Marcus Brigstocke's upper-class student twit has been on Radio 4 for nearly a decade now. Things have changed over the years since he first arrived on air, though. Gone are the days of ex-public school idiot Giles Wemmbley Hogg (two ms, two gs) causing chaos around the world, with him now running his own travel agency GWH Travvel (mix up at the printers) in his native Budleigh Salterton.
The first episode of the fifth series sees Giles running for mayor in an election manipulated by American entrepreneur Donald Crump (I wonder who that could be a reference to) who plans to destroy the town and turn it into a seven star resort. Despite thinly-veiled satire, Giles is a great character. His idiocy appears to know no bounds, from being unable to put on his Velcro strapped shoes, or selling his car because he couldn't get around a bollard in a car park.
The situations depicted are also highly amusing. The opening scene takes place on the local golf course, which, due to budget cuts, is being shared by the TA, resulting in spontaneous appearances of new bunkers. It seems that the show has won the right to return.Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 5th December 2011
The comedian talks about his globetrotting comic creation and why he's taking time out from ranting.Jacqueline Wheeler, Radio Times, 28th November 2011
If you've not encountered Giles Wemmbley Hogg in any of his previous incarnations on Radio 4 the best introduction is to say that this creation of Marcus Brigstocke is the closest thing we have to a modern version of The Goons. Each episode is driven by a particular situation at the start, which rapidly falls off down the left-field surreal slide. It's a bit hit and miss but still worth a listen.Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 28th November 2011
I have no idea what Giles Wemmbley Hogg Geht Zum Fussballweltmeisterschaft Weg! means, or even whether it's spelled correctly. If it's an obscenity, blame the BBC. But it probably has something to do with football (boo!) and definitely marks the return of Giles Wemmbley Hogg (hooray!), the globetrotting ignoramus played by Marcus Brigstocke. This three-part series, written by Brigstocke and Jeremy Salsby, sees him caught up in the "excitement" of the World Cup, after booking a strolling holiday in the Schwarzwald in the foolish belief that "it'll be nice and quiet this time of year". He's never even played football before, although he was sports monitor at his public school - or, as he puts it: "I was the only one allowed to touch the master's ball bag."
During the competition, Giles finds himself caught up in a series of baffling adventures involving the Iranian squad, a stolen World Cup trophy, a very big cake and 50 sticks of Leipzig rock. To make matters worse, his fiancee, Bella, is coming out to meet him in Nuremberg to plan their wedding... with her mother.Phil Daoust, The Guardian, 15th June 2006
If, like me, you travel in hope and still tune in to 5 Live, only to spend the next six hours banging your head on your desk, let me suggest a balm: Marcus Brigstocke. I have an aural crush on the mild-mannered, laconic comedian, who stars in several Radio 4 shows, not least the very jolly Giles Wemmbley Hogg Goes Off, in which he plays a kind-hearted but tragically thick Sloane.Rachel Cooke, The New Statesman, 13th February 2006
People who have listened to my Giles Wemmbley Hogg series are sometimes surprised to discover that I am he. I spent a great deal of my gap year in his shoes, travelling round Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I actually went out to meet a girlfriend, but she dumped me as soon as I arrived, so I bought a bicycle and decided to cycle the whole length of Malaysia instead. The most arduous part of the journey was cycling up into the Cameron Highlands, which are more than 5,000ft above sea level, but I kept myself going with the knowledge that on the way back, it would all be downhill, and I could just sit back and take in the views. As it happened, the bike seized up at the top and I ended up having to pedal extremely hard just to make the thing budge.Marcus Brigstocke, The Sunday Times, 17th July 2005
One character who needs no laughter track is Giles Wemmbley Hogg, the chinless and clueless young globetrotter played by Marcus Brigstocke. (If you missed his previous outings, imagine Prince Harry with a backpack.) Giles Wemmbley Hogg Goes Off sees Budleigh Salterton's most famous son return for another six adventures; first stop is a North Sea oil rig, where Giles must overcome class prejudice, a smitten skipper and the infamous Scottish "food".Phil Daoust, The Guardian, 25th January 2005