I've written tons of stuff for the wireless and had a great time doing it. Here's some of the things I've written for.

UNDONE (2006-2010)

A kind of comic Neverwhere set in London and its weird alter-ego city of Undone. this is still at the pilot script stage, but the Light Entertainment Department at the BBC have shown some interest, so things may move on it in the second half of the year. It's about a young woman, Edna Turner, who moves to London to work on a listings magazine but finds the city is even stranger than she had expected. She follows the enigmatic Tankerton Slopes to Undone where she learns that that is where all the weirdness comes from. It's a bit Alice in Wonderland mixed with a bit of the X-Files - the truth is over there. (2002)

UPDATE!!

A pilot for Undone was recorded in January 2006 and went out on BBC7's 7th Dimension strand. A series was commissioned and was recorded in the Summer. It was first broadcast in October 2006 and a page about the series is now here. A second series was commissioned in January 2007 and was recorded over the Summer. When broadcast details are announced I will put up a page about the new episodes.

UPDATE!!

The page for the second series is now up in two parts.

PART ONE.

PART TWO.

UPDATE!!

The page for the third series is now up in two parts.

PART ONE

PART TWO

All 3 series of UNDONE now available as downloads from AUDIOGO

THE MALTBY COLLECTION (2007)

I played an old friend of the main character in the second epiosde of this Radio 4 sitcom and it was an absolute delight. The series is about an art collection and the characters around it - my episode featured a march and a football match. The cast was full of stars such as Geoffrey Palmer and Julian Rhind-Tutt, but the main joy was being in something written by the great David Nobbs, creator of Reggie Perrin among other things. Something I'm very proud of.


TALKING AND NOT TALKING (2007- 2009)

I played some characters and wrote a couple of things for three series of Laura Solon's brilliant comedy show. She writes and performs extremely funny monologues and sketches (she won the Perrier Award in Edinburgh in 2005) and I was thrilled to be involved in such a great programme. Also performing were Ben Willbond and Katherine Parkinson. Rosie Cavallero featured in the second and third runs. CDs of the first two series are available at amazon.co.uk.


COELACANTH (2006)

An adaptation of the stage show was recorded in the Spring of 2006 and is due to be a Radio 4 Afternoon Play on 13th October 2006. Here's a photo of me in the woods where we recorded a lot of the script.


THREE WISHES (2003)

Commissioned by Radio 4 about a year ago now, this was the play I took up to the 2001 Edinburgh Festival. (There's a page about the Edinburgh Fringe production of the show here.) Janice Phayre and I recorded it in January of 2002 and its transmission date is 2nd May 2002 at 2.15pm. Salkly Avens did another marvellous job directing the play and making it fit the afternoon play slot and Simon and Adam's music really lifts it.


THE 99p CHALLENGE (1999)

I've known Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley, the creators of The 99p Challenge for years; it was Andy's original imp paintings that inspired the Modolia imps. So when they asked me to be on this show, hosted by the fabulous Sue Perkins I so agreed. Pete Serafinowicz, Nick Frost, Armando Iannucci and Tom Binns and Simon Pegg were the other contestants on the shows I did and we had to come up with alternative bumper stickers, new cop show concepts, mnemonic rhymes and the like. I explained the way I remembered the number of hours in each day of the week by using the rhyme, "Twenty four hours hath Sunday and twenty four hours hath Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday hath twenty four, Thursday and Friday the same, no more. Saturday hath twenty four hours too, in fact they all hath twenty four, the whole week through." Where does the time go, eh?


QUOTE UNQUOTE (2001-2008)

While at the Edinburgh Festival 2001, I recorded a couple of episodes on Nigel Rees's quotes quiz and it was a blast. I had no problem recognising quotes from Star Wars and Trainspotting, but there were a couple of tricky ones involving Popes and Generals. I was asked to bring a few quotes in myself and I chose one from Edward Gorey ("Always burn correspondence. Disregard everybody. Faint gracefully. Howsoever interpret John Keats. Learn macrame. Nibble only. Protest quid-pro-quos. Remember seasons turning. Untangle vines. Walk extensively yonder. Zero." -- Edward Gorey, "Thoughtful Alphabet No.4") and a couple from Mickey Rivers, including Poppy's philosophy from Poppy Day. I have since recorded a few other appearances on the show and enjoyed myself enormously.


IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO ASK US?

A late night half hour comedy piece for Radio 4 about the worst possible answer to that particular question. The job interview from hell, basically, going inside the interviewee's head as he drones on about what a suitable candidate he is while the interviewers drop off one by one. I thought it had some good lines but it was caught between being a monologue and a radio play and as such can't be regarded as too successful. Still, Sally Avens did a fine job of making it comprehensible to an audience. Unrepeated and not really likely to be.


MY LAST WEEK WITH MODOLIA (1999)

An Afternoon Play production of the show I took to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1998. A romantic comedy about the love between a twenty something plastic surgeon and an 88 year old who shows him what he should really change about himself. The show page is here. It was produced beautifully by Sally Avens and Simon Oakes's music is just gorgeous. It got a great response from people listening to it who told me how much they'd enjoyed it, but the BBC have never repeated it, and the papers virtually ignored it as I guess there was something important on the radio that day.


THE GREAT SWISS DONUT (1999)

This was a one-off special for Radio 4 where I went to CERN in Switzerland to report on the quest for anti-matter. It has always been a dream of mine to go to the particle research lab and to see the accelerators in operation was a great thrill. The scientists were brilliant at explaining the experiments and the show was produced brilliantly by Paul Arnold.


THE BIG BANG (1996-1999)

I contributed to five series of Radio 4's top popular science show. Often I was doing little 'rants' where I'd look at a big science story of the week and put a humorous spin on it. But by the last couple of series, Dave Green, Danny O'Brien and I were doing straight items for the show. We would take a look at the science behind certain new movies (the ergot poisoning panic in 'The Crucible', light sabres in 'Star Wars') and give them a contemporary context. In the final series we covered the science surrounding the turn of the millennium and the ways the arts and sciences can assist each other. We also contributed to a special show celebrating the centenary of the discovery of the electron. It was a fun series to work on - thanks largely to producer Sue Broome and host Jez Nelson who are just fabulous.


THE ENTERTAINMENT SUPERHIGHWAY (1997)

This was Radio 5's late Friday night arts and entertainment review strand, presented by the lovely Katie Puckrick. I would do a little news round up with a few gags about the week's big stories. One time I was asked to do the show as an expert type figure to review movies and have opinions. I managed to like everything I was asked to review which probably wasn't what they expected, but that's kind of my style.


ELASTIC PLANET (1995)

Up to now, my only radio series. Six fifteen minute shows for Radio 4, narrated by Oliver (Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine, Clangers etc) Postgate and starring a series of brilliant comedy actors and various people playing themselves. We had Sir Robert Stephens, Patrick Moore, James Naughtie, Raymond Baxter, Caron Keating, Julian Pettifer, Richard Baker and quite a few others. Cast members included Miriam Margolyes, Doon Mackichan, Fiona Allen, Rebecca Front, Neil Mullarkey, Alexander Armstrong, Kerry Shale and Dan Strauss. It was produced by Jon Naismith and he did a fantastic job getting the right people and he had such a light touch with the comedy. The six unconnected stories were all circular and were pretty bizarre. The excellent Radiohaha has a webpage for the show here.

And here's my page outlining the series.


THE ARMANDO IANNUCCI SHOW

THE FIST OF FUN

Produced by Sarah Smith, I wrote a few gags and skits for the former and appeared in a couple of things on the latter. I was they guy who painted the side of the Apollo 11 rocket. Oh yes.


THE BILL DOD HAPPY HOUR (1992)

Working with Jon Magnusson on Weekending led us to provide scripts for this pilot for Radio 2. We worked with Harry Hill on the script and a super cast included Bryan Bowles and Jonathan Kidd as well as the eponymous Mr Dod. My favourite moment was the spitting circus acts, but it was a long time ago so maybe there were other good bits. Radio 2 didn't like the show much, and considering what Magnusson, Murray and Hill have gone onto, that was their loss.


WEEKENDING (1991-1995)

When I first moved to London in 1990, Al Murray, Danny O'Brien and I started writing sketches for Radio 4's 'Weekending'. This, we believed, was the time-honoured path to comedy writing celebrity and we had a lot of fun but not much celebrity. We worked with some excellent producers - including Armando Iannucci, Sarah Smith and Jon Magnusson - and some of the sketches we wrote were pretty OK. We stuck it out for a couple of years, giving up our commission when we knew that our 'Blue Helmets' sketch (about the UN's motorcycle display team bringing peace to war-torn Yugoslavia through skillful stunts) was never going to get on. Our best moment might have been the Liberal Democrats trying to organise their 1992 election party in a brewery.



 

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