Count Arthur Strong

Count Arthur Strong

Real name: Steve Delaney
Steve Delaney created Count Arthur Strong – an elderly, pompous and easily distracted actor from Doncaster – when he was a drama student at Central School of Speech and Drama in London in the 1980s. He was revived on the comedy circuit in the late 1990s, with a number of Edinburgh Fringe appearances. Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! ran on Radio 4 from 2005 to 2012, and was reimagined for the BBC Two sitcom Count Arthur Strong, co-written by Graham Linehan, which first aired in July 2013.
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Arthur Strong back for Christmas special

Radio 4 festive highlights also include a Love Actually revival

Count Arthur Strong, a Love Actually reunion and more episodes of The Missing Hancocks feature in Radio 4's Christmas highlights this year.

Count Arthur, the  scatterbrained alter-ego of Steve Delaney, will be returning on Christmas Eve as he tries to keep hold of his job as Santa Claus in the local department store.

Cast members Alastair Kerr, Mel Giedroyc and Terry Kilkelly all return for the new radio episodes, alongside Paul Putnam, who replaces Dave Mounfield, who died last year at the age of 50.

Other Radio 4 comedy shows airing this Christmas include:

  • Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam return  in Conversations From A Long Marriage At Christmas Again, to air on December 22.
  • Richard Curtis and others take part in a Love Actually edition of The Reunion  on Christmas Eve
  • Barry Humphries chats with Miriam Margolyes and Rob Brydon in a special edition of With Great Pleasure, also airing on December 24
  • Sandi Toksvig welcomes guests Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Lyse Doucett, Gina Miller, David Blunkett and Andy Hamilton in a five-part series entitled Hygge, the Scandinavian term for wintery cosiness, starting on December 27.
  • Some of the BBC’s podcasts will get an airing, including Fortunately with Fi & Jane, and You’re Dead To Me.
  • The last three episodes of The Missing Hancocks, recreating episodes of the radio classic last from the archives, will be broadcast with Kevin McNally reprising the role of Tony Hancock

Elsewhere, comedian and writer John Finnemore is also starring alongside Samantha Bond in the Christmas Day family story Moominland Midwinter.

On Radio 2 Romesh Ranganathan will host a two-hour ‘non-stop hip hop new year classics’ from 11pm on New Year’s Eve.

And on the World Service, South African comedian Tumi Morake hosts a New Year’s Day comedy special with stand-ups from around the globe.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Count Arthur was back for a full series. Here's why...

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Published: 25 Nov 2021

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