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Series 2 - A Cubist War

Stand up for Comic Relief - the contenders

Sunday 6 March 2011, 18:19

Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick Head of Interactive, Radio 3

As this video preview confirms, the brutal inter-station comedy smackdown that is Stand up for Comic Relief is under way. Six of the BBC's national radio networks are represented this time; Radio 4 by Woman's Hour legend Jenni Murray and the others by various presenters I can't quite bring myself to name (this, remember, is the Radio 4 blog).

Each has taken a crash course in the indelicate art of stand-up comedy with a big name mentor from the comedy world and, at 1830 this coming Wednesday you can hear their live sets in front of an audience at London's Comedy Store on Radio 4. Then, from 1900 on the same day (right after the programme), you'll be able to see videos of all six sets on the BBC's Red Nose Day web site and (this is the important bit) the lines will open for you to vote for the one you thought best. Let battle commence.

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

  • The three-episode chronicle of the six presenters' unlikely journey to the stage at the legendary Comedy Store starts tomorrow evening at 1830 on Radio 4. Listen to all three episodes for seven days after transmission on the Radio 4 web site.


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    Comment number 1.

    Yes, it will be most interesting to see how 85 years old Auntie goes about her brutal battle of contending with the human decencies of selflessness , care, and compassion, with her barely noticed, but dissonantly perceived furtive smackdowns against them using a format contrived to be replete with opportunities for the BBC's stock in dark trade of proximate, but seemingly unassociated cognitive smearings.

    In spite of the new pin big corporate authoritarian posturings, with of course the risible shift to the master's linguistic stunts of the imperative,peremptory, and any tense as log as it ain't passive!, the adamantine fact remains that it is the 'beeb' who is the servant and the financing citizenry who are at one the individual and collective master.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    During a break for a drink from a late night work session I started listening to "Stand up for coming relief" after the 23:00 news. But guess what: once again the stupid BBC decided to insult listeners with unnecessary, irritating, background music (which for people my age - 74 - tends to interfere seriously with hearing what is said - and this is true for several million other people with age-related presbycusis).
    So I switched off.

    Can I have my licence fee back -- because there is no longer any radio or TV station that's free from this dreadful scourge. (The BBC people interviewed about this on Feedback last week clearly had no understanding of the problem.)

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I have been looking forward to the Comedy Store night. I am sure there will be people who say the audience was a bit keen and rather too kind and there will doubtless be other snide comments. However I really enjoyed the programme and thought that each of the contributions nicely reflected the would-be comedian. I'm no great fan of Jenni Murray but I take my hat off to her. Nicely self deprocating (as was Tony Blackburn)! Thanks for this. It was a good laugh and to my mind just what Comic Relief should be about.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I thought Jenni Murray did really well - she had an excellent mentor so perhaps that helped. I was going to vote for her until I heard that 25p of the £1 cost of the call does not go to Comic Relief. How can it cost the phone company 25p to receive and process my vote, which is simply an automated message? It should have been 10p maximum in my opinion with confirmation that it is non-profit-making.
    So I am making sure I give £1 to Comic Relief (in addition to what I have already given) by putting my £1 into a collecting bucket and just hope that Jenni Murray wins it anyway. She was such a star to go for it, and I loved it, and the whole idea - brilliant stuff, including the clever title!
    I hope this idea will run and run.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Congratulations to Jenni.

    For 2012, though, how about a Simulcast across the six networks?


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Identifying the top ten game changers operating in the UK today.


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Find out about this year's panel and theme