Some radio programmes seem to appear on air fully-formed, almost overnight - others have a somewhat longer gestation period. Let's Get Quizzical - Russell Davies's two-part history of the radio panel game and quiz show - falls most definitely into the latter camp.

    If you've come to 4 Extra from Radio 7, you may already know of the trials and tribulations of copyright clearance that our long-suffering team of Broadcast Assistants wrestle with each day. "Why can't we hear again that hilarious (if somewhat politically incorrect) sitcom from 1969 starring Dame Jenny Juice-Extractor and Sir Frederick Food-Mixer?", our listener will clamour. Quite frequently the reason is that we cannot clear the rights - the BBC may own the programmes, but they do not always have the right to re-broadcast the performances or the scripts as they see fit. Let's Get Quizzical was a case in point. Programmes that would have been perfect to include had to be sacrificed at the Altar of Contractual Intransigence. Others - often featuring performers who are sadly no longer with us - were finally given the green light only after many months of patient negotiation.

    Shows like 'Have A Go' and 'Twenty Questions' were produced when such modern wonders as digital radio was not even a glimmer in a BBC executive's eye. Contracts were drawn up for a contribution to the 'wireless' - and that was it. Web broadcasting? DAB? DTV? Listening to the radio on your phone? The stuff of science fiction! So the challenge of re-clearing dusty old analogue material for the shiny new Digital Age is one that constantly occupies the 4 Extra team.

    Could this be Samantha?

    But, despite these little things that are sent to try us, I'm delighted to say that we managed to pull together a cracking line-up across the two editions. Part 1 - I'm Sorry I Haven't A Minute - concentrates on those two icons of the genre - I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and Just a Minute, plus what Russell calls "a newer kid on the block", comedy quiz show 'Jest A Minute' from Radio Wales (despite our close relationship with our sister station, 4 Extra will scour the entire wireless waterfront for the best in comedy and drama). Part 2 - Brains, Pickles and Slips - is more of a pot pourri including 'Have a Go', 'Many A Slip', 'Twenty Questions' and the never-previously broadcast pilot of 'The News Quiz'.

    Paul Mayhew-Archer (a one-time BBC radio producer who went on to co-write The Vicar of Dibley) also offers his thoughts on the quiz/panel game phenomenon, including how he introduced 'the lovely Samantha' to Clue. As he confesses in Part 1, "that was one lap dancing club I don't regret visiting". It amazes me that there are people who continue to question this multi-talented young woman's very existence. Next thing, they'll be saying that Ambridge is just a figment of someone's warped imagination.

    Nick St George produces Let's Get Quizzical

    Tagged with:

    Comments

    This entry is now closed for comments.

    • Comment number 8. Posted by edward beattie

      on 16 Apr 2011 20:56

      Had to let you know that I thought your programme on Radio 4 extra Let's Get Quizzical was a sheer total joy and a delight Hearing the 1959 repeat of Twenty Questions after so many years was just like meeting old friends What a delight to hear the voice Of Gilbert Harding once again and of course the four members of the panel Equally nostalgic was the repeat of Many A Slip and after so many years of Have a Go and all of the other elements of this wonderful programme.Please,please can we have some more especially the wonderful Twenty Questions Thank you so much for six hours of real pleasure
      From Edward Beattie

      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 8: 0
      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 8: 0
      Loading…
    • Comment number 7. Posted by Steve Bowbrick

      on 3 Apr 2011 21:26

      Carmen, I'm hearing that myself. I'll ask the engineers to look into it. Thanks for the report!

      Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 7: 0
      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 7: 0
      Loading…
    • Comment number 6. Posted by U14804610

      on 3 Apr 2011 19:29

      All this user's posts have been removed. Why?

      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 6: 0
      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 6: 0
      Loading…
    • Comment number 5. Posted by Carmen

      on 3 Apr 2011 18:48

      Steve, thanks for your reply.
      I am listening via this channel http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00zzm7y/Lets_Get_Quizzical_Im_Sorry_I_Havent_A_Minute/

      I'm sure if you play it you will see what I mean, as it is most definitely not an issue with my equipment. What I am hearing is the effect of someone shaking a volume slider up and down at half-second intervals making it completely unintelligible. This begins at 1:01.20 and never ends.

      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 5: 0
      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 5: 0
      Loading…
    • Comment number 4. Posted by Lorraine Everett

      on 3 Apr 2011 18:21

      I am really disappointed , where are the crime and thrillers? Where are the great female presenters? I love radio 4 however I loved the different sound to radio 7. Why change a great format? There is room for another channel but not as a replacement for radio 7. Look out radio 5 , I can feel a radio 4 extra plus approaching.

      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 4: 0
      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 4: 0
      Loading…
    • Comment number 3. Posted by Steve Bowbrick

      on 3 Apr 2011 17:27

      Carmen, Thanks for your feedback. Can you help me out and explain what's wrong? What happens when you try to listen again? And which page are listening on? Thanks again,

      Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog.

      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 3: 0
      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 3: 0
      Loading…
    • Comment number 2. Posted by Carmen

      on 3 Apr 2011 15:46

      I've been a loyal BBC7 fan from nearly the beginning and I wish only the best for the new station.
      However :-) ...I didn't hear "Let's Get Quizzical" as it aired live but tried to "listen again". It is almost entirely unlistenable. What a shame considering the hassles you seemed to have getting it together. I hope someone can clean that up so we can hear it properly.

      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 2: 0
      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 2: 0
      Loading…
    • Comment number 1. Posted by U14804610

      on 2 Apr 2011 20:07

      All this user's posts have been removed. Why?

      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 1: 0
      • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 1: 0
      Loading…

    More Posts

    Previous