Friday, 30 October 2015

Radio Review: 30 October

The Beeb gives oxygen to the lowest form of wit

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176If someone is transparently trying to draw attention to themselves my instinct is to ignore. It’s nice to be noticed and appreciated but trying desperately to make an impression, favourable or otherwise, never works out well.

I first became aware of comedian Andrew Lawrence last year, when he caused a minor kerfuffle by moaning about ‘“political” comedians cracking cheap and easy gags about UKI P’, the ‘ever-creeping militant political correctness of the BBC ’ and ‘women posing as comedians’. I filed the name away under ‘tedious try-hard blowhards to be avoided like the plague’.

So, when I saw that he’d been rewarded by the militantly PC BBC with his own Radio 4 sitcom, my instinct was to avoid. However, when told how awful the show was I weakened in disbelief. I wish I’d stuck with my original instinct.

In There Is No Escape (R4, Tuesdays, 6.30pm), Lawrence plays a loser called Andrew who lives with his girlfriend in mutual disdain. The script consists of people being sarcastic to each other in the most charmless way, in a manner that people only do in bad sitcoms. Wise-cracking without any glimmer of wisdom. Diane Morgan (perhaps best known as Weekly Wipe’s Philomena Cunk), who plays the girlfriend, deserves far better. Happily there is an escape. It’s called the ‘off’ switch.

I’m also disappointed in Robert Newman’s Entirely Accurate Encyclopaedia of Evolution (R4, Thursdays, 11pm), and that’s even worse because I’ve loved his work ever since The Mary Whitehouse Experience. So I’ll stick with it.

To end on a happy note, I was lucky enough to interview Barry Cryer on stage in Leeds the other week, and the great Martin Kelner of BBC Radio Leeds grabbed Baz for a glorious One To One, which is still on iPlayer. If you don’t like the parrot joke, check your pulse.

Louis on Twitter: @LF Barfe or email: wireless@cheeseford.net



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