Radio Memories – The Boosh.

The Boosh (BBC London Live, 2001)

Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt are a comedy double-act who have done some rather unusual things both together and individually since the mid-90s. I had barely heard of them before the first series of The Mighty Boosh launched in 2004, but I did really enjoy this, and I had never really seen anything else like it on TV before, so I was pleased to discover that they had also done a radio series.

This was before the TV version, and once again, this is a series that has gone on to be repeated several times on BBC7 and BBC Radio 4 Extra. The Boosh (seemingly they had not become “Mighty” by this point) brought us the rather bizarre adventures of various creative characters, which was all mixed in with music and just plain weird moments, as they continued to establish their really rather surreal style.

The idea was rather similar to the first TV series, as Vince and Howard struggled to work in a zoo that didn’t seem to have too many animals, not that the particularly liked them anyway. Indeed most of the episodes were reworked for the first series of the TV version, and their attempts to bring some of these ideas to life and match the imagination was rather bold.

A lot of listeners must’ve found all of this rather baffling, but it seems that everyone making this was having a laugh. Also featuring in the cast were Rich Fulcher and Richard Ayoade, who went on to appear in the TV version, and Lee Mack was among those helping out too. The show also won an award for innovative comedy writing, and not funkiest hairstyle as I would’ve originally guessed.

There were six episodes of The Boosh in one series, and I did enjoy this as much as the TV version, it was like discovering a bonus series of their adventures that had been there all along. After the third and final TV series ended, Noel and Julian took The Mighty Boosh on tour. Some of these shows have been released on DVD, and I’ll review those soon too.

Radio Memories – Kenny Everett’s Radio Days.

Kenny Everett’s Radio Days (BBC7, 2005)

Kenny Everett is someone whose work I have enjoyed over the years, and a while ago I reviewed some of his TV comedy shows. I only remember his TV work from his later years though, which was mostly contributions to some chat shows and comedy panel games, where he was always entertaining. Around this time, he was also a host on radio station Capital Gold, although I never listened to this, I wish I did, I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it.

So I took any opportunity that I could afterwards to listen to some of the archive of his radio work. I remember that Capital Gold once aired a compilation of some of his highlights on what would’ve been his birthday that I enjoyed, and I just couldn’t resist the chance to listen to Kenny Everett’s Radio Days, featuring some of the best bits of Cuddly Ken’s show for Capital in the late-70s, the station that puts a sparkle in your ear (around the same time his series was on ITV). vlcsnap-00463

There was always tons of stuff featured! First of all, there were a lot of jingles, and Kenny was famous for taking a lot of time to sing and record these himself, meaning that even going into an advert break was an event. Although the songs were edited out from this compilation, it was clear that Kenny always tried to keep up with all the new bands on the scene, including The Buggles, Marshall Hain, and Paul “Macca” McCartney. And it was in stereo!

It also seems that Kenny was rather fond of pulling some rather unusual clips out of the archive, including advert outtakes, silly jingles, jokes from old American comedians, anything that would make people giggle really. There would also be competitions where a digital watch could be won if you had golden ear’oles and could guess the song, and a record that Kenny was particularly fond of was introduced as “a gramophone record of esteemed repute”. Also featuring was Captain Kremmen (who starred in the TV series, and was also turned into an animated short film), and The World’s Worst, where some truly awful out-of-tune records were played.

One highlight for me was when Kenny along with fellow host Roger Scott were trying to record an advert for an album by The Beatles. Kenny recommended that Roger should say “they played all night, till their fingers were down to the bone”. Kenny then recommended ever more bizarre phrases, including “they played all night, till their fingers were hot throbbing lumps of gristle”. This then concludes with Roger endlessly laughing after Kenny had given him the image of “the gristle hanging out of their guitars”. That really did sound like great fun to do.

I’m fairly sure that there were only four editions of Kenny Everett’s Radio Days, and I think that there were also a few extended repeats with the songs left in. Either way, I was very pleased that this did turn out to be as funny as I hoped it would be, and I’m always on the lookout for more from Kenny’s career for the various stations that he worked for.