In response to various queries, general offers of help, etc, Iíve decided to install this page to let you know what kind of information Iím after to improve the site. To begin with, there are some very general notes; at the bottom, Iíve made a list of the specific details Iím keen to sort out at the moment. This will hopefully be updated as and when I remember things.
One aim behind the radiohaha site is to compile a listing of all British radio comedy shows since 1980 (other than panel games: sorry, but trying to trace all of these really would make the site unmanageable). My guess at the moment is that Iím at least halfway there ó but the list is heavily skewed towards the 1990s, and also towards Radio 4 as opposed to 2. (The listings for Radios 5 and 1 are all but complete, since comedy enjoyed only a short flowering on either network). If you can recall any shows that I havenít dealt with, even if you know nothing about them, let me know: I wonít actually do a profile if thereís nothing to say, but Iíll make a note of the title and see if I can pick up any further information
Of the shows that are covered, a great many ó again, mostly 1980s shows and Radio 2 shows ó have decidedly meagre entries and series/date info which bristles with query symbols. Of course, I donít want to know every last particular and detail of every show ó no, honestly, I really donít want to know ó but itís fairly obvious which profiles need fleshing out, and if thereís anything you can contribute, itíll be most welcome. In a perfect world, each profile would contain as a bare minimum the showís name, station of original broadcast (and rebroadcast, if different), number of series, series lengths and year of original transmission (not the repeat details, unless theyíre very strange, and definitely not the exact broadcast dates ó I know specialist fans of particular programmes sometimes like to know these, but Iím not bothered myself, and with three hundred-odd different shows to deal with, all those figures and dots and slashes would drive me to my grave); and in the description text, a rough categorisation of the programme (sitcom, sketch show etc), basic plot notes, names of the main performers and all of the writers (except for additional material contributors on shows with long credits lists). Absence of any of these indicates a gap that wants filling. The majority of shows are probably not worth going into in any more detail than that ó but I am, of course, happy to give far more coverage to the more challenging, successful or historically interesting shows.
Links, books, tapes and things
Iím always on the lookout for other sites relating to any of the radio shows mentioned here and their participants: these are generally listed at the ends of the profiles. Let me know if you find one I havenít listed, or are planning to set one up, or discover that a linkís not working any more. Same goes for books, commercially-released tapes, records (not unknown in the eighties, apparently), etc. I canít be bothered to go around checking all the ISBN and catalogue numbers myself, but if you send them to me I will print them.
Behind the scenes
If you were involved in the creation of any of the programmes discussed here, by all means get in touch, whether itís to correct the doubtless numerous flaws in my explanations and assumptions (itís incredibly easy to make mistakes ó how often, for instance, have you heard discussion of "a comedy show produced by Radio 4", when institutionally such a thing doesnít exist?) or to pass on nuggets of information which would otherwise have been missed (because letís face it, everyone likes a bit of behind-the-scenes infoÖ)
One blindingly obvious drawback of radio is that you canít see how anything is spelt. Itís usually possible to pick up performersí names from listings magazines, but writers quite often donít get a mention (being, as they are, born to suffer). Sometimes, itís hard to work out from the spoken end-credits what the names actually are. The following, for instance, have been writers on recent shows, and some have already been entered into the Name Index -- in some cases, I suspect, wrongly. Let me know if you can make any corrections:
Anthony Bryan, Bash Doran, Steve Sinicola
(List presently depleted thanks to the efforts of Simon, Simon and Mel -- cheers. There will be yet more confused monstrosities at some point in the future)
Week Ending credits
Keep those names of well-known comedians who used to appear tucked away at the end of the Week Ending writersí credits coming in...