We're used to seeing Ade Edmondson, star of The Young Ones, Bottom and countless other comedies, as an anarchic force of nature. A hurricane of violent lunacy. A madman, basically. Well in Jonathan Creek he plays a TV producer who's the very picture of sanity. Although hearing him spout off viewing statistics is enough to drive anyone dotty.
Not only does Bob turn up in a rare acting role, but - rather ironically - the Million Joke Man happens to play a pompous snob with no sense of humour. His character, a wealthy theatre critic, is still a hilarious presence though, whether he's fretting about a stolen painting or munching on a stinging nettle sandwich prepared by his loving wife (a culinary delight which prompts this outburst).
Long before becoming a member of Simon Cowell's entourage, here's Amanda Holden appearing in Jonathan Creek as one of Adam's many, many conquests. She may look fresh-faced, but her character Petra is a bit of a hypochondriac - a fact that's not helped by Jonathan promptly making her think she's got mumps or Scarlet Fever...
That's right - the actual Holly from actual Red Dwarf turns up in Jonathan Creek. Which is quite a novelty for viewers only used to seeing Hattie Hayridge as a disembodied head. In a short but very sweet appearance, she's a fellow magician who teaches Jonathan's boss Adam a trick or two, and then publicly humiliates him when he appears on television with Jonathan Ross. Speaking of which...
While it would have been enjoyable to see Jonathan Ross turn up as some kind of cunning killer, he actually plays himself in Creek. We see him on the telly, interviewing Adam and being subjected to a trick involving a peeled banana. Which isn't as messy as it sounds, at least until someone in the audience decides to yell out some awkward truths about where Adam actually got that trick in the first place.
The nation's favourite grump plays the husband of a glamorous, sizzlingly sexy pop star in Jonathan Creek. Which may seem a tad unlikely until you realise that, despite having a lads' mag "babe" on his arm, his character is a mopey, sulky, self-pitying swine who gets embroiled in terrible affairs of the heart. Rarely has Jack's distraught demeanor been put to such marvellous use.
Who's that waving from far away? Could it possibly be... Jim Bowen? Indeed it can. In perhaps the unlikeliest Creek cameo of them all, the one-time host of seminal darts-based game show Bullseye appears as a deadpan newspaper critic who briefly becomes Adam's nemesis, and also happens to know how to swear in Japanese. (It's a long story).
The magnificent Rik Mayall owns every scene as Gideon Pryke, a super-suave detective who even "smell guilt on a man like dung on a donkey". He's certainly a far cry from the kind of crazed, sweaty mess Rik usually played on screen, but here's a very quick moment where Pryke runs out of patience with Jonathan and a glint of Richie from Bottom definitely come through...
Lank-haired funny-man Bill Bailey pops up as Kenny Starkiss, who's a kind of anti-Jonathan. By which we mean, he also designs magic tricks, but his are rubbish. One idea he pitches to Adam is improving on the old "guillotine an assistant on stage" trick by hiring a terminally ill person and actually chopping their head off for real. It's no wonder Kenny's career has been a little rocky over the years.