Are You Dave Gorman a.k.a. The Dave Gorman Collection
It's been years since I went looking for my namesakes but I still get at least one e-mail every day from someone telling me about them and journalists still refer to me as "the man who's trying to meet every other Dave Gorman in the world" even though I've never claimed I was trying to do anything of the sort.
2 years after the series had ended someone wrote a letter to the Daily Mirror protesting that "Dave Gorman doesn't do anything except talk about his own name" - when in actual fact I'd spent the last couple of years turning down T-shirt deals and shitty roles in bad TV shows where they wanted me to turn up and pretend I was looking for another Dave Gorman.
For me, when the TV show came out it meant that the story was finally over. To everyone else it seems it was the beginning. There's a website called YourNotMe that allows you to search the electoral register to find out how many namesakes you have in a badly spelled apostrophe-free UK. They have a list of their top ten searches. I don't know what it says right now, but in early 2005 my name was the 5th and 8th most searched for. As David Gorman I was at number 5, a couple of places behind David Beckham and one place ahead of Jesus while as Dave Gorman I was at number 8 between Tony Blair and Richard Head. How can that be what happens after a trailer-free TV series shown late on Sunday nights on a minor channel in the spring of 2001?
Don't get me wrong, I'm really proud of the stage show, the TV series and the book that followed... I'm just confused by the way in which something I stopped talking about many years ago seems to persist without me. And with it, some odd misconceptions too.
A lot of the visitors to this site (but by no means all) have heard about the story in one form or another. But, it seems that people who have read the book always assume that we did it in order to write a book and people who have seen the TV series assume that we did it in order to make a TV series... and so on. Which isn't quite how it happened.
So here's a handy time line explaining what happened when:
My then flatmate, Danny and I are in a pub in London. Tequila is involved.
I tell Danny about an e-mail I had received telling me that the Assistant Manager of East Fife Football Club was also called Dave Gorman. Danny doesn't believe me. I tell him there must be "loads" of other Dave Gormans. Danny definitely doesn't believe me.
We take the first train to East Fife (Like I say, tequila was involved) and meet the Assistant Manager of East Fife FC; Dave Gorman.
We also meet his son - another Dave Gorman. On returning to London, with the help of the local phone book we find and meet another. The obsession is starting to take hold.
On a journey that would see us meeting our 4th and 5th Dave Gormans, the bet becomes refined. Rather than the abstract - "I bet you can't meet loads ", the challenge becomes that I can't meet 54 Dave Gormans: one for every card in the deck. Including the jokers. (Alarmingly, we were sober when this happened)
It's not long before we've visited France, Italy, New York and Norway as well as covering quite a lot of the UK and we've met 24 Dave Gormans. My credit card can't take much more and Danny's girlfriend is far from happy. We've discovered that the more other people know about the search, the easier it becomes. So we decide to make a stage show about it, called "Are You Dave Gorman?".
It works, not only do a few more Dave Gormans come to see the show at The Edinburgh Festival, but the show becomes a sell out with extra shows added to meet the demand and wins a nomination for The Perrier Award. The story is written about in almost every major newspaper in Britain. Hundreds of people begin e-mailing with details of new Dave Gormans. It also attracts the attention of publishers and TV executives.
We continue to meet more Dave Gormans. The stage show transfers to The Comedy Theatre in London's West End.
Five people change their name by deed poll taking us to the brink of success: 53 Dave Gormans.
Our 54th and final Dave Gorman is met on the island of Jersey. The search is over.
With the search now over we agree to put the story down as a book, also called "Are You Dave Gorman?"
We get back in touch with the BBC and agree to make a 6 part TV series for BBC2 with Danny and I writing and producing. The series will be called "The Dave Gorman Collection".
To celebrate having met the complete deck of cards worth of 54 Dave Gormans we host a party (with the help of the BBC) at The White House Hotel in London for over 50 Dave Gormans. It included 19 brand new Dave Gormans, taking the total to 73.
Over 3 nights at the end of November, we record 6 episodes at Television Centre.
Then we begin editing.
The stage show tours a few dates around the UK, including The Lowry Centre in Manchester and ending at The Komedia in Brighton.
At the end of February I fly to the US where the stage show will be part of The HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen Colorado.
On March 2nd - my 30th birthday - the stage show wins the award for best one person show at the Aspen Festival.
On March 4th - episode one of the TV show is broadcast on BBC2.
As the story unfolds on TV I start to receive hundreds of e-mails a day telling me about new Dave Gormans. Even though I'm no longer looking. And a few Dave Gormans travel to meet me when I'm touring other shows elsewhere.
Once the TV show starts, I 'retire' the stage show from UK theatres. After all, there's no point telling people a story that they already know. But at the end of March the stage show travels to Australia for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
While the original search was for 54 Dave Gormans - the e-mails about new Dave Gormans keep on coming and new Dave Gormans continue to come and meet me. It feels like other people don't want me to stop meeting Dave Gormans. The stage show becomes a quest to meet more. But it's no longer possible to travel to every namesake I hear about. Instead, it's become a challenge to see how many DGs can we get to attend the show.
In Melbourne the show sells out and more Dave Gormans attend. The show is nominated for The Barry Award.
A producer from a TV show called Something In The Air decides to name a new character after me. A writer from Neighbours does the same thing, with a one off character being named in my honour.
While in Australia I begin writing my half of the book. It's a great opportunity to tell the whole story - missing out none of the details that the time constraints of TV and stage have forced upon us.
The book is reprinted before it's even publised on September 6th.
Danny and I do a short tour of bookshops to promote the book.
At the end of the month I fly out to New York to begin a 6 week run of the stage show Off-Broadway at The Westbeth Theatre Center.
WH Smiths make us 'Book Of The Week' and we top the amazon humour chart.
October- December 2001
The run in New York is a success and is extended to 13 weeks - the longest run I've undertaken at any venue. It leads to appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Daily Show with John Stewart.
Several Dave Gormans attend the show taking the total past 100.
On November 27th - the fictional DG appears in Neighbours. I get thousands of e-mails from people telling me about it. My computer crashes under the weight of the response.
The TV series is broadcast on BBC America. (Where it was called "Are You Dave Gorman?")
The stage show wins the Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Comedy for a performance at The Lowry back in February.
The New York run of the stage show earns a nomination for a prestigious Drama Desk Award in the category of Outstanding Solo Performance.
Time Out New York names the show as the Best Comedy Show of 2001.
The book is reprinted for a second time.
The Present Day
I continue to create other shows that have toured the UK and overseas and to work on new projects but I have no intention of restaging this particular show. People have constantly asked me where they can get a DVD of the series from... and I'm delighted to say that as of February 2007, it is finally available. You won't find it on the high street but you can get a copy exclusively here...
If you've already watched it on your tellybox and want to know more about the story, then the book might be for you. It's been re-released in a new, cheap and cheerful edition with a different cover. It's also been translated into German or Dutch if you'd rather. You can find links to all of them in shop
When we were first looking for Dave Gormans, we normally only knew about one at a time so it was easy to work out who to meet next. Since the TV series I've been told about thousands of my namesakes all over the world. I wouldn't know where to start if I was to meet them all, but I'd have to spend 3 years doing it and I'd end up bankrupt. I can see no reason for doing it. It's happened... it's a complete story with a beginning, a middle and an end and while there were lots of commercial offers to extend the story artificially I think it would ruin it. What exists is the truth. We didn't do it in order to make a TV show or to write a book. To start doing it again for such hollow reasons would be wilful and odd. And no fun.
I think it would be a backwards step to try and revisit the idea for future projects - and it would inevitably be less honest, more contrived and I think it would diminish something I'm very proud of.
To see where the show toured to, click here.
To find out what the press thought of the stage show, check out the show reviews page or just see some quotes
To find out what the press thought of the TV series, check out the series reviews page
To find out what the press thought of the book, check out the book reviews page
All 6 episodes of the world-travelling, namesake hunting nonsense that was my first TV series. Don't I look young?
As with the Googlewhack DVD there's a special song and video as an extra... this time it's by Misty's Big Adventure. They're fab.
It's multi-region - so it should play everywhere.