Main content

Steve Punt

Michael Berkeley talks to comedian Steve Punt. With music by Scott Joplin, Dave Brubeck and Debussy.

Steve Punt is well known thanks to the popular Radio 4 Friday night comedy, The Now Show - with fellow-host Hugh Dennis, he’s been mocking politicians and celebrities for an astonishing twenty years now. He also presents The Third Degree, the Radio 4 quiz which pits undergraduates against professors. But behind the scenes he’s been busy writing for a whole host of other shows, such as Mock the Week and The Mary Whitehouse Experience, for comedians Jasper Carrott and Rory Bremner; he even used to write for the puppets on Spitting Image. He says “Weirdly, I think people are more inclined to believe comedians than they are politicians.”

In Private Passions, Steve talk to Michael Berkeley about how it all began: when he was bad at games at school, and forced to play the clown. He reminisces about his first job, in a music shop in Croydon, which he describes as being so rich in comic material that it was a bit like a sitcom – all of life was there. He talks about how audiences have changed thanks to social media, and why he worries that mocking politicians may just be a way of feeding their gigantic egos.

Music choices include Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, piano music by Debussy and by Scott Joplin, Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite, Dave Brubeck, and a comic masterpiece by Dudley Moore, “Bedazzled”.

Produced by Elizabeth Burke
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3

Available now

35 minutes

Last on

Sun 9 Sep 2018 12:00

Music Played

  • Felix Mendelssohn

    Overture: A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Orchestra: Champs-Elysees Orchestra. Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe.
  • Dave Brubeck

    Blue Rondo a la Turk

    Performer: Dave Brubeck.
  • Dudley Moore


    Performer: Peter Cook. Ensemble: Dudley Moore Trio.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Violin Concerto (3rd mvt: Allegro, ma non tanto)

    Performer: Jennifer Pike. Orchestra: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis.
  • Claude Debussy

    Dr Gradus ad Parnassum (Children's Corner)

    Performer: Jacopo Salvatori.
  • Scott Joplin


    Performer: Alexander Peskanov.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Waltz II (Jazz Suite no.2)

    Orchestra: Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Riccardo Chailly.


Six mind-expanding music podcasts to download in 2019

Six mind-expanding music podcasts to download in 2019

Love music? Looking for new ear-fodder for your commute? We've got you covered.

Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Michael Berkeley introduces memorable interviews from Private Passions' archives.