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Turn off the TV: radio choices, May 28-June 3

The Goon Show at 60 Radio 4 Extra, Saturday (various times)

The digital channel celebrates sixty years of surrealism and silly voices, the first broadcast of The Goon Show having aired on May 28, 1951, with a series of programmes dedicated to Messrs Milligan, Secombe, Sellers and co.

In Goon Again (first broadcast in 2001 for the 50th anniversary) John Glover, Andrew Secombe and Jeffrey Holland recreate an original script; Eric Sykes: the Radio Years celebrates the actor and writer’s wireless career, including writing for the Goons, while The Last Goon Show of All saw the team reunite in 1972 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the BBC.

The Saturday Play: Sunk Radio 4, Saturday 2.30pm

In 1943, the German Third Reich commissioned Titanic), detailing the sinking of the cruise liner, as a propaganda film to discredit British and American capitalism. The costly production ended up, instead, being seen as a symbol for the corruption and downfall of the Reich itself. Mike Walker’s play looks at this intriguing story, and stars Richard Laing, Blake Ritson and Jason Watkins.

Afternoon Play: Corrinne Come Back and Gone Radio 4, Monday 2.15pm

An intense story from the pen of Lenny Henry — his first produced script since gaining his MA in screenwriting. Claire Benedict plays Corrinne, a Jamaican expatriate who, twenty years after she left the island for a new life in the UK, is invited to return by her now-adult daughter.

Afternoon Play: The Big Broadcast Radio 4, Wednesday 2.15pm

Husband and wife songwriting team Jean and Grant are on the cusp of divorce, but they need to write one more number to help save Grant from the mob. Josie Lawrence and Nigel Harman star in this musical set in 1930s radioland, recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre with a live studio audience (which I happened to be a part of).

Truth is, it’s not great — writer and composer Neil Brand evokes the spirit of the age, but the songs are no great shakes. But full credit to radio drama commissioners for trying something a little different. Here’s hoping they continue to commission musicals for radio.

Party Radio 4, Wednesday 6.30pm

A second series for Tom Basden’s satirical comedy about a group of young people who have set up their own political party.

Shedtown Radio 4, Wednesday 11pm

Tony Pitts and Kevin Eldon star in a four-part drama, written by Pitts, and with a cast including Maxine Peake, Suranne Jones, Johnny Vegas, Ronni Ancona and Shaun Dooley. It’s the works day out for the workers of Blakeley Industrial Museum - and something’s got to change.

Friday Night is Music Night Radio 2, Friday 8pm

To mark the move of the BBC Philharmonic to its new home in Salford, Mike Dixon conducts the orchestra in a live performance from the city. There’s a musical theatre focus to the evening, with performances from Matt Rawle, Ricardo Afonso, Alex Gaumond and Paul Spicer.


I remember how fondly my father would recall 'The Goon Show' when I was a child and how he would attempt to describe the crazy antics of Sellers and Milligan. Many voice over actors still attempt to recreate the silly voices and hilarious effects made famous by these radio legends back in the day. They really set the bar high even back then and continue to inspire thousands of people to enter the creative world of radio acting. I can't wait to listen an episode first hand and experience some of the nostalgia that I spent my childhood hearing about.

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