Royston Vasey is a the fictional setting of the BBC television comedy series The League of Gentlemen. It is an imaginary town supposedly located somewhere in the North of England. It has made famous the comedic phrase "a Local Shop for Local People".
The preceding radio series On the Town with the League of Gentlemen was set in the equally fictional and almost identical town of Spent.
Origin and creation
Royston Vasey draws on the upbringing of all the League's members - Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and Jeremy Dyson - who were all raised in the north of England.
The League considered a number of filming locations before settling on Hadfield. The West Yorkshire town of Todmorden was used for some later scenes.
The town as it appears in the TV show has a sign which ominously declares "Welcome to Royston Vasey. You'll never leave!" The first building the visitor comes across is the "local shop", located on a lonely hillside moor. The town itself is some distance from the local shop, which is accessed by a small hill track.
Events from the town's fictional history
In the first television series of The League of Gentlemen a construction company called PQ Construction threatens the isolation of Royston Vasey by building a "New Road" near the Local Shop. The project is first delayed when a monster (later revealed to be parts of a goat, a pig and a chimp crudely stitched together) is unearthed on the construction site and comes to an end in the final episode when the owner of PQ Construction, David Tattsyrup, is revealed to be the son of the proprietors of the local shop who convince him to "live locally."
In the second series Royston Vasey receives visits from both a travelling circus and a group of German exchange students. The town becomes gradually overrun by a deadly nosebleed epidemic which causes a high percentage of the town's residents to experience incessant bleeding and death, usually within 24 hours. Eventually the epidemic devastates the town, with the Ministry of Health and the armed forces running riot in a desperate attempt to staunch the plague. The cause of the nosebleeds can be traced to a substance known only as the "Special Stuff", a highly addictive and obscure substance served by demonic butcher Hilary Briss, which becomes deadly when cut with sandwich paste. However, the surviving local residents mistakenly accuse the Local Shop of spreading the disease and burn it to the ground.
In the third and final series, several of the residents of Royston Vasey are involved in a traffic collision which leaves one resident (Lance Longthorne) and a gardening show presenter dead while another local (Geoff Tipps) is given extreme facial disfigurement. The travelling circus also returns.
In the film The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, the town is on the verge of destruction when the League of Gentlemen - Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, and Reece Shearsmith - agree to stop writing for Royston Vasey. This causes meteorites to rain from the sky until the entire town is razed to the ground. The destruction of Royston Vasey can only be prevented when all four of the writers are killed, but it transpires that the entire ordeal was conceived by Dyson while unconscious in a hospital.
The League of Gentlemen book, A Local Book for Local People, released between the second and third series, describes Royston Vasey's history in a brochure, from its beginnings, as mentioned in an appendix to the Domesday Book as "an hutte with a pigge outside" to the construction of the town hall in the late 1930s, as designed by Albert Speer.
Several of the town's most prominent landmarks include the Local Shop, an angelic war memorial, H.Briss & Son Butchers, the St Mary Of Bethlehem hospital, the Windermere B&B, and the local Job Centre.
- "The League Of Gentlemen". BBC. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- Viner, Brian (17 February 2000). "Welcome to the real Royston Vasey - You'll never leave". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- "The League of Gentlemen: Series 1-2. The Road To Royston Vasey". Radio Times website. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2010. McFarland.
- What is Royston Vasey from the League of Gentlemen's website.