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Journalist Grace Dent interviews Paul Schlesinger and Meera Syal about making radio comedy in the late 1990s.

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 penultimate edition features producer Paul Schlesinger, who spent the late 1990s making shows such as the Sunday Format, People Like Us and Absolute Power before leaving to make television, returning in 2005 to become Head of Radio Comedy; it also features Meera Syal whose Radio 4 sketch show Goodness Gracious Me was the first British Asian comedy hit, later transferring to BBC Two. Grace asks them about the atmosphere within the Radio Comedy department and the attitude of TV Comedy department towards it; they discuss the BBC's reaction to the wide range of Black and Asian talent breaking through; and they discuss what it is about media parodies that works so well on radio.

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 ... Paul Schlesinger
Guest ... Meera Syal
Interviewee ... Andrew Caspari
Interviewee ... Peter Fincham

Producers ... Ed Morrish & Alexandra Smith.

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30 minutes

Clip

Archive Clips Featured in Episode 2: 1995-2000

The Sunday Format - Written by John Morton.

Goodness Gracious Me -   Created by Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Anil Gupta.

Goodness Gracious Me -   Created by Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Anil Gupta.

People Like Us – Written by John Morton.

Masala FM – Written by Meera Syal.

Goodness Gracious Me - Created by Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Anil Gupta.

Goodness Gracious Me - Created by Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Anil Gupta.

Absolute Power – Written by Mark Tavener.

The Sunday Format – Created by John Morton.         

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