Happy Families

Comedians explore the highs and lows of having children.


Genome: [r4 Bd=19900712]

Unknown: Mr Brown

Unknown: Mrs Brown

Unknown: Master Brown

Written By: Martyn Read.

Director: Gordon House.

Mr Brown: Neil Stacy

Mrs Brown: Elizabeth Proud

Master Brown: Mark Straker

Miss Brown: Diane Bull

Rover/PC Smiles: Rowland Davies

Mr Prendergast: Martyn Read

Norman: Graham Blockey

Avril: Heather Bell

Miss Goodbody: Frances Jeater

DC Smiles: Stuart Organ

Commentator: Gordon Clyde

Programme Catalogue - Details: 12 July 199019900712

Producer: UNKNOWN

Next in series: MRS LATHER'S LAUNDRY, Episode 1

Previous in series: MR AND MRS HAY THE HORSE, Episode 2

Broadcast history

12 Jul 1990 15:02-16:00 (RADIO 4)

Recorded on 1990-03-19.

01Bad Mutha20050906

Jackie Clune offers a hilarious take on what it's like to be expecting triplets.

Written and performed by Jackie Clune with Maria Mcerlane and Al Collingwood.

02It's A Dad's Life2005091320060119

Steve Gribbin embarks upon a musical romp through the highs and lows of fatherhood.

Written and performed by Steve Gribbin with Martin Hyder, Jo Enright and Lyndon Connah.

03Mum's The Word20050920

Inspired by Phillip Larkin, comic actress Lynn Ferguson recounts a bittersweet monologue on the travails of Motherhood.

Written by and starring Lynn Ferguson

04 LASTCounselling Dad2005092720060112

John Bishop takes us back to the Relate sessions that enabled him to rebuild his status as a full time Dad.

In this semi autobiographical comic romp, John takes us back to an airless room in Stockport and recreates sessions with a highly unorthodox Relate counsellor that he underwent when he split up from his wife.


AL Kennedy writes: "It's the summer of 1971 and I am in Paris with my parents.

It's a time of firsts.

I've never met people who don't speak English before: I'd worked out that people in my house speak differently from people in my school who speak differently again from the people in my home city, but French is another thing entirely - I'm not sure if human beings are always going to suddenly become incomprehensible.

It's my first - and I hope only - major loss of teeth.

My milk teeth are dropping out in handfulls, usually whenever I eat a baguette, which I'm doing a lot.

These are also my first baguettes, but I don't take against them - I just accidentally swallow a lot of teeth and find - as we sit on the boulevards and I smile gappily - that Parisians love nothing better than a gappy little kid.

I am doted upon with regularity, just for grinning.

We are a middle class family - anxiously so, given that both my parents weren't born that way - so we have to engage in strenuous educational activities.

This might be pleasant if it weren't so hot, we didn't get lost so often and my father were not biologically unable to ask for directions.

I grow used to long, long marches between pale walls and pavements, all humming with heat.

I get thirsty.

My parents are uneasy with each other because they are always uneasy with each other.

If they are not uneasy, they will fight.

The French seem nicer and kiss each other a lot.

I also get drunk for the first time - France being the land of rhum babas and rhum baba being one of the few things I say in French at this stage.

It wasn't a happy holiday, my parents didn't have a happy marriage and have not endeared the institution to me - but Paris was wonderful and has been ever since."

Producer: Mark Smalley.