Friday, 17 February 2017
Radio Review: 17 February
Jake Yapp dissects Radio 4’s idiosyncrasies
Written by Louis Barfe
A while back, the disgustingly talented Jake Yapp – best known for his turns as the innuendo laden old trouper Dora Dale, his appearances on Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe and his Sunday morning show on talkRADIO – went viral on YouTube. No, I don’t mean he was ill. Going viral now is a good thing.
He did it with a video in which he summarised, to considerable comic effect, a day’s output on Radio 4 in just two minutes. All of the foibles of Today, In Our Time, You and Yours, ‘The sodding Archers’, Poetry Please and the Shipping Forecast (‘Fisher, Dogger, jim-jams, good.’) nailed with pinpoint accuracy and succinctness.
Now Radio 4 has returned the compliment by giving Yapp his own show, Jake Yapp Saves Humanity In 28 minutes (available on iPlayer), in which he is aided by George Fouracres and Susan Wokoma. Are the extra 26 minutes well-used? Definitely. The pilot, first transmitted in January and repeated last week, covered the subject of TV advertising.
The standout bit of the show sprang from Yapp’s observation that ukulele and glockenspiel are often used to make toxic products seem nice and fluffy. For example, an energy company that actually burns dolphins, and financial monoliths that use ‘ordinary employees’ in their ads rather than featuring CEOs sitting in jacuzzis ‘full of caviar’. It’s bracing stuff and a series must surely follow.
Yapp and Laura Shavin’s Sunday Best (talkRADIO, Sundays, 8am-11am) is also worth a listen, with silly features such as Who Wants To Eat A Chilli On Air?, and a refreshingly irreverent attitude to the news of the day.
Meanwhile, I must mark the passing of Alan Simpson, co-writer, with Ray Galton, of some of the most indestructible radio (and TV comedy) ever. A lovely man, as well as being one of the funniest.
Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: firstname.lastname@example.org