Episodes

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20040510 BT=0130 Duration=30 (BBC7)Les Dawson: Mark Radcliffe looks at the life and work of Les Dawson: Mancunian wordsmith, Parisian brothel pianist, and door-to-door salesman. Rpt of Sunday 11.30am]
20040509 BT=1130 Duration=30 (BBC7)Les Dawson: Mark Radcliffe looks at the life and work of Les Dawson: Mancunian wordsmith, Parisian brothel pianist, and door-to-door salesman.
20070331 BT=1330 (BBC7)Mark Radcliffe looks at Les Dawson, the Mancunian wordsmith who began his career by playing piano in a Paris brothel. Episode 3 of 6.
20070401 BT=0230 (BBC7)Mark Radcliffe looks at Les Dawson, the Mancunian wordsmith who began his career by playing piano in a Paris brothel. Episode 3 of 6.
20070602 BT=1330 (BBC7)Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the great observationalist comedian Will Hay, who died in 1949. Episode 6 of 6.
20070603 BT=0230 (BBC7)Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the great observationalist comedian Will Hay, who died in 1949. Episode 6 of 6.
20070421 BT=1330 (BBC7)Series exploring the tradition of the northern comedian. Mark Radcliffe looks at Jimmy James who, although teetotal, convicingly played the part of the drunk.
20070422 BT=0230 (BBC7)Series exploring the tradition of the northern comedian. Mark Radcliffe looks at Jimmy James who, although teetotal, convicingly played the part of the drunk.
Eric Morecambe20040606 BT=1130 Duration=30 (BBC7)
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'I never really wanted to be a performer...' - Mark Radcliffe traces the career of the one-time director of Luton Town FC.

Mark Radcliffe profiles Eric Morecambe, one of Britain's greatest ever entertainers.

'I never really wanted to be a performer...' - Mark Radcliffe traces the career of Eric Bartholomew of Morecambe.

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Mark Radcliffe tells the story of the bad lad of showbiz. He was 'a gargoyle, a grotesque, and the funniest man alive'.

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

. Mark Radcliffe tells the story of 'the bad lad of showbiz'.

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the legendary Lancashire comic.

He was 'a gargoyle, a grotesque - and the funniest man alive'. Mark Radcliffe tells the story of Frank Randle.

Mark Radcliffe tells the story of 'the bad lad of showbiz'. He was 'a gargoyle, a grotesque - and the funniest man alive'. Episode 1 of 6.

He was 'a gargoyle, a grotesque - and the funniest man alive'. Mark Radcliffe tells the story of Frank Randle. Episode 1 of 6.

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

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Mark Radcliffe profiles the diminutive entertainer who starred as a schoolboy on radio. Was he ever allowed to grow up?

Mark Radcliffe profiles the diminutive entertainer who starred as a schoolboy on radio. Was he ever allowed to grow up? From April 1999.

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of Jimmy Clitheroe who only felt the same as others when he was doing his radio show.

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the little man with the big talent. But was 'Jim' a boy who was never allowed to grow up? Episode 2 of 6.

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of Jimmy Clitheroe, the comedian who was most at home on stage.

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.

0103Les Dawson1999042020050403 BT=1100 (BBC7)
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Mark Radcliffe reviews the career of the Mancunian wordsmith, who started out playing piano in a Parisian brothel.

Mark Radcliffe reviews the career of the Mancunian wordsmith, who started out playing piano in a Parisian brothel. From April 1999.

Mark Radcliffe reviews the career of the Mancunian wordsmith.

Mark Radcliffe looks at Les Dawson, the Mancunian wordsmith who began his career by playing piano in a Paris brothel. Episode 3 of 6.

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.

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(BBC7 BD=20080803)

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'Can You Hear Me Mother?' Famed for his catchphrase and comic ventriloquism, Mark Radcliffe remembers the Rotherham comedian.

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

(BBC7 BD=20120604)

's mother was a great influence on him and often performed with him on stage.

'Can You Hear Me Mother?' Famed for his catchphrase and comic ventriloquism, Mark Radcliffe remembers the Rotherham comedian. Episode 4 of 6.

Mark Radcliffe looks at Sandy Powell, the Rotherham entertainer who delighted audiences with his dreadful ventriloquist acts.

Mark Radcliffe looks at Sandy Powell, the Rotherham entertainer who delighted audiences with his dreadful ventriloquist acts. Episode 4 of 6.

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

0105Ken Dodd1999050420050417 BT=1100 (BBC7)
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Mark Radcliffe reveals how Ken Dodd became one of the greatest comic acts of our time.

Mark Radcliffe reveals how the tattyfilarious Squire of Knotty Ash became one of the greatest comic acts of our time.

Mark Radcliffe finds out how the Squire of Knotty Ash and his tickling stick became one of the great comic acts of our time. Episode 5 of 6.

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

0106 LASTJimmy James1999051120080817 (BBC7)
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: Mark Radcliffe looks at the comedians' comedian, Jimmy James, a teetotaller revered for his stage act of playing a drunk.

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

Mark Radcliffe looks at the comedians' comedian - a teetotaller revered for his stage act of playing a drunk.

Mark Radcliffe looks at the teetotaller revered for his stage act of playing a drunk.

Mark Radcliffe looks at the comedians' comedian, Jimmy James, a teetotaller revered for his stage act of playing a drunk.

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

Mark Radcliffe looks at the comedians' comedian, Jimmy James who was revered for his drunk act even though he was a teetotaller.

Mark Radcliffe looks at the comedians' comedian, Jimmy James, who was revered for his drunk act even though he was teetotal.

Mark Radcliffe looks at the comedians' comedian, who was revered for his drunk act even though he was a teetotaller. Episode 6 of 6.

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.

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Mark Radcliffe traces the career of the fiddler who became one of the most successful comedians of the 1950s and '60s.

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 traces the career of the fiddler who became one of the most successful comedians of the 1950s and 60s. Episode 2 of 6.

discusses learning to play the violin, which became his trademark, and how his real passion when he was young was football.

talks about learning to play the violin which would become his trademark, and how his real passion when young was football.

Ted Ray discusses learning to play the violin, which became his trademark, and how his real passion when he was young was football.

Ted Ray talks about learning to play the violin which would become his trademark, and how his real passion when young was football.

Mark Radcliffe traces the career of the fiddler who became an icon of British comedy. Episode 2 of 6.

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Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of a true all-round performer who was equally at home in straight or comedy roles.

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

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of a true all-round performer who was equally at home in straight or comedy roles. Episode 3 of 6.

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.

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Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the sausage-maker from Salford who became one of Britain's most popular radio comedians.

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

Did you know that Al Read's grandfather was the first person to put sausages in a tin?

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the comedian Al Read, whose grandfather was the first person to put sausages in a tin.

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the comedian Al Read, whose grandfather was the first person to put sausages in a tin. Episode 4 of 6.

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Mark Radcliffe profiles the variety star best remembered as Nether Backwash magistrate Mr Muddlecombe JP. Features Ken Dodd.

Mark Radcliffe profiles the variety star best remembered as Nether Backwash magistrate Mr Muddlecombe JP. With Ken Dodd.

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

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

Mark Radcliffe on the man who gave us Mr Muddlecombe JP and 'The Day War Broke Out'. With comments from Ken Dodd. Episode 5 of 6.

Mark Radcliffe looks at Robb Wilton, best known for playing the bumbling magistrate Mr Muddlecombe JP during the war.

Mark Radcliffe looks at Robb Wilton. Best known for playing Mr Muddlecombe JP, he was a man who was as warm and friendly off stage as he was on.

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Mark Radcliffe profiles popular comedian Will Hay, remembered for both his film acting talents and his passion for astronomy.

Mark Radcliffe profiles the popular comedian remembered for his film acting talents - and his passion for astronomy.

. Profile of the popular comedian remembered for his acting - and his passion for astronomy.

Mark Radcliffe profiles the popular comedian, who loved both acting and astronomy.

Mark Radcliffe profiles the popular comedian, who combined his acting talent with an equally passionate love of astronomy.

Mark Radcliffe profiles popular comedian Will Hay, remembered for both his film acting talents and his passion for astronomy.

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 presents a profile of the great observational comedian, Will Hay, who died in 1949.

Mark Radcliffe profiles the great comedian, who combined his acting talent with an equally passionate love of astronomy. Episode 6 of 6.

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'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

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'Big-hearted', but also a comedic radical. Mark Radcliffe profiles one of Britain's most successful comic performers.

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

'Big-Hearted' - but also a comedic radical. Mark Radcliffe profiles one of Britain's most successful comic performers. Episode 1 of 4.

If you never thought of Arthur Askey as a comedic radical, think again. Mark Radcliffe examines Arthur's life.

If you never thought of Arthur Askey as a comedic radical, think again. Mark Radcliffe examines Arthur's life. Episode 1 of 4.

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

Mark Radcliffe profiles the major film and music hall star, who never forgot her Rochdale roots.

Gracie became the highest paid film star in the world but she never forgot her roots.

Mark Radcliffe profiles the major film and music hall star, who never forgot her Rochdale roots. Episode 2 of 4.

Gracie became a highly paid film star in her day, but she never forgot her Rochdale roots. Episode 2 of 4.

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.

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Mark Radcliffe looks back at the life and career of northern comic Norman Evans, famed for his sketches over the garden wall.

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

Mark Radcliffe looks back at the life and career of the northern comedian - famed for his sketches over the garden wall.

. Mark Radcliffe looks back at the life and career of the northern comedian.

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

Famous for his 'over the garden wall' sketches, Norman Evans had a wicked sense of humour on stage and off. Episode 3 of 4.

Famous for his 'over the garden wall' sketches, Norman Evans had a wicked sense of humour on stage and off. Mark Radcliffe profiles the Rochdale comic.

Famous for his over the garden wall sketches, Norman Evans had a wicked sense of humour on stage and off.

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Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the comedian who worked as a miner in Barnsley before taking to the stage.

. Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the comedian who once worked as a miner in Barnsley.

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

Mark Radcliffe profiles comedian Harry Worth, who was a miner in Barnsley before taking to the stage and a life in showbiz.

Mark Radcliffe profiles comedian Harry Worth, who was a miner in Barnsley before taking to the stage and a life in showbiz.

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

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

Mark Radcliffe presents a profile of the comedian who worked as a miner in Barnsley before taking to the stage. Episode 4 of 4.

Mark Radcliffe presents the life of the comic actor as told through interviews and clips.

The life of the comedian as told through interviews and clips. Episode 4 of 4.