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Eamon, Older Brother of Jesus

Radio 4

The chronicler has been unable to establish whether any episodes of this comedy, in its stand-alone version, were actually broadcast or not.  The show first surfaced as an insert in the Radio 1 comedy, Alan’s Big 1FM, in 1994, and subsequently cropped up in at least one other show on the station.  Eamon (described in more detail in the Big 1FM profile) was basically a kind of humorous soap about the life of a spurious, put-upon elder brother of Jesus of Nazareth.  A storm of controversy greeted the first Big 1FM insert before it was even broadcast (unsurprising, given that it was the concept, rather than the content, which the objectors found offensive; the actual broadcasts were fairly innocuous once the initial premiss was granted); however, Eamon remained on the air for the whole of its allotted Radio 1 run.  

It may seem rather strange that the project was next brought to Radio 4, as a fifteen-minute entry in the Late Night Opening strand, given that its producers had in 1994 described it as exactly the kind of show which a certain element of the Radio 4 audience would not be prepared to tolerate, in contrast to Radio 1’s “slightly more pagan” listeners.  They were right, too: objections forced the show off the air.  The circumstances, however, are rather complicated: the first show, intended for broadcast on 30 October 1996, appears to have been displaced for coincidental and entirely unconnected reasons, since both it and the programme due to follow it are billed in the listings as having been postponed until the following week.  It is not clear whether the rescheduled broadcast on 6 November actually took place, but if it did, it was probably the only show in the series which made it to air.  Within a couple of weeks, Eamon had been replaced with a safer bet, a repeat run of The Shuttleworths.

© JB Sumner 1998