Radio days

Saturday, May 15th, 2004

A busy few days.

Have twice been into London to watch BBC radio sitcoms being recorded. On Wednesday went to see Think the Unthinkable, while tonight was Revolting People. I hadn't actually heard of either of them before we applied for tickets.

Think the Unthinkable, about an appalling firm of management consultants, was very enjoyable – tightly written, professionally recorded. The young cast and crew got on with the job and obviously had a lot of fun doing it, which transferred itself to the audience. There were no obvious egos at work.

Revolting People, which doesn't even qualify for a page of its own on the BBC site, was a different matter. It's set in Baltimore just before the American War of Independence. Never have so many people been so smug at so little. Luvviness abounded and the banter between the cast when the recording wasn't going on was far funnier than the anaemic scripts. Which is odd, because the British half of the writing team, Andy Hamilton, co-wrote some programmes of genius like Not the Nine O'Clock News and Drop the Dead Donkey.

We left the first one a little intimidated. We left the second thinking “the BBC needs us”.

Other than that, I'm bashing out an entry to the Beeb's sitcom competition (closing date – end of month). Working title is Sweet Charity, although I now discover that's also the title of a 60s musical movie starring Shirley Maclaine. Rats. In mine, Charity is an idealistic youth worker on a run-down inner city housing estate. Much hilarity ensues. Perhaps. And nobody sings.

In non-script stuff, we went to Basingstoke.

Deliberately.

There's a charity shop there that acts as an official BookCrossing zone so we swapped a couple of books and then went off to Kingston and the bank (I had to pay my tax refund in). It's a happy coincidence that there's a branch of Wagamama just across the road and a Borders a little bit along…

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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.