A Comic Celebration


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As the Beano prepares to celebrate 80 years of comic fun, Two Doors Down star Elaine C Smith remembers its naughty older sibling The Dandy which was created by Dundee company DC Thomson in 1937.

Elaine who grew up reading both comics charts the history of The Dandy and the creation of famous characters like Desperate Dan, Winker Watson, Keyhole Kate, Biffo the Bear and The Numskulls.

By the 1950s, The Dandy was selling millions of copies a week to children all over the UK and the world and here Elaine is joined by Glasgow historian John McShane as well as many of the writers and artists who worked on the landmark children's comic. She recalls being fascinated by Keyhole Kate and hears from Ex-Dandy editor and writer Iain McLaughlin about his memories of writing for the iconic characters Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat and Bananaman.

Comedian and actor Bill Oddie remembers reading the comic as a child and also doing some of the voices for the Bananaman TV series, collectable comics expert Malcolm Phillips recalls the sale of a Dandy Issue 1 for a huge sum and writer Nigel Auchterlonie talks about the final print issue of The Dandy where Korky the Cat makes a surprise return.

Managing editor of Beano Studios Craig Graham talks about his time as Dandy editor, the future of the comic in annual form, and why it went through so many changes from 2006 until 2012 when the final print issue was published.

A Comic Celebration: The Dandy is an MIM Production for BBC Radio Scotland.

As the Beano celebrates 80 years, Elaine C Smith remembers its naughty sibling The Dandy.

Elaine C Smith charts 80 years of The Beano from its first issue in 1938

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Two Doors Down star Elaine C Smith celebrates 80 years of The Beano, from its beginnings in 1938 as a younger sibling to The Dandy, its golden age in the 1950s and 60s and how it continues to go from strength to strength.

Elaine charts the comic's roots in Dundee where it was created by local company DC Thomson and hears from a plethora of big names who have been part of the comic's rich history.

Beano and Dandy writers Morris Heggie and Craig Ferguson discuss the war years, and how Lord Snooty and his pals joined the fight, comedian Angela Barnes shares her memories of growing up reading the Beano, artist Barrie Appleby explains how classic characters like Roger the Dodger are brought to life and writer Nigel Auchterlounie lets us in on the secret of the Dennis The Menace Dynasty.

Elaine hears about the exciting auction of a Beano Issue 1, examines how the characters have changed to reflect the different times and talks to writer Iain McLaughlin who confesses to basing some of his Minnie the Minx storylines on his nieces.

The Beano's first ever female illustrator Laura Howell and 17 year old Beano artist Zoom Rockman are on hand to give their reflections while Matthew Brolley explains how he used The Beano to teach English to children in Japan.

Elaine also looks at The Beano in popular culture, how it inspired musicians and artists through the years, including animator Nick Park of Wallace and Gromit fame. Meanwhile co-editors of Viz talk about the huge influence on their magazine, and the rivalry with Beano and Dandy.

Managing editor of Beano Studios Scotland Craig Graham talks about the comic's 80th birthday celebrations and to round off, Elaine looks to the Beano's future with the ongoing success of the new Dennis and Gnasher TV series and the recent announcement of a live action Minnie the Minx.

A Comic Celebration: The Beano is an MIM Production for BBC Radio Scotland
Producer: Iain Mackness.

Elaine C Smith charts 80 years of The Beano from its first issue in 1938.