Infax Wet Dreams – Part Two

I left you LITERALLY on tenterhooks last article, promising that there would be more interesting stuff to come. So, what other search terms can we plug into Infax?

The most obvious would be Rob Grant and Doug Naylor themselves; and once you’ve finished having a cheap laugh at the fact that they wrote for The Little and Large Party (it being their first radio show, for all I know, it might have been quite good…), and that they got credited for an episode of The Russ Abbot Show in 1997 (old material, there), some rather interesting stuff comes up:

  • Daytime UK (14th Dec 1990)“ITEM 1:TV WRITERS:Doug NAYLOR & Rob GRANT chat to Alan(dur7.20/1.50 in)”. That’s Alan Titchmarsh, BTW. What a fucking bizarre interview that must have been. Weirdly, this is exactly at the time of recording Red Dwarf IVWhite Hole was recorded the night before – so it’s very possible there might be some interesting insights into that series.
  • Wally Who? (7th Nov 198212th Dec 1982) – We’ve mentioned this before, but not really dwelt on it, so… bloody hell. A six-part radio sitcom written by Rob and Doug, broadcast on Radio 2, and produced by Mike Craig and featuring Nick Maloney – exactly like Wrinkles. The description for the series: “Sitcom starring Tony BRANDON as Wally Thornton, a man living in a scrapyard and going nowhere in life apart from the local pub, run by landlord John JARDINE.” OK – this needs hunting down. If you know of any copies, get in touch.
  • The Joy of Sketch (24th Jan 1998) – Classic sketches, introduced by the excellent Punt and Dennis. Rob and Doug are listed as authors, so presumably a Son of Cliché clip is featured, which is interesting – SoC has generally been forgotten, so it’s nice that someone remembered the show well enough to include one. Because it really is one of the best radio comedies ever.

It would be interesting to investigate exactly what sketches Rob and Doug wrote for other people in those early days – The Grumbleweeds, or their Three of a Kind stuff – but that stuff is incredibly difficult to research. Maybe one day. I wouldn’t be surprised if their stuff was of markedly higher quality than a lot of other stuff in the same shows.

Moving onto the cast, then. And first up is Robert Llewellyn:

  • Stop the World (8th Mar 199926th Mar 1999)“New series: entertainment show w new comedy. DJ Mark TONDERAI & DJ CRUNSKI bring the vitality of pirate radio to the screen. They have unlimited access to a fantasy world’s surveillance cameras, news channels & web sites.” Broadcast on BBC Choice, I’d never heard of this – a comedy show with 41 editions in 1999. Craig appears with Robert on two of the show, and Danny appears on the other two – with Craig and Danny appearing together on the 8th/9th April editions.
  • Aspects of the Fringe (25 Aug 198926th Aug 1989) – Radio show featuring highlights of the 1989 Edinburgh Fringe, with contributions from Llewellyn. And guess what it includes? “John McKay and Robert Llewellyn perform extract from their play ‘Onan’.” I NEED TO HEAR THIS. Also: I’ve only just realised that this is the same John McKay who wrote Identity Within
  • Fallen Arches (4th Feb 1989) – 25th Feb 1989 – Second series of this Radio 4 show, with Robert in the regular cast. “The aristocracy of the 19th century contained many strange and colourful charcters – none more so than Lord and Lady Cliffhanger who return with a new tale of cruelty, deceit and rat pie.” Interesting.
  • Uncharted Territory (29th Nov 2006) – Programme on owning property abroad, featuring Robert Llewellyn and… Ann Llewellyn, whatever relation she is. How come I missed this? Mind you, it had been sitting on the shelf at the BBC for a year…
  • Liquid News (12 Oct 2001) – Robert Llewellyn as a guest. I used to love Liquid News, so to see Rob on it would be a joy. God, Christopher Price was fantastic.
  • Grushko (24th Mar 1994) “Drama series set in St Petersburg in 1994.” Presumably a fairly small part, but it’d be interesting to see Robert doing SERIOUS ACTING.
  • Head Over Heels (29th July 1990)“Magaine progrmme looking at a man’s world from a woman’s perspective. Kind of predictable that Llewellyn would show up on a programme like this! Still, as an early television glimpse of him, it would be really interesting.
  • Newsnight (24th Feb 1984) – Robert Llewellyn in The Joeys. Universe Challenge used a clip from this, of course – but it would be interesting to see the full thing. Wouldn’t it be great if BBC FOUR aired selected episodes of archive editions of Newsnight? I’m sure it would be informative about the cultural attitudes of the time. Or something.
  • To Boldly Go (25th Jan 1996) – A Radio 4 sci-fi quiz? Featuring Robert Llewellyn and Norman Lovett? Yes please. And Danny appeared on the previous week’s edition, along with… Peter Serafinowicz and Elizabeth Sladen!
  • Loose Ends (6th June 1992) – Oh, fucking hell. Ned fucking Sherrin. With his fucking awful opening monologues which everyone sycophantically laughs at. At the start of them, anyway – by the end, not even the most diligent brown-noser can bring themselves to raise a chuckle. Still, I expect whatever Robert had to say was interesting – and this was broadcast under three months after Back To Reality, so there might even be a mention of that.

Onto Danny next. Although: how the fuck did I miss the fact he was on Doctors? Or Kerching, for that matter…

  • Grief (11th Feb 199318th Feb 1993) – Radio 5 drama, featuring Danny. No more info, but with a small cast, it’s possible he had quite a major part.
  • The Vanessa Show (6th July 1999) – Featuring an interview with Danny about his new musical Soul Train. I BET THAT’S FUCKING EXCRUCIATING.
  • Backstage (21st April 1999) – Hmmmm. Broadcast on BBC Choice, this was a “Live magazine programme that comes from backstage of BBC programmes”. And it features not only Danny, but Norman Lovett, which would seem to indicate something Dwarf-related – but VIII had finished a month or so beforehand. so it’s all a bit odd, really. Also on the show is Alan Hawkshaw, who has written loads of great music – including the library piece used in the assassination sequence of Tikka To Ride
  • English Time (13th Mar 1995) – School programme, about poetry, with Danny as a contributor… along with Felix Dexter! Excellent.
  • Lenny Henry, In Dreams (23rd Dec 1992) – Lenny Henry comedy special – there’s slightly more here. Excellent – it’d be interesting to see Danny do sketch comedy, even if it’s just a small part. SMALL PART HA HA. It’s directed by James Hendrie – who, of couse, co-wrote Nanarchy.
  • Celebrity Double Dare (29th Aug 1991) – OH. MY. GOD. My childhood! And with Kate Lonergan on it as well! Fantastic. I would absolutely love to see any full episode of this – let alone one featuring those two…
  • Jackanory (4th Jan 1991) – Bloody hell, I never knew Danny did Jackanory! I bet he was great at it, too. And it’s a special edition to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary – all the stories were written by children. I doubt it’s as good as this, mind you. (A kid sent in an audio tape of a Dexter’s Lab story he’d made up – and the production team loved it so much, they made an episode based around it, with special childlike drawings. Isn’t that just fucking great?)
  • Babylon 2 (30th May 1988)“Danny JOHN-JULES pres this collection of nostalgic clips from classic children’s progs”. Excellent! 1988 seems pretty early for him to be doing this kind of thing, interestingly – only Series 1 of Dwarf had gone out at that point, and Marian hadn’t started yet either. Incidentally, guess who did the next two programmes in the series? Harry Enfield and Stephen Fry! I’d kill to see those episodes too.

And there we have to leave it. Some of the above probably aren’t all that interesting when you actually watch or listen to them – but I hope you’ll agree that there are some absolute gems there. Most of the cast-specific stuff hasn’t got a chance in hell of making it onto a DVD – but hopefully, with a bit of a rummage, it might be possible to trace some of them. Let’s have a go, eh?

Tune in next time for more. Or you can just stick in Norman Lovett, Hattie Hayridge, Craig Charles and Chris Barrie yourself. I’m really not that bothered.

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6 Responses to Infax Wet Dreams – Part Two

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  1. > Celebrity Double Dare (29th Aug 1991) – OH. MY. GOD. My childhood! And with Kate Lonergan on it as well! Fantastic. I would absolutely love to see any full episode of this – let alone one featuring those two?

    Ha I watched that and Jackanory too. Being an old bastard occasionally has it’s benefits.

  2. Dexters Lab is on YouTube!

  3. I see ‘To Boldly Go’ 25th Jan 96 also boasted Mac McDonald…

    This is interesting stuff, shame you cant pull them up and listen/watch…

  4. I love the way you get random labels every so often on infax. I’m currently picking my way through every single Good Life, Open All Hours and Keeping Up Appearances episode for something at work, and the Good Life episode “Going To Pot” has the following note :

    “NB:INCLUDES SCENE WHERE MARGO ATTEMPTS TO USE A POTTERS WHEEL.”

    I’ve not seen the episode in question, but I imagine they’ve marked that so that people can spot it when looking for clips to use in “famous comedy moments” shows, or something…

  5. And this one, too :

    “NB:INCLUDES THE SCENES WHERE TOM,BARBARA,MARGO & JERRY ARE ALL DRUNK.”

    I imagine that’s the famous episode where the blatant sexual tension between the four of them comes to the fore…

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