Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
0101Frank Randle1999040620200325 (BBC7)
20200326 (BBC7)
20161228 (BBC7)
20161227 (BBC7)
20180829 (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

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1999.

0102Jimmy Clitheroe1999041320170104 (BBC7)
20170103 (BBC7)
20200401 (BBC7)
20180905 (BBC7)
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

"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.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1999.

0103Les Dawson1999042020170111 (BBC7)
20170110 (BBC7)
20200408 (BBC7)
20180912 (BBC7)
Mark Radcliffe reviews the career of the Mancunian wordsmith.

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

"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.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1999.

0104Sandy Powell1999042720200415 (BBC7)
20180919 (BBC7)
20170118 (BBC7)
20170117 (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

0105Ken Dodd1999050420170125 (BBC7)
20170124 (BBC7)
Mark Radcliffe reveals how Ken Dodd became one of the greatest comic acts of our time.

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

Mark Radcliffe reveals how Ken Dodd became one of the greatest comic acts of our time.

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

0106Jimmy James1999051120170201 (BBC7)
20170131 (BBC7)
20180926 (BBC7)
Mark Radcliffe looks at the comedians' comedian, Jimmy James.

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

Mark Radcliffe looks at the comedians' comedian, Jimmy James.

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

Mark Radcliffe profiles the comedians' comedian, Jimmy James - a teetotaller revered for his stage act of playing a drunk. But his one vice as a love of gambling...

Last of a six-part series exploring the tradition of the northern comedian.

Producer: Bernadette McConnell

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1999.

Mark Radcliffe looks at the comedians' comedian, Jimmy James.

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

0202Ted Ray2000080120181108 (BBC7)
20181107 (BBC7)
Mark Radcliffe on the career of one of the most successful comedians of the 1950s and 60s.

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

Mark Radcliffe on the career of one of the most successful comedians of the 1950s and 60s.

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

0203Beryl Reid2000080820170208 (BBC7)
20170207 (BBC7)
20181003 (BBC7)
Mark Radcliffe profiles a performer who was equally at home in straight or comedy roles.

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

Mark Radcliffe profiles a performer who was equally at home in straight or comedy roles.

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

Mark Radcliffe profiles the multi-talented Beryl Reid, whose career spanned music hall, variety, stand-up comedy and straight roles such as 'The Killing of Sister George'.

Series exploring some of the North's best-loved and most influential comedians.

Producer: Libby Cross

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2000.

Mark Radcliffe profiles a performer who was equally at home in straight or comedy roles.

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

0204Al Read2000081520181010 (BBC7)
20170215 (BBC7)
20170214 (BBC7)
Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of one of Britain's most popular radio comedians.

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

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of one of Britain's most popular radio comedians.

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

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of one of Britain's most popular radio comedians.

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

0205Robb Wilton2000082220170222 (BBC7)
20170221 (BBC7)
20181017 (BBC7)
Mark Radcliffe profiles the variety star best remembered as magistrate Mr Muddlecombe JP.

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

Mark Radcliffe profiles the variety star best remembered as magistrate Mr Muddlecombe JP.

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

Mark Radcliffe profiles variety star Robb Wilton, best known as the bumbling, befuddled magistrate - Mr Muddlecombe JP.

A master of the art of storytelling which kept Britain laughing during the Second World War

Featuring Ken Dodd.

Series exploring some of the North's best-loved and most influential comedians.

Producer: Libby Cross

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2000.

Mark Radcliffe profiles the variety star best remembered as magistrate Mr Muddlecombe JP.

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

0206Will Hay2000082920181024 (BBC7)
20170301 (BBC7)
20170228 (BBC7)
Mark Radcliffe on the comedian known for his acting talents and his passion for astronomy.

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

Mark Radcliffe on the comedian known for his acting talents and his passion for astronomy.

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

Mark Radcliffe on the comedian known for his acting talents and his passion for astronomy.

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

03Norman Evans2001120420181128 (BBC7)
20181129 (BBC7)
20170418 (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

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

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

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

0301Arthur Askey2001112020181115 (BBC7)
20181114 (BBC7)
20170404 (BBC7)
'Big-hearted', but also a comedic radical. Mark Radcliffe the Liverpool-born comic.

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

'Big-hearted', but also a comedic radical. Mark Radcliffe the Liverpool-born comic.

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

'Big-hearted', but also a comedic radical. Mark Radcliffe the Liverpool-born comic.

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

0302Gracie Fields2001112720170411 (BBC7)
20181122 (BBC7)
20181121 (BBC7)
Mark Radcliffe profiles the film and music hall star, who never forgot her Rochdale roots.

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

Gracie Fields was one of Lancashire's best-loved exports. Yet the press accused her of treachery when she and her Italian husband moved to America during the Second World War, despite the huge sums she raised abroad for the British war effort.

Mark Radcliffe presents a tribute to the film and music hall star once described as "the British nation's favourite big sister".

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 the film and music hall star, who never forgot her Rochdale roots.

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

Gracie Fields was one of Lancashire's best-loved exports. Yet the press accused her of treachery when she and her Italian husband moved to America during the Second World War, despite the huge sums she raised abroad for the British war effort.

Mark Radcliffe presents a tribute to the film and music hall star once described as "the British nation's favourite big sister".

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 the film and music hall star, who never forgot her Rochdale roots.

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

0304Harry Worth2001121220181205 (BBC7)
20181206 (BBC7)
20170425 (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