Monday, 29 December 2008

Lyttelton's Britain - Iain Pattinson

For those of you not au fait with the world of BBC’s Radio 4, this derives from the hugely popular comedy quiz series I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. This anarchic, funny, and extremely clever show kept me amused for years. By turns surreal and cheeky, it proved week after week that comedy can be subtle, gentle and side-splittingly funny. I have the stitches to prove it.

One of the many highlights was the introduction to each show, which toured the country. Humphrey Lyttleton would say something about the town in which the show was being recorded before introducing the teams. These short introductions played fast and loose with the facts, but they were always witty and often downright rude – in all sorts of ways. I suspect the only reason the show got away with it for so long is that Humphrey Lyttelton delivered these pieces with such charm and with perfect comedy timing.

Some of them have been collected in this small volume. It is not often the written word can make me laugh out loud. This book kept doing it.