Stop/Start, a sitcom by Jack Docherty about three married couples, is to be piloted on TV as part of the BBC's Comedy Playhouse strand.British Comedy Guide, 13th February 2015
BBC Radio 4 has just started a new season of comedy pilots, and Stop/Start is the first on offer.
It's written by and stars Jack Docherty, who is perhaps most famous for being part of the team behind the 1980s-90s Channel 4 sketch show Absolutely (referred to by some as the Celtic Monty Python). Stop/Start revolves around three couples, of which Docherty forms one half as Barney Ferguson, with Kerry Godliman playing his wife Cathy.
The main characteristic of Stop/Start is that the entire cast keep stopping the flow of the show in order to explain their point-of-view to the audience, so we get to know what they're really thinking.
Some readers will probably be thinking that they've come across this sort of thing before, namely in Peep Show, in which you're able to hear a character's internal monologue. However, this is different. Here, the characters know that you can hear them and therefore try to persuade you to side with their argument.
The show's quite comparable to some of Docherty's early sketches on Absolutely, which featured him talking to someone he wanted to avoid, then talking to the camera to explain his true feelings. A tried and tested formula, then. The audience reaction is great, too, especially when they boo some of the asides, like when one character admits to reading someone's diary.
There's no doubt that Stop/Start could go on to produce a full series, and I hope Radio 4 does so.Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 11th June 2012