TV Cream

Radio 5: The Programmes

Room 101

Nick Hancock and Arthur Smith discussing Sandie Shaw's binmanSUPERIOR sound-only reading of Nick Hancock’s Orwell-hued comedic discussion of all things disliked, with better and funnier guests (worth listing in full: Paul Merton, Jenny Eclair, Danny Baker, Arthur Smith, Steve Punt, Annie Nightingale, Ian Hislop, Jo Brand, Tony Slattery, John Walters, Helen Lederer, David Baddiel, Stephen Frost, Donna McPhail, Frank Skinner, Trevor And Simon, Caroline Quentin, Tony Hawks, Rory McGrath, Kevin Day, Maria McErlane, Mark Lamarr, Nick Revell, Simon Delaney, Chris England, Andy Hamilton, and Hancock himself with Danny Baker in the presenter’s chair) telling their tales of loathing for their most hated people, places and pop songs in the hope that their reasoning would be sufficient to warrant a place in the titular “bin lorry for the bad, boring and Beadle”. Schoolroom misdemeanours and humilating early steps on the career ladder were frequent starting points for the misery-fuelled anecdotes, but there was also a hefty slant towards seventies pop cultural ephemera, hence incredulous rumination on the likes of I Will Survive, Boomph With Becker, Butterflies, Kung Fu Fighting, and track two off Jigsaw’s LP,  as well as more esoteric tales of “this train has failed”, O! Punchinello and Sarah Baddiel’s obsession with ‘Golfiana’. TV transfer started out well, but then they started getting ‘name’ guests who didn’t have anything to say for themselves, and then Paul Merton took over and it just turned into the Blue Peter Elephant again and again and again every single week… so in it goes!



  1. Chris Hughes

    July 22, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Ha, I’ve still got that Baddiel edition on a cassette somewhere. In addition to golf or golfiana, he also nominated ITV’s Euro 92 theme tune You Are The Number One (“number 100 in ITV’s search for a good football theme since The Big Match stopped”).

  2. Winston Smith

    July 25, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    There was one guest who related the story of how he went to school in the U.S.A. when his parents moved there, and was dismayed at the level of education. The teacher asked the class for something the Aztecs (or whoever) might have invented and one boy answered sincerely “Pizza?”, which shocked the guest not only because it was a stupid answer, but because the teacher and the rest of the class didn’t see anything wrong with the suggestion.

    Anyone remember who that guest was? That story has stuck in my head for years.

  3. David Pascoe

    July 25, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Because it’s such good value, here’s John Walters’s appearance including “O Punchinello!” but of greater hilarity, his distinctive contribution to the song, “Getting Mighty Crowded” during his time in the Alan Price Set. (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

  4. Applemask

    December 3, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    No, it didn’t.

  5. Richardpd

    January 13, 2024 at 4:44 pm

    This is one of many radio shows in the 1990s that moved onto TV once it became popular enough.

    Many listed above also appeared in the TV version, but there were plenty of new guests, one of Peter Cook’s last TV appearances was on an early TV show.

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