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Grievous Bodily Radio

Radio 4
1997 (six programmes)

As the name suggests, a series which tended to be bruising.  This quarter-hour sketch show was written by newcomers Jon Holmes and Andy Hurst, who performed it with Mike Chequer, Emma Clarke and the impressionist Peter Serafinowicz.  The high-octane presentation combined well-constructed versions of obvious comic ideas (Terry Wogan as a closet gangsta rap fanatic, etc) with a kind of studied, deliberate crassness reminiscent of Lee and Herring’s Fist Of Fun.

With its abrasive material and youth-oriented references, the show was typical of the kind of programming which had, until recently, been heard on Radio 1: the original intention was to broadcast it on both stations (as had been done with a couple of shows in 1993), but the Radio 1 policy decision to end comedy programming came into effect before the series made it to air.  Sadly, Radio 4 proved unable to assimilate Grievous Bodily Radio’s style — after a number of complaints from listeners, the sixth and final show in the run was pulled (it was replaced, without explanation, with a compilation of safe material from earlier shows), and the series was not repeated or recommissioned.   Sadly, the current situation is that hard-edged or potentially controversial new acts are without a home on national radio.

© JB Sumner 1998