Before They Were Famous
Before They Were Famous

Before They Were Famous

  • Radio sketch show
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2012 - 2015
  • 16 episodes (3 series)

Spoof Radio 4 documentary which sheds light on the often surprising jobs done by the world's best known writers. Stars Ian Leslie, John Finnemore, Katy Wix, Fenella Woolgar, David Armand and more.

Key details

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 more
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.

Additional details


Broadcast details

First broadcast
Wednesday 15th August 2012 at 11:15pm on BBC Radio 4
Most recent repeats

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