Very Old Pretenders. Image shows from L to R: Rab (Jack Docherty), Andrew Merron (David Haig), MacDonald (Gordon Kennedy). Copyright: ABsoLuTeLy Productions.

Very Old Pretenders

BBC Radio 4 sitcom. 4 episodes (1 series) in 2011. Stars David Haig, Gordon Kennedy, Jack Docherty and Rebecca Front.

Press Clippings

First episode of a terrific comedy series starring Jack Docherty, Gordon Kennedy, Rebecca Front and David Haig. Andrew Merrin, visiting professor of anthropology at the University of the West of Scotland (formerly Partick Polytechnic) is embarking on a project to introduce to the modern world two Jacobite soldiers - Macdonald, the chief of the clan, and Rab, his bard - who have been holed up in a Perthshire cave since the mid 18th century.

First lesson: what is patriotism? The search for an answer involves a trip to an Edinburgh souvenir shop and a pep talk on football from Tess McNair from Radio Peebles, followed by a real match: Scotland v the Dickson Isles (like the Faroes but smaller) in a World Cup qualifier - a comic tour de force that had me howling with laughter.

Ron Hewitt, Radio Times, 15th September 2011

Two Jacobite soldiers from 1745, a clan chief and his bard, have been found alive and well in a cave. A visiting English academic (of no great status but hopes of it) leaps at the chance to integrate them into modern Scottish society. Carl Gorham (of Stressed Eric cultish fame) is the author and this is very funny, especially if you (as I do) like Scotsmen plus a bustling conjunction of the real with the surreal. There's a marvellous cast too, David Haig, Gordon Kennedy (who also directs), Jack Docherty, Moray Hunter, Morwenna Banks and Rebecca Front.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 14th September 2011

Preview: Very Old Pretenders

From Carl Gorham, creator of cult animation classic Stressed Eric, comes Very Old Pretenders, in which two Jacobite soldiers from 1745 are found alive and well in a cave in Perthshire and have to be integrated into modern society by academic Andrew Merron.

Jon Aird, BBC Comedy, 12th September 2011