The hit US medical sitcom Scrubs was finally pronounced dead last March. While UK fans of the show cling to the lifeline of a repeat prescription of reruns, next weekend some will find further remedy for their loss with the arrival in London of The Blanks, the a cappella band who made frequent appearances on the show, led by the regular character Ted Buckland .
Sam Lloyd, who played Ted, will be joined by fellow actors and musicians Paul F Perry, George Miserlis and Philip McNiven for a one-off show at Shepherd's Bush Empire that will feature songs sung on Scrubs, including versions of the TV theme tunes for Charles in Charge and Underdog and newer material such as a version of Outkast's "Hey Ya!" The troupe won't just do do-wop, however. They promise a selection of "skits, antics and choreography" inspired by the Marx Brothers, Monty Python, The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy. "I think an hour of a cappella is actually considered torture in some cultures," explains Lloyd.
Suggestions that another hit US show, Glee, has helped the troupe's fortunes are met by Lloyd with circumspection. "Well, it can't hurt, but when someone asked us recently what we thought about a cappella making a comeback our response was, 'doesn't something have to have been popular at some point to come back?'"
If this reply indicates a modesty about the group's talents, it's echoed in the story of their name. "As is often the case with The Blanks," says Lloyd, "necessity became the mother of invention. Philip's family was throwing a party and he offered us up as entertainment. We thought we'd make Philip the headliner because it was his family and call ourselves something like Derek and the Dominoes or Huey Lewis and the News. We came up with Phil'n'the Blanks but after the gig we just took out the 'Phil'n''."
O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London W12 (0844 477 2000) 12 February