Hi Kerry and Kurtan. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with The Big Issue. How are you?
Kerry: I don’t quite understand what this is…
What do you mean?
Kerry: I thought The Big Issue was a magazine written by the homeless for the homeless? Like top tips about being homeless? Cos I don’t really know what advice I can give them other than hold your head up high, and never be ashamed to walk into a shop. You have as much right to walk into a shop as anyone else.
Kurtan: Yeah, you’re allowed to browse. Everyone’s allowed to browse…
Kerry: I saw a pigeon in a train station walking into WH Smiths once and no one battered an eyelid.
Ok, shall we start?
You recently appeared in the BBC Three documentary This Country which aired earlier this year about young people living in modern day rural Britain. What was it like having your every move documented by the crew?
Kerry: It was annoying cos they were just always there hanging around and asking for plug sockets to charge their camera batteries. They once unplugged the Sky box which erased everything we recorded on sky planner since 2015.
Kurtan: There were 34 hours worth of The One Show just wiped off the face of the earth.
Kerry: And they tramped mud up all the stairs as well which my mum was not happy about despite me telling them on numerous occasions to take their shoes off.
Kurtan: They never replaced any tea bags either.
I have a large range of different skills which I was showing on a day to day basis but they cut it all from the show
Do you feel the documentary was a fair representation of you?
Kerry: No. They made me look like a buffoon. What you need to understand is that I have a large range of different skills which I was showing on a day to day basis but they just cut it all from the show. For example, me and Kurtan started a club in the village called ‘jackass club’ which is basically us doing unbelievably mad stunts to make people laugh. I’ve been doing it since I was at school, small things like drinking Tipp-Ex, eating Pritt Stick, stapling my ear to my neck, that sort of thing.
Then when the cameras were here I was doing bigger stuff like caning it off roofs, falling through skylights, getting up on the bus shelter and just trying to jump on top on the bus. I even went on the monkey bars while Levi shot at me with his Grandad’s pellet rifle. But did they show it? Did they f***.
Kurtan: Yeah, and there was a scene where I travelled to Stroud to meet my dog’s parents. But I can understand why they edited that out cos nothing really happened.
Kerry: Kurtan’s convinced he was CGI’d in some of his scenes as well…
Kurtan: Yeah, I was. Cos firstly I don’t remember doing or saying half those things, and secondly my voice is completely different in real life. They dubbed over me with who my Nan thinks is Ioan Gruffudd from Hornblower. I looked him up and he does actually do a lot voiceover work.
Kerry: Tell him about the hovering as well.
Kurtan: If you look carefully in every scene I’m in, my trainers are hovering three inches off the ground. Further proof I was a computer-generated image.
Do you watch documentaries yourself?
Kurtan: I watched a documentary on how they made Wallace and Gromit. Apparently they made Gromit’s character miserable because it would have taken them 10 years to animate Gromit wagging his tail in every scene.
In total, more than 92,000 people have sold The Big Issue since 1991 to help themselves work their way out of poverty – more than could fit into Wembley Stadium.
What have you learned from the experience?
Kerry: Don’t trust anyone… especially beardy Graham from the BBC. Cos when he comes to you offering a chance to do a documentary about your life he’s actually gonna pull your pants down in front of an entire nation.
Kurtan: But it got me thinking about the bigger picture. If shows like this are manipulated then what else has the public been fooled into thinking is true? Like is Trump really president of America or is he actually a Russian spy?
Kerry: Yeah, and are the Chuckle Brothers really brothers or are they actually father and son?
How have people responded to the documentary?
Kerry: People were quite harsh about us.
Kurtan: Yeah, especially with the way we look.
Kerry: Someone on Twitter wrote “Kurtan from This Country is so thin he wears a Hula Hoop for a belt”.
Kurtan: Yeah, I don’t actually wear a Hula Hoop for a belt. I wear a belt for a belt.
Would you do a second series of This Country if the BBC asked you?
Kurtan: Yes. Definitely.