Trial By Laughter

BBC Radio 4 comedy drama about 19th century champion of freedom of speech William Hone. 1 episode in 2016. Stars Robert Wilfort, Arthur Bostrom, Conrad Nelson, Jonathan Keeble and others.

The programme is repeated on Radio 4 Extra on Sunday at 4pm.

Trial By Laughter

Real-life comedy drama about William Hone, a satirist and early champion of freedom of speech

Comedy Drama
BBC Radio 4
Robert Wilfort, Arthur Bostrom, Conrad Nelson, Jonathan Keeble, David Benson, Malcolm Raeburn, Melissa Sinden, Fiona Clarke and Graeme Hawley
Ian Hislop and Nick Newman
Gary Brown
Gary Brown

William Hone is the forgotten hero of free speech in Britain. He was a bookseller, publisher and satirist. In 1817, he stood trial for 'impious blasphemy and seditious libel'. His crime was to be funny. Worse than that he was funny by parodying religious texts. And worst of all, he was funny about the despotic government and the libidinous monarchy. A comedy drama based on the real trial transcripts.

Production Details

Production company

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Saturday 27th February 2016 on BBC Radio 4 at 2:30pm
Episode length
1 hour
Upcoming repeats
  1. Episode Episode 1: Sunday at 4pm on Radio 4 Extra
  2. Episode Episode 1: Monday at 4am on Radio 4 Extra