After the widespread success of the ‘Gap Yah’ videos, Orlando is back with his new book ‘The Gap Yah Plannah’. For those of you who are unawahh of the YouTube sensation that is ‘Gap Yah’ (viewed over 4 million times), the video portrays a student called Orlando (played by Matt Lacey) telling his friend Tarquin about his experiences during his gap year in Tanzanahh, Perahh and Burmahh, all of which result in him vomiting, or “chundering”, everywahh.
Its creator, Matt Lacey, describes the video as: “A satire on the great number of people who seem to be leaving these shores to vomit all over the developing world.” (The Guardian). Matt, 25, studied Modern History at Oxford (his thesis was based on an obscure Irish moustache law), but unsurprisingly was always drawn to the stage. After uni, he formed the comedy group ‘The Unexpected Items’ who wrote the material for the sketch…
Where did you get the idea for the comedy sketch?
I kind of created the character as a composite of people I met at uni really. It actually started off as a silly voice I was using to take the piss out of a friend of mine, and after a while I started adding to what I overheard and eventually it became a real character that I could perform on stage.
Where did Orlando come from?
The character’s called Orlando, but the real Orlando was a friend of a friend I met at a party, and when he introduced himself, I couldn’t understand him with his lazy vowels. He was so posh I genuinely thought he was called Miranda.
What about that famous phrase?
Well I first overheard ‘I need to take a tactical chunder’, which means if you’re drinking too much and you need to lessen the load, you make yourself sick, which is quite a bizarre concept. But this one time I was in a queue for Zodiac on Cowley road in Oxford and there was this gaggle of teenagers and I just heard, ‘Oh em gee, Tarquin’s just vommed! Tarquin’s just chundered EVERYWHERE!’ as he was getting sick into someone’s front garden.
What did you study at Oxford?
Modern History. I did my thesis on a 14th century Irish law about moustaches.
Were you a lash hero at university?
Was I ever? I don’t think they used that terminology then, but I liked to drink.
You must get recognised a lot since everyone our age has seen the videos.
The first time I got recognised was quite weird, it was at Elephant and Castle shopping centre in London, which is quite an unexpected place for that to happen, the guy just came up to me and said, ‘Saw you on the internet’ and walked off.
As an English language student at Sussex I have to say you have the most inventive use of the language. How does it feel to have created and immortalised words such as ‘vomcano’ and ‘lashmina’ which are being used by students all over the country?
Yeah it’s nice to have added to the vernacular…Shakespeare made up words, why can’t I?! They seem to pop up in a lot of place, there was even an article in the telegraph the other day talking about the occupied people calling them ‘Lefties on their gap yah’!
What can we expect from your new book ‘The Gap Yah Plannah?’
Well, what can’t you expect?! I can’t think of anything. Hopefully you’ll find it funny, but it’s also quite varied, so it’s not all written from the point of view of Orlando. A lot of it is written in that Lonely Planet style. (Yeah check out this! Fuck off Lonely Planet you’re not my friend) It’s all illustrated by me as well…and it’s shiny.
I’ve read some excerpts of it and the way it’s written I can just imagine you saying it.
I did quite literally say it; when I was writing it I would read it back to myself in the voice just to make sure it all flowed.
Do you think anyone will be able to read it and find it funny, even if they’re not planning a gap yah?
Well no one can afford to go on a gap yah this year what with the student fee rise…but this is the next best thing! It’s cheaper than paying £25,000 or however much a gap year costs.
What do you think of Made in Chelsea?
I’ve watched it a few times, it’s a bizarre programme, I don’t really understand it if I’m honest. I don’t understand how they make it, as it’s kind of semi real, but not. They seem to be having a lovely time don’t they? But never go down to the river Thames if you’re partner asks you to, ‘cause you’re going to get dumped.
Have you actually been on a gap yah?
Yes I had to take a gap yah. Most of it I spent in Ireland working in a Chinese restaurant run by Romanians. That was life experience! But I also did a more cliché trip to Tanzania or ‘Tanzanaah’.
So you went to Oxford and you’ve been on a gap yah, aren’t you just a ‘rah’ in denial?
Am I a rah? I don’t know…I’m pretty middle class, I’ve never worn a pashmina! And I only bought that Jack Wills gilet for Orlando…but previous to that I would not be seen wearing Jack Wills.
What’s next for you?
Well I’m talking to people about possible vehicles with the character for TV, but I’m keen to do more live shows with my sketch group called ‘The unexpected items’, and we’re going to put some more of our sketches up on our youtube channel – one of them is actually a satire on Made in Chelsea. And of course promoting the book, I’m not quite as good as the meerkat yet!
- Gap Yah – When posh kids spend a year travelling the world using daddy’s credit card.
- Tactical chunder – If you’re drinking too much and need to lessen the load, you literally make yourself sick.
- Vomcano – When you chunder volcanic proportions.
- Lash Hero – Someone who can consume copious amounts of alcohol and still maintain a high level of banter.
- Lashmina – The metaphorical pashmina one wears when out on the lash.
The Gap Yah Plannah by Orlando is published by 4th Estate, find it at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Gap-Yah-Plannah-Orlando/dp/0007432062