I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, Again: A Legacy of Laughs?
Nick St George
Producer, Radio 4 Extra
Editor's Note: Nick St George is the producer of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, Again. Individual episodes of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again are also being broadcast on 4 Extra on Wednesdays at 8.30am, 12.30pm and 7.30pm
I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again
Script for the radio version of ‘Cambridge Circus’, the 1963 Footlights review that spawned ISIRTA
ISIRTA's regular line-up comprised David Hatch, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, John Cleese, Jo Kendall and Oddie. Cleese ended up in Monty Python's Flying Circus and then Hollywood, while Garden, Oddie and Brooke-Taylor went on to enjoy TV fame as The Goodies. The late David Hatch became a big noise at the BBC, while Jo Kendall appeared in The Burkiss Way on the wireless and Emmerdale on the telly. But it is the Python/Goodies axis that interests us here. Apart from the individuals involved, is there any thread that binds the pun-and-parody-packed ISIRTA to its famous TV descendants?
Ticket to a recording of 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again'
I wonder if the now little-known At Last, The 1948 Show is actually ISIRTA's long-lost love child. Broadcast only on regional ITV in 1967/8, this sketch show featured among its regular cast and writers Cleese, Brooke-Taylor and the late Graham Chapman (who was in the 1963 Cambridge Footlights revue that spawned ISIRTA). Oddie and Kendall also made guest appearances. Both in personnel and style, it owes something to "I'm Sorry", not least in that the sketches often come across as 'radio-with-pictures'.
Humphrey Barclay reflects on following in Peter Cook's footsteps. Plus, an ISIRTA Macbeth parody.
But does any of this really matter? The bottom line surely is whether or not comedy of a certain age still makes us laugh. You can make up your own mind at 9am (repeated 7pm) on Saturday the 9th March 2013 when Bill Oddie presents I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, Again on BBC Radio 4 Extra.