The Blagger's Guide. David Quantick. Copyright: Unique Productions.

The Blagger's Guide

BBC Radio 2 sketch show. 44 episodes (7 series), 2005 - 2014. Stars David Quantick, Lewis Macleod and Kate O'Sullivan.

Press Clippings

At last, a less than totally reverential show about 007, the British agent still licensed to kill after half a century of mayhem, as David Quantick brings to light some of James Bond's darker and dafter secrets in The Blagger's Guide. Such as? How many millions of dollars has the Bond franchise earned over the years, how many Shirleys have sung a Bond theme and how many of Bond's on-screen personifiers are partial to wearing a wig (and don't say that last one's easy, with Quantick there's usually a twist to the answer).

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 16th November 2012

One of the longest running comedies on Radio 2 has made its return for the Olympics, as David Quantick presented a guide to the games for people who may not know that much about it...

The Blagger's Guide to the Games is full of information and rapid fire gags, cut in with sound effects and music left, right and centre. This is a four-part series, so it's longer and more informative that The Sinha Games, and covers certain aspects of the games further in depth. For example, there's an entire section about the austerity games in 1948 (when London last held the event), as well as a gymnastics guide.

The main aspect of this programme, for those who haven't listened to previous editions of The Blagger's Guide, is that it's so full of gags and material that often you miss some bits and have to listen to it again. My highlight of the show was a sequence about the austerity games, which featured impressions of Ben Elton, Kenneth Williams and Michael McIntyre all rolling into one. Excellent.

However, in the same section I was less keen on the rationing routine which featured a Dad's Army skit between Lance Corporal Jones and Mrs. Fox after the end of the war. It wasn't so much the lack of humour that was the problem, but my own pedantry. I'm a huge Dad's Army fan, and I know that in the final episode Mrs. Fox becomes Mrs. Jones. But that's just me...

There's much to enjoy from The Blagger's Guide..., though it's one of those shows that needs your full attention.

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 30th July 2012

For the non-sportive, David Quantick returned to Radio 2 to give us his Blagger's Guide to the Games. Finger poised above the effects button and daftness turned up to 11, Quantick initially seemed to be holding back his quick-fire mind to allow slower listeners to keep up. But five minutes in and we were back to his usual rat-a-tat gag-and-fact-packed action. Every aside was a gem ("Even though the war had ended three years ago - that's longer than the Saturdays' chart career - Britain was still full of austerity"). The show even bears another listen, so you can catch great jokes just tossed in, such as when a standup comic flips from Ben Elton to Kenneth Williams to Michael McIntyre mid-rant, with no explanation. Warning: all Blagger's Guides are a little like listening to a over-caffeinated, over-researched man-boy in the grip of quip mania but, as a lot of my conversations are like that, I approve.

Miranda Sawyer, The Observer, 29th July 2012

Blaggers are people who pretend to be more important than they really are in order to get past the doormen at significant events. The first rule of blagging is to get away with it. But this series could only have been made by someone who not only is in love with jazz but has passed, legally and often, through its many portals. It is wildly funny. It is also very clever in that David Quantick, who co-writes and presents it, and his producer, Simon Poole, have created a style that not only absolutely fits the subject but mirrors it too.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 17th December 2009

The funniest show on radio. Ronnie Scott and Benny Green would have loved it. It knows its subject intimately, makes fun of its more solemn advocates, yet celebrates true talent. It's fast, inventive (technically as well as verbally), mirroring its subject in its style, all the while hilariously and utterly accessibleto fans and non-jazzers alike. Co-written and presented by brilliant David Quantick (who has blagged other musical genres on this network in the past equally wittily), produced by Simon Poole for independents Unique.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 3rd December 2009

The funniest programme on radio is The Blagger's Guide to Jazz (Radio 2, Thursdays). Readers may recall I wrote a year ago about David Quantick, a comedy writer and presenter of great talent, originality and industry. If you've listened to his Radio 4 series One or heard previous Blagger's Guides you'll already be a fan. If you have lately observed a woman on the bus to Oxford wheezing, hooting, barking with laughter, tears running down ample cheeks, that was me, listening to last week's Blagger's. There are four more to go. Do not miss a moment. Why? See my first sentence.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 24th November 2009

There's no segue between that and David Quantick's The Blagger's Guide to Jazz (R2). But then there's no segue between Quantick and anything else, really. This Blagger's Guide was as frenetic, hilarious and diligently produced as all previous Blagger's, a sonic whirlwind of jokes about Ann Widdecombe, Jools Holland, Quantick's dad and more sound samples than an old Coldcut record. Oh, and facts, too. "Louis Daniel Armstrong," pronounced Quantick, "is the godfather of the father of the motherlode of the nucleus of the catalyst of the embryo of the court of King Caractacus (sound of punch)... Thanks. Louis Armstrong was a genius." He's not wrong, you know.

Miranda Sawyer, The Observer, 22nd November 2009

Radio Review: The Blagger's Guide to Jazz

This musical primer refused to take its subject remotely seriously - and thank goodness for that.

Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, 20th November 2009

David Quantick riffs gloriously through the first of a new series that, actually, tells you more than you think about jazz (and people who like it) as you variously wrinkle your brow at his presumption or fall into great gales of laughter at the speed of allusion, the acuity of vision. Wittily written, beautifully produced (by Simon Poole, for independents Unique) here are Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, snipped and pasted into a magical musical collage which also happens to be a pretty snazzy essay.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 12th November 2009

It's all right, Bob, he's only joking

It was Bob Dylan's turn for the David Quantick treatment: well-aimed, well-informed, gentle sending up.

Chris Campling, The Times, 28th April 2009