Comedy of the Week

Comedy of the Week

United Kingdom

Brighten your week with the latest BBC Radio 4 comedy. Comedians including Mark Thomas and Tom Wrigglesworth alongside classic shows such as Just A Minute and Ed Reardon.


5th December 16: Women Talking About Cars (Ep 1)  

Victoria Coren Mitchell interviews Dawn French in the first of a new series in which famous women look at their lives from the perspective of the cars they have known, the journeys they've been on and the things they keep in their boot for emergencies. Hear what Dawn wrote on the back of her first car; find out which comedian totalled her beloved Cortina; and discover the advantages of the refrigerated glove compartment. Car descriptions read by Josette Simon. A BBC Studios production.

28th November 16: Alexei Sayle's Imaginary Sandwich Bar (Ep1)  

The Godfather of Alternative Comedy delivers a mixture of stand-up, memoir and philosophy from behind the counter of his Imaginary Sandwich Bar. Episode 1 - Pretending & Sandwiches Alexei explores his impulse to pretend and love of sandwiches. Along the way he reveals the little known origin of the prawn cocktail, debunks the myth that the Earl of Sandwich was the first person to put a bit of meat between two slices of bread and discusses the hidden depths of Taylor Swift. Written and performed by Alexei Sayle Original music and lyrics by Tim Sutton Produced by Joe Nunnery A BBC Studios Production

21 Nov 16: Clare in the Community (Series 11, Ep 1)  

Episode 1 - Fight Them On The Beaches Clare is in charge of a day at the seaside for some elderly residents of the estate. They turn out to be a bit more feisty than the Sparrowhawk team were expecting, which makes it tricky for Clare to impress her new student, Cilla. Back at home, Brian is coaching Nali for a musical audition. Sally Phillips is Clare Barker the social worker who has all the right jargon but never a practical solution. A control freak, Clare likes nothing better than interfering in other people's lives on both a professional and personal basis. Clare is in her thirties, white, middle class and heterosexual, all of which are occasional causes of discomfort to her. Each week we join Clare in her continued struggle to control both her professional and private life In today's Big Society there are plenty of challenges out there for an involved, caring social worker. Or even Clare. Cast: Clare: SALLY PHILLIPS Brian: ALEX LOWE Nali: NINA CONTI Ray: RICHARD LUMSDEN Libby: SARAH KENDALL Joan: SARAH THOM Mrs Singh: NINA WADIA Cilla: GBEMISOLA IKUMELO Pauline: CLARE PERKINS Dotty: ALISON BELBIN Geoff: SEAN BAKER Written by Harry Venning and David Ramsden Producer Alexandra Smith A BBC Studios production

14 November 16: Rich Hall's (US Election) Breakdown (Ep 4)  

Multi award-winning comedian and US Citizen Rich Hall follows the closing stages of the US Presidential race, offering an acerbic look at the electoral system and the two candidates vying for the most important job in the world. A combination of stand-up, sketch and interview, Rich Hall’s (US Election) Breakdown broadcasts live from the fictional IBBC network in Washington to the whole of the United States. Rich and his producer Nick Doody take calls from every corner of the United States to hear the concerns of voters, offering their take on the issues troubling the American electorate. A BBC Studios Production

07 November 16: Dr John Cooper Clarke At The BBC (Ep 1)  

The Bard of Salford performs a mixture of classic and previously unheard poems, recorded at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London. Ep 1 - Twisted Romance Set List: I Married a Monster from Outta Space Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Avocado Vignette I Wanna Be Yours Written and performed by Dr John Cooper Clarke Introduction by Johnny Green Produced by Joe Nunnery A BBC Studios Production

31 October 2016: Incredible Women (Series 5, Omnibus)  

Rebecca Front (The Thick of It) and Jeremy Front (Charles Paris) bring five more Incredible Women to Radio 4. Jeremy spends 24 hours with Astrid the robot to find out whether he can distinguish her from a real woman. With special guest Professor Noel Sharkey. He gains access to the hallowed rehearsals and work in progress of enfant terrible of performance theatre, Bella Hayman, as she develops a new show for London's West End starring Maureen Lipman. Jeremy uncovers the truth behind the design empire run by Nessa Blackwater, whose kitsch humorous products you are bound to have somewhere in your house. With guest appearance by designer Wayne Hemingway. He meets Irina Stonkus, due shortly to become the first woman on Mars, with special guest Dr Kevin Fong. Jeremy lifts the lid on Sam Mann, one half of the 80s synth pop duo Christalle, as she takes her singing partner to court. With special guest appearance by Martin Kemp and Frances Barber. With cameo appearances from: Martin Kemp, Professor Noel Sharkey, Wayne Hemingway, Dr Kevin Fong and Maureen Lipman.

24 October 16: Mae Martin's Guide to 21st Century Sexuality (Ep 2)  

Canadian stand-up Mae Martin presents her debut series for BBC Radio 4. Combining wickedly astute social observations with personal references to her own unique upbringing, Mae's taking a funny, personal look at how millennials are transforming the way that society thinks about sexuality and gender. In this episode; Mae is single and ready to mingle regardless of your gender, as she looks at how labels might help or hinder people when it comes to defining their sexual identity, or if that's something that we should be trying to define it at all. Written and performed by Mae Martin. Script editor: Sarah Campbell Producer: Alexandra Smith A BBC Studios Production

17 October 16: Ed Reardon's Week (Series11, Ep 2)  

Episode 2: ‘All About Eve’ Ed Reardon leads us through the ups and downs of his University Week. Ed decides that the modern student seems to have a complete absence of healthy anti-authoritarian rage and determines to put this state of affairs right by contacting the student magazine. Current editor, Eve, is surprisingly pleased to see a fellow student, especially one offering to contribute, so hires Ed, who jumps at the £15 expenses per issue. So it is that Ed sets out to give Eve a taste of the hard boiled professional Fleet Street Life whilst stirring up the students. Cast list ep 2 Ed Reardon……….Christopher Douglas Olive………………..Stephanie Cole Pearl………………..Brigit Forsyth Frank…………….…Martin Hyder Jaz Milvain…….…..Philip Jackson Cliff…………………Geoff McGivern Ping…………….…..Barunka O’Shaughnessy Eve………………….Maya Sondhi Stan…………………Geoffrey Whitehead Written by Andrew Nickolds and Christopher Douglas Produced by Dawn Ellis

BONUS: Mark Steel's in Town (Gibraltar)  

Mark Steel's In Town - Gibraltar Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 for a seventh series of the award winning show that travels around the country, researching the history, heritage and culture of six towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness, and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents. "I've done loads of these, but I've never done one where I couldn't get into my dressing room because of monkeys" In the last episode of the series, Mark visits the British overseas territory of Gibraltar where he performs in the spectacular setting of St Michael's Cave, inside The Rock. He explores Gibraltar's relationship with Spain, visits a British phone box, has some British fish and chips and encounters some not so British monkeys. In this series Mark visits Stockport in Greater Manchester, Colchester in Essex, Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames, Lynton in North Devon and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Written and performed by ... Mark Steel Additional material by ... Pete Sinclair Production co-ordinator ... Hayley Sterling Producer ... Carl Cooper This is a BBC Radio Comedy Production

10 October 16: Lemn Sissay's Origin Stories (Ep 1)  

Batman was an orphan; Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was an orphan; Superman was an orphan and a foundling. Cinderella was a foster child. Darth Vader - well, they can't all be winners. Lemn Sissay returns to BBC Radio 4 with a comic and poetic look at the treatment of children raised in care, orphans and foster children in popular culture, comparing them with reality. Because it surely says something about how we view them that we create so many for fiction. Lemn will explore the gap between fiction and reality, based on his own experiences of growing up in care as well as those of some special guests. 1. THE BED UNDER THE STAIRS In this first episode, Lemn discusses his experiences as a foster child, comparing them to the life of Harry Potter. Like Harry, Lemn was never told the truth about what happened to his parents. Like Harry, he found his foster parents harsh and unforgiving. But, like Harry, he came through those problems, avoided the dementors, and grew up. As well as storytelling, comedy and poetry, Lemn imagines an interview with Vernon and Petunia Dursley - Harry's foster parents. Finally, they get to tell their side of the story. Written and performed by ... Lemn Sissay Vernon Dursley ... Geoff McGivern Petunia Dursley ... Alison Belbin Producer ... Ed Morrish Lemn Sissay is the author of six collections of poetry. He has also written plays for stage and BBC radio. His radio documentary Child of the State was nominated for the 2010 Sony Awards, and last year's two-part series for Radio 4, Lemn Sissay's Homecoming was described by The Spectator as "a poignant, mind-stretching half-hour ... This was truly innovative radio", and caused The Observer to remark, "What a thing to hear in Radio 4's 6.30pm slot - the sound of genuine happiness; also regret, anger, wonder, bursting from the radio with the unexpected exuberance of a child dancing at a chamber concert ... terrific radio". Lemn was the first poet to write for the Olympics 2012 and received an MBE for Services to Literature. He is associate artist at the Southbank Centre, an (hon) Doctor of Letters, and currently the Chancellor of the University of Manchester. If you should Google "Lemn Sissay" all the returning hits will be about him. There is only one person named Lemn Sissay in the world. LEMN SISSAY'S ORIGIN STORIES IS A BBC STUDIOS PRODUCTION.

03 October 16:It's Not What You Know (Series 4, Ep 1)  

Joe Lycett discovers how well a panel of celebrity guests know their nearest and dearest. This week Joe probes into the lives of Holly Walsh, Tim Lovejoy and Nish Kumar. Production coordinator: Emily Hallett Producer: Matt Stronge A BBC Studios production.

26 September 16: Just a Minute (Series 76, Ep 7)  

Nicholas Parsons and guests return for the 76th series of the panel show where participants must try to speak for 60 seconds without hesitation, deviation or repetition. No repetition? That's no small order after nearly 50 years. Paul Merton, now the second most prolific player of the game after Kenneth Williams, will be joined by guests including series regulars Josie Lawrence, Sheila Hancock, Marcus Brigstocke and Gyles Brandreth. Hayley Sterling blows the whistle. Produced by Matt Stronge.

19 September 16: Mark Steel's in Town (Series 7, Ep 2)  

Mark Steel's In Town - Colchester Colchester - The oldest recorded town in Britain Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 for a seventh series of the award winning show that travels around the country, researching the history, heritage and culture of six towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness, and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents. "The oldest hot cross bun in the world was baked in Colchester" In the second programme, Mark visits the Essex town of Colchester and walks through the streets where 'Emperor Claudius once rode triumphantly on the first elephant in Britain', before Boudicca burnt the place to the ground, that was. He visits 'Jumbo', the town's iconic, Victorian water tower and he delves into the history of Colchester Zoo. Mark also discovers how several nursery rhymes have their origins in Colchester and he investigates the town's rivalry with Chelmsford. In this series Mark visits Stockport in Greater Manchester, Colchester in Essex, Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames, Lynton in North Devon and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Written and performed by ... Mark Steel Additional material by ... Pete Sinclair Production co-ordinator ... Hayley Stirling Producer ... Carl Cooper This is a BBC Radio Comedy Production

12 September 16: TEZ Talks (Ep1) & The Pin (Series 2, Ep 1)  

TEZ Talks Breakthrough comedian Tez Ilyas presents a show for everyone interested in – or interested in becoming – a British Muslim. Everything you need to know is here - the do's, don'ts, and avoid-or-you'll-be-arresteds. Simultaneously a hilarious, joyous celebration of British-Muslim life - and a subversive, thoughtful satire on society's attitudes to Islam. In this episode, Tez looks at ‘Integration’, a word that’s often used in the context of Muslims in the UK. How can Muslims integrate better? And who says they don’t at the moment? And more importantly, what’s Marks & Spencer or hipster beards got to do with it? Tez explains all… About Tez Blackburn-born Tez Ilyas started performing comedy in 2010 and has appeared in eight competition finals including the BBC New Comedy Award and Leicester Mercury New Comedian of the Year. He has recently appeared on the Now Show on Radio 4, as well as having performances on BBC1, BBC 3, E4, and BBC iPlayer, following his hugely critically-acclaimed debut Edinburgh show. The Pin Following a hugely successful first series, which drew praise from the likes of David Walliams and Ben Stiller, Alex and Ben are back with their weird twist on the double-act sketch show. Strap in for a 15 minute delve in to a world of oddness performed in front of a live studio audience. This week, The Pin are trying for a perfectly achievable goal for a Radio 4 late night comedy - an Oscar. About The Pin The Pin are an award-winning comedy duo, and legends of Edinburgh festival. They deconstruct the sketch form, in a show that exists somewhere between razor-sharp smartness and utterly joyous silliness. After a sold-out run in Edinburgh, and a string of hilarious performances across BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC 3, Channel 4, and Comedy Central, this is The Pin’s debut solo show for Radio 4. Join them as they celebrate, make, collapse and rebuild their jokes, each other, and probably the radio too. For fans of Adam and Joe, Vic and Bob, and Fist of Fun - a show of absurd offerings from two loveable idiots. - 'The Pin prove it's still possible to play with the conventions of the medium of sketch comedy.’ - The Guardian - 'Knowing and inventive: a 15 minute blast.' - The Times - 'The sketches are funny, and made special by Ben Ashenden and Alexander Owen also examining, subverting and reversing familiar tropes. The material is excellent.' - Radio Times - 'Eviscerating their chosen form completely.' - The Sunday Times - 'A very classy, very funny show indeed.' - The Telegraph Producer: Sam Bryant A BBC Studios Production

05 September 16: Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang Ups (Series 4, Ep 2)  

Episode 2 - Big Tom and The Hendersons. Dad tries to fight off an unwanted invasion while Granny turns to smuggling. Series 4 of Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang-Ups presents another hilarious helping of down-the-line adventures from Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated Tom. Listen in on Tom's weekly phone calls home to his Mum, Dad and Gran in Sheffield and get a glimpse into the triumphs and tribulations of the Wrigglesworth clan in all its dysfunctional glory. Starring Tom Wrigglesworth, Paul Copley, Kate Anthony, Elizabeth Bennett and Ed Kear. Written by Tom Wrigglesworth and James Kettle with additional material by Miles Jupp. Producer: Richard Morris A BBC Studios Production

29 August 16: To Hull and Back (Series 2, Ep 3)  

Lucy Beaumont stars as the daughter trying to escape her overbearing mother played by Maureen Lipman in the second series of this warm hearted sitcom set in Hull. "It's like a cross between a Victoria Wood Sketch and a Mike Leigh film". Radio Times Episode 3 - Is That You Mr Brown? An elderly Mrs Chiltern comes to stay after her cat goes missing. Sophie tries to get some bits and pieces together to sell, to pay for a car, her mother buys an antique crystal ball and attempts to tell the fortune of a neighbour with piles. Cast Sophie ..... Lucy Beaumont Sheila ..... Maureen Lipman Jean ..... Kerrie Marsh Ernie ..... Norman Lovett Mrs Chiltern / Barbara ..... Elizabeth Bennett Denise ..... Debra Baker DJ Richie ..... Jon Richardson Writer ..... Lucy Beaumont Producer ..... Carl Cooper Production Co-ordinator ..... Sophie Richardson This is a BBC Studios Production

22 August 16: Fresh from the Fringe 2016  

In two shows recorded at the BBC's Edinburgh Fringe festival site, hosts Nish Kumar and Tom Allen showcase the cream of stand-up and sketch comedy from this year's festival. Featuring Australian stand-up Tom Ballard, rising star Sophie Willan, Welsh comic Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, last year’s Fosters Best Show nominee Kieran Hodgson and more.... Producer...Joe Nunnery Production Coordinator...Sophie Richardson It was a BBC Studios Production.

15 August 16: Just a Minute (Series 76, Ep1)  

Nicholas Parsons and guests return for the 76th series of the panel show where participants must try to speak for 60 seconds without hesitation, deviation or repetition. No repetition? That's no small order after nearly 50 years. Episode one features Paul Merton, Katherine Ryan, Gyles Brandreth and Josie Lawrence. Hayley Sterling blows the whistle. Produced by Matt Stronge. It was a BBC Studios production.

08 August 16: Guilt Trip (Ep2)  

Comedy drama in which Felicity Montagu (Lynn in Alan Partridge and Mrs Mainwaring in the Dad's Army fiilm) and her daughter (Olivia Nixon) play a mother and daughter doing a two week sponsored walk along The Thames Path to raise money for the dead father's charity. But the mother and father had been divorced for nine years and he had re-married, so relationships between them all have been strained. Things come to a head at any mention of the French Oak gable table Ros and her now dead ex bought together in Camden. This has somehow ended up in the step-mother's house, much to Ros's annoyance: "I mean she sits at it! It's my table and she sits at it." The series is co-written by Katherine Jakeways who also plays the step-mother. It's day six of the walk and Ros is concerned that they aren't doing enough to revive the bond between them, while Laura is worried that she doesn't have a passion and focus in her life. Will they both find what they are looking for? Also starring Tim Key and Javone Prince. The producer was Jane Berthoud, it was a BBC Radio Comedy production.

01 August 16: Simon Evans Goes to Market (Ep1, Series 3)  

Simon Evans’ comedy lecture on four of the big life stages that mark our journey through life and how economics is part of every one of those stages, whether we like it or not. As always, he is joined by Financial Times columnist and presenter of Radio 4's 'More or Less', economist Tim Harford, and by financial guru and editor of Money Week, Merryn Somerset Webb. This week Simon looks at Youth - that period in life when the young suddenly disengage from the home unit and plummet from the safety of the family nest. The programme looks at everything from pocket money and exam subject choice, to university and whether the property ladder still exists. Baroness Alison Wolf is the guest expert, who shares her views on whether education matters and how that affects the labour markets. Which subjects should you study at school if you want to be a millionaire? Should you go to university? Take a gap year? What are the implications of all these decisions on your future economic standing. Presenter: Simon Evans, with Tim Harford and Merryn Somerset Webb Special guest: Professor Alison Wolf, Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge and Andy Wolton. Producer: Claire Jones A BBC Studios Production

Video player is in betaClose