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.


Austentatious plus interview  

Alongside the show, Cariad Lloyd chats to fellow Austentatious cast members Charlotte Gittins and Rachel Parris about their love for Jane Austen, improvisation and bonnet research nights. The world premiere of an incredible lost Jane Austen novel, full of wit, flirtation and dastardly behaviour - and cooked up completely on the spot by the UK's finest improv troupe. All the cast know is that they will perform a story in the style of Jane Austen, based on a title suggested by the studio audience. Be prepared for anything from Strictly Come Darcy to Mansfield Shark. Austentatious are Amy Cooke-Hodgson, Graham Dickson, Charlotte Gittins, Cariad Lloyd, Joseph Morpurgo, Andrew Hunter Murray, Rachel Parris and Daniel Nils Roberts, with violin by Oliver Izod. Produced by Jon Harvey A Hat Trick production for BBC Radio 4.

The Damien Slash Mixtape plus interview  

This week, alongside his show, Cariad Lloyd chats to Damien Slash about his route to the recording studio. Multi-character YouTube star Damien Slash makes the move from online to Radio 4, in this new fast-paced, one-man sketch comedy show. From the surreal to the satirical, from the zeitgeist to the absurd, Damien serves up a range of high octane characters, all from his own voice. Adverts, actors, hipsters, trolls - no aspect of modern life is left un-skewered. Written by and starring Damien Slash (aka Daniel Barker). Additional material by Robin Morgan. Produced by Sam Bryant. A BBC Studios production.

Alex Edelman's Peer Group plus interview  

Alongside his stand-up, Cariad Lloyd speaks to Alex Edelman about the highs and lows of being a Millennial. The so-called Millennial generation - those born between 1982 and 1994 - has been much maligned in the press for being lazy, entitled, vain, venal, self-involved, easily offended little emperors. But Alex Edelman thinks these criticisms are baseless. So in "Alex Edelman'S Peer Group" he seeks to redress the balance. In this episode he discusses Millennials' attitude to work and institutions. Written and presented by Alex Edelman Producer: Sam Michell A BBC Studios Production.

Small Scenes (Series 3, Episode 1)  

Award-winning sketch series starring Daniel Rigby, Mike Wozniak, Cariad Lloyd, Henry Paker and Jessica Ransom. Featuring more overblown, melodramatic scenes from modern life, such as a woman who uncovers the conspiracy behind cryptic crosswords, a saxophonist who is tortured by his inability to play the solo from Baker Street and what happens if you buy Chris de Burgh's old house. Written by Benjamin Partridge, Henry Paker and Mike Wozniak, with additional material from the cast. Produced by Simon Mayhew-Archer.

John Cleese Presents, Series 1 Episode 3  

In today's show, John has booked the wonderful Eddie Izzard as a guest. Well, he hopes he has. It would be terrible if Eddie were stuck on a train. Starring John Cleese, Harriet Carmichael and Eddie Izzard, and written by John Cleese and James Peak. The extracts used in this programme are taken from John's audiobook of his autobiography So Anyway. Producers: James Peak and Andre Jacquemin A Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 4.

Just A Minute  

Just A Minute is 50 years old this year! Nicholas Parsons has been hosting since day one, and kicks off the first episode of the new series with a cracking line-up: Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence, Graham Norton and Stephen Fry. The panel have to talk on a given subject for sixty seconds without repetition, hesitation or deviation. Graham tells us how he lets off steam, Paul informs us about Charles Darwin, Josie tells us what she thinks of low hanging fruit, and Stephen gets stuck into selfie sticks. Hayley Sterling blows the whistle and it was produced by Matt Stronge. Just A Minute is a BBC Studios production.

Cracking Up (Series 1, Ep 1) plus Beef and Dairy Network interview  

In a Comedy of the Week podcast first, Cariad Lloyd chats to Beef and Dairy Network's Benjamin Partridge about his surreal bovine-themed comedy. But first, Cariad introduces this week's comedy pick... Cracking Up (Series 1, Episode 1: Let's Talk About Sex) Psychotherapist Spencer finds an uncomfortable conversation with daughter Tilly leads him to an inappropriate outburst outside the school gates. Meanwhile, ex-wife Tina is struggling to get teenager Dylan out of the door in the absence of his lucky pants. Spencer has an awkward moment with a man on a tube train and decides to make himself feel better by taking Tilly (and bagfuls of his clothes) to a charity shop. Unfortunately, there's a misunderstanding with the owner that results in Spencer shouting a lot about cancer and smashing a door down - but Police eventually let him off with a caution. Tina's boyfriend Owen's motorbike has been vandalised with a magic marker and Tilly's curious as to why Spencer's hands have got ink all over them. A Big Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Rum Bunch (Series 1, Ep 1)  

Justin Edwards, Mel Giedroyc and Dave Mounfield have been invited by the Mayor of seaside town World's End on Sea to perform a hair raising tribute to Houdini. Justin has invited the "nicest woman in showbiz", Rebecca Front, to join them. Little does he know of the history between Mel and Rebecca, dating back to an appearance they both made on Celebrity Supermarket Sweep. It turns out that Justin also doesn't know much about Houdini - believing him to be an Italian woman. Luckily Dave, fearing the show may be a disaster causing him to miss out on the free lighter promised by the Mayor, is on hand to rewrite the play. Mel persuades Rebecca to perform a radio first, a recreation of one of Houdini's most daring stunts. But will the truth of what really happened on Supermarket Sweep ever be revealed? Will the show restore the fortunes of the once fashionable seaside town? Will Dave get his free lighter? The Rum Bunch is Justin Edwards (The Consultants, The Odd Half Hour, Newsjack, Sorry I've Got No Head, The Thick of It), Mel Giedroyc (Mel and Sue, Bake Off, Let It Shine) and Dave Mounfield (Count Arthur Strong, This Is Jinsy). The house band is Jason Hazeley and David Reed - The Penny Dreadfuls. Produced by Jim North A Top Dog production for BBC Radio 4.

Rob Newman's Neuropolis (Series 1, Ep 1)  

One of Britain's finest comedians, Rob Newman, is our guide on a unique audio odyssey of the brain, taking in everything from love and guilt to robot co-workers and the unlikely importance of prehistoric trousers. It's a witty, fact-packed series mixing stand-up and sketches, challenging notions of neuroscience with a new theory that's equal parts enlightening and hilarious. Rob offers an alternative to some of the more bizarre claims in modern popular science, as well as rejigging theories of our brains in light of what we know about nature, artificial intelligence and Belinda Carlisle. Created by the award-winning team behind Robert Newman's Entirely Accurate Encyclopaedia of Evolution. Written by and starring Rob Newman Co-starring Claire Price and Richard McCabe Producer: Jon Harvey Executive Producer: Richard Wilson A Hat Trick production for BBC Radio 4.

Kevin Eldon Will See You Now (Series 3, Ep 1)  

Comedy's best kept secret ingredient returns with another series of his own sketch show. In this episode, more thrilling adventures of Commander Topper Hargreaves and his faithful dog Duke, a sneak preview of a new opera with extra wine gums, and of course some vitreous castanets. Kevin Eldon is a comedy phenomenon. He's been in virtually every major comedy show in the last fifteen years, but not content with working with the likes of Chris Morris, Steve Coogan, Armando Iannucci, Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, Stewart Lee, Julia Davis and Graham Linehan, he's also created his own comedy series for BBC Radio 4. After all the waiting - Kevin Eldon Will See You Now. Also starring Amelia Bullmore (I'm Alan Partridge, Scott & Bailey), Julia Davis (Nighty Night), Paul Putner (Little Britain), Justin Edwards (The Thick Of It), David Reed (The Penny Dreadfuls) and Rosie Cavaliero (Alan Partridge, Harry and Paul). Written by Kevin Eldon with additional material by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris (A Touch Of Cloth and, yes, those modern Ladybird books) Original music by Martin Bird Produced and directed by David Tyler A Pozzitive production for BBC Radio 4.

17th April 17: The Missing Hancocks (Series 3, Ep 5)  

The Missing Hancocks recreates those episodes of the classic Radio Show Hancock's Half Hour that have been wiped or lost from the archive. Not heard since then, this is a real piece of comedy history. The first modern sitcom, Hancock's Half Hour made stars of Tony Hancock, Sid James and Kenneth Williams and launched Ray Galton and Alan Simpson on one of the most successful comedy-writing partnerships in history. But 20 episodes of the show are missing from the BBC archives. Now, after two highly successful series, another five of those episodes have been lovingly re-recorded in front of a live audience at the BBC Radio Theatre. Tonight's episode: The Three Sons. This modern morality tale tells the story of old Ebidiah Hancock and his three sons, all of whom are played by Hancock Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, and with the classic score newly recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra, the show stars Andy Secombe, Kevin Eldon, Simon Greenall, Robin Sebastian and Susy Kane. The Three Sons was first broadcast on the 21st June, 1955. Produced by Neil Pearson & Paul Sheehan. Written by Ray Galton & Simpson Kevin McNally - Tony Hancock Andy Secombe – Harry Secombe Kevin Eldon - Bill Kerr Simon Greenall - Sid James Robin Sebastian - Kenneth Williams Susy Kane - Andree Melly Music recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Levon Parikian. A BBC Studios Production

10th April 17: A Normal Life & Tom Parry's Fancy Dressed Life (Ep 1)  

A Normal Life Part two in an occasional series in which Henry Normal uses poetry, storytelling and comedy to explore life’s big questions. Last year Henry brought us his acclaimed show - ‘A Normal Family’, which centred around his son, Johnny, who was diagnosed with "mildly severe” autism. In this profound, funny and moving show, Henry explored what this meant for his family. This time Henry brings us his new show, ‘A Normal Life’. Drawing on his experiences bringing up a child with autism, Henry investigates where edges are, and how we are connected. As well as his trademark humour, the show tackles the subjects of life, death, loneliness, loss, human frailty and other classic conversation stoppers. Henry Normal is a multi-award winning writer, producer and poet. Co-writer of award winning TV programmes such as The Royle Family, The Mrs Merton Show, Coogan’s Run and Paul Calf, and producer of, amongst many others, Oscar-Nominated Philomena, Gavin and Stacey and Alan Partridge. He has published several volumes of poetry, including The Dream Ticket, Nude Modelling for the Afterlife and Staring Directly at the Eclipse. His last Radio 4 series was 1997's Encyclopaedia Poetica. Written and performed by - Henry Normal Producer - Carl Cooper Production Coordinator - Steve Lanham This is a BBC Studios Production Tom Parry's Fancy Dressed Life Episode 1: Rules. Tom needs to lay down the law and explain his four golden rules of Fancy Dress. Listen carefully, fancy dress might seem like a bit of fun to you but for Tom it's something altogether more serious. But still fun. For this week's costume party, Tom is off to help warm the house of his friends Marko and Rosie. Tom wants to make sure that he has the best costume and looks good in front of Jill, a girl he's recently been "chirpsing", but Tom's cousin and fancy dress nemesis Gagsy is on hand to make sure that things don't run smoothly. Tom Parry is an award winning comedian, writer and actor whose credits include Miranda, Phone Shop and Drunk History among many others. As a stand up, he most recently gained critical acclaim and an Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nomination for his debut hour ‘Yellow T-Shirt’. For more than a decade he has been part of the multi-award winning sketch team Pappy's. Together they have performed 6 sell out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, completed 4 national tours, gigged all over the world, and created, written and starred in the sitcom ‘Badults’ for BBC3. Cast: Tom Parry, Ben Clarke, Celeste Dring, Gareth Pierce Producer: Richard Morris A BBC Studios Production

3rd April 17: Just A Minute (Series 77, Ep 6)  

Just A Minute is 50 years old this year! Nicholas Parsons has been hosting since day one, and continues to host with skill and panache! This week our panelists are Paul Merton, Jenny Eclair, Marcus Brigstocke and Just A Minute newbie, Al Murray. The panel will endeavor to talk on a given subject for sixty seconds without repetition, hesitation or deviation. What does Jenny think about a dog's dinner? Can Marcus talk about the tube for a full minute? Paul gives it to us straight and Al tells us his views on spam. Hayley Sterling blows the whistle and it was produced by Matt Stronge. Just A Minute is a BBC Studios production.

27th March 17: Chain Reaction (Series 12 - Harry Hill Interviews Tim Vine)  

In this edtition, Harry Hill turns interviewer and invites his chosen guest Tim Vine into the Chain Reaction hot seat. Chain Reaction is the talk show with a twist where one week's interviewee becomes the next week's interviewer. John Cleese was first in the hot seat back in 1991 and since then, a procession of big names from the world of comedy and entertainment including Jennifer Saunders, Jarvis Cocker and Eddie Izzard have helped continue the chain. Harry Hill is an award winning comedian and world class swingball player. Born in Woking in 1964, he holds a medical degree from the University of London. His books include Flight from Deathrow and Tim the Tiny Horse. He has been a stand-up since the early 90s and is well known as the star of TV Burp and the voice of You've Been Framed. Harry can currently be seen on Alien Fun Capsule. For this edition Harry is joined by Tim Vine (AKA The Punslinger, The Joke-a-motive or The Punaway Train). Tim is best known for his frenetic stage shows, rammed full of rapid one liners, songs and props. He previously starred in BBC1s Not Going Out, ITV1s The Sketch Show and hosted the seminal Channel 5 quiz show Whittle. Together they discuss Tim’s teenage dreams of being a pop star, giant moths and the roots of Tim’s act. Producer: Adnan Ahmed A BBC Studios Production Photo credit: Matt Stronge

20th March 17: Jack Rooke: Good Grief  

An adaptation of Jack's critically acclaimed debut Edinburgh show, Good Grief celebrates lost loved ones and finding happiness after tragedy. At 15 years old Jack was an old man trapped in a child's body, he listened to Woman's hour, wrote poems and went to bingo with his Nan, whilst his Jack-the-lad dad encouraged him to go off road racing and live life. In the middle of his GCSEs Jack had to go from child to man overnight, when his dad unexpectedly died of cancer. Seven years on, Jack and his paternal grandmother take us on their funny poignant journey of good grief. Producer: Paul Sheehan A BBC Studios Production

13th March 17: Spotlight Tonight with Nish Kumar (Ep 1)  

We all like to think we know about the news and yet, whilst jokes about Boris Johnson's haircut are all well and good, do you still have that nagging suspicion there's important things going on beneath the headlines you'd like to know about? Well, help is at hand! Nish Kumar is here to cast his spotlight on the week's most talked about news items, taking an in-depth look at the biggest stories from the past seven days to scrutinise what's actually going on beneath the bluster. Recorded on the day of transmission, Spotlight Tonight brings you the most reactive up to date in-depth look at the news. This week Nish tackles today's budget, looks at the latest in the unfolding Trump saga, and discusses the latest scheme to encourage young people to get on the housing ladder. Roving reporter without portfolio investigates today's International Women's Day and, possibly contravening all BBC regulations, Peugeot have paid for a section of the show to address their takeover of Vauxhall Opel (they haven't really paid for it, it's part of the joke). Starring Nish Kumar, Sarah Campbell and Kieran Hodgson. Written by Robin Morgan, Sarah Campbell, Max Davis, Gabby Hutchinson-Crouch, Nish Kumar, and Tom Neenan. It was produced by Matt Stronge and was a BBC Studios Production.

6th March 17: Sarah Kendall: Australian Trilogy (Ep 1)  

Multi-award winning storyteller Sarah Kendall, brings her critically acclaimed trilogy of funny and moving, live shows to Radio 4. Taking her audience on a trip, Sarah gives a unique snapshot of small-town life in Australia in the early nineties. At a time when most people were seeing Australians through the filter of ‘Home and Away’ and ‘Neighbours’, Sarah’s shows present a darker underbelly to the stereotype of the sun-loving, happy-go-lucky Aussie teenager. Comedic and tragic in equal measure, Sarah’s tales of her teenage life blend intricate narratives with a cast of memorable characters, bringing events to life in front of your very ears. Episode 1: A Day In October "This show is a story about a day in October in 1990, when I saw a miracle happen to a boy, and his name was George Peach..." A Day in October is about Sarah’s secret relationship with bullied classmate, George Peach. Following an accident at the beach, George Peach died for exactly 11 seconds. Sarah's story examines the remarkable effect those eleven seconds had on Sarah and her schoolmates. The show plays with the relationship between fiction and real-life and explores the redemptive power of storytelling. Written and performed by Sarah Kendall Producer - Carl Cooper Production Coordinator - Emily Hallett This is a BBC Studios Production.

27th February 17: It's Jocelyn (Series 2, Ep 1)  

It’s Jocelyn returns for a second series of sketches and stand-up from the wonderful mind of Jocelyn Jee Esien. In episode one, Jocelyn talks about a break-up, a flirty dentist crosses the line and a street magician shows off his skills to the public. This series Jocelyn is joined by Paul Whitehouse as a cockney funeral director, as well as the vocal talents of Ninia Benjamin, Curtis Walker, Dee Kaate, Gavi Chera and Karen Bartke. The producer is Suzy Grant and It’s Jocelyn is a BBC Studios production.

20th February 17: Mark Steel - Who Do I Think I Am?  

The star of the award winning Mark Steel's In Town brings his new, critically acclaimed stand-up show to Radio 4. "I've always known I was adopted, even before I knew where babies who weren't adopted came from." Who Do I Think I Am? is a surprising, moving and incredibly funny story about what Mark discovered in his half-hearted attempt to navigate the red tape required to track down his birth mother. "It never really bothered me that I'd never met my mum. It never occurred to me I needed to meet her to 'find out who I was', as it didn't seem likely I'd discover I was someone different to who I thought I was. Could it turn out I was three stone lighter than I thought, or I spoke Italian or supported Arsenal or had a fear of Liquorice Allsorts? But after the birth of my own son, I realised it's quite an event to have a child, and she may well remember giving birth to me, and maybe even the adoption..." This is a special performance of 'Mark Steel: Who do I Think I Am' - recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre Written and performed by Mark Steel Producer Carl Cooper BBC Studios Production

13th Feburary 17: The Museum of Curiosity (Series 10, Ep 5)  

This week, the Professor of Ignorance John Lloyd and his curator Jo Brand welcome comedian, screenwriter and Guilty Feminist podcaster Deborah Frances-White; the entomologist and bumblebee expert, Professor Dave Goulson; and “that bloke off Time Team who was Baldrick in Blackadder”, Sir Tony Robinson. This week, the Museum’s Guest Committee enshrine the first Englishwoman to make a living as a professional poet, Emilia Lanier; speculate on the unusual polyphiloprogenitive strategies of virgin death watch beetles; and pay homage to the moment when Blackadder finally went “over the top”. The show was researched by Anne Miller of QI and Mike Turner. The production coordinator was Sophie Richardson. The producers were Richard Turner and James Harkin. It was a BBC Studios Production.

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