In the prequel to 2015's runaway Edinburgh Festival Fringe hit, I'm Ready Now, Alison Spittle comes to town looking for an agent. If you're an agent, promoter or reviewer, then this is the show for you. Audience members are welcome too. Martin Walker hears her pitch.Martin Walker, Broadway Baby, 9th July 2014
Cheeringly, we have also seen the reappearance, from beyond the grave, of Kenny Everett, a groundbreaking DJ and comic who was denounced from some quarters as a pervert on the basis of his homosexuality.
There is perhaps a sliver of comfort to be had from the fact that, while Savile's reputation is finally getting the drubbing it deserves, "Cuddly Ken" is now being celebrated as a mischievous spirit pushing the boundaries of comedy and broadcasting. While a recent biopic on BBC4 looked at Everett's private life, interspersing the inevitable sad clown narrative with re-creations of his sketches, Radio 4 Extra was dusting down a long-forgotten doc Kenny Everett: The BBC Local Radio Years, which told the story of what happened when the broadcaster was removed from the national airwaves at the peak of his powers.
Everett was forever getting into deep water at work, whether being reprimanded for criticising the BBC's music policy on air or being handed his P45 for cracking a joke during a news bulletin at the expense of the wife of a Tory politician on Radio 1. Everett was subsequently offered a slot on BBC Radio Bristol, much to the ire of his former bosses who thought he should never darken the corporation's doorstep again. We learned how, on his first broadcast, he sang a song, set to the tune of "The Blue Danube", bemoaning his circumstances: "No food in the fridge, boo-hoo, boo-hoo/ No heat in the pipes, boo-hoo, boo-hoo/ No dough in the bank, boo-hoo, boo-hoo..."
Once local producers got wind that Everett was available for work, the comic found himself doing pre-recorded stints across the country, from Merseyside and Nottingham, to Solent and Brighton. Tapes would be transported from his home in the Sussex countryside to the relevant destination by railway, with minions dispatched to stations to pluck them directly from the train. A vetting process would then take place with producers weighing up the wisdom of airing the more risqué gags.
The usual customs of broadcasting were of no interest to Everett. His programmes were platforms for his array of daft voices, improvised skits and terrifically silly - yet technically sophisticated - jingles. His record choices were quirky, to say the least. "If you don't like it, ring me and I'll take it off," was a typical introduction. Listening to the acres of improv in this affectionate and meticulously researched documentary, contemporary music radio seemed horribly anodyne by comparison. For once, the word genius is apt.Fiona Sturges, The Independent, 11th October 2012
Kenny Everett's local radio days are to be recalled on air as broadcasts up to three decades old have been unearthed.
The documentary has been developed after some local BBC radio stations had to be reminded the late broadcaster had actually worked for them.BBC News, 10th December 2001