A radio sitcom based around the day-to-day life of the confused and muddled one-time Variety Star, Count Arthur Strong
- Count Arthur Strong
- 2005 - 2012 (BBC Radio 4)
- 45 (7 series)
- Steve Delaney, Alastair Kerr, Dave Mounfield, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins, Joanna Neary
- Steve Delaney
- Komedia Entertainment
& Smooth Operations
One-time variety star Count Arthur Strong (Steve Delaney) is all tourettic tics, false starts and nervous fumbling, badly covered up by a delicate sheen of bravado and self-assurance.
With his jumbled delivery of words, delusions of grandeur and ability to get monumentally sidetracked, normal daily tasks become a challenge for Arthur and more often than not, those around him too.
Arthur is almost always oblivious to the chaos and delay he causes those he meets. He often ends up blaming them for the confusion he has caused, and can regularly be heard threatening to write a strongly worded letter or pass details on to his solicitor.
On the rare occasions that it does dawn on Arthur that he is at fault, he will attempt to lie his way out of trouble - normally digging himself into an even deeper hole in the process.
Arthur is a cheapskate - amongst those he attempts to get freebies from is Wilf Taylor, his butcher. Other characters who have the misfortune of knowing Arthur include cafe owner Gerry and Malcolm Titter, a naive budding young actor and playwright who stupidly looks to the Count for advice and acting lessons.
Our Review: A Sony Gold winning radio sitcom in which Steve Delaney gives a masterclass in how to write a carefully woven sitcom script packed full of smart and intelligent character-based comedy.
Having played the role of Count Arthur Strong at the Edinburgh Festival for a number of years now, Delaney has the advantage of knowing his character inside out. This allows him to provide pitch-perfect characterisation in all his scripts, something few other writers can do.
Admittedly Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! isn't going to be to everyone's tastes (it is Delaney himself who is first to point this out). In 2012 it was subjected to a fierce debate on Feedback as to whether it was 'funny enough to have been allowed to run for seven series'.
A criticism that certainly could be aimed at the show is that it has too small an ensemble cast and, as a result, many of the background characters sound like each other.
However don't let this put you off. If you haven't yet listened to the show do seek it out because you may find, like many others, Count Arthur is soon in your Top 10 list.
A TV pilot based on the character was filmed in 2010. It took the form of a (spoof) chat show hosted by Count Arthur. Two years later, and work is apparently still on-going to try and get a telly series.