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The Gap Yah Plannah

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 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.

It’s 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?

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 a lash hero.

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 English Language students at Sussex, we 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 places, there was even an article in The Telegraph the other day talking about the demonstators 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. No one can actually afford to go on a gap yah this year, but this is the next best thing! I wrote it in the style of Orlando, but it’s also quite varied so it’s not all written from his point of view. A lot of it is written in that Lonely Planet style. It’s all illustrated by me as well…and it’s shiny.

Have you actually been on a gap yah?

Yes, 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 caught seen wearing Jack Wills.

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 your partner asks you to, ‘cause you’re going to get dumped.

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, 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!

THE GAP YAH PLANNAH by Orlando is published by 4th Estate priced£12.99.

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  1. Pingback: Interview with Matt Lacey: The Gap Yah sensation « To Make Each Day Count

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