That Mitchell & Webb Sound. Image shows from L to R: Robert Webb, David Mitchell. Copyright: BBC.

That Mitchell & Webb Sound

BBC Radio 4 sketch show starring Mitchell and Webb. 29 episodes (5 series), 2003 - 2013. Stars David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman, James Bachman and Sarah Hadland.

Press Clippings

7 TV shows that started out on radio

Radio has always been the perfect testing ground for some of the biggest names in comedy today.

Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent, 27th September 2017

David Mitchell and Robert Webb have lost none of their comedy momentum: the series continues as energetically as it started last week. This time, the running sketch is Mitchell as the "Radio 4 sommelier", with suggestions for a wine that will augment the most laughs in each section of the show. The most unexpected hilarity comes in a scene set in a tavern close to Count Dracula's castle where the endless list of vampire lore - ward them off with water, crucifixes, garlic etc - is given a very funny new twist.

A final word of praise for the wonderful Olivia Colman, whose skills as a comedy actress are put to good use.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 3rd December 2013

Anyone who witnessed David Starkey's altercation with Victoria Coren Mitchell on Question Time earlier this year will not be surprised to learn he is namechecked not once but twice in this brilliant sketch show. David Mitchell proves that revenge is a dish best served cold and seasoned with plenty of laughs.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 26th November 2013

Review: That Mitchell & Webb Sound

What comes across most strongly is that Mitchell and Webb clearly love what they are doing.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 26th November 2013

David Mitchell attacks David Starkey in new series

The new series of That Mitchell and Webb Sound lambasts the TV historian six months after he was rude to Mitchell's wife Victoria Coren on Question Time.

Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 20th November 2013

Radio 4 launches Comedy Advent Calendar for Christmas

Radio 4 has announced its festive programming. The Radio 4 Comedy Advent Calendar will see comedians on the network's flagship programmes every day.

British Comedy Guide, 18th November 2013

New series of That Mitchell & Webb Sound

Robert Webb and David Mitchell are un-expectedly returning to Radio 4 with a fifth series of sketch show That Mitchell & Webb Sound.

British Comedy Guide, 16th September 2013

Radio Review

So high is the standard of That Mitchell and Webb Sound that out of the 30 minutes, roughly 75 per cent was crackerjack.

Chris Campling, The Times, 28th September 2009

How vividly we remember when and where we hear special things on the radio, staying in a car to hear the end of a football match, being in a garden and braving hay fever not to miss a word of a play. Six Augusts ago I remember walking round the Italian Garden in Hyde Park, listening to the very first episode of That Mitchell and Webb Sound and laughing so much my glasses steamed up and I couldn't see the fountains.

They were just starting off in Channel 4's Peep Show then but had been around on the comedy scene long enough to have established their act and attracted the BBC. Radio's tiny cheques (but careful fostering) helped them to a BBC TV series. As with Dead Ringers, however, radio fans who followed them found the same jokes but with pictures, slower, still funny but not exactly fresh. Last Tuesday evening they began their fourth Radio 4 series and it was simply brilliant.

Twelve sketches, written by an encyclopaedic list of writers, lit up the air. Caesar, with a spin doctor. The iReckon, a device to enjoy the thoughts you want in the order that suits you. A reprimand to employees for using their extraterrestrial portal as a dustbin ("What must the aliens think of us?"). A parody of an interview where there's nothing to say but they won't be let go until they say what the producer wants. Parodies of TV ads and BBC formats. A look forward to 2040 and Sky BBC12. Their rapport with the studio audience is remarkable, their supporting cast is first-rate. Will I mind if all these jokes turn up again on television? Not really. If it were the other way round, TV first, I would.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 1st September 2009

Peep Show? Brilliant. David Mitchell on any of the roughly 795 radio and TV panel games he's adorned with his presence? National treasure-in-waiting. But if his reputation rested on his TV sketch shows with Robert Webb, the two of them might well be known as the Anna Kournikovas of comedy: famous, but useless at the thing they're famous for.

The problem with the sketches in That Mitchell and Webb Sound (which the lads mostly write), as opposed to Peep Show (which they mostly don't) is that they're clever but not very funny, a slight handicap for a comedy programme. Each situation is replete with comic possibilities and progresses with savage twists of absurdity. It should be drop-dead hilarious. It's the kind of thing, though, you watch with an expectant grin - but no belly laughs.

So I listened to the new series of the radio version with some trepidation, but although not everything was a palpable hit, there was enough to be going on with. Some of the ideas were spot-on, such as the orthopaedic suppliers with an inter-dimensional portal on the shop floor ("gentlemen, the stargate is not a bin"), or the iReckon, Apple's new gadget ("I can download all my thoughts from the internet!"). And Caesar being coached in referring to himself in the third person was pure The Two Ronnies.

Chris Maume, The Independent, 30th August 2009