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Radio 4 comedians hit the red button

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Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick | 18:48 UK time, Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The red button isn't off-limits to radio. Plenty of radio programmes have used it to bring their content to new audiences, to 'visualise' their output and to enrich the experience for listeners (lately: Weekend Wogan, Danny Baker, the Proms and the Asian Network's coverage of the Summer's Melas, for instance).

Radio 4's latest red button effort is the first in two years, though, and it's different.

To celebrate the network's contribution to the character of the Edinburgh fringe over forty years, Radio 4 organised a kind of comedy flashmob on The Royal Mile, with a gaggle (a giggle?) of Radio 4 comedians performing in amongst the Edinburgh crowds. Some of the comedians involved: Mark Watson, Susan Calman, Stephen K Amos, Miles Jupp, Doc Brown, Richard Herring, Andrew Lawrence and - in a special outdoor performance of Just a Minute - Paul Merton, Giles Brandreth, Jenny Eclair and Radio 1's Scott Mills (in town for his one-man show). The producers marshalled seven High Definition DSLR cameras and one 'Red Cam', a high-tech digital video camera used to make cinematic films.

The result is a dynamic, genuinely immersive half hour programme that includes a remarkable sequence shot from many angles during the flashmob and a slightly unhinged al fresco performance of Just a Minute.

To watch the video, press the red button on any BBC channel on Virgin, Sky or Freeview - you've got the rest of today, tomorrow and Friday (27 August) to see it, then the video will be published on the Radio 4 web site and (in high definition) in the BBC channel on YouTube. The hastag is #R4redbutton in case you're tweeting. Thanks for watching.

Steve Bowbrick is blogs editor at BBC Audio & Music


  • Comment number 1.

    It's a shame that some idiot decided to slap a fake film/25p effect on this. The resulting "flickervision" picture looks terrible.

  • Comment number 2.

    Having watched some of this, besides the previously mentioned stupidity of the post production "flickervision" effect, what a waste of bandwidth it turned out to be, radio belongs on - err - radio, not TV and especially not when there is so much other content that is being lost to DVB-T users.

  • Comment number 3.

    This was really funny. I enjoyed reading this post. In my personal blog I always make use of humour to try and generate reader comment on my bingo posts. I also use funny images to add value to the socially responsible commentary that I'm making. Sadly I don't have a 'red button' function - but it would be swell.

    Jeremy Stersky


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