{radiohaha logo}the online encyclopaedia of contemporary british radio comedy
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is any of this official?
Nope.  radiohaha is an entirely unofficial site maintained by an interested dullard.  The site has no connection with the BBC.  The only reason it only covers BBC material is that I don’t know of any intentionally funny series being on anybody else’s radio stations.  In most cases the creators of the programmes profiled on radiohaha don’t know they have web pages about them, and would probably be shocked and confused if they found out.

This is a bit of a vast site.  What the heck have you done all that for?
Oh, I dunno really.  Various reasons, I suppose.
  (a) I seem to have got trapped on the road between university and work, couldn’t think of anything better to do, and thought, “Well, I’ll never get the chance to do anything like that again in my life…”  Not that that answers the question of why I would have wanted to do it in the first place.
  (b) If comedy really is the new rock’n’roll, it needs a Trouserpress.
  (c) There’s too much bad design in new media…  I wanted to set up a site which presents a lot of mainly accurate information (on a subject I actually know something about), rather than just throwing shovelfuls of animated GIFs at people.
  (d) Vague desire to show up the BBC’s lamentable coverage of its own stuff.  Haven’t really looked what they’re up to at the moment, but they used to be notorious for getting in private contractors who would knock together radio and TV programme sites which were generally inaccurate and were not above driving the odd coach-and-four through other people’s copyrights.
  (e) Magnanimous gesture to the various hacks who, in trying to chronicle the past careers of new telly stars, can’t be arsed to do any proper research but rely on fifth-hand accounts of the contents of long-lost press releases and/or things their mothers might once have mentioned to them.  If I see one more article in a major national newspaper which goes along the lines of “On The Hour, the Radio 1 show which became Today’s The Day, starred Armando Ainicucchi and Alma Cogan, whose maverick producer Chris Morris was fresh out of prison for killing the MP Michael Heseltine”, somebody really is going to get hurt.

Why just the 80s and 90s?  You seem to have specifically excluded the time when radio comedy was at its most popular, when all the best-known programmes were made.
I know, and this bothered me a bit too.  A more general radio comedy site would have made a lot more sense, but I decided against it for various reasons, most importantly that the 80s and 90s are what I know about: I wasn’t born when most of the earlier shows were on, and it seemed a bit strange for me to be trying to compile pages entirely through second-hand research, when there must be a fair number of people with the necessary skills and interest who can actually remember the shows in question.  Limiting myself to a twenty-year period means that it’s realistic to aim at being fully comprehensive, as well.  I hope that one day somebody will decide to set up a corresponding site for the earlier stuff.  There are already several sites about particular shows — recorded on my classic comedy links page — but nothing general as far as I know.  If anybody wants to give it a go I’ll happily thread in links as necessary, although I wouldn’t fancy a merger (the pre-80s stuff, I reckon, needs a different approach, probably covering a smaller proportion of shows in greater detail and with a higher quotient of unabashed nostalgia).

Why haven’t you included a profile of [--------], which was loved by millions and clearly the finest programme of its generation?
There are several possible answers to this question, but the answer is emphatically not “Because I loathe and despise [--------] and wish an early and violent death on everybody involved in it”.  The actual possibilities are:
  (a) I have absolutely no information about the programme in question, or at any rate too little to construct even a very brief profile;
  (b) I have some information about the programme, but it’s in a cupboard behind a large and heavy bed (with no castors), and I haven’t got round to finding it yet;
  (c) I have loads of information sitting right in front of my face, but am too lazy to have bothered to do the profile;
  (d) The first series of the programme is still running or has only just finished;
  (e) The programme in question has been running since before I was born, and I’m feeling a bit overawed still trying to work out how to do justice to it in a short profile.
The best thing to do, if you want to see a particular programme listed, is to send me reams of highly accurate information about it, and I’ll knock it into shape and give you a nice credit at the bottom of the page…  I appreciate this isn’t always possible, though, so do notify me about omissions, even if you can’t be specific about them: it might be something I didn’t know existed.

Why has the site got such an appalling name?
(I lie.  Nobody has asked me this frequently or at all.  But I can tell you’re thinking it).
Yes, it is just a play on ‘Radio Ga Ga’, and yes, it’s a poxy name, but it was all I could think of.  But let’s face it, anything self-explanatory would have been far too long — my original thought was to try and make some kind of acronym out of “Online… Encyclopaedia… Contemporary… Radio… Comedy”, but the best I could come up with was ‘ONEIRIC’, which apart from not working properly, means ‘of, or composed in, a dream or dreams’ (NB the site was not composed in a dream or dreams).  In the end, trying to think of a name was actively holding up work on the site, so I just went for the crap alternative.  I suppose I could try and salvage credibility by pretending that it’s really a Half Man Half Biscuit reference playing on “Radio Dada” but who would that fool, eh?

Got any more questions?  Email me and I’ll do my best to answer them, assuming I’m about…  Cheers, James.
FAQ last updated or fiddled with 15/11/98