Radio Memories – Teenage Kicks.

Teenage Kicks (BBC Radio 2, 2007, ITV1, 2008)

This is another sitcom that was in the comedy slot on BBC Radio 2. Teenage Kicks was written by and starred Adrian Edmondson (or “Sexy Ade Edmondson” as they used to call him in Smash Hits). Vernon is someone who used to be in a Punk band called The Plague, and almost three decades on from this, he is still trying to keep that spirit alive.

Indeed, it’s rather weird to realise that this was so long ago we really are now in the era of “Punk pensioners”. Vernon has gone through a rather bad divorce, and he has moved back in with his two teenage children Max and Milly, much to their irritation. He has decided that he is not going to grow old gracefully, or indeed grow old at all, even though he is clearly now at the age where he is past his best.

Vernon often spends a lot of time in the pub with his mate Bryan who he has known since the Punk days (played by Ben Elton). This is really one of those role-reversal sitcoms. He carries on like he is still a teenager, while the actual teenagers have to take on the parent role. There was only one series of Teenage Kicks, that didn’t cause that much of a sensation at the time.

This is another one though that my mum was in the studio audience for. You might be beginning to wonder how my mum was able to attend so many of these shows. Well it’s rather simple really. For a while, she was on one of those mailing lists informing people about upcoming shows being recorded for BBC radio. The tickets were free, and the studio where these were recorded was only a few stops away on the bus.

And it’s also an opportunity to see some famous people, in this case there was one of the cast members of the pioneering sitcom The Young Ones doing his thing, so why not take a look. However, the day that my mum went, Elton was unavailable, so he pre-recorded his dialogue, that was then played in, making it seem like his ghostly presence was haunting the studio.

I don’t think that this one has ever got into the BBC Radio 4 Extra repeat loop though. But about a year or so on from this, something rather unexpected happened. Teenage Kicks was surprisingly picked up for a TV version on ITV1, which featured a few cast changes, although Edmondson retained the lead role. And to the shock of absolutely nobody, this promptly went and died the proverbial.


One thought on “Radio Memories – Teenage Kicks.

  1. Des Elmes says:

    The theme tune was – yep – “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones. 😉

    Ade actually covered this song with his folk punk band the Bad Shepherds.


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