John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme Recording – Complete Series 3

IMG_1442John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme is a radio sketch show, written by and starring Mr John Finnemore. Now earlier this year, it was announced that Souvenir Programme had been commissioned a third series and very soon tickets were available to order. Now I think I can say that I am quite a fan of Mr Finnemore, and so I applied for tickets to the recording of all six episodes and was ???????????????????????????????successful!

What I didn’t know however was that the team would be recording sketches multiple ties, either because they wanted to tweak bits, or because previous recordings had gone wrong or maybe simply to give the audience as much as possible. If it were this last reason then I admire the thought, I just feel it gets IMG_1435VERY VERY irritating listening to the same sketches over and over again.

So despite the fact that I pretty much listened to the whole series twice, the sketches themselves were very good. Listeners can look forward to the return of the good old Archers Sketch, a very large family reunion and all the possible outcomes of asking a IMG_1449stranger about their job. It was not just the writing and acting talent which was exceptional in this series, as Susannah Pearse provided excellent music to some great songs which include ‘Red Trousers’ and ‘Spiny Porcupine’.

So all in all I think this series has followed wonderfully in the footsteps of the previous two and I’ll look forward to hearing it Radio 4 where it airs this September.

Infinite Monkey Cage Recording – Series 8 Episode 5

IMG_1429An 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 IMG_1427of 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 IMG_1430American 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.

The Now Show Recording – Series 40 Episode 5

IMG_1289Ok, time for another Radio Recording Post!

It was a few weeks now that I went to a recording of the Now Show (specifically Series 40, Episode 5). It starred regulars Steve Punt, Hugh Denis, Jon Holmes and Mitch Benn with the addition of Marcus Brigstocke and Pippa Evans.

Recorded at RADA, the show was hilarious IMG_1292however I do think my very limited political knowledge stopped me from understanding quite all the sketches. Pippa Evans wrote sung an excellent song which beat that of The Now Show’s resident guitarist; Mitch Benn.

At the end of the show I met some of the stars, sorry, ALL of the stars! I even got producer Colin Anderson’s autograph who seemed very shocked that I wanted it. If BeFunky_null_1.jpgsomeone asks you for your autograph you don’t say no!

I even managed to get one of the actor’s scripts which brings my collection up to three.

John Finnemore’s Priory Engagment

945019_612112578807038_1014082939_nJohn Finnemore, a radio comedian known for writing the popular radio sitcom Cabin Pressure, has currently been working on the third series of his popular sketch show ‘John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme’.  After many months working on the new series, John Finnemore took to his fans to tell him which of his new-penned sketches he should keep and which ones should be dropped. Russlecane.jpgTo do this John Finnemore, along with the rest of the cast of Souvenir Programme, presented a series of 4 comedy afternoons in the Priory Tavern, a small pub in Kilburn. There a large crowed of fans of the show amassed themselves to listen to the cast perform the first drafts of many brilliant sketches that may make the show. LaurieLewyn.jpgHaving attended two of these four evenings, I heard some great new material. I’m probably not allowed to say too much over the Internet but I will just say that my favourite sketches included a storm at sea, a stamp collector and Ian McKellen. Apart from hearing new stuff, another bonus of the evenings was that I got the meet some of the great cast and crew. My list of cast CIMG9257autographs was made complete when I met Lawry Lewin and Simon Kane. I also had the pleasure of meeting producer Ed Morrish and composer Susannah Pearse. The third series of John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme is being recorded next month.

The Brig Society Recording – Episodes 1 & 2

11899_635947326420795_1117507062_nYesterday I went to another radio recording. Yay! This time it was for a brand new sitcom; The Brig Society, starring Marcus Brigstocke.

Basically what happens is in each episode, Marcus volunteers to do some work for his local community and ends up being put in charge of whatever he volunteers for. The series (or at least the two episodes I saw) also stars Margaret Cabourn-Smith (Newsjack, 946626_635947469754114_207665429_nJohn Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme, Do the Right Thing), William Andrews (Sorry I’ve got no Head) and Rufus Hound (who has most probably been in some stuff).

The show was being recorded at RADA, which is by far my favourite studio out of the two I’ve been too. Being recorded were the first two episodes. The first (and the better) was when Marcus was put in charge of his 525238_635947676420760_474970956_nlocal hospital and the second when Marcus became a local fashion icon.

One of the things I love about radio recordings is that the audience do not just come in, sit down, laugh, clear off. The actors really do try to interact with the audience as much as possible. The producers and that the actors always try to provide added amusement which is very nice, especially as 405854_635947753087419_910051166_nit’s free. At the Now Show for instance, Hugh Dennis conducted the audience in a laughing Mexican Wave and this time Marcus Brigstocke went round the audience being highly critical about what some of them were wearing.

The shows were good, however were both an hour long which meant we were sitting there quite a long time. The show also had a 941768_635947789754082_1721358310_ntendency to spend far too long on certain jokes which made it boring if those jokes weren’t very funny anyway.

After the show we hung around and met some of the cast. I’d already met Mr Marcus Brigstocke so I simply told him that I admired his work on the childrens TV show ‘Stupid’ which was good when I was about six, but looking back it was kind of pathetic. 603740_635947799754081_723385906_nWe also met Rufus Jones (whose script I got) and then Maragret Cabourn-Smith! The actual Maragaret Cabourn-Smith!

(For those of you who don’t know who she is, she’s been in John Finnemore’s Souvinere Programme and comedy Podcast; Do the Right Thing). We had a lovely chat with her. She told me I was too young to listen to Do the Right Thing and then advised me to go to The Edinburugh Fringe Festival. Fair do’s.

Osgiliath? When did they go to Osgiliath?

That, and by that I mean the title, is a very good question. Where does it say in the Lord of the Rings, or in any of the dozen books of notes accompanying them that Faramir took Frodo, Sam and Gollum to Osgiliath? Nowhere. So why the hell does director choose to add in that tiny little seen, taking up about fifteen minutes of the movie which could have been used for some of the things he left out.

Now don’t get me wrong I agree that no film can follow completely with the books. I understand that some scenes have to be taken out and some added in, that lines need to be swivelled around a and personalities changed, however I think in this scene Jackson goes to far.


Most of you will probably not know what the hell I am talking about so I will explain thus. In the Two Towers book, Frodo and Sam are captured by Faramir, Captain of the White Tower of Gondor where they are taken to his base at Henneth Annûn. Here he questioned them about the One Ring, realised they were working to destroy it and let them go.

However in Peter Jacksons ‘Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’ movie after being captured Farmarir they are kept prisoner in Henneth Annûn and, after discovering the one ring, Faramir decides to take the one ring to use to help the city of Gondor. He then takes the hobbits, along with Gollum, to Osgiliath where they arrive in a city at war and being bombarded by an attack from orcs and Nazguls.  In the film Faramir also tortures Gollum which was actually quite sad to see.

I don’t know why Jackson did it. Maybee he wanted to show off that his stunt team could successfully tear down the rood of a building, or maybee he was having fun with his remote control Nazgul. It’s not even as if they have made the story any better by doing it this way. Another point to Tolkien.


Newsjack Recording – Series 8 Episode 3

Newsjack Series 8 Episode 3Newsjack is a radio-comedy-news based-sketch show (there is a name for that but I’ve forgotten it) broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra. It is an unusual show it that it is made up entirely of sketches and one-liners sent in by members of the public before being performed by actors.

The stars of the show are Justin Edwards, Lewis MacLeod and Pippa Evans. It also stars The Audiencethe fabulously fabulous Margaret Cabourn-Smith, star of John Finnemore’s Souvenir Program, Miranda and Do the Right Thing. Yesterday I got the pleasure of going to the recording of Series 8 Episode 3 of Newsjack.

I took place at the ever-familiar RADA studios in London, somewhere I had been once to the recording of Cabin Pressure and twice to follow celebrities into coffee shops. The full castHowever the difference here was that instead of the long que of eccentric, middle-aged and single women, the crowed there was that of normal people. Normal people, with lives! It made four small and quite teenagers seem quite out-of-place.

We started off with a little intro from producer Ed Morrish, also producer of Souvenir Program, and then another from Justine Edwards and us!lead actor Justin Edwards. The cast then entered and we were then subjected to a hilarious forty-five minutes of sketch which included Al-Qaeda’s guide to keeping safe during a drone attack, David Bowie popping up everywhere and the familiar Newsjack app.

Afterwards my friends and I stayed around, perilously assessing the risk of going up to My signed ticketsomeone and asking them for 6 autographs (there were four of us). At the end of it we walked out having met Lewis MacLeod, Pippa Evans and Justin Edwards. Unfortunatley we were not able to catch Margaret Caboun-Smith before she left, nor could we pluck up the courage to sneak into a circle of people to get the autograph of Ed Morrish. Oh well.