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The Hudson and Pepperdine Show

Radio 4
2000 (four programmes)

After a succession of second- and third-fiddle roles in numerous TV and radio projects over the past ten years, the talented vocal actress Melanie Hudson finally got to star, alongside double-act partner Vicki Pepperdine -- probably best known for Channel 4's Coming Soon -- in this series, another example of the two-people-in-a-flat pseudo-sitcom.  Each show featured the standard flatmate bickering, connivances and interruptions from unexpected visitors, with occasional breaks for character pieces (including the therapy sessions of the Goatee Beard Men's Group, and dialogues featuring a pair of absurd Frenchwomen who would usually be found stuck to a shoe).  Additional voices were supplied by Jim North and Martin Hyder. 

The show was written by Hudson and Pepperdine themselves, with none other than ex-Goodie Graeme Garden helping out as script editor: this detail is made scarcely less puzzling by the fact that Garden apparently fulfilled the same role on behalf of another female writing duo -- the creators of The Liver Birds -- in the 1970s.  The result this time was probably less successful, since there really wasn't enough decent material to go around, resulting in some embarrassingly weak lines.  However, there were also a few nice touches, such as the ever-present studio announcer Leslie (Hyder), who would arrive each week at the flat to start the show, catching the girls in a state of flapping ill-preparedness to perform the signature tune which, in line with the show's "variety-comedy" billing, was a version of Copacabana.  In general, the performances were better than the scripts, in particular Pepperdine's air of permanent neurosis and Hudson's convincing depictions of various celebrities' vocal mannerisms ("I can't do impressions, I've got multiple personality disorder") -- including, on one notable occasion, an overdubbed extravaganza featuring the entire female cast of Friends

© JB Sumner 2000.  Created 29/4/00