“Banksy Actually Emailed Us” We Meet Cardinal Burns

Sketch shows are notoriously difficult things to get right because for every great idea, there’s usually half a dozen duffers, but Seb Cardinal (left) and Dustin Demri-Burns (right) – or Cardinal Burns to you and me – seem to have cracked it and the first series of their E4 comedy is available on DVD as you read these very words. We caught up with them in a Soho cafe this week and were a bit disappointed to find that as well as being rather talented, they were also thoroughly nice blokes. Some people just make you sick don’t they?

Cardinal Burns. It’s a bit crazy isn’t it..

DDB: One of the most common responses we get on Twitter is ‘WTF’..

We can imagine. So you guys met in Scotland? Do you remember how you bumped into each other?

DDB: We were editing our short student films, so we were in the edit room..
SC: I do remember the particular moment we met though. You were talking about breaking up with with a girl and you did this whole mime of how you were going to go home and kill yourself, but you wouldn’t be able do it properly, so you’d miss and blow a cheek off. It lasted for about 10 minutes and I thought “Wow, what a show-off. But quite a funny show-off.”

Is that the moment you realised he was a kindred spirit?

SC: Yeah I remember thinking.. “I can do something with this guy” ..and I asked you to sign a contract, remember that?
DDB: Yeah and I’m a bit annoyed about that because it stipulated that I don’t get any of the money.. (laughs)
SC: Anyway we realised we were quite like-minded and that we enjoyed the same characters..

So what are your favourite sketches to perform from the show?

DDB: I think probably Charlie in the office flirt.. I know what yours is. Banksy!
SC: I dunno actually. Maybe Young Dreams because it’s always a funny set-up.. We’re lucky because reality TV is really ripe for comedy, so it was good that we got in there first as it were. When we first pitched the sketch, it was based on ‘The Hills’, but the producers said there were no shows in England like that so they weren’t sure if the audience would get it. But then Made In Chelsea and TOWIE came out and the timing was just perfect.

Have you ever thought about stitching up other shows. Jeremy Kyle perhaps?

DDB: We did do that actually when we were in a trio called Fat Tongue. You were Jeremy Kyle weren’t you?
SC: Yeah that was good fun. We were from the West Country and you’d slept with your sister..

A second series hasn’t been confirmed yet, but if it was, would we be seeing some new characters?

DDB: Well we’re hoping for a second series and IF there was one we reckon there’d be a fair few new characters, we don’t know how much we want to keep. We’d want a bit of familiarity but at the same time we don’t want it to be a carbon copy. We’ve got loads of ideas and we don’t want to keep doing the same thing..

Which characters do people come up and talk to you about most?

SC: Young Dreams.. and Banksy.
DDB: The Paranormal Investigators were also a bit popular, we’d like to bring them back..
SC: But we get people quoting Yumi all the time.

Will the spoken word poet be releasing a single? Maybe a Christmas tune to go up against X Factor?

DDB: Haha.. Yeah that would be fun. I’d like to do Switch once or twice in the next series if we get one, but not too much because everyone gets the joke now. It’s been done. It would be great to do him live though, just popping up in places..

Everyone’s been really kind about the show, papers like The Guardian and The Metro have been handing out the plaudits, but not The Daily Mail..

SC: Yeah they called it “more painful than getting a Chinese burn from a Gorilla” or something like that. We laughed really and almost took it as a compliment.. (laughs)

Could we be seeing a set of characters from the show getting a spin-off?

DDB: Errmm.. If any of them could then it would be Young Dreams or Office Flirt. We could do a Mike Leigh film with Banksy? The world of Banksy is great but it might get a bit old..

Do you know what Banksy thinks of that sketch?

SC: Well we filmed the Banksy clip on BBC online originally and he sent us an email and put the clip on his website. He also said that although in the show Banksy goes to Homebase to buy supplies, he’s actually more of a B&Q man..

Have you got any other famous fans?

DDB: Dizzee Rascal tweeted us saying he loved the show. That was pretty cool.

Going back to the Office Flirt, where did you get the inspiration for that? Is it taken from a real office?

DDB: Are we allowed to say?
SC: I don’t think we should. It was based on two people that we were working with at the time, it’s done with affection of course..
DDB: We picked up on the dynamic and went for a walk – which we do when we have writer’s block – and basically started riffing on these two people and it came from there..

Are you scared that these people will watch the show and realise that you’ve lampooned them..

SC: I don’t think they’d recognise themselves to be honest. Everything about them is pushed to the edge and we saw the start of a bromance there. You know when someone looks up to someone for being cool when they’re not..

So are you getting recognised on the street these days?

DDB: (puts on mock voice) Oh it’s terrible! We can’t go anywhere!!
SC: No, we get a couple of people coming up and saying they enjoyed the show, but that’s about it..

How about the ladies?

DDB: Yes after One Direction, we’re the biggest sex symbols in the UK today.. (laughs)

Cardinal Burns Series One is available on DVD now..

Cardinal Burns will perform a show at the Udderbelly on Southbank on 3rd July

They will also return to the Edinburgh Fringe for a limited run from 20th Aug – 25th Aug at the Pleasance Dome