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To Be Continued...
Tobias Persson: Call Me Old Fascist
Toby Hadoke: Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf [Edinburgh 2010]
Toby Hadoke: Now I Know My BBC
Tom Adams Can't Come
Tom Allen Toughens Up!
Tom Binns In Ivan Brackenbury's Hospital Radio Remix
Tom Binns is Ian D Montfort – The Sunderland Psychic
Tom Craine: Choirboy To Addict And Back Again
Tom McDonnell's Musical Ministry Of Comedy
Tom Toal: On The Scrapheap
Tom Williams: Ladies And Gentlemen Of The Jury
Tom Wrigglesworth’s Nightmare Dream Wedding
Tommy Tiernan: Crooked Man [Edinburgh 2010]
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Tony Law: Mr Tony's Brainporium
Too Early to Laugh Show
Too Middle Class For Chlamydia
Topping & Butch: Filth! 
Toulson & Harvey Used To Be Friends
Tricity Vogue’s Ukelele Cabaret
Tripod Versus The Dragon
Twenty-Ten: A Space Oddity
The Two (Not So) Gentlemen Of Comedy Present: Comedé, Varieté, Totalé
Two Episodes Of Mash: A Sketch Show By These Two People
Toby Hadoke: Now I Know My BBC
The long-awaited second Edinburgh Festival Fringe show from Toby Hadoke, the Les Dawson Award winning creator of the critically acclaimed, Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf.A heartfelt love letter to Auntie Beeb, this show will be passionate and stroppy enough to have been on Points of View (during the Wogan years – of course).
Toby Hadoke: Now I Know My BBC
Toby Hadoke has spent a lifetime telling anyone who’ll listen how much he loves Doctor Who – the last four of them on stage, happily coinciding with the regeneration of the franchise. Now he’s expanding on the theme to share his passion for the entire output of the BBC.
Or, specifically, BBC One children’s and family programming from the Seventies, which resonates particularly strongly with him as a middle-class 38-year-old man. A time when the corporation was a more patrician institution, still true to its Reithian aims to educate, inform and entertain.
Hadoke is the sort of man who loves the idea of something like the Clangers, not for cheap nostalgic value – although he gets the collateral benefit of that – but because of the way it came to the screen. That a stop-motion animation two blokes knocked up in their shed could become a staple of children’s programming, simply because it was made by people with talent and passion rather than the product of marketing, research and over-meddling commissioners.
Although no Daily Mail-style reactionary, Hadoke genuinely pines for a simpler time when prime-time BBC was more distinctive and authoritative, rather than trying to ape its commercial rivals. His trip through Radio Times gone by includes Take Hart, The Generation Game (Larry Grayson years), Grange Hill, and, moving into slightly more adult territory, Howards’ Way and The Singing Detective.
Hadoke’s keen to distance himself from the vacuous I Love 1983 type shows full of shallow received opinion, but uses the shows as examples for his verbal dissertation about why the BBC is a good thing. Not all of the programmes are the obvious jewels in the corporation’s crown, Dennis Potter aside, but it’s the ethos behind them Hadoke’s keen to celebrate. And, for the younger members of the audience, he explains any now-forgotten shows in terms they understand – which inevitably means Hollyoaks.
To borrow the analogies, Now I Know My BBC is like Hollyoaks but with fewer models dabbling in acting and more obsessive middle-aged men getting agitated about punctuation. Like his Doctor Who show, Hadoke uses the programmes as hooks to discuss episodes from his own life – learning lessons about patience, disappointment and deferred gratification from TV that prove very useful for a lovelorn geek in rural England.
The polemical side of the show is driven by passion, that’s often entertaining in itself, but with smart observations to back it up, if sometimes not quite sharpened into jokes. He gets a little carried away as he nears his conclusion, however, getting repetitive in his mantra that you can’t put a price on the sort of culture the BBC at its best can deliver even today – Brian Fox’s marvellous space series being a modern-day example.
But it’s more about the journey than the destination, a journey that’s probably best enjoyed if you are of a similar age and outlook to Hadoke and want your liberal, altruistic outlook reaffirmed.
His clarion call that the BBC is an institution worth protecting is a worthy one, and comes at a time when the embattled, and admittedly flawed, corporation needs all the friends it can get against the attack dog protecting the vested interests of Rupert Murdoch and his ilk. And as polemic goes, this is a pretty damn enjoyable one.
|Date of live review: Saturday 7th Aug, '10|
Review by Steve Bennett
Having also seen a preview, I do find this review a bit ungenerous. Like Chris Cassell, I also find it a bit odd that a preview should be reviewed. Could there have been crossed wires here? It’s also worth saying that Toby Hadoke's roots are in stand-up and his style, even when doing a run of one particular show, is improvisational. He deservedly won himself an admiring audience with his previous show Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf (which ended up on BBC Radio and a CD) and I am sure that same audience will enjoy this show too. Indeed I am confident the ranks of his admirers will swell substantially. Many of us share his view that the BBC is a special and invaluable institution, but one that is going through a rough patch, for a combination of cultural, economic and political reasons. This show is an often hilarious, sometimes touching, series of musings, reflections and gags; and also a defence of what the BBC used to be, can be and should be. That it's thought-provoking as well as witty is to its credit and, when he gets into the serious stuff, Hadoke never harangues. Like its predecessor, this show is a constantly evolving work in progress and I look forward to seeing it again in its Edinburgh run. A lovely man and a fine show, possibly destined for greatness.
Odd that we reviewed it on the first night? Not really – the performers or their publicists tell us when shows are ready to review, we don't go in before then
I was also at this 1st preview evening. It was very funny and heartfelt. I think that after the previews the show will be more refined. Odd that it was reviewed on 1st night...