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From Spaced To The World’s End: The Connecting Cast Of The Cornetto Trilogy – Part One

Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are frying up some gold in preparation for THE WORLD’S END. The trio are back for the final instalment of, what has become known as, ‘The Three Flavours Cornetto’ trilogy. SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004), HOT FUZZ (2007) and now THE WORLD’S END may not be linked by narrative or characters like classic trilogies BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985-1990), STAR WARS (1997-1983) or THUNDER IN PARADISE (1993-1995). But they are bound by themes, recurring jokes and references. Most notably, though, is the cast. Pegg and Frost have starred as unlikely companions in all three films and their supporting cast are essentially a troop of actors dating back to one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, SPACED.

Here we shall look at those performers, their finest moments in the films and SPACED and related shows/movies that link them all together. Programmes like BLACK BOOKS, ASYLUM and DOCTOR WHO feature heavily from this cavalcade of stars, as do films such as THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and even the HARRY POTTER series. There’s a lot of crossover or, if you’re a film ponce like we are, intertextuality. Which is a term that fellow film ponce Edgar Wright would be proud of. We hope. We love him. We want him.

You may notice we haven’t listed certain appearances from THE WORLD’S END, and that’s because we don’t to ruin the surprise, so will only address those who are in the promotional material. Let’s start with one of the most important, and often overlooked, players.


Spaced, Shaun of the Dead 

Stevenson (nee Hynes) co-wrote and starred in SPACED as wannabe journalist/dog-lover Daisy Steiner (my personal favourite character in any film or show). It is well reported that Stevenson is not given the credit she deserves for her part in launching The Cornetto Trilogy and, vicariously, the careers of those involved. While she may not have graced as many film posters as her fellow alumni, she is a stalwart of British comedy and is beloved and respected by her peers and fans alike.

As Shaun leads his motley crew to The Winchester, he bumps into old friend Yvonne, who is also taking her friends to safety. Made up of British TV comedy favourites, most of whom feature in this list, they eerily mirror Shaun’s own group. Edgar Wright speculated that he’d like to see a film about their day during the zombie outbreak. We all agree.

Doctor Who, Black Books, Burke and Hare, Asylum, Harry Potter, Lizzie and Sarah, Confetti.

bill nighy
Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz

One of the most beloved thespians out there, Nighy is equally at home as Captain Jack’s nemesis in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films or as a dead body talking to a pigeon in short film, THE HUNGRY CORPSE. While Nighy has been a pro for nearly 40 years, it was SHAUN OF THE DEAD that brought him such well deserved fame.

In a heart breaking exchange with step-son Shaun, he professed that all he wanted to be was a father figure to a man who clearly disliked him. He tried his best, and his dying wish was that Shaun take care of his mother. I’m sorry, I think I have something in my eye…

Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


bill bailey, simon pegg

Spaced, Hot Fuzz

Known primarily as a stand up, Bailey has been tight with Wright and Pegg for years. Wright directed his stand up series IS IT BILL BAILEY? featuring a young Simon Pegg. They went on to feature in each other’s work frequently, such as SPACED, BLACK BOOKS and HOT FUZZ, in which the self-proclaimed ‘wizard in a call centre’ played grumbling twins.

Anytime he was onscreen as comic shop owner, Bilbo Bagshot. The most SPACED-out character on the show, his constant state of bewilderment and suggestion of ‘acorn sandwiches’ implies that BAiley gave more of himself to his character than anyone else.

Is It Bill Bailey? Black Books, Doctor Who, Asylum, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Burke and Hare.

Martin Freeman

Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End

It’s only the bloody hobbit! The second person on the list to play a character named Bilbo, Freeman is currently A-Listing like a mofo, but before he went of to slay a dragon or hang out with Sherlock, he was popping up in Wright’s zombie and cop flicks. His appearances were brief but memorable as (one of) Nick Angel’s bosses in FUZZ and Yvonne’s boyfriend in SHAUN. And now he’s finally made the poster in THE WORLD’S END.

His massive, fake smile as he leaves the toilet to finish his drink in THE WORLD’S END trailer.

The Office, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

mark heap, spaced
Spaced, The World’s End

An incredibly prolific comedy performer, Mark Heap has appeared in hit after hit, often alongside Kevin Eldon. They even popped up together in Tim Burton’s CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. He’s been spotted behind a bar in THE WORLD’S END trailer but fans love him most as struggling conceptual artist Brian Topp in SPACED. In a part originally intended for Julian Barrett, Heap’s work was the surreal core of the show as well as providing some of the sweetest and most stirring moments.

Anger… Pain… Fear… Aggression…

Big Train, Jam, Brass Eye, Look Around You, Confetti, Lizzie and Sarah.

There are more. Many, many more. Come back tomorrow for Part Two and see who else binds the Cornetto Trilogy together. If you can’t wait that long, click here for more on the interconnectivity of the films.

Here’s the review.

Have a banana.

THE WORLD’S END is directed by Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine. It is out tomorrow in the UK and 23rd August in the US.

John is a gentleman, a scholar, he’s an acrobat. He is one half of the comedy duo Good Ol’ JR, and considers himself a comedy writer/performer. This view has been questioned by others. He graduated with First Class Honours in Media Arts/Film & TV, a fact he will remain smug about long after everyone has stopped caring. He enjoys movies, theatre, live comedy and writing with the JR member and hetero life partner Ryan. Some of their sketches can be seen on YouTube and YOU can take their total hits to way over 17!



  1. Nick Heath

    Aug 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I LOVE Spaced, and Shaun Of The Dead was pretty awesome too. Since then, Pegg, Frost and Wright seem to have lost the quality control button and descended into some sort of bizarre Carry On+geek crappery. Such a shame. At least we”ll always have Tim & Daisy. Come back to the UK boys, and help raise the quality of the finish tv comedy we have to suffer.

  2. Anon

    Dec 28, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Billl Nighy was in The World’s End as well! He’s the voice of The Network when they go under in The World’s end pub.

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