Before Radio 1's first run of new shows kicks off next month, here we count down the 20 greatest scripted radio comedies ever to hit the airwavesBen Lawrence, Tristram Fane Saunders & Mark Monahan, The Telegraph, 25th January 2018
The shortlisted TV and radio shows for the Comedy.co.uk Awards 2017 have been announced. 60 programmes are in the running for the Comedy Of The Year title.British Comedy Guide, 15th January 2018
The shortlists for the Comedy.co.uk Awards 2016 have been revealed. 60 shows are in the running for the Comedy Of The Year title. Voting is now open.British Comedy Guide, 16th January 2017
Life is going comparatively well for that literary curmudgeon, Ed Reardon. Elgar, his cat, is not dead. Laura, his alcoholically-enhanced latest lady friend, has not dumped him. And his new publisher Suzan (pronounced Suzanne) appears to be genuinely impressed by both his personality and his talents.
He's even earning some money for his writing, albeit from an estate agent's publication. Fear not though, Reardon fans. It doesn't last long. Ed's happiness turns out to be typically transitory and he ends this episode facing homelessness (again). His dejection is, as ever, our delight.Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 13th May 2015
does that mean we're unlikely to see Reardon make the leap to television? His creator is dubious. "Ed is a bit of an attack on corporate activity and TV at the moment feels very corporate so I wonder if they'd feel a little bit 'got at'."Stephen Griffin, Camden Review, 2nd October 2014
Just seeing the title will be enough for true fans of Ed Reardon. They need not read on. Their favourite show has returned. But for those who've never encountered the cynicism, dry asides and borderline-psychotic vitriol of Mr Reardon, now is the time to get acquainted.
Reardon is the comic creation of Andrew Nickolds and Christopher Douglas (who plays him) and as the ninth series opens our hero is down on his luck - again. The gas and electricity have been switched off, he doesn't have a penny to his name and his fingers are too big to type on the minuscule keypad of his phone - "Sunday" comes out as "dimfat", a result that will resonate with many adult readers.
And so he turns to his now ex-girlfriend Fiona (played by Jenny Agutter), arriving at her house in a state of total self-abasement, which lasts as long as it takes for her to offer him some lunch. She agrees to consider taking him back if he gets a proper job and this is where his old rival Jaz Milvane (Philip Jackson) comes to the rescue.
There's money to be made from Harry Potter and though Ed declares he'd rather hang himself with a Hogwarts' scarf than contribute any more money to JK Rowling, he's soon dressing up as a porter at King's Cross station. Next he's persuading Japanese students to stuff £20 notes into his satchel before they "board" the Hogwarts Express.
This is not just funny, it's comic genius.Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 11th November 2013
Ed Reardon, sublime creation of Andrew Nickolds and Christopher Douglas, is already well-established as a comic hero. His eighth series of adventures, to he heard in Ed Reardon's Week on Radio 4 on Tuesday evenings, is turning him into a national treasure.
Ed, as those of us who have loved him from his first Radio 4 appearance in January 2005 will know, is the curmudgeon's curmudgeon. Failed writer, failing adult education lecturer, divorced, perpetually hard up, bad father, constantly on the scrounge, possessed of an agent who does nothing for him, pursued by furious envy of a more successful erstwhile friend, he is fluently pompous, witheringly contemptuous and utterly recognisable, especially when ranting. I used to think I was once married to him. Now when I hear Ed, I hear me.
In the manner of the best comedy, he is first set at a distance but gradually brought close enough to recognise. In last week's episode, Original British Drama, Ed was nicking cat food and canned pudding from charity food banks, trying to stave off a rent rise, wasting police time and gleefully concocting a totally fictional biography for a supposedly real-life BBC TV docudrama. In the process, through the dialogue between all the other characters, the programme began to speak for everyone who shouts at TV plays for their gross verbal and visual solecisms, anyone who can't quite adapt to chatty new Radio 3.
We laugh when the desk sergeant tells Ed that Radio 3 is what they have on all the time now, how it lowers stress levels. We rant along with Ed at how the old Third Programme is now the home of "guess the mystery instrument" phone-ins. If Count Arthur Strong has turned you off the 6:30 slot on Radio 4, conquer your mistrust. Ed (played by Christopher Douglas) is the man. This evening he will again have to reconcile his deep hatred of Jaz Milvaine (once a pal, now a hated Hollywood success) with the need to earn a few quid. This epic struggle will tell you more about contemporary culture than a month of Radio 4's Front Row.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 17th April 2012
Ed Reardon - celebrated creator of an episode of Tenko, ghostwriter for z-list celebrities and, sometimes, their pets - is back, and this time he's happy. So happy, in fact, that his facial muscles have difficulty in adjusting to this new emotional experience.
Reardon fans, who include RT's very own Alison Graham and Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman, need not fear that his inner rage at the injustices of modern life or, more specifically, his life has been dampened. He begins by railing against the happy young women they place on the front of broadsheet newspapers who have just passed their GCSEs with flying colours. Why can't they show abject failures, he wants to know? And why does even the sport section of said papers have to contain a wry look at the world by David Mitchell? Why not just give him his own damn section and have done with it?
Life has certainly improved for Ed since he took up with 1960s model Fiona (played by Jenny Agutter) - she's going to fly him on an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris - but can this spate of happiness last? No, of course not. An attempt to get his passport renewed ends in the squalid disaster we have come to expect from genius writers Andrew Nickolds and Christopher Middleton. Who'd have thought a company called Merkury Kouriers could invoke such disdain?Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 3rd April 2012
Monday saw the return of Ed Reardon, Radio 4's most consistently funny curmudgeon (apart from Count Arthur Strong). I love an angry man, and Reardon is never less than vexed, this week by people wearing poppies before 11 November, as well as his having to ghost-write a young (Observer!) columnist's book, How to Survive With, Like, No Cash. As ever, the script was stuffed with jokes, including one where Reardon's bad photocopying resulted in pupils in his literature class being given a paper entitled "Hard Tim by Charles Dick". I laughed out loud at that one.Miranda Sawyer, The Observer, 16th January 2011