A few weeks ago I travelled up to BBC Radio Theatre to witness the recording of another episode of ‘Welcome to Our village, Please Invade Carefully’. The show is centred around a small English Village which has been taken over by aliens. The residents have been completely cut off from the outside world and their every move is monitored by the alien commander; Uljabaan. However it turns out that the only thing the residents really care about is the state of their allotments and making arrangements for the annual village fair.
The series stars Hattie Morahan as Katrina Lyons; the protagonist and only person who wants to escape from the aliens. Also starring is Hannah Murray as Lucy; Katrina’s only companion on her bid to escape, Peter Davison and Jan Francis as Katrina’s parents and Charlie Edwards as Field Commander Uljabaan; the Alien Captain.
The third episode of the second series revolved around preparations for the village fête with Jan Francis’ Margaret Lyons taking centre stage in planning the festivities. Meanwhile Hannah Murray’s Lucy discovered her talent for singing and playing the guitar, prompting Katrina to launch a plan to have Lucy sing anti-propaganda songs against their alien captors.
The episode was excellent and a great addition to the series. Hannah Murray proved her worth with some great singing whilst guest musician Grace Petrie was superb on the guitar. Afterwards I met most of the cast and got an autograph from THE DOCTOR!!! (Peter Davison)
So on Friday night I went to another Radio Recording, this time for ‘The Horne Section’. ‘The Horne Section’ are a comedy jazz club who tour the UK doing shows and stuff. Anyways, back in 2012 they were given their own radio show for BBC Radio 4 which is just about to broadcast its 3rd series.
The episodes are each supposed to have their own topic however almost always go bizarrely off-key. For instance episode 6 (the second episode I was at) was based around shopping and consumerism however split into many tangents including music festivals, twerking and a jingle for a milk advert. The episodes also have (not)famous comedians on them, ranting and singing off-tune about whatever they think is funny.
The first episode I saw contained Marcus Brigstocke (that annoying man whom I hate) talking about France or something. The second show saw Adam Buxton come to the stage. He was actually quite funny, performing some nice banter with the group’s leader Alex Horne before going on to sing some songs he’d written about… actually I’ve forgotten.
After the show I met the entire band (and got them all to sign a great picture of them)! I also met guest star Adam Buxton and Pedro; a guest saxophonist who has the most amaaaazing voice ever! Anyway, it was a great evening and the show will be broadcast later this year.
It seems there is nothing that gets you in a festive mood more than a couple of men in Christmas jumpers singing at you. And that is basically what I got from going to a recording of The Horne Section’s New Year special the other day.
The Horne Section, for those of you who don’t know, is a comedy band group led by Mr Alex Horne. They made their mark singing joke-filled songs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe a couple of years a go and since then have been putting on shows across London and have even been given their own Radio 4 show.
The episode, which will be broadcast on both New Years Eve and New Years Day on BBC Radio 4, contained a whole host of hilarious jokey songs centred around Christmas and the New Year. These included the band’s own song ‘Manger Danger’, a melody about Christmas for parents and a tribute to Chinese Five Spice. Some great guest stars also turned up including Milton Jones being as stupid as normal, Jenny Bede singing about Christmas Jumpers and Beardyman doing some weird stuff with his voice.
What was nice about the show was that it contained lots of audience participation. At the beginning the whole audience had a massive and embarrassing game of twister (hold the shoulder of the person on your left, hug the person in front etc.). During the show a man at the front of the crowd named Chris had to record a humiliating melody of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’, I’m sure none of us would have liked to have been in his shoes. And at the end of the show the whole audience joined to sing Auld Lang Syne to celebrate the New Year.
It was a lovely show and has certainly got me ready for the fast approaching Christmas and New Year. I also got a script to add to my growing pile!
Is it worrying to not know who Little Mix are? I know it’s quite unusual but I wouldn’t say that ‘worrying’ is the appropriate adjective. Well anyway, I was up at the BBC the other night, to go and see David Mitchell and Robert Webb record the fifth series of their Radio Sketch Show – That Mitchell and Webb Sound. And by complete coincidence, Little Mix were performing round the corner at Radio 1. So I joined the crowd of anxious teenage girls and met two of Little Mix, don’t ask me which ones. They turned out to be far from the boyband I expected.
So on to the topic of this article; That Mitchell and Webb Sound. It’s a sketch show written by and starring the comedy duo; Mitchell and Webb along with their frequent collaborators Olivia Coleman and James Bachman. The show has spawned four series, the last of which was broadcast in 2009 and with such a long absence, many fans were worried that the sketch show would never return until earlier this year when it was announced the show would be returning once again. However to fan’s great joy, a fifth series was commissioned, one episode of which I went to.
So what funny sketches did ‘da crew have for us? Well for starters we found out what joys life holds when you’ve cured cancer (ie. not having to receive telephone calls about third world poverty). We also heard how damaging the White Witch’s scheme of ‘winter but never Christmas’ is to Narnia’s retail industry. My favourite sketch by far was writen by John Finnemore showing a husband and wife telling a story however they can never really agree on the facts.
So at the end of the show I went outside and met three of the cast; Mitchell, Webb and Coleman. They were very nice, here’s some photos:
An email popped into my inbox recently, telling me that I had a couple of tickets to a recording of the Infinite Monkey Cage.
For those of you who don’t know, the Infinite Monkey Cage is a BBC Science Podcast, hosted by Brian Cox and Robin Ince. Each week they take an area of science and talk about it with their guest panel. The Podcast, whilst mainly being scientific, has a small bit of humor in it and what better to outline this then a studio audience?
So I arrived a BBC Broadcasting House / BBC Radio Theater, whatever you want to call it and entered the recording hall, where some fancy tables were set up on the stage for the panelists to sit at. Soon the hosts came on and their panel (which consisted of two scientists I’d never heard of and a stupid American Comedian who wasn’t funny). In fact none of the show was funny however surprisingly, me not being a very sciencey guy, it was incredibly interesting.
The theme was Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. I found myself learning loads that I hadn’t known before.
At the end of the performance, me and my friends hung around outside the staff door to radio theater and were finally blessed with the sight of Brian Cox coming out. I got his autograph!!! That was a lovely day.