11pm on a Monday is an odd time to splurge out a live comedy radio show pilot. Possibly also odder to give it a title that sounds like it’s resurrecting an old Jeremy Hardy format. Odder still to then have a show that is – live interaction aside – essentially a third series of Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better. Just as well it was funny.
11pm on a Monday sees me curled up by the radio remembering all the things I said I’d get done today: world peace, Kyle Eastmond, that thing in Libya. Normally whatever’s broadcasting gradually becomes background noise however good it is – I then catch up on iPlayer. Not so with this live broadcast. I have no idea if whole sections really were dropped, if the timings were so massively out or if it was really impossible to read the tweets (sadly nobody wrote anything on a brick to throw through the Regent Street studio window as suggested) but mixing the slight madness of making the world substantially better with the frenetic pace of a live relay on the verge of collapse was infectious fun. The nominal theme was ambition – although that basically served to provide a platform to avoid saying the word ‘Magners’. A poem about Steve Redgave had to be restarted to insert the ‘r’ and nobody needed a lead in verse to get to ‘markxeplum’. It did seem to end abruptly though.
It might seem less amusing when the repeat rolls round on Radio 7 but I’m sure me and the other listener won’t mind too much. If a live show is coming forth from this then perhaps a different timeslot might be better – one that bangs against something that can be moved slightly rather than Today in Parliament. Or better yet perhaps they could bung Today in Parliament back onto long wave only and we can have something that isn’t so numbingly desperate to seem important for a whole hour on Radio 4 instead.
Something like Mark Watson’s Live Address to the Nation perhaps.