Sunday, 27 December 2015

'Toast On Toast' by Steven Toast

Toast of London is one of the finest delights on Channel 4's comedy schedule. If you've not seen it yet, you're in luck because there are three seasons for you to catch up on and they're all available on 4OD

Steven Toast is Matt Berry's best creation to date, and considering he's been in everything from The IT Crowd to Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and Snuff Box, that's really saying something. 

Toast has been around since 2012 and follows the woefully outdated (and shit) thespian Steven Toast as he attempts to maintain some semblance of a life as a working actor. He's brilliantly full of himself, completely self-absorbed, disgustingly selfish and impressively untalented. 

Toast lives in squalor with his friend, the permanently pyjama-ed actor Ed Howzer-Black (Robert Bathurst); has sex with his sworn enemy Ray Purchase's wife (Tracy-Ann Oberman); and is constantly sent to ridiculous jobs by his useless agent Jane Plough (Doon Mackichan). Best of all, he regularly records voiceovers for hipster idiots Clem Fandango (Shazad Latif) and Danny Bear (Tim Downie). Please watch it. Toast is so good that guest stars in the current series include Jon Hamm, Brian Blessed and, err, Lorraine Kelly.

So it was only a matter of time before co-scriptwriters Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews put together a Toast book, and Toast On Toast is part-memoir, part-manual for aspiring thespians who want to follow in Toast's footsteps. It's brilliant. Not only for the amazing names of every single person who cracks a mention, but also for the brilliant send-ups of so many actors' worst nightmares. 

Steven Toast's deluded sense of himself is pitched perfectly. And to cap it all off there is a brilliant series of posters at the back of the book for plays that he has appeared in, such as 'De Oglee Dlecker!' by Flannery O'Mathews (co-starring Paul Hewson, Liam Galway and Noel Early... see what they did there?). 

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