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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Writing Class Hero

It is an odd truism but a truism nonetheless that the best art is often hidden away, known only by an enlightened few - such is the case with Radio 4's Ed Reardon's Week.

 The painfully honest sitcom is presented in a semi documentary style and concentrates on 50 something struggling author Ed Reardon - described in the press material as   "author, pipesmoker, consummate fare-dodger and master of the abusive email".  Much is often made of the fact that Reardon once sold a script to the BBC for Tenko which provides him with his only guaranteed income and that's only about £17 per annum. Our hero often adds to his income by getting paid £10 for making up the numbers in police identity parades.

The writers are Chris Douglas and Andrew Nickolds and the show is currently up to eight seasons with no sign of running out of steam. Indeed as the time's gone on the listener gets to know Ed better and finds real affection for the character as well as the cat, Elgar who is his only constant companion. The humour is mostly subtle but can often be laugh out loud funny - that's LOL for the Internet generation.

I's a big fan of radio, especially Radio Four and it's digital sister, Radio Four Extra and listen to a lot of drama, comedy and factual programs. And in my opinion, for what it's worth, is that Ed Reardon's Week is the best use of the radio medium for comedy since the original Alan Partridge show, Knowing Me, Knowing You. And whilst Partridge made a successful transition to TV Ed Reardon remains hidden away on the radio and perhaps this is where he truly belongs. The visuals are better that way.

If you like well written, well acted, superbly observational comedy than you really need to check out Ed Readon's Week.

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