British Comedy Guide

Before They Were Famous.

Before They Were Famous

BBC Radio 4 sketch show. 16 episodes (3 series), 2012 - 2015. Stars Ian Leslie, John Finnemore, Katy Wix, Fenella Woolgar, David Armand, Abigail Burdess, Mark Evans and others.

Series 2, Episode 4 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra on Wednesday at 10:30pm

Before They Were Famous

Spoof Radio 4 documentary which sheds light on the often surprising jobs done by the world's best known writers

Sketch Show
2012 - 2015
BBC Radio 4
16   (3 series)
Ian Leslie, John Finnemore, Katy Wix, Fenella Woolgar, David Armand, Abigail Burdess, Mark Evans, Simon Kane and others
Ian Leslie
Claire Broughton and Anna Silver

Even the most successful of writers have, at some point, had to take day jobs to pay the bills...

Ian Leslie brings light the often surprising first literary attempts of some of the world's best known writers. A project of literary archaeology, Leslie has found evidence in the most unlikely of places - within the archives of newspapers, periodicals, corporations and universities-showcasing the early writing examples of writers such as Jilly Cooper-during her brief and unfortunately unsuccessful foray into the world of war reporting, and Hunter S Thompson - in his sadly short-lived phase working in the customer relations department for a major American Airline.

These are the newspaper articles, advertising copy, company correspondence and gardening manuals, that allow us a fascinating glimpse into the embryonic development of our best loved literary voices - people whom we know today for their novels or poems but who, at the time, were just people with a dream... and a rent bill looming at the end of the month.

The concept for this series was previously performed at Tall Tales, a bi-monthly comedy night at The Good Ship in Kilburn.

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