Silence is the virtue of fools. -Sir Francis Bacon
Question #90229 posted on 08/12/2017 2:32 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I subscribe to the BBC podcasts Friday Night Comedy and Comedy of the Week, where they bring you various Radio4 comedy shows from the previous week. Some of them seem to be one-time comedy specials, and others seem to be recurring shows. Some of these are better than others, but I've found a few of the recurring shows to be quite good (The Now Show, Just a Minute, Dead Ringers, etc) and would like to subscribe to those shows individually, but they don't appear to have podcasts for them. Am I missing something? Are these shows regularly produced? And if so, why don't they have their own podcast feed?



Dear Angie O'Phile,

Well, a little bit o'googling reveals that the shows are regularly produced, but their availability might not be as constant. For instance, you can look at an episode guide for The Now Show, but none of the episodes are available on the BBC iPlayer Radio (which appears to be the main way people access them). However, if you snoop around a little bit, you can find a YouTube channel that seems to have most, if not all, of the episodes uploaded (though I'm not exactly sure if this channel is sanctioned by the BBC).

Right now it does appear that an episode of Just A Minute is available on the player, but when I clicked on it it said that this would only be true for 29 more days. Similarly to The Now Show, I also found a website offering downloads of Just A Minute series 75-78, but again, I'm not sure how legitimate that website is. (More legitimately, it looks like you can get collections of the best of Just A Minute on Audible. Or, at least, you can get one collection; I didn't search for others.)

And, just for kicks, I looked up Dead Ringers, too. It looks like it has the most episodes available on the BBC website, though that's still only about four or five. And, just like the others, I found some potentially sketchy sources where you can listen to Dead Ringers (and one very not-sketchy source, Amazon).

(Funnily enough, I found the most ways of listening to Dead Ringers, but it appears that the show was cancelled for nine years in between 2005 and 2014.)

I'm not entirely sure why these programs aren't more readily available, but if I had to guess it would be because they're all popular enough that the BBC wants to monetize their success instead of giving them out for free. The featured spots on Friday Night Comedy and Comedy of the Week might just function as advertisement, hooking the listener so they go to buy more.

Anyway, hope that helps! I've been listening to an episode of Dead Ringers while I write this and it seems fairly funny (especially a skit about The Doctor calling a phone operator trying to find The Master). Hooray for British Comedy!

-Frère Rubik