Parsons And Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections (BBC Radio 2, 2001-2007)
Although I have enjoyed lots of radio comedy shows over the years, most of them have been sitcoms, rather than anything more satirical. Among the most famous radio satire shows are The News Quiz (which is rather similar to Have I Got News For You), and the work of double-act Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, which includes It’s Been A Bad Week, and the long-running The Now Show, which reflects on the latest news.
I have decided to review a show with a similar idea, but featuring a different double-act. Andy Parsons at this point was known for contributing to a few comedy shows, and Henry Naylor was familiar for appearing in the series of Barclaycard adverts as the sidekick to Rowan Atkinson’s character. Together they had also written for several comedy shows, practically keeping Spitting Image running by themselves for a few years. In this show, various events were analysed, but all in different sections, just like the ones that fall out of newspapers at the weekend.
The other main contributor to the show was Richie Webb, who was the “musical maestro”. He would introduce each section with a rather rousing piece of music, before simply saying what it was, such as “sport”, “culture”, “fashion”, and so on. Parsons and Naylor would then make some witty observations, they would condense the story into its main parts and explain everything “in a nutshell”, and then act out the various roles. Honestly, these politicians.
Every week there would be a special guest, who was always a female comedian, who would take part in the sketches, and also deliver a monologue on the news. There would also be a song from Richie, usually parodying the style of a band who were around at the time (he did seem to enjoy doing Radiohead, suggesting that they were rather grumpy, incredibly. Webb also contributed to At Home With The Snails that I reviewed recently). One edition came from the Edinburgh Festival.
I did enjoy listening to repeats of this series, even though they had long-since lost their topicality of course, and although the show maybe had slightly less of an edge to its satire than what could be offered on The Now Show, there were still plenty of enjoyable moments. There were nine series of Parsons And Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections, and after this Parsons has gone on to have further success, going on tour with his stand-up and releasing DVDs, and also being a regular contributor to BBC2’s Mock The Week. I’m not sure if they’re still working together, but they were very good.