Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas Punch – Alan Coren

It was Alan Coren that ensured the popularity and longevity of The News Quiz, his wit and humour coming to the fore even when he didn’t know the answer. His day job was as a columnist in numerous publications and, for twenty years, literary editor then editor of Punch.

In this short series from Christmas 1984 writers from Punch such as Hunter Davies, Simon Hoggart and Ray Hattersley examine the humorous side of Christmas. Here Alan Coren looks at some variations on time-honoured party games. This edition of Christmas Punch was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Christmas Day. The producer is Jennie Campbell. Tomorrow: Benny Green.

Elsewhere on BBC radio that day it was rather a low-key affair on Radio 4 with loads of repeats: Stilgoe’s Around, Quote…Unquote, Round the Horne, The Prisoner of Zenda (starring Julian Glover, Nigel Stock and Hannah Gordon), and an adaptation of Saint Joan with Judi Dench and Michael Williams. Amongst the new stuff was a morning comedy slot, The Rest of the Day’s Your Own, with Brian Johnston, Martin Jarvis, Tony Slattery and Alison Steadman.

On Radio 2 you could wake up to Ray Moore and then Good Morning Christmas with Paul McDowell. Terry Wogan had his last seasonal show for a while, he would leave the station, first time round, the following week. There was a throwback to the days of the Light Programme when Jean Metcalfe presented Forces’ Favourites from 1 to 3 p.m.  (There had been a Family Favourites revival on Christmas Eve with husband Cliff). Wallowing in nostalgia throughout the day were Nanette Newman, Stubby Kaye and Hubert Gregg. Comedy was supplied by The Grumbleweeds, The News Huddlines and The Impressionists.

Radio 1 opened at 6 a.m. with Keith Chegwin and Maggie Philbin followed by Peter Powell, Simon Bates, Mike Read, Jonathan King, Bruno Brookes, Janice Long and John  Peel with his Festive 50.


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