Laughing at Auntie

Father Ted's creator's new sitcom set in the BBC of the 1930s

Father Ted co-creator Arthur Mathews has created a new sitcom set in BBC Broadcasting House in the Thirties.

Three episodes of The Golden Age are to be recorded for Radio 4 next month, starring Cold Feet and My Dad’s The Prime Minister star Robert Bathurst.

He plays the BBC's fictional director of programmes, John Tharb, who has to deal with the foibles and fragile egos of radio's biggest stars such as flamboyant band-leader Ronaldo and depressed newsreader Roger Eves.

Still Game star Ford Kiernan will play the BBC’s irascible and autocratic first director-general, Lord Reith.

The cast also includes Kevin Bishop, former Brookside star Malcolm Tierney, Pippa Evans and This Is England’s Vicky McClure.

Mathews told Chortle: ‘I had these cigarette cards with all the old stars of radio on them, and I though that’d be great for a sitcom set in the Thirties in Broadcasting House, with dance bands and comedians and variety acts.

And one episode seems inspired by a particular hit movie. ‘There’s one episode where the King comes to make a speech and everyone’s really worried about it,’ Mathews said.

The shows will be recorded in the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House, naturally enough, on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 July. See our free tickets page if you want to be in the studio audience.

Meanwhile, Mathews is also making a return to British TV comedy with a pilot starring Matt Berry.

Toast Of London will go out as part of Channel 4’s Funny Fortnight in August and revolves around a successful London stage actor who finds himself embroiled in a controversial West End play. 

A full interview with Mathews will appear on Chortle next week.

Published: 29 Jun 2012

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