Simon Day of The Fast Show’s Pern starts out as a gentle parody of Peter Gabriel but eventually grows into a lampoon of rock follies of all kinds.
It builds from the first series, a sketchy affair in which Pern presents a history of rock stretching back to the Stone Age, to a more full-blown, immensely satisfying rockumentary. Here, the aging, dimly idealistic, vain and hapless Pern is shepherded by his antithetical foil, hardnosed manager John Farrow, superbly played by Michael Kitchen.
In the sagas of series two and three, Genesis, Queen, Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd are among those parodied, with passing allusions to Madchester and even Jona Lewie along the way. A cast of celebrity thousands joins in, including Roger Moore, Tony Blackburn, Martin Freeman, Kirsty Young, Peter Bowles, Jane Asher, with even Mike Read and Noel Edmonds allowed in on the joke.