Wednesday, June 23, 2021

June 2021 - Soundheap

Soundheap is a brand new podcast by John-Luke Roberts and produced by Ed Morrish, showcasing the very best moments from the most eclectic podcast network in world.

John-Luke and Ed have roped 35 comedians into improvising podcasts such as How To Put Out A Raging Fire (Mainly Guesses) and How Wide Is Your Coinage? and I've been lucky enough to record various bits and bobs for the show, which will be peppered throughout the run. Details on how the show was written and recorded are available on Ed Morrish's blog and the show itself is now available wherever you get your podcasts. 

Welcome Strangers Series 3 is now all available on BBC Sounds, although you'll have to be quick as I think the episodes start dropping-off today! I wrote some sketches and also acted as script editor for the series, which stars Mali Ann Rees, Laura Dalgleish, Beth Granville, Eleri Morgan, Sian Harries and Ruth Madoc.

Gareth Gwynn Declares Independence From Wales is back on BBC Sounds. Inspired by Richard Booth and his ambitions for Hay-On-Wye, I spent a good portion of last year trying to work out what it would take for a town like Brecon to break-away from Wales and the United Kingdom and go it alone. It resulted in me speaking to the Honorary Counsul for Kiribati, leaving an answerphone message with the UN and accidentally becoming an international ambassador for Uzupis in the process. The whole adventure, split into two parts, is on the BBC Radio Wales/BBC Sounds website now, with a very swish show picture, drawn by the producer, Rosemary Baker.



Thursday, May 20, 2021

May 2021 - Welcome Strangers Series 3

 

Welcome Strangers Series 3 starts this Monday (24th May) at 6.30pm on BBC Radio Wales and will be on BBC Sounds immediately afterwards - and if you're thinking "hang on, didn't Series 2 only finish 8 weeks ago?", yep, you're right. In fact, once I've finished typing this, I'm going to go to BBC Genome and try and work out if this is some sort of record. 

Just like the show from way back in March 2021, I wrote some sketches and also acted as script editor for the series, which stars Mali Ann Rees, Laura Dalgleish, Beth Granville, Eleri Morgan, Sian Harries and Ruth Madoc who are all superb. Once it's all edited down and we know which-sketch-goes-where, the writers' details for the individual episodes should be available on the show's British Comedy Guide page - Which is probably another place I should look to see if we've broken any scheduling records.

Monday, March 29, 2021

March 2021 - Welcome Strangers Series 2

Welcome Strangers Series 2 is a sketch show currently being broadcast on Monday nights on BBC Radio Wales (and so is available on BBC Sounds) - featuring Mali Ann Rees, Laura Dalgelish, Beth Granville, Kath Hughes, Sian Harries, Ruth Madoc and no audience. 

I wrote some sketches and also acted as script editor for the series, which was produced by Sarah Breese and features a fantastic team of writers (all named on the individual episodes' webpages). It was recorded in lockdown conditions so, unlike series 1, does not have an audience - but I'm sure you're thoroughly used to that now. If anything, it means you can hear sound effects like a goose in a nightclub, a seafood platter being fed through a helicopter's blades and an ancient cryptid devouring an ice cream van, even more clearly.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

December 2020 - Independence From Wales

 
Gareth Gwynn Declares Independence From Wales - This is a brand new show all about the very concept of independence and the towns that think they can go-it-alone. 
 
What started out as a look at places like Hay-On-Wye and Llanrwst in Wales or Uzupis in Lithuania ended up with me and the producer speaking to the Honorary Consul for Kiribati, leaving answerphone messages with the UN and asking a former Welsh First Minister for advice on whether I could do this for real - as well as speaking to people who did/would campaign on the "Yes" and "No" sides of national independence campaigns. I also hit the streets (with a mic on a two metre pole) and spoke to the people of Brecon, who were fantastic at entertaining the idea of turning their town into an independent state. 
 
It's about why towns try and claim independence, what they really mean by it - and what it would take to achieve international recognition. The whole thing is produced by Rosemary Baker (who also drew the picture!) and will be broadcast in two parts on the 10th and 17th of December on BBC Radio Wales and is also available on BBC Sounds.
 
Felicity Ward: Appisodes
is back on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds for another four part series about mobile phone apps how they claim to change your life. This time we cover those that help with pregnancy, addiction, procrastination and wedding planning - and by downloading the relevant apps for research purposes,
Google now thinks I had a brief but intense interest in pregnancy, quitting smoking and planning a particularly frugal wedding.
 
The Sink: A Sleep Aid
- All six episodes of Natasha Hodgson's comedy-horror sketch-show is now available on BBC Sounds. It's all about dreams, nightmares and that time a bird man came to your school. Again, I acted as script editor on the show, which bills itself as a sleep aid and I have seen one podcast mailing list not really offering any explanation of the show beyond that. Uh oh.
 
And as well as all those, these shows are all still available online too:


 



  

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

October/November 2020 - Available Now (Or Soon)

The Sink: A Sleep Aid is a brand new comedy-horror sketch-show by Natasha Hodgson. It's all about dreams, nightmares and that time a bird man came to your school. I was lucky enough to work as script editor on the show, which is being released weekly on BBC Sounds. At the time of writing it's quite bright outside which doesn't seem right at all, so save it for an evening or maybe just listen while hiding under a duvet.

Felicity Ward: Appisodes is returning to BBC Radio 4, with another four mobile phone apps being put under the microscope. I acted as script editor here too and it's the reason I walked around with a Stop Smoking app on my phone for a week, despite the fact I don't smoke - But I did absolutely smash the targets one-by-one. Series 2 is being edited right now and will be broadcast in November - but in the meantime, you can listen to series 1 on BBC Sounds right now.

And I am currently putting together a brand-new show for BBC Radio Wales with the brilliant Rosemary Baker all about the very concept of independence. I've already spoken to some fascinating people about Hay-On-Wye in Wales, Uzupis in Lithuania as well as people who did/would campaign on the "Yes" and "No" sides of national independence campaigns. It doesn't even have a BBC webpage yet but it will and, unless I act fast, an embarrassing photo to accompany it too.

 
And as well as all those, these shows are all still available online too:



 




Thursday, May 28, 2020

May/June 2020

Ankle Tag - Series 3 of the sitcom I co-write with Benjamin Partridge starts on BBC Radio 4 on 28th May. Starring Elis James, Katy Wix and Steve Speirs, the previous series has just been repeated on BBC Radio 4 and is also on BBC Sounds.Tom Jones I should say, series 3 differs from the previous two in a couple of key ways. First of all, there are 6 episodes in the run, rather than 4 and also, for these ones, the Evans household doesn't have 300 people in their living room laughing at what they are doing. Bit of a continuity error on our part, but never mind.

The Other Side Of Tom Jones - This spoof documentary starring Mike Bubbins as Tom Jones and narrated by Michael Sheen, featuring heaps of archive clips taken out of context plus a few familiar voices goes out on BBC Radio Wales on 4th June. I wrote and edited the show, which is part of a week of programming dedicated to Sir Tom's 80th birthday... Although I suspect the other shows will be considerably more factual than ours. But, if you want to hear Tom's role in everything from Apollo 11 to Devolution - and with contributions from Colin Jackson, Sian Lloyd and Scott Quinnell - then this is the one for you.

Tourist Trap: The Stay At Home Special - The BBC One Wales TV series about the Welsh tourist board is on BBC iPlayer as a box set right now. However, during a Zoom call with the rest of the writing team, Sian Harries, Tudur Owen and I wondered how the team at WOW Wales would cope with asking people to stay away from the country, rather than inviting them to cross the border. With a TV show well and truly out of the question right now, Tourist Trap: The Stay At Home Special will be broadcast on BBC Radio Wales at 6.30pm on 22nd June (and be on BBC Sounds afterwards) and will follow some of the characters from the show at home, as they ask people to visit Wales... Later.

Tudur Owen: Zoo - And on the subject of tourism, I acted as script editor on Tudur Owen's latest show for BBC Radio 4, based on the true story of how his dad's entrepreneurial spirit led to his farm being dubbed "The Worst Zoo In Britain" by the News Of The World. The two parts will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 6.30pm on the 17th and 24th of June

Saturday, January 25, 2020

January 2020 - Welcome Strangers


Welcome Strangers is a brand new sketch show on BBC Radio Wales starring Sarah Breese, Sian Harries, Kath Hughes, Mali Ann Rees, Beth Granville and Ruth Madoc as the narrator. 

I wrote some sketches and also worked as script editor on the show, three episodes of which are currently online - and will soon be joined by a fourth.








Thursday, January 2, 2020

January 2020 - O'r Diwedd 2019

O'r Diwedd 2019: It may be January 2020, but if you're already feeling nostalgic about 2019 then the latest edition of O'r Diwedd is currently available (with English subtitles, if required) on BBC iPlayer. 

Presented by Sian Harries and Tudur Owen, it's our annual sketch show looking back at the year- and I'm even in this one, very briefly, as a Welsh learner. Which is apt.

Tourist Trap: There's also still to time to catch-up on Tourist Trap Series 2 - Just like Christmas decorations, the semi-improvised sitcom written by Sian, Tudur and I will be taken down on Sunday evening - so if you haven't seen it yet, now's your chance. 

Funny Nation: Also available on iPlayer is this documentary about the history of Welsh comedy presented by Elis James and directed by Iwan England. The three episodes cover stereotypes, live comedy and TV and Radio. I pop up here and there talking about shows that finished long before I was born - And, rest assured, should you ever need three hours of me banging on-and-on about Harry Secombe, Iwan really does have those out-takes safely tucked away somewhere. 

And if you are an Audible subscriber, you can still get hold of The Goodies - The Big Ben Theory Written by John-Luke Roberts and me with Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie and based on a plot by Barnaby Eaton-Jones, it's a new, hour-long audio edition of the show available to download now.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

October 2019 - Tourist Trap Series 2


 
Tourist Trap is back! The semi-improvised sitcom/sketch-show* returns on Monday 28th October at 10.35pm on BBC One Wales and runs for six weeks - But all six episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer website afterwards.

And if you're the sort of person who enjoys a peek-behind-the-curtain, Sian Harries, Tudur Owen and I gave an interview to the British Comedy Guide about how we write the show which raises existential questions about what even is a script. You can find it here.

I have also been working behind the scenes on the first two editions of this series of The Now Show as well as helping out on Gary Slaymaker and Debra Humphries' show The Joy Of Text - all of which are now available on BBC Sounds.

*I co-write it and I'm not quite sure which it is.

Friday, October 11, 2019

October 2019 - The Goodies in The Big Ben Theory




If you head over to Audible now you can find a brand new audio episode of The Goodies. The Goodies - The Big Ben Theory is written by John-Luke Roberts and me - with Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie and based on a plot by Barnaby Eaton-Jones.

In the show The Goodies return to run the country in a plotline which seems even more relevant now than when we first sat down to write it. They're joined by Jon Culshaw, Kate Harbour, Philip Pope, Barnaby Eaton-Jones and Joanna Lumley. It's produced by Barnaby Eaton-Jones and directed by Dirk Maggs

If you head to the show page now you can hear a small audio-sample from around the opening of the show - and you can hear the whole thing for free if you sign-up for Audible's 30-day trial which, by my maths, should let you listen to it 720 times.


I also recently appeared on James King's podcast Cinema Stories in which guests chat about their three favourite cinemas - and as someone who once worked in a cinema (The Coliseum in Brecon) I was more than happy to provide a peek behind the heavy, red curtain.

Before long I found myself admitting to a professional film critic that I have seen the first Pirates Of The Caribbean film over 26 times as well as covering The Piglet Movie and a Rugrats film that was scratch-n-sniff. 

The whole show is currently available on Acast, Spotify and Apple... And once you've listened to the show, it might be worth you checking out this BBC Radio 4 documentary by Michael Sheen in which he provides an altogether more positive spin on the Port Talbot Plaza than the one I was able to provide.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July 2019 - Y Dynion Diarth

Back in 2016 Sian Harries, Ben Partridge and I wrote a pilot for S4C which Zipline Creative packed with legends and shot on a shoestring. Y Dynion Diarth didn't get picked-up, but we've popped it online should anyone be interested - After all, once you've gone to the bother of organizing a wedding in a service station, you want to show that off.

It stars Siw Hughes, Sian Harries, Dafydd Hwyel, Sara Gregory, Rhodri Evan, Carys Eleri and Gareth J Bale - with Ben and myself popping up in there too. It's in Welsh, with English subtitles available.



And July also saw the final episodes of Jolyon Rubinstein's topical discussion podcast We Need To Talk About... appear on Spotify. 


I've worked on the show since it began, back in September 2017, and we've played host to some incredible guests and talked about Brexit a lot. The full back catalogue - including a Best Bits compilation of the last 6 months, is available on Spotify now.



Sunday, May 26, 2019

May 2019 - Live At Eleven

On the 23rd May, I took part in Live At Eleven, a brand new topical comedy show for BBC Radio 4

With no election coverage on the night of EU polling day here in the UK, I built one myself, filling-in the gap by playing clips of old elections from the BBC archive. My bit, and the rest of the show, is currently available on BBC Sounds (as, despite the show's name, it is actually available to listen to online for about a month).

Hosted by Toby Foster and Lou Conran, the show was produced by Ed Morrish and features Raul Kohli, Jennifer Williams, me and a real-life clown.

I also recently took part in Danielle Ward's podcast Any Stupid Questions. Danielle herself wasn't actually there, so Carrie Quinlan stood-in as host as Olivia Lee and I asked very stupid questions to experts Rick Muir (of the Police Foundation) about the Police and Claer Barrett (of the Financial Times) about Banks. Both shows, and the rest of the Any Stupid Questions back catalogue are available to download now.

And talking of podcasts, I am also a regular writer on We Need To Talk About…, Spotify’s topical comedy podcast, presented by Jolyon Rubinstein. There’s a new episode out every Friday morning and the whole back-catalogue of the show (including special one-to-one interviews and one-off documentaries) is available online now.