Coming up on March 1st from AppleTV+ is yet another joyful and whimsical British comedy ‘The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin.’ Led by Mr Great British Back-off host Noel Fielding in the titular role and propped up by some of the biggest and best names in British comedy.

The six-episode Apple Original centres on Dick Turpin (Fielding), who sets out on a journey of wildly absurd escapades when he’s made the reluctant leader of a band of outlaws — and tasked with outwitting corrupt lawman and self-appointed thief-taker Jonathan Wilde (Hugh Bonneville).

In this irreverent retelling set in the 18th century, Turpin is the most famous but least likely of highway robbers, whose success is defined mostly by his charm, showmanship and great hair. Together with his gang of lovable rogues, Turpin rides the highs and lows of his new endeavours, including a brush with celebrity, all whilst trying to escape the clutches of the thief-taker.

Starring alongside Fielding in the ensemble cast are Ellie White, Marc Wootton, Duayne Boachie, Hugh Bonneville, Tamsin Greig, Asim Chaudhry and a lot more comedy greats.

During a press conference to launch the show, Fielding, Bonneville, Greig, Chaudhry, White and Boachie revealed behind-the-scenes secrets.

In the words of Noel Fielding himself, the latest portrayal of this historical highwayman is not something we have really seen before. He’s “ a sort of vegan, pacifist version of Dick Turpin, he’s a dreamer, a visionary. One day, he can see a future where women and men will do exactly the same jobs for the same money. He’s wild, he’s a dandy, and I got to wear amazing outfits.”

When Noel Fielding received the call, it might seem that the show and his role were written for him. However, that was not the case. The writers had to work hard in the writer’s room to develop the series’ storyline.

“When they phoned me up and asked me if I wanted to play Dick Turpin that was about as much as we had. When I said yes, they said OK well shall we go into a room and work out how it’s going to work? It wasn’t like“ It’s all finished, there you go there’s the script” It was like that’s all we’ve got, you on a horse.

We wanted to reimagine the character, the real character of Dick Turpin is probably quite a sinister chap, probably murdering, robbing stage coaches, got hanged. So we wanted to make him a little more of a childlike, free-thinking, charming dandy. More like the Adam Ant Dick Turpin.”

Hugh Bonneville made a few jokes about being blackmailed into the role with photographs and the amount of money he would be paid. However, he then got serious and explained why he wanted to play one of the two dastardly villains, Jonathan Wilde, Thief-Taker General.

“The opportunity to work with the great Noel Fielding and to go down the rabbit hole of his life of whimsy. Frankly, once you’ve seen Noel’s Dick you wouldn’t want to see anyone else’s. I was interested in the fun of the writing and the dynamic with Christopher (the young son).”

Tamsin Greig took her onscreen villainess, Lady Helen Gwinear, to the next level for the audience.

“I did not audition, I auditioned them. I was asked if I wanted to play a woman, who is very powerful and bullies Hugh Bonneville, and I said yes and they didn’t want to pay me enough money, so then they did.”

It’s evident that the type of British comedy which the cast is a part of has been forgotten over the years. Fielding aimed to revive this style of humour and bring back the old-school laughs that he and some of the cast grew up watching.

“I think it’s maybe a return to British comedy in line with Monty Python, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Vic Reeves, and that sort of ilk. Weirder stuff. Obviously, The Office is amazing but it spawned millions of other shows like that, very real, awkward. This is much more visual and whimsical and joyful maybe “ Fielding said.

Asim Chaudhry, who portrays the character of Craig the Warlock in the show, didn’t have an easy time. He struggled to look the part and pick out the coolest-looking costumes. This took a toll not only on his body but also on his social life. He often couldn’t join Fielding and Bonneville for a few Pornstar Martinis in the evenings.

“The thing I messed up on, sometimes when you agree to play a character, then you meet the wardrobe and make-up people you chat about what you think you should look like. I wanted to have 10 robes on with skulls hanging off, I wanted to look like a proper warlock. That’s the juxtaposition of him being a really shit warlock but he looks the part. Believe it or not, I’m only 16 stone, but when I put this warlock stuff on I weighed myself and I was 30 stone, almost double my weight I was walking around like a really big people who is out of breath after a few steps, I felt like one of those. It looked incredible but it was a lot. After filming I would curl up in the foetal position and just cry myself to sleep.”

The six-episode season will premiere globally with the first two episodes on Friday, March 1, 2024, followed by one new episode weekly through Friday, March 29, 2024, exclusively on Apple TV+.