{radiohaha logo}the online encyclopaedia of contemporary british radio comedy
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[Name Index]

Front Page

Welcome to radiohaha, the largest and hopefully the only internet resource dealing with all aspects of 1980s and 90s radio comedy shows...

  In Memoriam

01.05.03  Well, following a pause of almost exactly three years' duration, I finally find myself obliged to break the radio silence. I only wish the circumstances could be happier.

Debbie (DA) Barham, the prodigious gag-line merchant, columnist, sometime Week Ending fixture and Loose Ends monologuist, sitcom author and fellow chronic non-updater — she came up with the concept of the Continually Outdated Web Page Awards Testimonial (COWPAT), which was cheerfully presented to her own "Brand Spanking New" homepage — died on Sunday 20 April at the ludicrous age of 26.

The press pieces which have so far commemorated her extraordinary life (she was submitting radio material at fourteen) necessarily contain some variant of the form "the name may not mean very much to you, but..."  To most readers of this particular site, the name will be familiar: those who did not know her personally may still feel, as I did, a significant loss.  I've been asked if I would mind making some acknowledgement here, and can't come up with any excuse for failing to do so.

The only piece of personal correspondence I have from her, dated early 1999, is in response to the original arrival of this site.  The message is both appreciative and roundly insulting in a deeply charming fashion, questioning the existence of the chronicler's social life and shrewdly advising me to "switch off your radio set and do something less boring instead." But without the knowledge that there were fellow tapeheads in the world — and Barham was another whose teenage years were largely ferric-filled — this site wouldn't have been here in the first place.  RIP.

Obituary by Bruce Hyman (Guardian, 30 April)
Libby Brooks, 'A rage drove her comedy' (Guardian G2, 30 April)
Victor Lewis Smith tribute (Daily Mirror, 26 April; scroll down)
added 02.05.03: Dave Green Tribute (NTK, 2 May)

  What about the site, then?

01.05.03  Good question.  I feel obliged to post something here because I've stupidly never got around to putting up any formal declaration that the site is dormant and that the trickle of email correspondence has — most of the time — simply lain unread.  I stopped sending out "expect more updates soon"-type messages over a year ago because, well, they were never followed by any actual updates.

I still firmly insist that something will be done, of course.  But spare time is not exactly plentiful at the moment, and the site is in dire need of a complete restructuring to take account of several years' development in both web tech itself and my own understanding of it (this nested tables-as-design-elements thing I'm inside here, for instance; what the hell was I thinking?)  Any future version will feature user submission facilities of some kind — it'll have to, the scale of the research project is way beyond me — and will work via a dynamic interface of unimagined complexity.  I expect.

In the meantime, I can only apologise to those whose correspondence I've churlishly ignored and invite you to tolerate the site as it stands.  It's more or less OK.

All the best, James.

  Site contents

Programme index

A complete set of links to all the programme summaries on radiohaha, listed in alphabetical order by title.  Entries are provided for around 320 comedy shows first broadcast on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Five Live and Scotland in the past twenty years, each of which has its own individual webpage providing a basic synopsis and, in most cases, further information.  There's also an increasing number of links to other people's pages, whenever there's actually anything out there.

Alphabetical name index

An alphabetical list of the writers, performers and producers mentioned on radiohaha, with links to the relevant show profiles.  It's a big list (about 165K), so it might take a while to display.  To avoid making the page any longer than it is already, some notes about it are on a separate page here.  The list is up to date up until about March of last year (sorry!).  It's a bit difficult to maintain, though, and there are always a few broken links.  Drop us a line with details of any you find.

A history of contemporary radio comedy

Finally completed, and a touch on the long side (the file's about 35K).  The story of radio comedy from the early eighties to the present day, with side panels listing major events, plus all manner of probably ill-advised journalistic generalisations.  The fact that there's no reason on earth why this document should exist has a lot to do with its creation...

TV Theft, Radio Rip-off?

A list of radio projects which have become household names after disappearing into the gaping maw of the television industry.

Classic radio comedy links

radiohaha doesn't generally deal with shows which concluded before about 1980, but -- for the benefit of everybody who asked -- I've put up a page of links to some sites which do.

Help! page

A list of some of the not-especially-pressing queries which long-standing keen-eared listeners might be able to help me with...

Updates log

Last updates made on 27 June 1999


Well, they're not exactly frequently-asked questions.  More like once in a while.  Check here first if you have a query, though, as this page might save you the trouble...

Copyright notice

You should consult this if you want to borrow or quote any of the material on this site.  It's fairly kittenish and mild though.

  Framed version

If you have a frames-compatible browser, and have reached this page in full-screen view, just click above to load the frameset in.  The links at the top left allow you to display the site contents, programme index or name index in the left-hand panel, thus making it much easier to get to individual profiles.


Our genial hosts: an advertiser-supported web space provider based in the USA.  Ideal if you want to get hold of a bit of free web space without taking part in some kind of bizarre extended homesteader allegory.

  Contacting me

My current email address is jbsumner@yahoo.com: please get in touch if you have any corrections to the information on this site, or any definitive information on programmes not covered here -- as you might have noticed, there's not much here on the mid-to-late eighties, so stuff from this period would be particularly appreciated.

In addition, please let me know about any serious cock-ups you spot lurking in my HTML.  Oh, and let me know where you found the site, 'cos I haven't got access to the logs for this site and am curious as to where my hits are coming from...

General comments, criticisms and constructive abuse are always welcome (read the faq first), but please note that I'm unlikely to be within reach of email all the time.
Anybody prepared to offer folding money in exchange for the rights to use the entries from these pages in some commercial venture or other should, of course, email me straight away.

This site is reasonably well configured for Navigator at the moment. No idea what it does on Explorer because to be honest I've not looked. Oh well, something more serious is bound to go wrong anyway. For best results, come round my house and view it on my computer. Site maintained by James Sumner, see updates log for latest updates information. Ace!