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Barry Humphries seeks to fill the nation’s ears with delight with four new programmes packed full of culturally thrilling songs from the first half of the 20th century.

Barry Humphries is delighted to be back on the wireless with his personal selection of culturally thrilling songs from the first half of the 20th century. His turntable time machine spins at a rate of 78 r.p.m. to transport listeners back to a time of royal scandal, global pandemics, panic buying, racial tension, hung parliaments and European hostility. “Thank goodness we live in less turbulent times,” he says.

In this episode, Barry is yacht-sitting for Dame Edna. The Ocean Widow is moored, just off the coast of Skye. Aboard, his rigged up a kind of alternative ‘Radio Caroline’. Yet, instead of broadcasting the sound of the future, Barry's ‘Radio Phyllis’ plays reassuring songs from the past.

The Abdication Crisis of 1936 (and other early 20th century scandals) provide the spine of this new four-part series. You may recall, 1936, was the year in which a member of the Royal Family said ‘Goodbye to All That’ and then ran off to live abroad with an American divorcee. This sent shock waves through the British Establishment.

Featured artists include in this episode include: Marion Harris (‘Jazz Baby’), Isham Jones (‘Life Begins When You’re in Love’), Van Philips (‘Goodbye to All That’), Elsie Carlisle (‘Little White Lies’), and Douglas Byng (‘Mexican Minnie’)…

BARRY SAYS: “I’m delighted to be back on the wireless with my new four-part series. Of all the things I do, this is my favourite. I’ve only be granted the use of Dame Edna’s yacht - The Ocean Widow - because she’s in South America, plumping up her little Mexican Love Nest. I understand that my vintage music series is now actually considered rather ‘edgy’, in comparison to mainstream shows. Personally, I suspect that this may have something to do with the needles involved."

Release date:

57 minutes