Bird Island. Image shows from L to R: Jane (Katy Wix), Ben (Reece Shearsmith), Graham (Julian Rhind-Tutt), Mother (Alison Steadman). Copyright: BBC.

Bird Island

BBC Radio 4 sitcom about a lonely scientist. 8 episodes (2 series), 2012 - 2014. Stars Reece Shearsmith, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Alison Steadman and Katy Wix.

Bird Island

Radio sitcom about a scientist working in the Antarctic, written by Katy Wix

2012 - 2014
BBC Radio 4
8   (2 series)
Reece Shearsmith, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Alison Steadman and Katy Wix
Katy Wix
Tilusha Ghelani

On one hand, Ben is on the trip of a lifetime to Sub-Antarctica. On the other, he's trapped in an icy hell with a dodgy internet connection and a dictaphone. Loneliness is something of a problem.

His fellow travelling scientist Graham should alleviate this, but the tragi-comic fact is, they are nerdy blokes, so they can only stumble through yet another awkward exchange.

Ben experiences all the highs and lows that this beautiful, but lonely place has to offer but fails miserably to communicate this to Graham. So, Ben shares his thoughts with us in the form of an audio 'log'.

Apart from his research studying the Albatross on the Island, Ben attempts to continue normal life with an earnestness and enthusiasm which is ultimately very endearing. We're with him as chats awkwardly with Graham, telephones his mother and as he tries to form a long distance relationship with a woman through

In fact, we follow Ben as everything occurs to him. We also hear the pings and whirrs of machinery, the Squawks and screeches of the birds and the vast expanse outside. Oh, and ice. Lots of ice.

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Wednesday 13th June 2012 on BBC Radio 4 at 11pm
Last new broadcast
Sunday 25th May 2014 on BBC Radio 4 at 7:15pm
Length of episodes
15 minutes
Last repeat
Sunday 18th April 2021 at 10:45pm on Radio 4 Extra