Safety Catch. Simon McGrath (Darren Boyd). Copyright: BBC.

Safety Catch

BBC Radio 4 sitcom. 12 episodes (3 series), 2007 - 2010. Stars Darren Boyd, Joanna Page, Lewis Macleod, Sarah Smart, Brigit Forsyth and Rachel Atkins.

Press Clippings

This is no ordinary sitcom. Laurence Howarth's likeable hero is Simon (played by Darren Boyd) an arms dealer. He's a nice man who always tries to see the other side of any argument and whom luck, or perhaps even a higher power, preserves. A big American arms firm, the best in the world, the most ubiquitous, the McDonald's of munitions, enters the takeover market. So he puts in for redundancy from his own employer, expecting a payout, longing for the day when he can give it all up and write music. Fate, however, has other plans. First of four episodes.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 4th November 2010

Preview: Safety Catch (series two)

As Radio 4 comedies go, Safety Catch is an odd little show. It's aimed at the same kind of liberal, middle class audience as more obvious fare like Claire in the Community but it's about a man who makes a living from mass murder, gun running and selling weapons to child soldiers ("putting the infant in infantry").

Rob Buckley, The Medium Is Not Enough, 11th March 2009

Laurence Howarth on Causing Offence

Safety Catch writer Laurence Howarth talks about the complaints the first series attracted.

Laurence Howarth, The Guardian, 29th October 2008

It's actually really funny. No hint of a second series. Sigh. Still, if you stick it on at 11.30pm on a Wednesday, what do you expect?

Rob Buckley, The Medium Is Not Enough, 3rd May 2008

New comic ground was broken with Laurence Howarth's Safety Catch.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 15th December 2007

The studio audience for Safety Catch adds a level of intended unease. This is a sitcom about an arms trader.

He's called Simon, there's much about him that's likeable, he's only doing this to pay the bills for six months or so, then he's going back to his first love, electronic music (a crime almost as heinous to some ears as selling machine-guns to the Gambia).

It is by Laurence Howarth and is clearly and deeply ironic, challenging attitudes, hypocrisies and the little lies of everyday life. He's done it as a sitcom, I presume, to disguise its anger. The audience laughs, although sometimes a sudden shocked silence shows Howarth is reaching the people in the hall.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 9th October 2007

Guardian Article

An article about Radio 4 and the laughter track, focusing on Safety Catch

Zoe Williams, The Guardian, 28th September 2007