I bring very exciting news. You know Wrinkles? The radio sitcom written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, which ran for two series in 1980 and 1981? The one that starred Ballard Berkeley from Fawlty Towers and David Ross from Kryten, White Hole and Mechocracy? The one that is missing from the archives and has never been repeated in the four decades since it was originally broadcast?

Well, it's being repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra on Thursdays at 10:30pm.

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One day, when I've found all 12 episodes, listened to them and written all I can about them, I may actually shut up about Wrinkles. But, until then, I'm afraid I'm going to carry on being the one note dullard that I am. Sorry!

I received two new clips from the show a few days ago (many thanks to Mark James) and they're really very excellent. Very, very excellent. Frustratingly, they're just small snippets, but they work very well as individual sketches, non-the-less. They're unofficially titled Secret Service Reunion and Dog Training and feature the characters Tom the Caretaker and Winston (played by Tom Mennard and Ballard Berkeley) - quite a sublime double act. Unfortunately, I haven't got a clue which episode(s) they're taken from, so anyone caring to shed light on the matterwould be great.

Anyway, download the clips now! DO IT. (5.9 MB)

As you may guess, my need to hear a show in full is growing by the day, so if anyone at all has any recordings of Wrinkles then do not hesitate to email me - I have plenty of downloaded rarities to swap for anything you might have.

Finally, in case you haven't already seen it, the Observation Dome have launched DwarfWiki this week; an ambitious project designed to collate as much Red Dwarf data as humanly possible. It can be edited by anyone, so go forth and contribute and help us build it up into some rare and special. Especially this page.

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A recent Radio 4 show called Absent Friends (presented by none other than everyone's favourite talking suitcase, Tony Hawks) featured some brief clips from the mysterious early 80s Grant Naylor radio sit-com Wrinkles. There's more information on this addition of Absent Friends in my hole.

So, jumping to conclusions as always, I reckon the BBC must have at least some of their old copies of the show. Let's see if we can get them repeated, shall we? If you'd like to pester BBC7 into giving us a repeat then just email them with your request here. If enough of us annoy them, then they're to give in eventually just to SHUT US THE HELL UP.

Also, for those of you interested, here's the clip in question:

BBC Radio 4 - Absent Friends - Wrinkles - TX: 31/05/2005

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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:

BBC Radio 4 - Absent Friends - Wrinkles - TX: 31/05/2005

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