British Comedy Guide

Mark Steel's In Town. Mark Steel. Copyright: BBC.

Mark Steel's In Town

BBC Radio 4 stand-up from Britain's lesser-known towns. 49 episodes (8 series), 2009 - 2018. Stars Mark Steel.

Series 1, Episode 1 - Skipton

Mark records a show in the Mart Theatre, a livestock auction hall in Skipton, North Yorkshire, celebrating canals, castles, cows and what makes the town and its people distinctive.

Full synopsis

This week, Mark performs from the Market Theatre (which also serves as a livestock auction hall) in Skipton, North Yorkshire.

Mark talks about Skipton's High Street, which not only won the "High Street of the Year Competition", and has a range of quite interesting shops on it, but it also has a castle at the bottom of it. He also discusses the residents' dislike of a proposed statue of offcumden (non-local) Fred Trueman.

Mark visits Skipton Castle, which while it is located at the bottom of the High Street, the local guide complains that it is "too hidden" - despite its location and the fact it is the logo of Skipton Building Society, the town's largest employer. He then chats to a London offcumden who runs a local tour of the canals.

Things become slightly more serious when he talks about the nearby American Surveillance Base in Menwith Hill, which is the largest surveillance base in the world. Every year the locals hold an "Independence from America Day" protest on the 4th July, which was attended by both Mark and Alan Bennett.

Mark however, concludes that the town's greatest achievement is not to have been swamped with the normal naff shops (except the big supermarkets which are seemingly impossible to avoid), the establishment of Skipton Building Society, and its dislike of offcumdens.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 18th March 2009
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


  1. Wednesday 18th May 2011 at 11:30am on Radio 4
  2. Friday 10th May 2013 at 10:00pm on Radio 4 Extra

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Mark Steel Host / Presenter
Writing team
Mark Steel Writer
Pete Sinclair Writer (Additional Material)
Production team
Julia McKenzie Producer

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