Bigipedia. Image credit: Pozzitive Productions.

Bigipedia

Fast-paced series in which Nick Doody and Matt Kirshen present listeners with a mixed-up world based on the mangle of mis- and information online

AKA:
βIgiPεδiA; Bigipedia 2.0
Genre:
Sketch Show
Broadcast:
2009 - 2011  (BBC Radio 4)
Episodes:
8 (2 series)
Starring:
Nick Doody, Ewan Bailey, Sam Battersea, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Neil Edmond, Pippa Evans, Lewis Macleod, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jess Robinson
Writers:
Nick Doody, Matt Kirshen, Sarah Morgan, Carey Marx
Production:
Pozzitive Productions

Bigipedia is an all-round 360-degree information knowledge article-based conglomerate portal. This Radio 4 show takes a plunge into its world: mocking online communications, internet drivel, pop-ups, PC disasters, online mash ups, mobiles, search boxes, automated reply systems and other aspects of contemporary life online.

Inspired by Wikipedia, Bigipedia is Radio 4's The Sunday Format for the online age. It features multiple-overlapping voices to create information "pages", service announcements, discussion forums and endless bloody upgrade notices.

Described as "a malevolent mix between Google, Microsoft and Wikipedia taking over Radio 4 for half an hour," Bigipedia is now fully updated and corrected for version 2.0.

As of 2012, a script has been commissioned to test the idea of transferring the show to TV. The project is titled OMFG!

Our Review: We really enjoyed Bigipedia. It was clever, brave, unique and everything else a good comedy should be. Each episode featured a monolithic amount of material, much more than most sketch shows.

Admittedly, it's not a show that one can listen to whilst doing something else (it's far too fast and too subtle to catch without one's undivided attention), and it does take a while to get used to. We didn't properly "get" it until half way through episode 2, but from there on it was a joy.

The series was received favourably by the critics too, with the vast majority praising the show. Gillian Reynolds in the Daily Telegraph said the show was "the first late-night comedy in ages that has made me laugh."

Several have said it is a great parody of the internet, especially the 'disambiguation' sketches which feature a selection of gags based around a single subject - for example, the articles about "Nazi Gold", which include an "unacceptably nostalgic radio station" and "the colour of Jimmy Savile's tracksuit."

It should be pointed out that a small number of issues have been raised though, with one review in the Sunday Express commenting on the unrelenting pace of the show, saying: "You wouldn't want more than half an hour of Bigipedia, no matter how amusing it is."

Well, we do. It made us laugh. And we're delighted that Radio 4 agree.