Published by BBC Audiobooks: 01.10.2007
CD ISBN: 9781405677400
Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson took the airwaves by storm last year with their first ever radio series Down The Line. BBC Audiobooks is delighted to be releasing the complete series one on CD from 01.10.2007.
The spoof programme starring Rhys Thomas (The Fast Show) as the phone in host Gary Bellamy aired on BBC Radio 4 creating controversy on the message boards.
Initially launched as a factual programme the assorted callers who included religious zealots, racists and anti-parking restriction campaigners were in fact played by a series of guest stars including Catherine Tate and Harry Enfield alongside the cast of Amelia Bullmore, Simon Day, Felix Dexter, Charlie Higson and Paul Whitehouse.
The complete series one of Down The Line will see Gary Bellamy tackling issues of racism, healthy eating and the freedom of speech with typical sensitivity, for instance on racism:
Gary Bellamy Our next caller is Stuart Hill from Gloucester. What's your point, Stuart?
Caller 1 Well, my point is this. It's ironic, isn't it, that the once-proud African man, standing on one leg, looking out across the Kalahari desert, once master of all he surveyed, is now exacting a terrible revenge, after centuries of repression, removed from his homeland and subjugated ... is now bringing the white man to his knees by issuing parking tickets willy-nilly. And I feel that it actually demeans both the African man and the European man, that we are now waging a war with parking tickets, pieces of paper and bureaucracy, over this silly notion that no, you can't park your car there, or you can park your car, for example, there.
Bellamy It certainly is ironic. It's a good point - or is it racist? I'll tell you what - it would be great to hear from someone from the black community to get their views on that, or, in fact, to get their views on anything. So come on: ring in if you're black.
Caller 2 I'm calling about freedom of speech because it really is, if you think about it, a cornerstone of British democracy. If you don't have freedom of speech you have a very oppressive society ...
Gary Bellamy That's right, and we're lucky we haven't got that, yeah ...
Caller 2 We've had a long history of being polite to each other, opening doors for ladies and sheltering under somebody else's umbrella. I think Britain should be a shining beacon for the rest of the world. And when Idi Amin, I think, expelled the Pakistanis, Indians out of Uganda, they come over 'ere and they've come on lovely. They're ever such lovely people -
Bellamy Yeah, thank you. Well, listen, that's lovely. Thank you very much for your call. Thank you for that. Our next caller is Julian Finch from Sevenoaks in Kent. Hello, Julian. [Desperately] Are you black?