Bake-off's Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding on great double-acts ahead of Bristol slapstick festival

Watch Kylie Pentelow's interview with the duo

A popular Bristol festival that had faced an uncertain future because of the pandemic is to take place next.

Slapstick Festival sees a host sees of comedians fill venues across the city every January, with last year's edition featuring the likes of Stephen Merchant, Harry Hill and Rob Brydon.

This year's event, which starts on March 1, will take place online and will feature the usual mix of silent, classic and visual comedy.

Among the line-up will be Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding who be hosting a live-streamed event about great double-acts.

Both Matt and Noel have featured in famous double-acts themselves Credit: PA Images

"It's great that the festival is continuing through the pandemic this year," Matt told ITV News presenter Kylie Pentelow.

"Ordinarily the two of us would be in Bristol sitting there in front of a giant cinema screen talking about this.

"This time around we just did it on zoom but it was the same thing."

The pair grew up as massive fans of Laurel and Hardy and will be showing some of their favourite clips at the event.

"When we were kids certainly our parents and grandparents loved all that stuff and we were brought up on Harold Lloyd, Marx brothers and Laurel and Hardy," Noel said.

"It was amazing when you found out Laurel was English.

"That made it quite exciting for us being budding comedians."

Iconic comedy duo Laurel and Hardy were a source of inspiration for present-day comedy duo Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding. Credit: PA Images

"Me and my older brother used to watch Laurel and Hardy four or five nights a week," Matt added.

"They used to show it at 6 pm on the BBC and that was around the same time our dad would come home from work.

"While dinner was being cooked the three of us would sit and watch just for 20 minutes a night and we would just be in tears of laughter.

"They were so funny and warm and it's like you're watching your friends."

The pair have both featured in double acts themselves and are now together on Bake-off.

"We're in a double act and often we have to go and talk them to them and that's a bit of a double act," said Noel.

"They're doing something and you're bugging them which is the sort of standard set-up for a Laurel and Hardy sketch.

"Sometimes you have to be a bit careful because you know they are trying to work so you have to be a bit careful and not overstep that line."

Fate may have played its part in the coming together of the two as Noel says "he had a dream that Matt was presenting Bake-off before he had even be offered the job."

On their future, the pair say they would be open to doing other stuff because they "genuinely get on," says Noel.

"We wrote together and found that easy and we've become friends as well.

"And its really important in a double act that you remain friends.

"You can't force that chemistry and relationship you have to genuinely be friends otherwise the audience can sense it."

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