old director seems as uncomfortable as you'd imagine, looking about distractedly as though the answers might appear anywhere - most likely on his shoes. "I find it hard to be interviewed because it feels so impolite. If you were speaking to someone and they asked you questions for 20 minutes you would go, "Oh God, I'm an arsehole!"
Richard Ayoade on JESSE Eisenberg, Orson Welles and the best-dressed man in comedy
The former star of The IT Crowd talks to Alan Corr about his new film, The Double, why he'll always be fascinated by the so-crap-it's-good aesthetic, and how Chris O'Dowd is dealing with stardom.
Dressed in a check shirt and skinny tie, corduroys and sensible shoes, and with his trademark spruce of black hair, you could say Richard Ayoade is the very double of Moss, the techie savant he played in sitcom The IT Crowd. His co-star on that show, Chris O’Dowd, may have gone on to something approaching global ubiquity (or at least a workaholic fervour) with appearances on Broadway and a Cumberbatch-bothering amount of movies, but the quiet and watchful Ayoade was always one of life’s observers.
In person, the 36-year-old Londoner is almost painfully polite, the very definition of the diffident English gentleman. In fact, if Richard Ayoade was any more polite and any more diffident he would offer to interview himself so he could save me having to do it. Which would be just the kind of trick that would chime nicely with his second film, The Double.
The double life of Richard Ayoade
In 2006 The IT Crowd welcomed us into the basement of Reynholm Industries to meet Moss, Roy and Jen and make sure we’d "tried switching it on and off again" first. The successful Channel 4 comedy brought us four series of laughs and ridiculous scenarios before bidding us goodbye with a special episode late last year. Entitled The Internet Is Coming, it's just picked up four BAFTA nominations, including one for best sitcom, giving a fitting tribute to one of the decade's funniest and unique sitcoms.
Created by Graham Linehan, one half of the duo that gave us Father Ted, The IT Crowd delved in to the world of computer nerdom, celebrating it in a way that British television had never seen before. Set in the IT department of Reynholm Industries, confined to the building’s basement, Jen, played by Katherine Parkinson, served as our guide into the world of computers and the internet, even though she didn't know what IT stood for. Jen was faced with the role of being relationship manager to Moss and Roy, the socially inept IT technicians who would fix any computer problem in their own time and if they could be bothered. The two best friends, played by Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd, were bonded together by their love of computer games and all things geeky and also the fact that no one else could really put up with them.
After BAFTA Nominations, We Remember The IT Crowd
Ridiculous amount of typos in these articles (fixed here). Anyway, with this post, the AAA is temporarily adjourned as the well has pretty much been pumped dry. We will regrettably not be accepting any new members in the meantime. Signing off for now.