Monday, September 22, 2008

The Radio Show That Launched A Thousand Writers

Originally uploaded by jamesandthebluecat
Hurrah, friend of the blog Ian Greaves' book on Weekending is out!

"In the spring of 1970, BBC Radio 4 premiered a new late-night topical sketch show. Initially an unassuming antidote to the week's events, Week Ending grew to become the nerve-centre of new writing in British comedy. It existed in part as a place for scriptwriters to learn the ropes, before graduating to Not The Nine O'Clock News, Spitting Image and beyond. It also provided an early platform for Britain's best-loved performers, amongst them Steve Coogan, David Jason and Tracey Ullman. However, by its eventual demise in 1998, Week Ending had become a neglected and much-maligned programme. What caused it to lose ground as the respected entry point, and how did it sustain itself for so long?"

Available to pre-order at Amazon, or you order straight from the publisher (and slightly more cheaply) here.

UPDATE: my attempt to Flickr the cover are laughably poor, so I should probably add that it's called "Prime Minister, You Wanted To See Me?" - A History of Week Ending.


Tim Footman said...

Surely he's answered his own question. "It existed in part as a place for scriptwriters to learn the ropes." Sadly, most ordinary punters aren't prepared to suffer six sketches that don't quite work on the offchance that one of the people involved will become Alan Partridge in 10 years' time.

James Henry said...

Also.. 'if they were prepared to travel up to london and hang around for a weekday'. Which I wasn't, what with living in Cornwall, and having a job.

Piers said...

My first ever paid writing work was for a sketch on Week Ending, so it holds a soft spot in my heart.