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New documentary reveals origins of ‘Pete Price is a lizard’

11 months ago

New documentary reveals origins of ‘Pete Price is a lizard’
Pete Price

A young Liverpool filmmaker has made a documentary which sets out to reveal the origins behind the ‘Pete Price is a lizard’ phenomenon and why, almost a decade after it began, it’s still the banter that never goes away.

Jacob Stuart from Litherland decided the bizarre myth surrounding Pete Price would make a great topic for a short film.

So two years ago the 26-year-old began interviewing friends, people who’d worked with him and members of the public to ask them the all-important question: ‘do you really think Pete Price is a lizard?’

And, thanks to some help from the man himself, he even managed to track down the radio phone-in caller who started it all.

Now the result, a 45-minute documentary titled The Lizard of Liverpool, is about to have its premiere at FACT and Jacob hopes to take it to film festivals to give the Scouse in-joke an even bigger national, or international, audience.

The idea came about after Jacob graduated from studying film at SAE Institute in Liverpool.

Jacob Stuart is creating a documentary about Pete Price
Jacob Stuart is creating a documentary about Pete Price

“Filmmaking was something I was always interested in, even when I was still at school, even though I didn’t actually own a camera then.

“I did a variety of projects, music videos for bands, comedy sketches, short films, and I’d send them to festivals but nothing was really sticking so straight from uni I didn’t actually go into the film industry, I started work at the civil service.

“But it’s always been my passion so I thought, no-one’s going to come looking for me, I might as well make the things I want to make. 

“I didn’t know Pete personally but I always knew of him, he was that guy on the radio who’d get into arguments and he was just an entertaining figure. Then when I was at uni, especially around people my age, there was always this thing of, ‘oh Pete Price, he’s a lizard.’ 

“I’d ask, ‘why is he?’ and no-one would really know why so I wanted to dig further into where it came from.

“Luckily, I know Charlie who popularized it, he was the guy who got the photo of the wrestler Hulk Hogan holding a sign with it on. Once I’d spoken to him about it, I realised I had to get Pete.

“I contacted him because I wanted him to know what my intentions were with the documentary and reassure him that it wasn’t making fun of him.

Pete Price with the filmmakers
Pete Price with the filmmakers

“At first he was intrigued but he was sceptical because he didn’t want it to be some cheap YouTube video and he didn’t know if I was joking around with him but once we met and I explained everything, he was really supportive.”

Jacob and two friends, Dan and Jamie, set about filming a series of interviews and Pete agreed to put out a Tweet asking if there were any prank callers from the past who’d want to speak.

“It was through that we managed to find the first guy who called Pete a lizard. We weren’t sure at first, but he had the evidence to back it up so that meant we’d found the origin.”

Asking people if someone is a lizard might seem like an odd subject for a film, but Jacob says the reactions were interesting. So much so they had to cut down eight hours of footage into just 45 minutes for the final edit.

“People are genuinely contributing what they really think but because the question is so surreal it almost comes across like a mockumentary but actually all of it is real.

“Pete is so well known in Liverpool, and he does really divide opinions – it was split down the middle, people loving or hating him, he was like human Marmite!” he adds.

The Lizard of Liverpool will have its premiere on August 14 at FACT and ticket sales have been so good that they’re hoping for an extra screening. After that it’ll be on to film festivals.

As for Pete, he hasn’t actually seen the finished documentary yet, he’ll see it for the first time when the rest of the audience does.

“That is a bit nerve-racking, but the reaction we’ve had so far has been really enthusiastic so I think he’ll like it,” says Jacob. “The main objective is for people who call Pete a lizard to finally understand why, and to show that the joke was never meant to be mean-spirited, but it’s also a celebration of Pete and his career so hopefully that comes through as well.”

What do you think of the new Pete Price documentary? For all the latest in Liverpool click HERE.

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