David Mitchell to present history of comedy series for Radio 2

Friday 22nd February 2013 @ 6:23pm

Would I Lie To You?. David Mitchell. Image credit: Zeppotron.David Mitchell (pictured) is to front a radio documentary series exploring the history and development of British comedy.

Radio 2's History Of British Comedy, which starts early next month, will follow the development of modern British comedy from its roots in variety and music hall.

In the first of four hour-long episodes, Mitchell will look at innovations in music hall and the earliest developments of silent cinema, covering the years 1913 to 1938.

The second episode will see the comedian examine how radio became Britain's lifeline during World War II. Mitchell will look at how The Goon Show, Take It From Here, Variety Bandbox and numerous forces entertainment programmes became an important part of everyone's lives - and how those changes ushered in the first signs of comedy that only appealed to certain generations.

Hancock's Half Hour is expected to feature prominently in the second episode, with Mitchell looking at "a series which started on the Light Programme, ran for half an hour a week and changed how we consumed our narrative comedy forever."

Mitchell will also look at how the Variety Theatres were briefly closed during the war, but then re-opened to improve civilian morale. There will be particular focus on London's Windmill Theatre, a venue that gave many performers their big break as they attempted to entertain "inbetween the nude tableaux that the entirely male audience had come to see. Tough, yes - but it enabled performers to learn their trade in a way that wasn't available again until the arrival of comedy clubs in the 1980s."

Subsequent episodes will trace the further development of British comedy through the 1970s, the alternative comedy movement of the 1980s and the 1990s' "rock 'n' roll" comedy stars, before reaching the present day.

Radio 2's History Of British Comedy is produced by Made In Manchester, the company that has previously worked on other audio documentaries including Barbara Windsor's Funny Girls, Carry On Forever! and All Round Bob Monkhouse. The company has also produced Radio 2 tributes to Peter Sellers, Benny Hill, Dick Emery, David Frost and Tommy Cooper.

The series will begin on Radio 2 on Tuesday 5th March at 10pm.

David Mitchell also presents Radio 4 panel show The Unbelievable Truth, which is expected to return for another series later in the year. He is also a team captain on Would I Lie To You? and is currently working with double-act partner Robert Webb on Our Men, a BBC comedy drama series about a British embassy.

In other radio news, a second series of Can't Tell Nathan Caton Nothing has been commissioned; Thom Tuck Goes Straight To DVD has been given a full series following a successful pilot; Radio 4 has ordered a pilot of The Peacock & Gamble Emergency Broadcast; and stand-up Alun Cochrane has been given the green light to make a series called Alun Cochrane's Fun House.


Our Guide to 'Radio 2's History Of British Comedy'

 

Latest News

Sky orders another three series of A League Of Their Own

Sky orders another three series of A League Of Their Own

Sky has struck a long-term deal with the producers of James Corden's sports-based panel show A League Of Their Own, keeping it on air until at least 2017.

Miranda Hart tipped to host The Generation Game revival

Miranda Hart tipped to host The Generation Game revival

Miranda Hart is reportedly being lined-up to host a new version of The Generation Game.

Darren Boyd stars as midwife in ITV sitcom The Delivery Man

Darren Boyd stars as midwife in ITV sitcom The Delivery Man

Spy and Green Wing star Darren Boyd will play a midwife in The Delivery Man, a new sitcom pilot for ITV.

Katherine Parkinson to star in ITV sitcom pilot

Katherine Parkinson to star in ITV sitcom pilot

Katherine Parkinson, Stephen Tompkinson and Ralf Little are to star as mismatched housemates in a brand new sitcom pilot for ITV.

Julia Davis creates new pilot for Channel 4

Julia Davis creates new pilot for Channel 4

Julia Davis has written and is starring in a new pilot about a breakfast TV host for Channel 4, called Morning Has Broken.

Dom Joly to re-make Trigger Happy TV in America again

Dom Joly to re-make Trigger Happy TV in America again

Dom Joly is reportedly to attempt a second remake of Trigger Happy TV for American audiences.

Get More News

In The Press

In The Press

The latest press clippings from the newspapers and various internet blogs.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get news and more in your inbox every Monday.

Twitter

Twitter Feed

You can follow us on Twitter too. We post the latest news and gossip every evening.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our headlines in your news reader software.

Trying Again interviews

Trying Again interviews

Chris Addison, Jo Joyner, Charles Edwards, Alex Macqueen and more talk about Sky's Trying Again. Read

David Mitchell's new book

David Mitchell's new book

David Mitchell is currently compiling a new humorous book titled Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse. Read

Holli Dempsey interview

Holli Dempsey interview

Holli Dempsey, who plays Vicky in Derek, talks about her role. Is she like her character in real life? Read

The John Dredge Show

The John Dredge Show

Series 3 of John Dredge's critically acclaimed surreal sketch show podcast is now here. Check it out. Listen

Roisin Conaty interview

Roisin Conaty interview

Roisin Conaty introduces GameFace, her Channel 4 sitcom pilot about a woman muddling through life. Read