|October 1988-March 1989?|
|Comic Relief special 10/3/89|
It took twenty years for the music-dominated Radio 1 to develop a 'true' comedy show in the shape of Hey Rrradio!!!: heavily influenced by the rise of stand-up comedy, the series had a more 'youth' feel than most of the material then going out on Radio 4. The original idea, in fact, was to produce a fifteen-minute cut-down version of the live Radio 4 show Live On Arrival (featuring Punt and Dennis): Radio 1 controller Johnny Beerling vetoed this, but instead allowed producer David Tyler to develop a pilot for a new show, somewhat similar but concentrating on stand-up material. This hour-long programme, recorded in July 1989 at the Hackney Empire, was later transmitted, thus making it Radio 1's first dedicated comedy broadcast and Nick Hancock, who performed the opening routine, the station's first proper comedian.
From this developed a fully-fledged series, for which production duties passed to Bill Dare and the venue changed to the Woolwich Tramshed. Hosted by Patrick Marber (later of On The Hour) and poet John Hegley (who appeared each week with his band the Popticians), Hey Rrradio!!! set the pattern for a number of other half-hour shows developed between 1988 and 1994. The most notable of these was The Mary Whitehouse Experience, in many ways a spin-off, also produced by Dare and featuring several Hey Rrradio!!! contributors (Marber's links on the earlier show were written by David Baddiel and Rob Newman). Other regular performers included Hancock, Jim Tavaré, The Sea Monster (aka Jo Brand), and Simon Munnery performing with Steve Cheep in the double-act 'God and Jesus'.