Sketchorama

Award-winning character comedian and doyen of sketch comedy Humphrey Ker presents the pick of the best live sketch groups currently performing on the UK comedy circuit in this brand new showcase - with character, improv, broken and musical sketch comedy.

Humphrey Ker is himself an established sketch performer, writer, actor and comedian who won the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh festival in 2011. For five years he was part of the much-loved sketch trio The Penny Dreadfuls, with whom he wrote and performed in a string of Edinburgh festival smashes, two series on BBC7 and two plays for Radio 4.

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Sketchorama Extra20141227 (BBC7)

In Summer 2014, Thom Tuck presented the pick of the best live sketch groups performing on the UK comedy circuit in the 3rd series of BBC Radio 4's award winning sketch act showcase.

12 acts featured over 4 shows recorded in front of audiences in London and at the Edinburgh Festival. So much material was performed, that we've put together this hour of unheard sketch gems for this BBC Radio 4 Extra Special.

With so many incredibly talented and inventive sketch groups on the British Comedy scene, Sketchorama aims to showcase these hidden gems and established performers.

Acts featured in series 3 included Croft and Pearce, Beasts, Mixed Doubles, Bob and Jim, The Real MacGuffins, Lead Pencil, The Colour Ham, and The Birthday Girls.

Producer Gus Beattie.

Sketchorama Extra is a Comedy Unit Production for BBC Radio 4 Extra.

0101Delete The Banjax - Lady Garden - Idiots Of Ants2012062620130219
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Award-winning character comedian and doyen of sketch comedy Humphrey Ker presents the pick of the best live sketch groups currently performing on the UK comedy circuit in this brand new showcase - with character, improv, broken and musical sketch comedy.

Humphrey Ker is himself an established sketch performer, writer, actor and comedian who won the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh festival in 2011. For five years he was part of the much-loved sketch trio The Penny Dreadfuls, with whom he wrote and performed in a string of Edinburgh festival smashes, two series on BBC7 and two plays for Radio 4.The sketch groups featured in episode one of Sketchorama are:

Delete the Banjax: Writer/performers Caroline May-Jones, Daniel Cook, Gareth Cooper and Samuel Champion. They've enjoyed three critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, picking up a ThreeWeeks Editors Award at Ed Fringe 2010 and, with their charmingly chaotic performance style, have become one of the most talked about comedy acts on the circuit.

Lady Garden: The all-female group are Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson, Eleanor Thom and Camille Ucan. Since their Edinburgh debut in 2008, their fast-paced shows filled with fantastic character creations have received widespread praise from audiences and critics alike.

Idiots of Ants: Andrew Spiers, Elliott Tiney, Benjamin Wilson and James Wrighton. Since forming in 2007, they have gone on to sell-out four Edinburgh festivals and a run in London's prestigious West End. They have attracted a staggeringly large internet following, with their 'Facebook in real life' and 'Wii Breakfast' sketches achieving multi-million hits.

Producer: Gus Beattie.

Humphrey Ker presents sketch groups Delete the Banjax, Lady Garden and Idiots of Ants.

The sketch groups featured in episode one of Sketchorama are:

A Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.

0102The Noise Next Door - The Boom Jennies - Jigsaw2012070320130220
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The sketch groups featured in episode two of Sketchorama are:

The Noise Next Door: Tom Houghton, Charlie Granville, Matt Grant, Tom Livingstone and Sam Pacelli have been performing their own distinctive brand of off-the-cuff comedy for over six years. They have an uncanny knack of transforming audience suggestions into fantastically funny scenes and songs in the blink of an eye, with a perfect blend of ludicrous characters, witty one-liners and epic stories.

The Boom Jennies: A trio featuring Lizzie Bates, Anna Emerson and Catriona Knox who produce fun, fast-paced, inventive sketch comedy mixed up with some top-notch tunes.

Jigsaw: Dan Antopolski (Triple Perrier Award Nominee, BBC New Comedy Award Winner and Dave's Funniest Joke of the Fringe Award Winner 2009), Tom Craine (BBC National Student Award Winner 2006) and Nat Luurtsema (Chortle Best Newcomer Nominee 2008) have joined forces to create a hydra-headed sketch monster. They enjoyed a self-titled Fringe debut in 2011 featuring well honed, fast paced material.

Humphrey Ker presents sketch groups the Noise Next Door, the Boom Jennies and Jigsaw.

Producer: Gus Beattie

A Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.

0103The Three Englishmen - Max And Ivan - Frisky And Mannish2012071020130221
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The sketch groups featured in episode three of Sketchorama are:

The Three Englishmen: Ben Cottam, Nick Hall, Jack Hartnell and Tom Hensby are a sketch comedy group based in London. They formed in early 2009 and have performed a sell-out monthly residency at the Canal Cafe Theatre in Little Venice, and enjoyed a critically acclaimed Fringe debut in 2011. 'One of the UK's best emerging sketch shows' The Scotsman.

Max and Ivan: Critically acclaimed double act Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez. Not only did they enjoy 5 star reviews for their 2011 Holmes and Watson Fringe show, they also scooped the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award Panel Prize for their one-off Fringe show The Wrestling, a stand up and wrestler mash-up extravaganza!

Frisky and Mannish: Mash-parodic sketch cabaret vaudevillians Matthew Floyd Jones and Laura Corcoran. They brought their Pop Centre Plus show filled with pop-centric comedy brilliance to the 400 seater Fringe venue the Udderbelly and officially sold it out.

Producer: Gus Beattie

A Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.

Humphrey Ker presents the Three Englishmen, Max and Ivan, and Frisky and Mannish.

Humphrey Ker with new sketch group talent from the circuit: The Three Englishmen, Max and Ivan and Frisky and Mannish. From July 2012.

0104 LASTHow Do I Get Up There? - The Ginge, The Gordie, And The Geek - Pappys2012071720130222
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Featuring How Do I Get Up There?; The Ginge, The Geordie and The Geek; and Pappy's.

The sketch groups featured in episode four of Sketchorama are:

How Do I Get Up There? Scotland's fastest rising sketch group heralding a new era for Scottish comedy. In 2010, the boys made the final of the "Take The Mic" competition at the Edinburgh Festival, and in 2011 enjoyed their Fringe debut show. They also progressed to the finals of the prestigious New Act of The Year competition at the Barbican in London.

The Ginge, The Geordie and The Geek. Since making their debut in 2009, this group featuring Graeme Rooney, Paul Charlton and Kevin O'Loughlin have established themselves as Fringe favourites and sold 10,000 tickets for their 2011 show.

Pappy's. A multi award winning sketch team consisting of comedians Ben Clark, Matthew Crosby and Tom Parry. Established in 2004, Pappy's are firm favourites on the UK live comedy circuit with their hyper-energetic, gag filled monster of a stage presence.

Producer: Gus Beattie

A Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.

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Thom Tuck presents the pick of the new sketch groups currently performing live on the UK comedy circuit - with character, improv, broken and musical sketch comedy.

This is the second series, and in the first episode:

THE BETA MALES

Writer-performers John Henry Falle, Jon Gracey, Guy Kelly and Richard Soames have been circuit and Fringe favourites since 2010. The critically acclaimed sketch-storytellers and waistcoat enthusiasts gained a raft of 5 and 4 star reviews for their three Fringe outings, and were nominated for the Chortle Award for Best Character or Sketch Act in 2012.

SHIRLEY and SHIRLEY

A female double act, Joanna Carolan and Pascale Wilson, accompanied by co-creator and Director, Michael Pearce. They have racked up four Fringe runs and an appearance at the Latitude Festival, gaining rave reviews from the critics. Be prepared for inspired comic observation, top class character creations and wonderfully dark ideas.

JONNY and THE BAPTISTS

The world's first comedy-blues band. We think. Well, we haven't heard of any others. Featuring Jonathan Donahoe and Paddy Gervers, these circuit favourites play satirical, political, edgy, silly but often sexy sketch comedy songs.

Producer: Gus Beattie

A Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.

Sketch comedian Thom Tuck presents three up-and-coming groups from the UK comedy circuit featuring an exciting new generation of sketch writers and performers.

0204 LAST2013052020130619
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Thom Tuck presents the pick of the new sketch groups currently performing live on the UK comedy circuit - with character, improv, broken and musical sketch comedy.

This final episode of the second series is in Glasgow and also features a special one-off reunion performance from classic sketch group Absolutely.

The sketch groups featured in episode four of Sketchorama are:

ENDEMIC

Endemic came together in 2009 as a loose collective of performers who just wanted to make new, funny stuff. This diverse bunch of experienced comedians, musicians, writers, actors and film-makers have since produced a variety of comedic offerings - music videos, online sketches and live shows, including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. Their fan-base is growing, and now includes some of their own friends and family.

ABSOLUTELY

Members of the cast of Channel 4's hugely popular sketch show Absolutely reunited for a special, one-off radio appearance as part of this second series of Sketchorama. Pete Baikie, Morwenna Banks, Moray Hunter, Gordon Kennedy and John Sparkes recorded the show at The Oran Mor in Glasgow and performed new and classic material from some of the show's favourite characters - including Calum Gilhooley, Denzil and Gwynedd, The Little Girl and the Stoneybridge Town Council.

Thom Tuck presents the pick of the best live sketch groups currently performing on the UK comedy circuit in a new series of BBC Radio 4's sketch act showcase. Each week the show will star three acclaimed groups featuring everything from character, improv, broken and musical sketch comedy.

For stand ups there has always been a plentiful supply of showcase platforms, from Radio 4's very own 4 Stands Up to Radio 2's Out Too Lunch. Stand up showcases have now hit the TV mainstream with hugely popular shows such as Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and Live at the Apollo on BBC1, and Stand Up For the Week on Channel 4.

Sketchorama offers the same popular showcase dynamic of providing a platform for upcoming talent but purely for comedy sketch groups. There are so many incredibly talented and inventive sketch groups on the British Comedy scene but with no dedicated broadcast format. Sketchorama aims to bring hidden gems and established live acts to the airwaves offering a truly distinctive show for Radio 4.

The sketch groups featured in this episode of Sketchorama are:

Endemic came to be in 2009, as a loose collective of performers who just wanted to make new, funny stuff together. This diverse bunch (including a tall American and a woman) of experienced comedians, musicians, writers, actors and film-makers have since produced a variety of comedic offerings - music videos, online sketches and live shows, including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. Their fan-base is growing, and now includes some of their own friends and family...

Members of the cast of Channel 4's hugely popular sketch show 'Absolutely'reunited for a special, one-off radio appearance as part of the new series of 'Sketchorama'. On an emphatic evening Pete Baikie, Morwenna Banks, Moray Hunter, Gordon Kennedy and John Sparkes recorded the show at The Oran Mor in Glasgow and performed new and classic material from some of the show's favourite characters including Calum Gilhooley, Denzil and Gwynedd, The Little Girl and the Stoneybridge Town Council.

The producer was Gus Beattie.

Sketchorama is a Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.

A special edition of the show featuring a reunion from classic sketch group Absolutely.

0301Casual Violence - Croft And Pearce - Beasts2014062320140724
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Tom Tuck presents the pick of the best live sketch groups currently performing on the UK comedy circuit - featuring three up and coming groups in character, improv, broken and musical sketch comedy.

In this programme:

Casual Violence

A comedy collective featuring Luke Booys, Greg Cranness, Dave Arrondelle, Alex Whyman, Ben Champion and writer James Hamilton. Their most recent show, House of Nostril, had sell out runs at the Soho Theatre and the Lowry in Salford Quays, following the show's success at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013. They won a ThreeWeeks Editor's Choice Award in 2011 for their show Choose Death, and their writer James Hamilton was nominated for the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality in 2011 and 2012.

Croft and Pearce

Hannah Croft and Fiona Pearce met at school and, in a radical bid to break free from a quiet, cerebral existence in the Home Counties, they both went to study at Oxford University. Desperate to be chatted up by men from mainland Europe, Hannah studied French and Italian. Desperate not to be, Fiona studied English. Fiona went on to train on the three year acting course at Central School of Speech and Drama. Eager to be like Fiona, Hannah also studied acting for three years, at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since then they have enjoyed three successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Beasts

Three refined gentlemen of comedy - Owen Roberts, James McNicholas and Ciarán Dowd. After a sell-out second Edinburgh show, these monstrously funny sketchmen are all set for greater success.

Producer: Gus Beattie

A Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.

Thom Tuck presents three groups making their mark on the UK sketch comedy scene.

First on 4 Extra. Comedian Thom Tuck presents three groups making their mark on the UK sketch comedy scene featuring character, broken and musical sketch comedy.

Thom Tuck presents the pick of new sketch groups currently performing on the UK circuit.

0302Mixed Doubles - The Real Macguffins -2014063020140731
20160910 (BBC7)

Tom Tuck presents the pick of the best live sketch groups currently performing on the UK comedy circuit - featuring three up and coming groups in character, improv, broken and musical sketch comedy.

In this programme:

Mixed Doubles.

Rose Robinson, Paul Aitchison, Megan Smith and Will Close formed Mixed Doubles in 2012 after meeting at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and deciding to postpone unemployment through the means of sketch comedy. Their debut performances were at the Henley Fringe Festival in July 2012 and after a successful opening stint, London shows became an increasing regularity in the build-up to their rampant first appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013. They scooped the 'People's Choice Award' for their viral Modern Conversation at the Dave Comedy Festival in 2013 and were named Finalists in the Foster's 'So You Think That's Funny - Best New Sketch Act' of the same year.

The Real MacGuffins.

A London based sketch comedy group formed in 2008 by Dan March, Jim Millard and Matt Sheahan. They have performed their unique brand of sketch comedy across the UK as well as supporting comedians including Stewart Lee, Dave Gorman and Perrier Award Winners Tim Vine, Phil Nichol, Adam Riches and Doctor Brown. The group have proved a crowd favourite at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival throughout 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Bob and Jim.

Bob and Jim have created three Edinburgh shows - 'Modern Urges' (2011), 'GO' (2012) and 'Two Stars' (2013) and are Musical Comedy Awards Finalists (2014).

Producer: Gus Beattie.

A Comedy Unit Production for BBC Radio 4.

Thom Tuck presents three groups making their mark on the UK sketch comedy scene.

First on 4 Extra. Comedian Thom Tuck presents three groups making their mark on the UK sketch comedy scene featuring character, broken and musical sketch comedy.

Thom Tuck features the sketch groups Mixed Doubles, the Real MacGuffins and Bob and Jim.

0303Four Screws Loose - The Jest - Birthday Girls2014070720140807

Tom Tuck presents the pick of the best live sketch groups currently performing on the UK comedy circuit - featuring three up and coming groups in character, improv, broken and musical sketch comedy.

In this programme:

Four Screws Loose.

New Act of the Year finalists, featuring Richard Caine, Joseph Elliot, Thom Ford and Conan House.

They have performed in prestigious comedy venues from London to Edinburgh (via, naturally, Yeovil) and alongside top acts such as Ardal O'Hanlon, Patrick Kielty, Alex Zane, Frisky and Mannish and Boy With Tape on his Face.

The Jest.

Recently slimmed down from a nine-person sketch group Simply the Jest, who performed at the Fringe from 2011 to 2013. The Jest is made up of University of Exeter graduates Ella Ainsworth (School of Comedy on Channel 4 and at The Pleasance, the BBC's Hustle and Being Human), Tristan Rogers, Jack Stanley (Little Britain, 2005 film The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Luke Theobald (runner-up on an episode of Pointless. Hell yeah!) and Bryony Twydle.

Birthday Girls.

Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan. Collectively, individually and existentially they have been seen or heard on things like Live At The Electric (BBC3), Absolutely Fabulous, Dick and Dom's Funny Business (BBC2) and the first series of Sketchorama in their former sketch collective Lady Garden.

Producer: Gus Beattie.

A Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.

With Four Screws Loose, The Jest and Birthday Girls.

0304 LASTThe Colour Ham - Lead Pencil - Foil, Arms, And Hog20140814

Thom Tuck presents the pick of the best live sketch groups currently performing on the UK comedy circuit, from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The sketch groups featured in this episode are:

The Colour Ham

A brand new and exciting comedy project based in Edinburgh, written by and starring Colin Cloud, Kevin McMahon and Gavin Oattes. It's where comedy, magic and mindreading come together in a big ball of rock 'n' roll silliness!

Lead Pencil

Formed in 2012, Lead Pencil are a stylish comedy group that gives you observational sketches with a colourful twist, featuring Maddie Rice, Louise Beresford and Dave Biddy. Imagine the lovechild of Saved by the Bell and Art Attack. That's Lead Pencil and they've made a sketch show by literally sketching it!

Foil, Arms and Hog

Fringe favourites Foil, Arms and Hog are Sean Finegan (Foil), Conor McKenna (Arms) and Sean Flanagan (Hog). Ireland's top comedy trio have sold out the Edinburgh Fringe for five consecutive years and recently completed a world tour of festivals including Chicago, San Francisco and Adelaide, where they won a Fringe Comedy Award.

Producer: Gus Beattie.

A Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.

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Isy Suttie presents three sketch groups performing at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival.

Award winning writer, actress and comedian Isy Suttie presents the pick of the best live sketch groups currently performing on the UK comedy circuit. Each week Sketchorama will showcase three acts performing character, broken and musical sketch comedy all brought together by our brilliant new host for series 4.

Groups featured in this episode will be performing at this year's Edinburgh Festival so a real chance to hear some of the latest sketch acts making a name for themselves at the Fringe 2015.

Sketch is a huge part of our British comedy heritage and there are so many incredibly talented and inventive sketch acts on the UK comedy scene with over 100 groups performing at the Edinburgh Festival every year. Sketchorama aims to bring hidden gems and established live acts to the airwaves, offering a truly unmissable show for sketch lovers on Radio 4.

Produced by Gus Beattie

A Comedy Unit production for BBC Radio 4.