Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Jools Holland in The Laughing Prisoner

Yesterday, we had a little look at the location of the remake of The Prisoner. We also had a look at an old sci-fi pilot of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie’s. If only there were some way to combine Fry, Laurie and The Prisoner

Oh wait, there is! The Laughing Prisoner was the final (sort of) episode of popular Channel 4 music show The Tube, which was hosted by Jools Holland and Paula Yates. In it, Holland resigns from The Tube and is promptly taken away to the Village, where he finds the new Number 2 is Stephen Fry. Siouxsie and the Banshees are there, too, as is Hugh Laurie.

Given that Holland is a lifelong The Prisoner fan and somehow managed to get references to the show into just about everything he’s ever done, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to discover it’s desperately authentic and true to the original series, right down to being filmed in Portmeirion – it also includes plenty of clips from the series proper, so presents a good intro (sort of) to The Prisoner, if you’ve never seen it. And if you have seen, you’ll probably be able to name every episode that gets referenced, as it’s referenced.

Over to you, Mr YouTube. It doesn’t properly kick off until a few minutes in, though.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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