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Under the Skin

Thursday 28 December 2006 11:30-12:00 (Radio 4 FM)

Repeated: Monday 1 January 2007 0:15-0:45 (Radio 4 FM)


In showbusiness, there is the old joke about beginning a career by playing the back end of the cow in pantomime, but for many this was their chosen role, and one which they took very seriously.

Bernie Clifton, famous for his performing Ostrich, explores the world of the 'skin performer', who each Christmas would play the cow in Jack and the Beanstalk, the cat in Dick Whittington or the goose which brings fortune to Mother Goose.

With the help of some of this select band of performers, he discovers the techniques and the problems of bringing these scene-stealers to life.

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