Go forth, Gruntfuttock, my child!

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Today was the 40th anniversary of the first broadcast of "Round the Horne," one of the most enduringly popular radio shows of all time. As you might guess, any popular radio show that had its premiere only 40 years ago is obviously not American. In the '60s, the BBC still produced high-quality original radio entertainment, and they still do today.

"Round the Horne" was a sketch comedy half-hour produced for the BBC Light Entertainment Programme (later BBC Radio 2). It starred Kenneth Horne and a crew of veteran West End actors who could do an unbelievable range of voices and accents. The writers for the first three series were Barry Took, who was instrumental in the creation of "Monty Python's Flying Circus," and Marty Feldman, whom you may know from "Young Frankenstein" and "Silent Movie."

I was first introduced to the show by several of my British co-workers. When I told one of them today about the 40th anniversary, he said, "I used to listen to those on Sunday afternoons when I was a kid. Suddenly I feel very old."

If you like "Monty Python's Flying Circus," if you enjoy clever word-play and double-entendre, you will love "Round the Horne." Trust me.

Time and distractions do not permit a thorough tribute, so I direct you to the BBC 7 website, where you can find a different episode of "Round the Horne" each week. You can listen live on Wednesdays at 8 am, noon and 7 pm London time, or you can go to the "Listen Again" page for Wednesdays to hear the most recently broadcast episode in RealAudio format.

UPDATE: Having now listened to the tribute show I mentioned in this space, I decided to take down the link. It's deadly to comedy to explain it, but it's even deadlier to explain it in a way that serves modern political correctness. You'll enjoy listening to repeats of the original broadcasts much more. If you want even more from the cast of "Round the Horne," listen to "Beyond our Ken," the series that preceded it. The writing isn't as brilliant, but it's still a very funny show. It's on BBC 7 on Sundays.


Mr.Fisher (aka Cousin Barry) said:

Once again.

I am thanking you.


Hope this finds everyone well.

Barry, glad you enjoyed it. "Round the Horne" cracks me up every time I listen. Hope you and yours are doing well, too.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 7, 2005 8:39 PM.

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