Having A Pop (Play UK, 2002)
Time for another look back at one of the great original programmes that was made for the long-gone digital channel UK Play. I know I keep going on about this channel but it really does deserve some more credit for some of the shows it made. In the channel’s four-year history, just about all of the presenters who were on Radio 1 at the time got their own programme on this channel, and Having A Pop was a comedy show that featured the great double act Mark Radcliffe and Marc “Lard” Riley.
I must admit that I never heard Mark and Lard’s earlier work, such as their programmes on the old Radio 5 and late-night on Radio 1, I only got into them when they moved to the daytime slot after the failure of their breakfast show, and they stayed in that timeslot until they left in 2004. I used to listen as often as I could as they delivered quality items and I found a lot of their features and characters very funny, and I still like listening back to some of their old sketches now.
Mark and Lard actually had three shows on UK Play that were all attempts to bring their style of comedy to TV. There was the game show Pop Upstairs Downstairs, and Tenuous Links where they introduced some music videos. They also had an attempt at doing a comedy sketch show which was Having A Pop.
This was a rather bizarre show, featuring Mark and Lard in the production studio doing various sketches and supposedly trying to think of ideas for the show. However, they seemed to enjoy spending more time doing things like banging drums or playing the guitar instead and of course there was lots of chaos.
Along with this there were other sketches too written and performed by a cast of new talent who were never heard of again. Most of these sketches were just straightforward parodies of musical acts who were around at the time such as Macy Gray and Oasis and various other oddities. I must admit that most of these sketches weren’t very good really, the best bits of the show were definitely Mark and Lard’s parts.
Unsurprisingly Having A Pop isn’t remembered much by viewers now, it only lasted for one series and was shown rather late at night, and of course there’s no chance of a DVD release, but once again I feel that UK Play should be commended for at least trying to make some comedy programmes even though it was clear they were made on a very small budget that wouldn’t attract a big audience.
I thought I might as well write a piece about the show because I do remember watching Having A Pop and I doubt that there’s much else online about it. I’ll write more about some of my favourite Mark And Lard moments soon including some of my favourite features that they did on their radio show. Let’s rock!