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).
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.