Stuart Mitchell

Stuart Mitchell

Radio 4 announces a raft of new comedy shows

With Jordan Gray, Maisie Adam, Jonathan Pie and more

Jordan Gray, Maisie Adam and Jonathan Pie are all making new Radio 4 programmes, the broadcaster has announced today.

Glenn Moore, The Delightful Sausage, Janey Godley and Ken Cheng also appear in the raft of programming announcements – that also includes the return of Paul ​Merton to Room 101 and the return of several successful programmes

Jonathan Pie, the angry political journalist played by Tom Walker, will star in Call Jonathan Pie, a new scripted comedy podcast that goes behind the scenes of his fictional phone-in on BBC radio

Adam will be bringing her love of football to Radio 4 with The Beautiful Game ahead of the women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July and August

Gray is writing a semi-autobiographical sitcom called Spectacular based on her former experiences in the music business, which included being the first trans performer on BBC One  singing contest The Voice UK in 2016.

She spoke about the project to The List magazine last summer, saying: ‘When you're in music, you take it incredibly seriously and The Voice exacerbates it, six million people watching does that.

‘It's only in the fallout you can start poking fun at yourself. So I'm playing myself without self-awareness, [as] if comedy hadn't come along and I'd clung to the idea that I could make a living from music off the back of a reality TV appearance.’

As previously reported by Chortle, the BBC also confirmed that Chris McCausland’s You Heard It Here First and Kiri Pritchard-McLean’s Best Medicine panel shows are returning for full series following successful pilots. Meanwhile, Steph McGovern is hosting a new panel show, The Ultimate Choice, based on dilemmas.

Other new comedy commissioned for 2023 include:

  • Delightful Sausage: Big Little Questions  in which the  comedy double act of Amy Gledhill and Chris Cantrill attempt to provide answers to curious kids. 
  • Ken Cheng: I Can School You. The comic follows on from his Chinese Comedian series with a new angle on the key school subjects and what he thinks we should and shouldn’t pay attention to.
  • Glenn Moore’s Almanac: One of stand-ups most prolific joke-tellers takes world events and curious facts and figures and combines them with his formative personal stories.
  • Jessica Fostekew: Sturdy Girls Club: Stand-up led series about the competitive world of  women, weights and muscles.
  • Stuart Mitchell’s Cost of Living:  Scottish comic takes the audience on a 'gamekeeper turned poacher' stand-up journey through economics and social entrepreneurship.  
  •  Janey Godley: C Word. Stand-up storytelling from Janey about her out-of-the-ordinary upbringing and life.
  • Should I Bother?, a new podcast hosted by stand-ups and close friends Michelle De Swarte and Laura Smyth

Returning series include:

  • Paul Sinha’s  Perfect Pub Quiz
  • Ellie Taylor’s Safe Space 
  • Daliso Chaponda: Citizen of Nowhere
  • Olga Koch: OK Computer
  • Sarah Keyworth: Are You A Boy Or A Girl?
  • DMs Are Open, the Radio 4 Extra sketch show fronted by Athena Kugblenu and Ali Official which accepts scripts from members of the public. This time it will be a non-topical format and recorded in front of an audience
  • Conversations From A Long Marriage with Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam and written by Jan Etherington.
  • Ability, the sitcom written by and starring Lee Ridley, aka Lost Voice Guy)
  • Meet David Sedaris
  • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane Austen. Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French star in the sitcom written by David Quantick about warring showbiz sisters.

Radio 4’s comedy and entertainment commissioner Julia McKenzie said: ‘I am really excited by this year’s range of commissions and hope they bring a bit of fun and laughter to the audience. With stars of the future joining those who are already close to listeners’ hearts, we’ve got something for all tastes.'

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Published: 16 Jan 2023


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