Ayres On The Air. Pam Ayres. Copyright: BBC
Ayres On The Air

Ayres On The Air

  • Radio sketch show
  • BBC Radio 4 / BBC Radio 4 Extra
  • 2004 - 2018
  • 27 episodes (6 series)

Pam Ayres presents sketches, poetry and anecdotes. With Felicity Montagu and Geoffrey Whitehead.

Press clippings

Pam Ayres: I'm not a poet - I write comedy that rhymes

The comedian and writer looks back on her career ahead of a new series of Radio 4's Ayres on the Air.

Viv Groskop, Radio Times, 19th March 2018

Pam Ayres was all dewy-eyed over a new grandson, penned an ode to a mangle and reflected on the bittersweet experience of children leaving home.

Ayres' style of old-fashioned, cosy humour isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it's refreshing not to have to listen to yet another comedian's political rant or personal agenda. And plenty of one-liners are equal to those delivered by Ayres' much younger comic peers. Students, said Geoffrey Whitehead, playing her husband, sleep all day - just think of them as hamsters who text.

Derek Smith, The Stage, 20th January 2014

Rewind radio: Ayres on the Air

Though it's for her poems that Ayres is famous, I enjoyed the sitcom inserts rather more than I thought I would.

Miranda Sawyer, The Observer, 18th January 2014

Radio Times review

Snoring partners, downsizing with reluctance and children moving out are subjects sure to strike home with many an adult reader and Pam Ayres delivers her personal views on each of them in the comical way we have come to expect since she won Opportunity Knocks back in 1975.

Joined on stage by Geoffrey Whitehead, in the role of her long-suffering husband Gordon, this is a wryly observed selection of sketches, anecdotes and, of course, poems on what it's like to teeter on the edge of retirement. Although some of the moments are poignant, the majority are good-humoured, even risqué. Ayres obviously believes growing older does not equate with giving up the ghost.

She remains an inspiration to us all.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 17th January 2014

Pam Ayres: why opportunity still knocks

Famed for her comic verse and country burr, Pam Ayres tells Nigel Farndale about Britain's Got Talent, bad mortgages, and why she's started to write more serious poetry.

Nigel Farndale, The Telegraph, 6th February 2010

Pam Ayres: Ayres and graces

Pam Ayres tickled Seventies' TV audiences with her broad accent and innuendo-laden verses. And she's still got a rare talent for observing life's little quirks. But in a nice way.

Deborah Ross, The Independent, 1st March 2008

Pam Ayres back on air - but who really cares?

Only a nation that loves its tea, its dogs and its eccentrics as much as England does could have produced someone like Pam Ayres, and then compounded the sin by providing her with the sustenance of celebrity.

The Independent (Ireland), 25th March 2006

Come 2005, it will be 30 years since the versatile poet and comedian got her first break on Opportunity Knocks! but more recently the only TV appearance which readily comes to mind was a brief, suitably witty ditty on receiving her MBE. All the more reason then that her fans will welcome the new four-part Radio 4 sketch show Ayres on the Air, each episode tackling a subject no doubt dear to sixtysomethings' hearts. The first deals with the humiliations that come with inevitable physical deterioration and though, for example, her ode to the Wonderbra hardly creates a storm in a D-cup - many jokes are signposted way ahead - there is an endearing cosiness to the material, its delivery and pace. Both Geoffrey Whitehead and Felicity Montagu are also solid stooges off which to bounce her style of comedy.

The Stage, 12th July 2004

Pam Ayres is back. Ayres on the Air focuses on ageing, in a selection of unfunny monologues and unfunny sketches. Luckily, for the recording, Ayres's entourage took the sensible precaution of flooding the place with laughing gas.

Phil Daoust, The Guardian, 5th July 2004

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