Hackers and Humphreys All

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Brock
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Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by Brock »

If you didn't hear this yesterday then I think it's worth a listen - a three-hour special on R4 Extra devoted to "Yes Prime Minister":

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06vc0qn

"Yes Minister" was of course re-recorded for radio, but "Yes Prime Minister" wasn't - these were four TV soundtracks, broadcast on radio for the first time. I was surprised how well they worked in the medium, although there were a couple of visual scenes that naturally lost their impact (notably the one where Sir Humphrey tries to climb into Number 10 through the window, which had to be explained at the beginning of the episode).

In between the programmes there were interviews with the writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, as well as discussions with various politicians (including Tony Blair), staffers and journalists about how faithfully the fictional Number 10 reflected the real thing. A compelling three hours, even if you've seen the TV programmes.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by Spiny Norman »

Brock wrote:these were four TV soundtracks, broadcast on radio
Oh, I'm a bit surprised they'd do that.
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Brock
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by Brock »

Spiny Norman wrote:
Brock wrote:these were four TV soundtracks, broadcast on radio
Oh, I'm a bit surprised they'd do that.
Doesn't often happen. In all the years I've been listening to radio comedy I can only think of a handful of examples - a series of "Smith and Jones" on Radio 2, and a couple of editions of "Victoria Wood - As Seen on TV" and "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" on Radio 4. Of course these were all sketch shows that could be chopped up and re-edited for radio. I can't think of a single example of a sitcom soundtrack being broadcast on radio exactly as it was broadcast - it's a credit to the strength of the writing that the programmes stand up so well.

(There have been plenty of re-recordings of TV sitcoms for radio of course - Dad's Army, Steptoe and Son, To the Manor Born, One Foot in the Grave and many others.)

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by Spiny Norman »

It'd surprise me less if they did it for TV shows that survive only in audio, such as Till Death. Or if they'd re-edited them a bit.
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RoyT
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by RoyT »

Radio 4 put out four episodes of Only Fools & Horses in 1999 which had originally been edited for commercial release.

In general 4 Extra steer clear of anything that uses clips from TV shows as they don't have the same rights agreement as Radio 4. Occasionally things slip through, especially in the early days of BBC7.

Brock
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by Brock »

RoyT wrote:Radio 4 put out four episodes of Only Fools & Horses in 1999 which had originally been edited for commercial release.
Ah yes, I think they were mentioned here before. I don't think they went down too well at the time.
In general 4 Extra steer clear of anything that uses clips from TV shows as they don't have the same rights agreement as Radio 4. Occasionally things slip through, especially in the early days of BBC7.
Maybe they had a special agreement for this one, then? Now I come to think of it, I'm sure they repeated an entire episode of A Bit of Fry and Laurie in one of the Comedy Controller compilations - maybe Fred Macaulay.

I also seem to remember that they broadcast a substantial part of the soundtrack from Tales of Television Centre when they did a "tour of the BBC" special - it was commented on here, because one of the contributors was surprised to be listening to his own voice!

DuncanS
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by DuncanS »

The BBC used to release TV soundtracks of comedy shows for home entertainment - about 20 years ago I knew every line in Blackadder 2 as I had it on tape and played it incessantly on journeys.

As mentioned above, the visual gags fell flat but the scripts held fast.

Gary C
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by Gary C »

BBC lp's with TV soundtracks; Fawlty Towers, NTNOCN, Pete & Dud (not too sure about that one, though)

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by Spiny Norman »

Gary C wrote:BBC lp's with TV soundtracks; Fawlty Towers, NTNOCN, Pete & Dud (not too sure about that one, though)
Think so, yes. And On The Margin has an LP too.

I think some of the jokes and visual messages in Fawlty Towers will suffer from lack of picture?
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ray lomas
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by ray lomas »

Spiny Norman wrote:I think some of the jokes and visual messages in Fawlty Towers will suffer from lack of picture?
The only thing I remember about the LP I borrowed from our local library back in the 80s was that it had a voice-over dubbed onto it by Manuel, explaining an act of violence Basil had just subjected him to, removing most of the humour in the process.

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Mickey
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by Mickey »

I had several "Fawlty Towers" double cassettes in the nineties. One episode per side. They worked very well. There was nothing changed from the TV audio; certainly no added comments from Manuel. From memory there was "The Builders", "The Kipper & The Corpse", "The Germans", "Gourmet Night", "Waldorf Salad", "Communication Problems", "The Anniversary" and "Basil The Rat".

mikew
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by mikew »

I had the Fawlty Towers "Basil the Rat" one on cassette. It was narrated by Manuel as if he was writing home to his mother. So, for example, in the bit where Fawlty tries to pick up the rat, Manuel comments over the soundtrack "but Meester Fawlty he no understand Basil has very large tooths..."

Brock
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Re: Hackers and Humphreys All

Post by Brock »

Brock wrote:If you didn't hear this yesterday then I think it's worth a listen - a three-hour special on R4 Extra devoted to "Yes Prime Minister"
Repeated today at 9am, and again at 7pm (and on iPlayer for 30 days of course):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06vc0qn

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