Mastering The Universe. Image shows from L to R: Sally Grace, Dan Tetsell, Professor Joy Klamp (Dawn French), Lucy Montgomery, Christopher Douglas. Copyright: BBC.

Mastering The Universe

BBC Radio 4 sketch show / sitcom. 10 episodes (2 series), 2005 - 2009. Stars Dawn French, Christopher Douglas, Sally Grace, Dan Tetsell, Lucy Montgomery and Katy Brand.

Mastering The Universe

Radio comedy series starring Dawn French as Professor Joy Klamp, a specialist in the art of spoiling other people's pleasure

Sketch Show, Sitcom
2005 - 2009
BBC Radio 4
10   (2 series)
Dawn French, Christopher Douglas, Sally Grace, Dan Tetsell, Lucy Montgomery and Katy Brand
Christopher Douglas and Nick Newman
Simon Nicholls

Professor Joy Klamp (Dawn French) presents a series of radio lessons in which she aims to teach the listener how to become a total spoilsport.

With the help of Joy's "Sourpussy Posse" (aka sketch team), the show uses fake archive material, workshops and role-plays to convey the best ways to ruin parties, spoil visits to the cinema, destroy holidays, make the most of migraines, and more.

According to Klamp, spoiling someone else's pleasure is the most deeply rewarding of all the controlling arts. Feeling cold in restaurants, answering in monosyllables, making a little tutting noise when anyone says something amusing - these are just some of the tried and tested fun-prevention techniques which have been used by miserable sods down the centuries.

With Klamp as guide, the show takes a punishing journey into the heart of sulkiness. Along the way, Joy puts us in touch with our inner spoilsport and releases that right bleeding miseryguts, the one who'd rather be seen dead than having a good time.

By the end of the series you will have discovered how Christmas, birthdays, weddings or even just an evening in front of the telly can be turned into a complete nightmare for all concerned - apart from yourself of course!

Joy's four new episodes for 2009 took the form of a self-help workshop, focusing on and explaining one area for domination through "downmanship" each week.

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Wednesday 2nd November 2005 on BBC Radio 4
Last new broadcast
Tuesday 17th March 2009 on BBC Radio 4 at 11pm
Last repeat
Thursday 26th July 2018 at 11:00pm on Radio 4 Extra

Website links