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Desperate Fishwives on TV

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Alan Braidwood Alan Braidwood | 15:33 UK time, Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Following last Friday's episode of Desperate Fishwives on BBC Radio Scotland I spoke with the producer Margaret-Anne Docherty. She was filling me in on the TV version of Desperate Fishwives and wrote these words about the process of making a programme for radio and migrating it across onto TV:

Hello from Radio Comedy or should I say radio with a wee touch of telly! Our much loved Doric jewel Desperate Fishwives is set to hit the small screen tonight, BBC 2 Scotland at 2200.

The transition from Radio to TV wasn't an easy one. The main problem was thinking in pictures. Radio by its very nature is more verbose and D.F. radio sketches can be between 3 and 5 mins long!

That length just wouldn't cut it on TV so you need to abridge the narrative using pictures, basically you SHOW and don't TELL. So after years of TELLING on Radio Scotland we had to think about pictures for the first time. Hopefully you will think that we have cracked it ...watch the show and let us know.

Best, Margaret-Anne Docherty

Producer, Desperate Fishwives

Desperate Fishwives on TV and Radio
RADIO - BBC Radio Scotland
Friday 10 December: Desperate Fishwives - Festive Frolics
Saturday 25 December: Desperate Fishwives Christmas Special (repeat of the 2009 programme)
Friday 31 December/ Hogmanay: Desperate Fishwives New Year Special
Saturday 1 January: Desperate Fishwives New Year Special (repeat of the programme from the previous day)

TV - BBC TWO Scotland
Tuesday 14 December: Desperate Fishwives


  • Comment number 1.

    I respect the vast amount of hard work that went into this and I'd love to be more encouraging about it as there is nowhere near enough home grown comedy on Scottish radio and TV but for me there were just not enough laughs in it.
    I understood all the language, or where I wasn't totally sure of what something meant the performances and the context were enough for me to work it out. Any sketch show is going to have some that work well and others that don't but the hit rate wasn't high enough. Maybe the transfer from radio meant too much rewriting of older material left out some of the good bits but some spark was missing. As I understand it one of the new characters for the TV version was the fitness coach. That was the standout sketch for us, that worked well.

  • Comment number 2.

    I loved DF on the radio but some of it did not transfer well to television. The camera work on the Meikle Wartle TV frankly made me feel sick...as in sea-sick. The fitness coach wasn't funny, it was predictable. The golfer didn't make me laugh either. However, the personal shopper had me in stitches - her stark, frank comments were absolutely priceless and pure 'manky bitch' comments. I think this particular character could almost host a 1/2 show by herself.

  • Comment number 3.

    Having not heard DF on the radio, its TV debut was the first I encountered the show. Being an Aberdonian I switched it on with a mixture of anxiety and anticipation. Some of it was very funny, such as the in-the-closet gentleman reading Hemingway in the bar. I enjoyed the early sketch about the dung / spot the toldie too. Great stuff. But I did feel there weren't enough "hits" and too many "misses." However, I can see the great potential of the show. Don't give up! The North east is badly under-represented in this field these days and it is so refreshing to see someone giving it a go.

  • Comment number 4.

    Thought the show was really good, everyone I've spoken to thought it was hilarious. Yeah there was a couple sketches which weren't as funny like the golf I got it, but i didn't laugh out loud like a lot of the other stuff. If there was a series on tv I would definitely be watching it every week and probably watching it again on iPlayer!

  • Comment number 5.

    I haven't heard Desperate Fishwives on the radio before, but I absolutely *loved* the TV version and it's been the talk of our office!

    I would really like to see this pilot continued into a series!

  • Comment number 6.

    One of the worst TV shows ever.

  • Comment number 7.

    I loved your first attempt at desperate fishwives on the television. I was laughing so hard I was in tears. It was brilliant and myself and loads of my friends would like to see this turned into a full blown series. You could maybe involve some of the chewing the fat team as well it would be an awesome combination of talent there. You guys go for it and I hope too see you in action again soon. Mind and mak sure you hiv yer dry stane dykes well insulated in this cald bit wither lol.


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