BBC Radio 4 announces new comedy commissions hand-picked from the myriad balmy cooped-up venues at the Edinburgh Festival in August and released into the giddy expanse of the Radio 4 airwaves to brighten up the gloomy winter months.
These sunny new comedy highlights include four half-hour pilots direct from the Fringe written by and starring: 2011 Foster Awards nominee, Chris Ramsey; The Penny Dreadfuls, Thom Tuck; comedian and poet, John Osborne; and Peep Show star and irrepressible songstrel, Isy Suttie.
Caroline Raphael, Commissioning Editor, Radio 4 Comedy and Entertainment, says: “Radio 4 is pleased to be able to bring four really original gems and stand out performances from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival to a wider audience. We scour Edinburgh each year for new voices but are also always on the look out for beautifully written and constructed shows that we think can work in their own right on the radio.”
Jane Berthoud, Head of Radio Comedy, says: “We are delighted to be working with all these extremely talented acts. Edinburgh is a vitally important showcase for performers and can provide the start of a very fruitful relationship between them, our producers and Radio 4.”
Upon their new series on Radio 4:
John Osborne says: “After winning a box of records from John Peel’s shed in 2002 I always wanted more people to be able listen to some of the tracks in the collection. To be able to talk about the records and about music, radio and John Peel to an enthusiastic Radio 4 audience is such a pleasure and I hope people enjoy it in their living rooms, cars and baths on 21st December.”
John Peel’s Shed (Wednesday 21st Dec, 11.30am)
Isy Suttie says: “I’m overjoyed to be doing my Edinburgh show on Radio 4. Having spent a month playing to audiences who’d been rained on all day, some of them dashing in late, I advise listeners to wrap up warm, eat a hearty meal and leave enough time for the journey from the sofa to the radio.”
Isy Suttie: Pearl And Dave (Wednesday 11th Jan, 6.30pm)
Thom Tuck says: “I am honoured, after two series and two plays on the radio with The Penny Dreadfuls, to be stepping out in radio comedy on my own. It’s been a lovely process: despair at losing visual jokes giving way to joy at how beautiful the band sounds. It’s a show that I adore performing and, so far, people have enjoyed experiencing. Perhaps the most thrilling thing is that this, a show about heartbreak, is to be broadcast on Valentine’s Day.”
Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD (Tuesday 14th Feb, 11pm)
Chris Ramsey says: “I’m very chuffed to have been added to a great list of comics who’ve had their Edinburgh shows adapted for Radio 4. I’ve really enjoyed listening to them all so I’m looking forward to recording my own.”
Chris Ramsey: Offermation (Thursday 22nd Mar, 6.30pm)
Accompanying these Edinburgh shows, 2011 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Adam Riches has been given a pilot script commission.
Further to these Edinburgh pilots, Radio 4 is also pleased to announce more new comedy series for 2012.
In the new year, a new six-part series, I, Regress (Tuesday 3rd Jan, 11pm), written by and starring Matt Berry as a twisted regression therapist, who take his patients on a surreal and unsettling journey into their unsuspecting sub-conscious. The cast includes Katherine Parkinson, Morgana Robinson, Simon Greenall, Jack Klaff, Tara Flynn, Alex Lowe and Playschool’s Derek Griffiths.
Meanwhile, It’s Will & Greg (Thursday 5th Jan, 11pm) is a surreal new-three part sketch show with a twist, featuring the award-winning Greg McHugh (Gary Tank Commander and star of Fresh Meat) and Will Andrews.
Tina C’s Global Depression Tour (Wednesday 11th Jan, 11pm) is the Olivier Award-winning country and music singing creation of writer and performer Chris Green. In this series Tina C turns her fearsome charm on sorting out the world recession.