BBC Radio 4 announces new comedy commissions hand-picked from the myriad balmy cooped-up venues at the Edinburgh Festival in August and released into the giddy expanse of the Radio 4 airwaves to brighten up the gloomy winter months.
These sunny new comedy highlights include four half-hour pilots direct from the Fringe written by and starring: 2011 Foster Awards nominee, Chris Ramsey; The Penny Dreadfuls, Thom Tuck; comedian and poet, John Osborne; and Peep Show star and irrepressible songstrel, Isy Suttie.
Caroline Raphael, Commissioning Editor, Radio 4 Comedy and Entertainment, says: "Radio 4 is pleased to be able to bring four really original gems and stand out performances from this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival to a wider audience. We scour Edinburgh each year for new voices but are also always on the look out for beautifully written and constructed shows that we think can work in their own right on the radio."
Jane Berthoud, Head of Radio Comedy, says: “We are delighted to be working with all these extremely talented acts. Edinburgh is a vitally important showcase for performers and can provide the start of a very fruitful relationship between them, our producers and Radio 4.”
Upon their new series on Radio 4:
John Osborne says: “After winning a box of records from John Peel's shed in 2002 I always wanted more people to be able listen to some of the tracks in the collection. To be able to talk about the records and about music, radio and John Peel to an enthusiastic Radio 4 audience is such a pleasure and I hope people enjoy it in their living rooms, cars and baths on 21st December.”
John Peel's Shed (Wednesday 21st Dec, 11.30am)
Isy Suttie says: “I'm overjoyed to be doing my Edinburgh show on Radio 4. Having spent a month playing to audiences who'd been rained on all day, some of them dashing in late, I advise listeners to wrap up warm, eat a hearty meal and leave enough time for the journey from the sofa to the radio.”
Isy Suttie: Pearl And Dave (Wednesday 11th Jan, 6.30pm)
Thom Tuck says: “I am honoured, after two series and two plays on the radio with The Penny Dreadfuls, to be stepping out in radio comedy on my own. It's been a lovely process: despair at losing visual jokes giving way to joy at how beautiful the band sounds. It's a show that I adore performing and, so far, people have enjoyed experiencing. Perhaps the most thrilling thing is that this, a show about heartbreak, is to be broadcast on Valentine's Day."
Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD (Tuesday 14th Feb, 11pm)
Chris Ramsey says: “I’m very chuffed to have been added to a great list of comics who’ve had their Edinburgh shows adapted for Radio 4. I’ve really enjoyed listening to them all so I’m looking forward to recording my own.”
Chris Ramsey: Offermation (Thursday 22nd Mar, 6.30pm)
Accompanying these Edinburgh shows, 2011 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Adam Riches has been given a pilot script commission.
Further to these Edinburgh pilots, Radio 4 is also pleased to announce more new comedy series for 2012.
In the new year, a new six-part series, I, Regress (Tuesday 3rd Jan, 11pm), written by and starring Matt Berry as a twisted regression therapist, who take his patients on a surreal and unsettling journey into their unsuspecting sub-conscious. The cast includes Katherine Parkinson, Morgana Robinson, Simon Greenall, Jack Klaff, Tara Flynn, Alex Lowe and Playschool's Derek Griffiths.
Meanwhile, It's Will & Greg (Thursday 5th Jan, 11pm) is a surreal new-three part sketch show with a twist, featuring the award-winning Greg McHugh (Gary Tank Commander and star of Fresh Meat) and Will Andrews.
Tina C's Global Depression Tour (Wednesday 11th Jan, 11pm) is the US country and music singing creation of Olivier Award-winning writer and performer Christopher Green. In this series, Tina C turns her fearsome charm on sorting out the world recession.
Notes for Editors
For interview, preview programme and ticket requests please contact Charlotte Kingston, Radio 4 Publicity - firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 776 55337.
• Isy Suttie: Pearl and Dave and Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD are both recording on Tues 13th Dec at 7.30pm at the Up The Creek Comedy Empire - 302 Creek Road, London SE10 9SW – Cutty Sark DLR. Let me know if you are interested in attending.
• Further programme transmission details as follows:
John Peel's Shed (TX. Wed 21st Dec, 11.30am)
1/1. In 2002, John Osborne won a competition on John Peel's Radio 1 show. His prize was a box of records that took eight years to listen to. This is an ode to radio, those records and anyone who's ever sought solace in wireless. From BBC Radio Comedy.
Isy Suttie: Pearl and Dave (TX. Wed 11th Jan, 6.30-7.00pm)
1/1. Isy recounts a moving love story involving a socially awkward childhood neighbour (her first pen pal) and a 'well-bred' girl from Surrey - the titular Pearl and Dave. She interweaves the narrative with her own tales of failed relationships, internet dating and eventual happiness, much of which is told through song. From BBC Radio Comedy.
Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD (TX. Tues 14th Feb, 11.00-11.30pm)
1/1. Thom Tuck has watched every straight-to-DVD Disney movie so we don't have to. These underrated gems, perhaps rightfully ignored and forgotten, mirror the failures in his own relationships with women he has loved too often and too soon. He recounts this journey as the joy of Disney is juxtaposed with true tales of heartbreak from childhood and beyond. From BBC Radio Comedy.
Chris Ramsey: Offermation (TX. Thu 22nd Mar, 6.30-7.00pm)
1/1. South Shields comedian Chris Ramsey explores the notion of 'Offermation' and whether the surplus personal information that we are bombarded with is maybe the stuff that gives our lives meaning after all. From BBC Radio Comedy.
I, Regress (TX. Tues 3rd Jan, 11.00-11.15pm)
1/6. From BBC Radio Comedy.
Meanwhile, It's Will & Greg (TX. Thu 5th Jan, 11.00-11.30pm)
1/3. From The Comedy Unit.
Tina C's Global Depression Tour (TX. Wed 11th Jan, 11.00-11.15pm)
1/6. From BBC Radio Drama.
Radio 4 is pleased to be able to bring four really original gems and stand out performances from this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival to a wider audience."