It snowed on the first day of production and the studio was often so cold that huge industrial-sized blower heaters had to be switched on between takes.
JP (short for ‘Jean Luc Picard’) was called ‘Bowie’ in the pilot, which is why if you look closely, you’ll see his eyes are two different colours.
Source: British Comedy Guide
The parrot was originally going to be Australian but when South African actor Petros Emanuel auditioned for the role he was so funny the writers decided to change his nationality. JP’s Afrikaans dialogue was ad libbed by Petros during filming and no-one in the production team had any idea what he was talking about.
In the pilot Hamish was originally called ‘Geilgud’ and Trevor’s character name was ‘Bollocks’.
Davina was called ‘Winslett’ at the start, which is why she wears a blue necklace similar to that worn by Kate Winslett in Titanic.
Davina’s name was changed by Channel 4 because they thought “she looked more like a Davina” and the Big Brother connection was more in line with their brand. The cat does not appear in the original pilot show and was added later by the writers.
On the first day of filming lighting cameraman Alan Benns collapsed in the studio and everyone thought he was having a heart attack. Luckily this turned out to be a relatively minor ailment and he was soon back up on his feet.
Actor Clive Greenwood was originally lined up to voice Trevor but in the event was unavailable to play him because he was appearing in panto. One of the writers Andrew Barclay eventually stepped into the role.
The original Trevor puppet had white fur but this caused problems with the lighting during filming of the pilot. He was changed to dark grey before the full series was shot in order to combat this problem.
Pets director Mike Stephens once directed the classic BBC comedy series Hi Di Hi.