The search for scraps (or even whole chunks) of Wrinkles information has hit upon something very interesting and maddeningly tantalising, indeed. The wholly excellent Adrian Fry, his keen ear, and disturbing childhood memories are to thank for this find:
At 11.30am today, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a show (presented by Tony Hawkes) about non or seldom appearing sitcom characters. Matron from Wrinkles was featured. Matron was ‘played’ by a violin to which the central character talked as if to a normally communicating person. They played a couple of short clips from this show which brought the horror of it back to me.
I was 11 years old at the time and an obsessive listener to radio (still am). Perhaps because of my age or lack of understanding of the material, I found Wrinkles deeply disturbing. Most of the characters seemed only capable of repeating one catchphrase, Matron was played by a musical instrument, someone had a terrible stammer and another inmate was only capable of shouting. Everyone seemed to be mentally ill or otherwise surreal except the central character of the handyman who seemed a rather old fashioned sort of Northern radio comedian, discursive and unruffled by what I found to be his terrifying predicament.
The section itself features the producer of the show, Mike Craig, briefly talking about how the show came about and his inspiration for the instrumental Matron. After the frankly disturbing Harmonica clip from Ronald Chesney, there’s two very good clips from a Wrinkles episode. I’m very encouraged.
Anyway, just for you delicious people, here’s the mp3 from the relevant section of the show, Absent Friends:
Obviously the fact that Radio 4 actually have archive clips from Wrinkles is massively encouraging and proof that they at least have one surviving episode. So if you, like me, would like to hear Wrinkles repeated on BBC7 then email in your requests now! I honestly think we wont need too many people asking for this before they start to take notice.