Simon Farnaby is working on another golf-based project – this one is a film about a golfer who blags his way into the British Open.
Going by the name of The Phantom Of The Open, the film is an adaptation of a book of the same name, which Simon wrote in 2010 in partnership with Scott Murray. It’s based on the true story of Maurice Flitcroft, a golfer who gatecrashed the 1976 British Open by faking his professional credentials, despite having never played a full round on a proper course. He quickly earned himself a ban from the Open, but continued to make it to the opening tee by adopting other names and nationalities on the entry form.
Speaking to Chortle, Simon said of the film project: “There’s something I love about that tilting at windmills. It’s innately quite comic, those figures who reach for the stars and they’ve got a little stepladder. You’re not going to get that but it’s the striving isn’t it? That seems to be the great comedy in life, you strive but you’ll never get there. None of us will achieve immortality.”
Regular readers of TVO will recall a previous golf-themed project from Mr Farnaby, Peterford Golf Club, which began life as a sketch in his and Waen Shepherd’s 2001 comedy night Animal Pie, before becoming the name of their two-man stage sketch show the following year.
As well as birthing Gary Le Strange, the sketch night featured the two of them as golf club members, and while the concept fell onto the back burner for quite some time, it led to a one-off 18 minute pilot episode for E4 back in 2007 called Golf War, which also starred Matt Berry, John Hopkins, Rich Fulcher and a theme tune by Julian Barratt. You can see the extended version in two parts below:
Radio 2 also piloted a version of Peterford Golf Club in 2015. However, “that’s died” Simon recently told Chortle. “I’m letting that one go. But Phantom, that’ll make a good film I think” he added.
In the meantime, don’t forget that you can see him in the forthcoming Mindhorn with Julian Barratt, and rumour has it that the Yonderland team are also developing something new! Watch this space…