Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story (2012)
Teeth in a glass of water, one of Kenny Everett’s more innocuous creations, introduces this biopic with the promise of a few naughty bits. A rapid-fire parade of Everett characters follow, providing a synopsis of the film before Cupid Stunt assures us that it is all done in the best possible taste. Both Teeth and Stunt are correct. Everett’s ribald humour is on full display while the love he shared, despite being gay, with Lee Middleton is handled most tenderly.
After years of playing with himself in his bedroom, eighteen-year-old Maurice Cole sends an example of his disc-jockey work to the BBC who promptly invite him in for an interview. Unfortunately, the Beeb are not quite ready for Cole’s fly by the seat of your pants approach so our intrepid hero sets sail for pirate radio where he becomes (cue fanfare)… Kenny Everett. He’s an immediate hit but, not for the last time, gets sacked when he rebels against the station’s hierarchy. Between jobs, the DJ meets aspiring singer Lady Lee, and an unlikely romance develops between the two.
Watching this film, I was reminded of Chris Diamantopoulos’ magnificent turn as Robin Williams in Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy. Oliver Lansley’s portrayal of Kenny Everett, and his multitude of characters, expertly showcases the madcap comedian’s repertoire while also negotiating the more dramatic aspects of his role. The voyage of self-discovery Everett takes, with the help of Lee and to a lesser extent Freddie Mercury, sustains the swift interludes adopted from his television show. Tragically, once Everett can finally accept and enjoy the fruits of his fruitiness, his journey is cut short.
The repeated fleeting appearances of such characters as Sid Snot, Marcel Wave, Brother Lee Love et al may upend the narrative, but they do so without unduly impeding it. On occasion they even pass comment on proceedings. Meanwhile, Dance troupe Hot Gossip is on hand for… the naughty bits.
as Kenny Everett
as Freddie Mercury
as Richard Attenborough
as Michael Winner
End credit states that Everett was diagnosed with HIV in 1994. According to ‘Hello, Darlings!: The Authorized Biography of Kenny Everett’, he actually tested positive in 1987 and announced it to the press on 4th April 1993, exactly two years before he died.