Radio Sundays

The constancy of my childhood provides many fond memories, particularly the sanctuary that Sunday provided. Sunday lunch was the only time you could guarantee my father would be sitting at the head of the table and the meal would be a treasure of treats and abundance that left one sated beyond that necessary for life. It always ended with one of my mothers wonderful pudding, rich and sweet giving us a rare sugar rush.

Post Sunday lunch we would all recline in the sitting room to listen to the BBC Light Programme broadcast a comedy gem such as Navy Lark, the Clitheroe Kid, Hancocks Half Hour and the Glums. The apparent simplicity of the humour belies the skill that writers such as Lawrie Wyman, George Evans, James Casey, Frank Roscoe, Frank Muir and Denis Norden. These programmes created real characters that had us in hysterics and still frequent my MP3 player or are enjoyed on BBC Radio 7.

The most skilful and perhaps my favourite is Round the Horne that developed from Beyond Our Ken written by Eric Merriman. Barry Took and Marty Feldman wrote the scripts and poked fun at the straight laced programme controllers without them realising what was happening. The adventures of the camp couple Julian and Sandy, at a time when homosexuals were imprisoned, thumbed a very big nose at the puritans. There are some good quality comedy programmes on the radio but very few are as enduring or as creative as those of the golden age of the 1950s and 60s.


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