There are lots of items on BBC radio broadcast as comedy, most of which are well-known.
Here, I've tried to draw attention to some lesser-known items which are likely to amuse.
So - here we go:
THE SHAGBUT, MINIKIN AND FLEMISH CLACKET....1968
A performance by the Schola Polyphonica Neasdeniensis: Peter Weevil
and John Throgmorton (shagbut), Tatiana Splod (minikin), Rene
Carter-Thomson and H G Hogg (Flemish clacket).
Introduced by Hugo Turvey.
Composer: Hucbald the Onelegged (of Grobhausen, fl 1452)
Instrumental Rondo: Haro! Poppzgeyen ist das Wieselungenslied.
Those responsible include: Rolf Lefebvre, Wilfred Carter, Peter
Baldwin, Francis de Wolff, John Baddeley and Marjorie Westbury.
The instruments were contributed by the Radiophonic Workshop (David
Cain, Michael Mason).
In a celebrated spoof of the Early Music phenomenon which grew
enormously in the late 1960s, Neasden was selected by BBC Radiophonic
Workshop composer David Cain as the home of a fictional ensemble
dedicated to historically-informed performances on authentic musical
instruments from an indeterminate number of centuries ago. It was
thus that in 1968, listeners to BBC Radio 3 were given a recital by
the Schola Polyphonica Neasdeniensis whose members performed on the
equally fictional instruments called the Shagbut, Minikin and Flemish
Clacket. [from Wikipedia: Neasden in Popular Culture]
*DWELLING UNIT, SWEET DWELLING UNIT....1976
31 Jan 76. Extremely peculiar comedy play by John Miles and Tony Allen. A guy is employed by the local
Council to condemn unsuitable properties. Including his own... With John Miles and Kathleen Helme.
THE GREAT TIMES CROSSWORD CONSPIRACY ....1982
Cast: Tony Robinson, Meg Johnson, Bob Grant, Bonnie Hurran,
Peter Wheeler, Stephen Granville. Directed by Alfred Bradley. The play involves a devious scheme to complete the eponymous puzzle without actually working out the answers.
THE COLLIERS' CATHEDRAL....1984
By Robin Brooks; afternoon play, 60m. 22 May 84; with Jon Strickland/Hilda Schroeder. An unusual Yorkshire comedy; a cross between "Hobson's Choice" and Monty Python's "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch. That's not an exaggeration. Produced by David Johnson; script editor Jeremy Mortimer. Jon Strickland took the lead, and was a member of the BBC rep. company at the time. He knows Robin; in fact they were at school together.
D.P. supplied the following comment: ....A radio play in which the scenes were linked by the tune "On Ilkley Moor Ba' Tat", but whistled. I don't usually like listening to whistling, but this was beautiful......
Broadcast 23 Dec 1984. Feature programme on the noble game; presented by Raymond Baxter, with
Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, Wille Rushton, Tim Brooke-Taylor . "Mornington Crescent
is the fourth most played parlour game after Scrabble, Monopoly and Stump. It
remains shrouded in mystery ; a mystery which we now hope to clear up". Produced by Paul Mayhew-Archer.
*THE DEMON CAKESTAND OF BEASTLEY CHASE....1985
A one-off tale from the mausoleum Club, broadcast Jan 1985. Refreshing piece of nonsense written by
M.R.James Hendrie and Edgar Ian Brown, with Stephen Fry, Ballard Berkeley, Royce Mills, Sheila Steafel,
Michael Ripper & Nick Revell. Produced by Paul Spencer. Repeated Christmas 2007 on bbc7.
PERSEUS PIN INVESTIGATES.....1988
Perseus Pin, detective, solver of three thousand murder cases in a single
year, takes time off for a cruise. Little does he expect that the ruthless
string magnate in an adjoining cabin will be murdered....
THE TEETH OF ABBOT THOMAS....1988
1 Jan 1988. An antique collector comes across a set of medieval teeth. They are cursed.
Written by the master of o-t-t Gothic horror on radio, Stephen Sheridan. Alfred Marks as Abbot Thomas, with
Robert Bathurst, Denise Coffey, Jonathan Adams, Bill Wallis, Phil Nice, Stephen Tomkinson, Caroline
Gruber, John Baddeley; produced by Dan Patterson.
Noel Godin, pie-thrower, wages a war against the pompous and self-important. He has pushed custard pies in
the faces of many well-known politicians, statesmen and personalities. This is a short feature programme
DESERT ISLAND DISCS - GEORGE FOREMAN....c2004
I am trying to find this programme, which I heard at the time. George has several sons - he named them all George. "As a boxer I need
to be prepared for the possibility of memory loss".
*MUSEUM OF THE LOST KEYBOARDS....2003
13 Dec 03, R3. Surreal feature programme written by Armando Iannucci.
The museum of lost keyboards was established by Sir Samuel Holt, where he assembled an amazing collection:
the snow harpsichord,living and
extinct keyboards, fossilised keyboards, pianos found in the forests of Sri Lanka,
the last clavichord to be hunted by dogs, the Westinghouse nuclear fortepiano, an organ built from
cathedrals, and a self-perpetuating fugue which has lasted for over a century. Museum
guide Stephen Critchlow, music by Django Bates; produced by John Gaudi.
*ALF TUPPER-THE TOUGH OF THE TRACK....2005
Feature on the world's most famous fictional runner, from the pages of "The Victor". Interviews with
personalities and runners, including Ken Whitmore, playwright. Broadcast 30 Jul 05.
Mornington Crescent - the rules. Presented by Andrew Marr. Update to the Raymond Baxter programme.
Excellent feature on the well-known game. With Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer. Broadcast
2 Dec 05.
*HUMPH IN WONDERLAND....2007
The isihac team present a brand-new pantomime. Christmas 2007. Full of some of the best jokes
of the year. There was another pantomime sometime around 2003; not sure of the title. "I'm Sorry,
I Haven't a Christmas Carol", possibly?
THE GREAT HARGEISA GOAT BUBBLE....2009
By Julian Gough, 15 May 09. Very original comedy which tells us how the stock market bubble burst. It all starts when a goat gets run over in Somaliland. I think this originally appeared in the financial pages of one of the National papers, but it makes an excellent play. It won the BBC short story prize in 2007. With Hugh Quarshie, Stephanie Flanders, Sam O'Mahoney-Adams. Producer Di Speirs.
By Roy Smiles, 24 Sep 09. Fun biographical play about the 'Beyond the Fringe' team. Cast: Matt Addis (Alan Bennett), Rory Kinnear (Peter Cook), Jonathan Aris (Jonathan Miller), Benedict Cumberbatch (Dudley Moore). Producer Liz Anstee.
compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website
Asterisked items known to exist iv vrpcc collections.
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