Friday, December 21, 2018

December 2018 - O'r Diwedd

O'r Diwedd 2018 is finished. S4C's annual look back at the year, which I co-write with Sian Harries and Tudur Owen (left) has been filmed, edited, and handed in - so we'd really appreciate it if nobody did anything newsworthy until 9pm on the 27th December. The finished show features guest appearances from Alun Saunders and Esyllt Sears and will be available afterwards (with subtitles) on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer.

BBC Radio Wales will be repeating Gareth Gwynn's Twisted History of BBC Radio Wales over the Christmas period. The two episodes, which also feature Elis James, Nadia Kamil and a healthy chunk of the BBC Radio Wales archive, were originally made to celebrate the station's 40th anniversary, but will be broadcast again at 6.30pm on the 27th and 28th December and will then be available afterwards on BBC Sounds.

Also on BBC Sounds right now, all eight episodes of Ankle Tag, the sitcom I co-write with Benjamin Partridge, starring Elis James, Katy Wix and Steve Speirs, are also available to stream and download.

Monday, November 26, 2018

November 2018 - Beef and Beefs

Ankle Tag is now available on the BBC Radio 4 Comedy Of The Week Podcast. Episode 1 from Series 2 of the sitcom, which I co-write with Benjamin Partridge, is now on the feed - but if you then head to the website or BBC Sounds app, you can catch all 4 episodes, starring Elis James, Katy Wix and Steve Speirs - with a special appearance by Margaret Cabourn-Smith (who stood-in for Katy at the very last minute on episodes 3 and 4).

Tudur Owen - Where On Earth Is Anglesey is a brand-new two-part show by Tudur Owen about the island of Anglesey, actively combating the fact that it seems to be left off of maps with alarming frequency. I scripted-edited the show and the first part will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 11pm on Tuesday 27th November, and will then be available on BBC Sounds and later on the BBC Flip Podcast Feed.

Beef And Dairy Network Podcast - I made a second appearance on Benjamin Partridge's Beef-based comedy podcast in Episode 41 as Alex Neon, curator of the Network's archive. In this edition, I explain the importance of the International Beef Library and the history of the handheld console, the Beef Boy. Featuring a storming performance as computer game enthusiast Matt Lees.

Twisted History - Both parts of this show, written and presented by me and produced by Sharif Shahwan, looking back at 40 years of BBC Radio Wales , are now available online and via the BBC Sounds app.

This was part of a huge amount of programming marking the station's 40th - and once you've caught-up with Twisted History, I'd personally recommend I Was There about the very first days of the station - featuring an interview with Vincent Kane about the fact he didn't get the breakfast show... And the second link to a programme on this blog-post containing a massive beef.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

October/November 2018 - Box Sets

Ankle Tag - A brand new series of the sitcom I co-write with Benjamin Partridge starts on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 31st October at 6.30pm - and will then be available online immediately afterwards. It starts Elis James, Katy Wix and Steve Speirs (pictured) and right now, thanks to BBC Wales' Festival Of Funny, all of series 1 is online too - The perfect opportunity to mainline the lot and really put this new BBC Sounds app through its paces.

Tourist Trap -The semi-improvised sketch-show set in a fictionalized version of the Welsh tourist board and starring pretty much everyone you like (pictured) has had the Box Set treatment from BBC Wales. As such every episode - including the ones that haven't even appeared on a proper telly yet - are available on the website now. Together with Sian Harries and Tudur Owen, I'm part of the main writing team for the show and I also provide the voice over - So when looking at the promotional photo of the show over on the left, imagine it's my voice reading all the bumph.

Gareth Gwynn's Twisted History of BBC Radio Wales - I've just finished work on a brand new two-part edition of Twisted History, this time celebrating 40 years of BBC Radio Wales. The show is presented by me (pictured) and features Elis James, Nadia Kamil, Lynn Bowles and a healthy mixture of archive recordings taken out of context, or archive recordings in their correct context but sounding equally ridiculous. The episodes will be broadcast on the 5th and 12th of November and will be online afterwards.

And finally, I'm pleased to say I've been nominated for the
Gethin Thomas Comedy Award at this year's Audible Audio Production Awards. Having just checked, none of the shows which made-up my award entry are available online, but a short animation released to promote Just A Minute 50 Years In 28 Minutes is still on the show's webpage, so it's a handy excuse to pop that on the blog again...

Sunday, September 30, 2018

October 2018 - Tourist Traps

On Tuesday, episode one of The Tourist Trap will be broadcast on BBC One Wales. 

The improvised sketch show set in a fictionalised version of the Welsh tourist board stars Sally Phillips, Mike Bubbins, Elis James, Mari Beard, Tom Price, Tudur Owen, Sara Lloyd-Gregory, Leroy Brito, Sarah Breese and just bloody loads more really great people. 

I'm on the main writing team for the show, together with Tudur Owen and Sian Harries, although "writing" is such an odd description for how this programme is actually put together. 

As a semi-improvised show, Sian, Tudur, and I created a bunch of characters and, together with with other writers, outlined reams and reams of funny situations, awkward encounters and horrible predicaments we could put them through. The full 200+ page document really is the stuff of nightmares.

Then, months later, we got sent a Vimeo link and the chance to see what happened, how people coped and what got scaled down for budgetary reasons. Honestly, I imagine this is exactly what it's like to be God. 

Tourist Trap is part of BBC Wales' Festival Of Funny which sees sitcoms and stand-up appear all over BBC Wales' radio and television stations. As part of it all Ankle Tag, the sitcom I co-wrote with Benjamin Partridge starring Elis James, Katy Wix and Steve Spiers, is being repeated on Monday nights on BBC Radio Wales (and on iPlayer afterwards) - so you can catch up with Series 1 ahead of the second series appearing on BBC Radio 4 in November.

Also on the BBC Radio Wales website right now is my documentary about holidaying in Wales, Welsh Under Canvas. It's not strictly part of the Festival Of Funny, but it does feature tourism - something which is fast becoming the overlap in the Venn diagram of my recent work for BBC Wales. 

And also available right now as a BBC podcast is Felicity Ward's Appisodes - a show which I script edited that was broadcast earlier this year. The new "Flip" feed acts as a chance to download BBC radio comedies as a box-set, meaning all four episodes of the show are available right now.

I've got loads more exciting stuff coming out soon too, but I'm writing this in a coffee shop and with very low battery so details on that, and proper photos to do with the above will just have to wait.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

September 2018 - Ankle Tag Series 2 Tickets Available Now

Earlier this year I got rid of Google Chrome and changed my default search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo. Why? Because Ben Partridge and I were starting work on Ankle Tag Series 2 and the research for that would definitely put me on some kind of watch list. 

The show, about a recently released fraudster trying to slip back into family life, stars Elis James, Katy Wix and Steve Speirs and is, once again, being promoted with the greatest cast photograph in the BBC's illustrious history. The show will be recorded in the Radio Theatre in London at the end of the month. If you want to come along, tickets are available here.

I made my second appearance on Dave Holmes' transatlantic panel show International Waters together with Katie Storey, Freddie Wong and Julia Prescott, and made a joke about Glan Afan school, which is pretty niche even before you take into account the listenership is largely American. The show is available on the Max Fun website or, as they say, wherever you get your podcasts.
We're in the brief window during which all four episodes of Felicity Ward's Appisodes are online for you to download, listen and live your life by. Episode 1 will drop-off at the end of the week, so be swift!

And all three episodes of We Need To Talk About recorded at the Edinburgh Festival are now available on Spotify. What's more, we've got another live episode in the diary, as part of the London Podcast Festival on the 16th September. Tickets are available from the King's Place website now.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

August 2018 - Appisodes And Edinburgh

Felicity Ward - Appisodes is a new four part series for BBC Radio 4, written and presented by Felicity Ward, all about mobile phone apps that claim to help with different mental health issues. I worked on the show as script editor and am so excited about the finished product.

The four episodes tackle Insomnia, Depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Anxiety and feature incredible performances from Bobby Mair, Nick Helm, Jess Fostekew and Rose Matafeo.

They go out on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesdays at 11pm from 8th August - and each one will be available on the BBC Radio iPlayer for a month after that. 

In other news, We Need To Talk About... is going to Edinburgh. Jolyon Rubinstein‘s topical comedy podcast is recording three special editions live at the festival, and I’ll be heading up there to help set the questions and write the script.

We’re recording on 17th, 19th and 21st August at 11am in the Assembly Rooms George Square Studio 3 and all three recordings will be available exclusively on Spotify afterwards. 

Tickets to the live recordings are available from the Edinburgh Fringe website and details of who is going to be appearing will no doubt creep out of J's Twitter and Instagram pages.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 2018 - Tiny Scriptwriter

The Dave Berry Breakfast Show started this week on Absolute Radio, and I was asked by legendary producer Dave Masterman to write an advert for its launch, featuring… Actually, I won’t say who’s in it. That really is half the fun. Just give it a watch and you'll see.

Sue Perkins’ Earpedia - Series Two of this Audible Original show is now online, presented by Sue Perkins, featuring Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Simon Kane and written by Gabby Hutchinson-Crouch, Jon Hunter and myself.

Series 1 was all about animals, so with that done we've now moved on to plants. Honestly, I don’t know how David Attenborough has spun this out into a 60+ year career. We’ve done two series and absolutely nailed the lot.

Elis James: Cic Lan Yr Archif - All six episodes of this rummage through the S4C archive have now been broadcast, and most of them are still available through BBC iPlayer (with subtitles if required) (which I do) (despite being on the writing team for the show).

We Need To Talk About - Presented by Jolyon Rubinstein, there’s a new edition of Spotify's topical podcast uploaded every Friday, with the host’s script written by me, Jon Hunter or Jenny Laville (but I won’t say who wrote which ones as I am all for collective responsibility).

BBC Cymru Fyw – While I'm here, I'll mention this recent article about me on the Cylchgrawn (Magazine) section of the BBC Cymru Fyw (BBC Wales Live) website. As you have probably guessed, it's in Welsh, so I popped it through Google Translate (owing to my own limitations in the language) and was genuinely thrilled to see that at one point I am described as " of the tiny scriptwriters". Welsh speakers have offered to explain the translation, but I really am more than happy to remain in-the-dark for the time being.

In addition to the above, I am also script editing two series for BBC Radio 4 – Felicity Ward’s Appisodes and Tudur Owen’s Where On Earth Is Anglesey – both of which will be broadcast later in the year and one of which was subject to a technical error so brilliantly catastrophic, we literally had to come back another day to record the whole show again. (I say that having only recorded one of the shows so far, so this really is a terrible example of tempting fate).

I’ll also be heading to Llandudno for this year’s Craft Of Comedy Conference, where I shall be conducting a Topical Comedy workshop, speaking on a panel with the BBC Writers Room, making the most of the fact I've recently joined Instagram and remembering where I have parked.

Monday, March 26, 2018

March 2018 - We Need To Talk... Again

We Need To Talk About...Series 2 of Spotify's topical podcast is now well underway, with 6 episodes currently available and a new edition uploaded every Friday.

The show is presented by Jolyon Rubinstein with writing duties split between Jon Hunter and I, recording locations split between London and LA and writing locations split between London and other bits of London. 

Earpedia - Sue Perkins presents facts about animals, with assistance from Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Simon Kane, in this Audible Original series which I wrote with Gabby Hutchinson-Crouch, Jon Hunter.

I mentioned this on my blog before Christmas, but it turns out they hadn't actually been officially released back then and weren't really meant to be online - but now they are. It sounds like the sort of thing a record label might do to spark an underground hit, so it's good to see the technique applied to a bunch of facts about the Naked Mole Rat
Top Gear - I'm also doing a little bit of work behind the scenes on the current series of Top Gear on BBC Two. After one recording, I returned to the car-park to find I had a flat-tyre and was given special permission to drive across the test track in my 8-year-old, bird-poo covered Ford Focus, in order to get to the garage to get air. Pretty sure that bit won't make the edit.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

January 2018 - Just A Magic Minute

Just A Minute: 50 Years In 28 Minutes, a show I produced to celebrate 50 years of Just A Minute, is now available on BBC Radio 4's Comedy Of The Week podcast, through the BBC Radio iPlayer and also as a short animation...

A few other shows I've been working on went out over the festive period and links to all of them are in the previous blog post which, depending how you're reading this, will almost certainly appear below...