On The Hour’s 20th marked on Radio 4 Extra
Radio news parody show On The Hour features as part of the new autumn schedule for digital station BBC Radio 4 Extra.
Six episodes of the Chris Morris comedy series, which first went to air in 1991, will be broadcast and introduced by Radio 4 PM presenter Eddie Mair.
Mair will also feature in a programme revealing why he joined the BBC Newsroom, called ‘It’s A Painful Business: On The Hour With Eddie Mair’ which airs on 4 Extra on Saturday 1 October at 9am.
On The Hour featured the first ever appearance of Steve Coogan’s character Alan Partridge, who was the sports news presenter on the spoof show. The show featured material written by Stewart Lee and Richard Herring as well as Morris and Alan Partridge writer Armando Iannucci. Like many great radio comedies, On The Hour was turned into a TV show called The Day Today.
Other highlights of the newly-announced schedule for Radio 4 Extra include a second series of Archers spin-off Ambridge Extra, a ‘Gothic Weekend’ and a ‘Spy Season’. Comedy show ‘What’s So Funny?’ also returns with a new host – Irish stand-up comedian, Ed Byrne – with Lucy Porter providing guest interviews.
Over three weeks starting on 16 October, the digital station’s Spy Season will include readings of James Bond novels including Casino Royale and You Only Live Twice – as well as Stella Rimmington’s MI5 memoirs and dramatisations of The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People, to coincide with the 80th birthday of John le Carre.
In the run up to Halloween, listeners can hear ‘gothic’ drama and readings including Sherlock Holmes versus Dracula, A Short History Of Vampires, The Man In Black, and six hours of The History Of Titus Groan.
There’s also a special programme for National Poetry Day on 6 October when Radio 4’s Saturday Live poets perform a Poetry Pop-Up from the BBC Radio Theatre, including music from former Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews.