Mel Smith and Griff Rhys-Jones wanted to keep the show in the tradition of "Not the 9 O'Clock News", the BBC sketch comedy show which the comedy duo appeared in together as regular performance and for which launched their careers.
Between the 8th and 9th season. Mel Smith directed 1997's "Bean" starring Rowan Atkinson as the iconic British comedy character Mr. Bean. Rowan Atkinson was a regular performer on "Not the 9 O'clock News" which starred Mel Smith and Griff Rhys-Jones.
The sketch which Smith and Jones discuss about The Beatles was voted online as "Mel Smith's No. 1 finest comedy moment" on July 20th, 2013, in memoriam of Mel Smith whom died the day before on July 19th.
When Mel Smith passed on, Griff Rhys-Jones led a tribute to his comedy partner on the Twitter social network and stated "I still can't believe this has happened. To everybody who ever met him, Mel was a force of life. He had a relish for it that seemed utterly inexhaustible. He inspired love and utter loyalty and he gave it in return. I will look back on the days working with him as some of the funniest times that I have ever spent. We probably enjoyed ourselves far too much, but we had a roller-coaster of a ride along the way. He was a gentleman and a scholar, a gambler and a wit. We are in a state of shock. We have lost a very, very dear friend."
The show is considered to be a spin-off of "Not The 9 O'Clock News", which Mel Smith and Griff Rhys-Jones were regular performers and they wanted to keep the show and it's humor in tradition of "Not The 9 O'clock News". Chris Langham was also a performer on "Not the 9 O'clock News".