Site hosted by Build your free website today!
{radiohaha logo}the online encyclopaedia of contemporary british radio comedy
[Programme Index]
[Front Page]
[Name Index]

The Blackburn Files

Radio 4
Series One 1989
Series Two 1991
Series Three (?) 1993

The oddly-named Fine Time Fontayne played Stephen J Blackburn, ex-pitman turned private investigator in a redundancy-blighted South Yorkshire town, in this comic drama redolent of Alan Plater’s Beiderbecke Trilogy.  The programme combined fast crosstalk dialogue with moments of poignancy; Blackburn’s taste was for cases which revolved around the minutiae of everyday life, which threw up enlightening glimpses of the human condition but paid exceedingly badly.  Warding off bankruptcy was the task of Judy Flynn as Blackburn’s more level-headed assistant, and ultimately partner, Tracey Duggan.  The series was created by Ian McMillan and the late Martin Wiley (also known as the performance poetry duo, ‘Yackety Yack’) together with Dave Sheasby, the show’s director.  In another era, the catchphrase “Down, else off!” (shouted in response to Tracey’s insistence on playing classical music in the office) would, without a doubt, have become a national institution.

© JB Sumner 1998