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28 October 2014

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Parsons And Naylor's Pull-Out Sections

Henry Naylor and Andy Parsons

Andy Parsons and Henry Naylor met at Cambridge University, where they helped run the Footlights comedy society.

They then started TBA, London's first sketch comedy club, which enjoyed three successful years.

From there, they became principal writers on Spitting Image, leading the series into something of a resurgence during its final days.

Having honed their skills on the live circuit, and served an apprenticeship writing for Week Ending, they were offered their own show by BBC Radio Two in 2001.

The result has become a comedy mainstay in the schedules, with Parsons and Naylor rifling through every aspect of the week just gone - looking at news, reviews, travel, health, lifestyle and beyond - to provide the aural equivalent of the supplements that fall out of a Sunday newspaper.

Although the duo are given a huge amount of leeway by the network, they say, "We only try to write stuff as near-the-knuckle as we're happy with. We're not necessarily the sort of people who are going to start doing jokes about concentration camps. Our comedy is inclusive, not divisive".

Similarly, even though it's ostensibly a topical show (written in the same week of broadcast) Pull-Out Sections is happy to tread its own, sometimes surreal, path. "We do political comedy," says Parsons, "for people who don't actually like political comedy."

They're joined throughout by Richie Webb - who provides the necessary piano accompaniment - and over the years have boasted an array of female guests, including Jo Caulfield, Geraldine McNulty, Lucy Porter, and Nina Wadia.

Within the industry, the series has also proven itself notable for having an open door policy to submissions, meaning literally anyone can pitch an idea, and hear it on the radio the following Thursday...


Andy Parsons
Henry Naylor
Richie Webb
Lucy Porter
Jo Caulfield
Julia Morris
Sarah Kendall
Kitty Flanagan
Nina Conti
Geraldine McNulty
Nina Wadia


Gareth Edwards
Katie Tyrell
Carol Smith

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