Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round (1998)

Concept and creative process

Opening titles for a comedy series in which Alexei Sayle donned his tight suit to deliver high octane monologues and off-the-wall observations. Multiple takes were filmed of the comedian singing and performing the title song in a large number of different locations. These shots were edited in post-production into a continuous sequence, cutting from one location to the next in sync with the music and lyrics. A five-layer concentric circular grid was created in Flame with the ability to insert the live action performance into each layer and move it in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, creating a visual merry-go-round. Finally, the programme title rotated in to hold centre screen, as the focus on the revolving background was softened. Andrew Smee’s design solution perfectly fitted the mood and no doubt delighted Alexei Sayle’s many fans.