Monday 11 July 2011

Serious comedy is no joke

The News of the World is no more. Not that its demise matters to me at all. I took a look at an issue of the NotW some forty-odd years ago, and the first thing that met my eyes was an article about a man accused of skateboarding in the nude at midnight. Oh happy accident! Serendipity be my friend! In that very moment I realised the NotW had spared me the necessity of looking at its raggedy despicableness ever again in my whole life. And I didn't.

But there's a wider issue, and it was elucidated with superb concision and wit by John Finnemore on Friday's Now Show on BBC Radio 4. If you've not heard it, do yourself and everybody else in Britain a favour by going to the BBC iPlayer before next Saturday and listening to his ten-minute stand-up (it starts about six and a half minutes into the programme). You'll be glad you did.

After you've written to your MP, you could do worse than listen to the new series of Cabin Pressure, a comedy written by John Finnemore, about a small private airline (or more accurately an airdot) — a series that boasts a pedigree cast few radio comedies can match: Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam, Benedict Cumberbatch and John Finnemore himself.

UPDATE 2011-07-11:

John Finnemore's Now Show transcript here: