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Journalist Grace Dent interviews Hugh Dennis and Jim Eldridge about their experiences of making radio comedy in the late 1980s.

The Frequency of Laughter is a six-part history of radio comedy, covering 1975-2005, presented by journalist and radio fan Grace Dent. In each episode she brings together two figures who were making significant radio comedy at the same time, and asks them about their experiences. This is a conversational history that focuses on the people who were there and the atmosphere within the BBC and the wider comedy world that allowed them to make great radio - or not.

This third edition features Hugh Dennis and Jim Eldridge looking at radio comedy in the late 1980s. Hugh first appeared on radio in this period, with shows like The Cabaret Upstairs and Live on Arrival, breaking through with Radio One's Hey Rrrradio! and the Mary Whitehouse Experience. Jim came to radio via poetry, having performed on the John Peel show, but made his name as a sitcom writer in the 70s, having a hit with Parsley Sidings. And in 1985 he launched King Street Junior, a sitcom that was to run for twenty years. Grace asks them about the atmosphere within the Radio Comedy department and within the BBC; they discuss why stand-up was a hit on Radio One; and they talk about how Oxbridge became a dirty word.

The Frequency of Laughter is presented by Grace Dent, a journalist for The Independent, and is a BBC Radio Comedy production.

Presenter ... Grace Dent
Guest ... Hugh Dennis
Guest ... Jim Eldridge
Interviewee ... Johnny Beerling

Producers ... Ed Morrish & Alexandra Smith.

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30 minutes

Archive Clips Featured in Episode 3: 1985-1990

The Goon Show - Created by Spike Milligan.

 

The Now Show - Devised by Bill Dare.

 

The Mary Whitehouse Experience – Written by Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis. David Baddiel and Robert Newman.

 

King Street Junior – Written by Jim Eldridge.

 

King Street Junior - Written by Jim Eldridge.

 

Hey Rrrrradio – Produced by BBC Radio Comedy.

 

Hey Rrrrrradio – Produced by BBC Radio Comedy.

 

28 Acts In 28 Minutes – Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis.

 

The Now Show (out take) – Devised by Bill Dare.

 

The Mary Whitehouse Experience – Written by Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis, David Baddiel and Robert Newman.

 

King Street Junior – Written by Jim Eldridge.

 

The Now Show – Devised by Bill Dare.

 

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