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Press Clippings

Lenny Henry review

The comedian has his buddy Jon Canter tee up one big-name anecdote after another in a cosy night that pays tribute ... to himself.

Brian Logan, The Guardian, 28th October 2019

Lenny Henry announces 2019 tour

Sir Lenny Henry will embark on a brand new UK tour this autumn. An Evening with Lenny Henry - Who Am I, Again? will see the comedy star talking about his life story.

British Comedy Guide, 16th May 2019

Radio Times review

Reader, I LOL-ed. This is brilliant. For the third and final part of Jon Canter's blisteringly funny sitcom, time-travelling biographer James Boswell (Miles Jupp) meets Harold Pinter.

Harry Enfield is spot-on as the master of comic menace. There are a couple of obvious gags ("Would The Caretaker be different without the pauses?" "It would be... shorter.") but Canter writes with originality and depth.

Bizarrely, this would make an excellent introduction to Pinter's work. It's almost -- though it pains me to say it -- edutainment. Essential listening.

Tristram Fane Saunders, Radio Times, 11th March 2015

Radio Times review

Comedy writer Jon Canter's last radio hit was the engagingly barmy Believe It!, which invented a fantasy life for Richard Wilson of all people. In Canter's new series Dr Johnson's biographer Boswell (Miles Jupp) interviews historical figures (Sigmund Freud last week, Maria Callas today, Harold Pinter coming up).

It's reminiscent of the Sky Arts 1 series Psychobitches in which Rebecca Front did the same sort of thing. I preferred it because its sketch format didn't outstay its welcome. Here the material is stretched thinly over half an hour. But radio editor Jane Anderson thinks it's "a work of genius". You decide.

David McGillivray, Radio Times, 4th March 2015

Radio Times review

What an absolute delight for the brain and the ears. This new series was created by Jon Canter (the freelance comedy writer who has worked with everyone from Fry and Laurie to Smith and Jones), stars the ludicrously vocally talented Miles Jupp, and tantalises the listeners with three impossible interviews.

Each week, James Boswell, the famous biographer of Dr Samuel Johnson, travels through time to interview a historical figure he could never have met. This week it's Sigmund Freud, next up is Maria Callas and the series closes with Harold Pinter (played by Harry Enfield).

One cannot help feel pity for Boswell as every question, every response, every word he utters is immediately pounced upon and psychoanalysed by Freud (played to neurotic perfection by Henry Goodman). So much so that Boswell ends the interview believing he may well want to kill his father and sleep with his mother.

A work of genius.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 25th February 2015

I never feel comfortable when fact is mixed with fiction. I spend the whole time trying to figure out what's real and what's made up and usually end up vaguely irritated if it's not clear which is which. And then, I usually say to myself, the truth is usually more interesting anyway, so why bother?

I had high hopes that Believe It!, the purported autobiography of the actor Richard Wilson, written by Jon Canter, might up-end my preconceptions. The programme felt a bit like an episode of The Unbelievable Truth, picking out factual nuggets from the welter of fiction: was he mates with George Best? Was his first acting role in Oh! What a Lovely War!, during the shooting of which he drove an apparently legless Lord Olivier back home to Brighton? And what about Mad Great-Uncle Hamish?

There were some good lines (I liked Hamish's advice - "never trust a man who doesn't drink, for he's walking around with truths inside him that he never lets oot"), and I laughed more than is usual with Radio 4 comedy. But I was troubled: the bit about him studying electrical engineering, for example, sounded true, though it seems his pre-thespian career was spent as a lab technician. But unless there's a killer joke in there somewhere, which there wasn't, why make it up?

As for Hamish (wonderfully played in the dramatised bits by John Sessions), I'm guessing he's not real, but I found myself wishing he'd existed. As he told the young Richard (played by David Tennant): "Do you want to have an exciting life and forget most of it or a blameless life and remember every second?"

Chris Maume, The Independent, 13th May 2012

Excess was the hallmark of Jon Canter's BelieveIt!, a 'radiography' of Richard Wilson who starred in a parody of his own life. In one scene, he directed George Best in the final days of his footballing career through an earpiece. That this didn't seem so very odd tells us all we need to know about celebrity biographies.

Moira Petty, The Stage, 9th May 2012

Richard Wilson, actor, director and possibly the nation's favourite fictional grouse, got so fed up with being greeted with his One Foot in the Grave TV catchline "I don't believe it!" that he's now been persuaded to launch his "radiography". It's a heady mix of the actual with the fictional, written by Jon Canter, starring Wilson and a starry roster of support which includes John Sessions, David Tennant and Arabella Weir. Unpick the facts (Wilson is unmarried, private, passionate about theatre, politics and Manchester United) from the mischievous fantasies.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 8th May 2012