Ed Byrne. Copyright: BBC
I'm Only Joking

I'm Only Joking

  • Radio documentary
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2019
  • 1 episode

Comedian Ed Byrne investigates the archive for offensive comedy while exploring the idea of censorship and who should control it. Also features Roger Law, Jane Bussmann, Graham Linehan, Doug Stanhope, Gina Yashere and more.

Key details

Genre
Documentary
Broadcast
2019
Channels
BBC Radio 4
Episodes
1
Features
Ed Byrne, Roger Law, Jane Bussmann, Graham Linehan, Doug Stanhope, Gina Yashere, Tiffany Stevenson, Terry Gilliam and Glenn Wool
Producer
Richard Power
Companies

Comedian Ed Byrne investigates the archive for offensive comedy while exploring the idea of censorship and who should control it.

Jokes have the ability to divide an audience like nothing else. What one person finds funny, another can find grossly offensive - but should personal taste set the boundaries of what can and can't be said?

Ed follows this idea from the "filthy", innuendo-laden music hall comedians who were banned by the BBC in the 1930s and 40s to the YouTube comedians of today. He asks whether, if censorship is necessary, who takes the role of moral arbiter? Did Mary Whitehouse have the right to get Monty Python's Life Of Brian banned in cities across the UK? Did the UK government have the right to ban Lenny Bruce from the country? Should the media have brought nationwide attention to Chris Morris' Brass Eye? And is there a need to reappraise a comedian's career because of their transgressive behaviour?

Ed talks to leading figures in the world of comedy including Roger Law, Jane Bussmann, Graham Linehan, Doug Stanhope, Gina Yashere, Tiff Stevenson, Terry Gilliam and Glenn Wool. There's archive too on shows like Brass Eye, The Establishment, Beyond The Fringe, Benny Hill, Monty Python and many more.

Additional details

Also known as
  • Archive on 4: I'm Only Joking
Production
Studio

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Saturday 9th March 2019 at 8pm on BBC Radio 4
Episode length
1 hour

Share this page

Promoted video