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Do's and Don'ts

Witty & Twisted was challenging new writer performers to devise an idea for a 15 minute radio comedy programme.

Radio has a history of launching innovative new comedy from Harry Hill's Fruit Corner, to Hancock's Half Hour; from Dead Ringers to People Like Us; from Goodness Gracious Me, to Little Britain.

This was your chance to be part of that long and illustrious list.


What we wanted to see

They say that the pictures are better on radio. They're lying - radio doesn't even have any pictures. But what they mean is that you can do things on radio that you couldn't do anywhere else.

We wanted to see ideas that exceeded our expectations; innovative formats, brilliant writing, superb performance.

Skim through the wide variety of comedy available to Listen Again from the BBC 7 website and you'll see the breadth of ways we make radio comedy - from character comedy, to sketch shows, to sitcoms, monologues and those odd little unclassifiable things that blend between two genres.

In On the Town With..., The League of Gentlemen created a new kind of sketch show with a narrative thread; Harry Hill showed how you can build a surreal worlds around stand up comedy in his Fruit Corner.

Marcus Brigstocke records Giles Wembbley-Hogg's travels as an audio diary; Steve Coogan created a spoof chat-show/sitcom hybrid to showcase Alan Partridge's unique charms; John Shuttleworth plays all his characters himself in a mini comic soap opera.

In The Milk Run we mixed sketch comedy with a cutting edge music mix.

There are lots of things you can do within familiar formats in radio comedy - have fun with it, surprise us and make us laugh.


What we didn't want to see

We wanted to see almost everything and almost anything so long as it was original and funny.

Do try to avoid accidentally retracing the steps of an existing programme - you'll find it much harder to impress with an idea about a female vicar who moves to a new country parish than if you come up with a blisteringly original idea.

Check out our recording tips page for further hints.



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