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.
- Production company
- Laugh track
- Live audience
- First broadcast
- Wednesday 15th August 2012 on BBC Radio 4 at 11:15pm
- Last new broadcast
- Wednesday 24th June 2015 on BBC Radio 4 at 11:15pm
- Length of episodes
- 15 minutes
- Last repeat
- Tuesday 19th November 2019 at 10:45pm on Radio 4 Extra