Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
0101Frank Randle1999040620200325 (BBC7)
20200326 (BBC7)

He was 'a gargoyle, a grotesque - and the funniest man alive'.

Mark Radcliffe tells the story of 'the bad lad of showbiz'. Frank Randle - the rebel from Wigan who hiked his way to stardom.

A six-part series exploring the tradition of the northern comedian.

Producer: Bernadette McConnell

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1999.

Mark Radcliffe tells the story of 'a gargoyle, a grotesque, and the funniest man alive'.

Mark Radcliffe presents profiles of the comedians who have made us laugh over the years

0102Jimmy Clitheroe1999041320200401 (BBC7)

"Nearly a quarter of the population settle down to listen to a radio classic..."

Mark Radcliffe profiles the diminutive radio star who played a schoolboy. But was he ever allowed to grow up?

A six-part series exploring the tradition of the northern comedian.

Producer: Bernadette McConnell

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1999.

Mark Radcliffe profiles the diminutive entertainer who starred as a schoolboy on radio.

Mark Radcliffe presents profiles of the comedians who have made us laugh over the years

0103Les Dawson1999042020200408 (BBC7)

"Hardship? He knew all about it..."

Mark Radcliffe profiles the career of the Mancunian wordsmith who started out playing piano in a Parisian brothel - and went on to become one of this country's most popular comedians.

Featuring Roy Barraclough.

A six-part series exploring the tradition of the northern comedian.

Producer: Bernadette McConnell

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1999.

Mark Radcliffe reviews the career of the Mancunian wordsmith.

Mark Radcliffe presents profiles of the comedians who have made us laugh over the years

0104Sandy Powell1999042720200415 (BBC7)

Mark Radcliffe remembers the comedian famed for his catchphrase and comic ventriloquism.

Mark Radcliffe presents profiles of the comedians who have made us laugh over the years

03Norman Evans2001120420181128 (BBC7)
20181129 (BBC7)

Mark Radcliffe looks back at the life and career of comic Norman Evans.

Like his more famous counterpart and mentor, Gracie Fields, Norman was born and brought up in Rochdale, where he worked as a travelling salesman before his talent for comic speeches was spotted and he took to the stage.

His genius for observing the "humour of everyday life" led to his most famous sketch show - "Over The Garden Wall" – playing a northern housewife plagued by "women's troubles" and "him at home". While Evans is less famous now, he paved the way for later comedians like Les Dawson.

Series exploring the tradition of influential northern comedians of the past,

Producer Libby Cross

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2000.

Mark Radcliffe looks back at the life and career of northern comic Norman Evans.

Mark Radcliffe presents profiles of the comedians who have made us laugh over the years

0304Harry Worth2001121220181205 (BBC7)
20181206 (BBC7)

Harry Worth worked as a miner in Barnsley before his talent for comedy came to the fore during the Second World War.

On seeing his act as a less-than-convincing ventriloquist, Stan Laurel advised him to "ditch the dummy". Harry never looked back. His gently dithering characterisations charmed the nation on both radio and TV.

Mark Radcliffe looks back at the life and career of Harry Worth.

Series exploring the tradition of influential northern comedians of the past,

Producer: Libby Cross

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2000.

Mark Radcliffe profiles comedian Harry Worth, a miner in Barnsley before taking the stage.

Mark Radcliffe presents profiles of the comedians who have made us laugh over the years