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Read this: 30/07/2021

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30/07/2021…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, I think I can safely say that Mark Steel is not a right wing comedian indeed in his Radio 4 sitcom unite it's been suggested that he was typecast as a left-wing dad in a relationship with a middle-class partner.

I don't think my character is me.

I really hope not because characters got a bumptious chat really and got a really hope it's not me well.

See what you think when we come together in a bunch with a Fist money grabbing tyrant and that was its characters wedding speech and it was written by Mark and his son Elliott and feedback this week's Aldi talking to the author and comedian about situation comedy and about his long-running much-loved and often quite rude or should I say just cheeky series Mark steels in town? I'll ask him how he gets away with risque jokes about the places.

It's like this one in Douglas capital of the Isle of Man and it is wonderful to be in a place with such a positive attitude even during a global recession with the sense to invest in the few Industries still booming fiddling tax himself as centrist Dad desperate to avoid political jokes which he considers two series 2 boring is it right politics cuts into every aspect of life as a place in comedy.

I didn't really get the point of the programme anything about more importantly did they laugh find out later in feedback?

The Greedy Mark Steel is probably best known for the Radio 4 audience for his long-running series Mark steels in town and I'm delighted to say is join me to talk about that and also about his recent sitcom United about the working class Mount Guess Who in a relationship with the middle class partner.

Thank you very much for joining us Mark let's start by trying to find out what sort of Eden you are because we've got some new clothes in Silver centrist dad with your feeling that what sort of chronic.

Are you know once who was on a program and she said it isn't my job.

It's my species and I think that's it with, but I've been in a lot of people go on at the moment BBC comedies to left wing and right wing comedy.

I mean I should find people I think that sort of attaching left or right to comedy is sorted to miss understand it under left can make this mistake as much as the right assuming.

What are Comics doing is just going to be saying something that's going to back up their own point of view.

Where is usually what are comics the mischievous thing the naughty thing in the room that's going to be a bit provocative but you know the sitcom territory.

You've just had a first series of the new comedy called United what's an abolitionist think about it is a Susan Leicester from Middlewich in Cheshire the Mark Steel lecture has taught me a lot and as for you night.

I was a little unsure at quickly warm to it a proper 6:30 Radio 4 programme the differences between the two parents and their offspring is so well played out and the wedding was so good another series.

Please grain rice from Northamptonshire Mark steels in town as one of the few genuinely funny comedy shows on Radio 4.

Good friend is never even heard of most of the towns visited enjoyed it too sad to say his sitcom is no better than the others in which stand-up pretends to be an actor everything literally billions and build a new world of hope and freedom and that's what being married to Imogen needs to me also morning for the cake well.

Why did you want to be an actor Mark Steel in the sitcom or do you always think of yourself isn't to say that that is possibly one of the most most difficult moments you can have in this job which is to be on feedback with you saying.

Is what some of our listeners to say about your program? That's like a boxer at the end of the fight waiting to see if the referees gonna hold your hand up all the other one was nerve-racking but why did you want to do because a lot of people say very brave to do it since you're sending yourself up something rotten in the character.

You play that's funny.

I don't think my character is me in that I really hope not because my characters got a bunch of chat really and I suppose it's away the program of playing to see all the different angles of age and class represented in there with your son Elliot and I wondered whether you looked at the character.

You had to play ask him off and this really what you think of you with Elia and because he has a sort of young person's perspective on IT jobs for example.

You know if you're alright.

At a time when a job was something that defined you that you did and that's what you were for your life.

I'm going to be a plumber or I'm going to be an accountant or whatever isn't that if you're 21 a job is something that you're going to be doing if you're lucky for about a year and a half till the thing you're doing is closed down and then another one so my dad plays Ashley and he does various jobs in the first series he was the marketing manager for a chicken nuggets type place in one of them and when he got that job entitle dressing up in a chicken outfit and get handing out leaflets.

Maybe maybe if we get enough criticism from listeners, then we'll all have to go and do like that has it been recommissioned as a serious no, I don't know I hope so and the last episode ends on a wedding which Innocence in a knitted a lot together but do you think

Potential ladies gentlemen comrades brothers and sisters first met thank you for the all dressing up so smart today most of you have made this much effort since last time you were in court is brilliant fun doing it really lovely people like Marcus Brigstocke and Simon Greenall and people like that deal is Kevin Eldon and it was really really good fun doing I really hope we do another one know we can win over Graham I think about Comics being actors.

I think generally most comic not all but most Comics a sort of not bad actors.

Yes something what you've got this iconic stick if you don't stand up you have a sense of timing which a lot of actors have different.

You have to learn it does a comic and see you've got that element of self-confidence and doing how to do it yeah most Comics in your right you doing characters the other thing is that you have to convince you every night when you're doing the show that you're saying this for the first time.

I think it is going really well people assume you just getting up and just chat him, but I don't try these things too much are thanks to Mark and there will be hearing more from him later in the program and is comedy unite is available on BBC sounds, so do let us know your thoughts about that interview or of course anything else to do with BBC Radio and podcasts curry has the details of how you get in touch you can send an email to feedback and bbc.co.uk alright a letter the address is feedback PO Box 672 34 London se1p 4ax you can follow.

Tivity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 feedbag, or you can call us and leave a phone message on 03345 standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile networks all those details are on our website and if you have the second part of our interview with Steel when will be talking about his in town series and whether any more planned but first of a different comedian is under scrutiny is Greek for asking to BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zones and listen to a program that wouldn't normally be on their radar this week.

We have to die to cast from Glasgow and Jack lighting from Croydon to get a sense of your usual tastes in radio.

What would be your top 3 programmes if you were stranded on a desert island hairdryers used cars.

Turn the Archies Archies over someone as young as you yes right ok? What about you? Then Jack at your top 2 programmes if you want my top three are you and yours p.m.

And desert well, we asked you to listen of course to none of those programs but instead to Anne Cochran centrist dad.

You've got to remember the question mark their part of a series of stand-up specials on Radio 4 and build my BBC sounds might be enjoying my observations about the kitchen more than your flats.

Enjoy Alan 2.0.

The world has changed since I did that show and say this stand-up special is going to be different because recently I've noticed that comedy and society or me have seemingly managed to me absolutely everything politico.

Comedy well before we get there Jack how would you describe the program explain why it's all about? This is a stand-up special half an hour programme who is basically contending the public life in the UK has been taken hostage by a small online Twitter mob a bunch of cultural Warriors who have basically move this acceptable policies to the political left which he disagrees with and he kind of likens it to being on a train.

He's online training the other train is pulling out of the station.

He feels a little bit disorientated.

He does quite know what's happened or when it started happening, but he started to feel perhaps a little bit and disenfranchised intruded you think that it was lived up to its billing centrist, Dad? I think it was a bit misrepresented in trying to see with which his point was he wasn't in that the resistors that maybe he sat across different divide left or right and I think the point you was trying to make.

Just to say you are left wing you are right wing because they're issues that will come across different sides of things.

I must confess sometimes I watch the news and find myself agreeing with the people.

I keep hold of the body's so what's a man to do the obvious answer would be to keep his mouth shut and do his jokes about sausages and washing machines and the weird little moments in life like I used the less smart answer would be to confess to his broadly centrist and actually liberal thought crimes and make permanent enemies of right-wing people and the whole of the comedy circuit who seem anyone to the right of chairman.

Mao is an enemy of progress so chat with me talk about sort of left wing or right wing comedy.

There are some people who are proud to be called left-wing Comics and Mark Steel sample until that when he goes around different parts of the country and it's just two letters, but he would like to think of himself sometimes as I left it on the whole it's what makes people laugh and therefore.

To reflect some sort of reality comedy that's going on in people's lives to work.

So does the term left and right wing on all make much sense when it comes to comedy it's funny or it's not I don't tune to comedy programming with a political lens.

Generally I mean of course he had places like the News Quiz you have dead ringers.

You're turning into those pregos with a political mindset, but there are also other comedy programmes like it's a fair cop or conversations from a long Marriage where you are not tuning in with a political mindset.

These are just programmes about a slice of life that cuts across all social class the can be enjoyed by everybody varied opinions lots of issues, and they end up landing me in the centre centuries and can be very broadly defined as a position that is against political change that would result in a significant shift of society.

It's either left or right at least that's what Wikipedia says but I find Wikipedia to be a bit like a really clever friend who's been drinking so much wine their mouth has gone red but he calls it to Alan Cochrane centrist dad question mark not right wing Dad? Do you think there is a place such a place as centrism in comedy or is that nonsense? I think it's very hard to separate people in their personality and comedy from politics in general, but what you would actually prefer comedian to be right winger rather than central time in the left what you mean? Is you like them to have a definite attitude to you a definite political approach disagree that comedy is bad because it's political comedy about life in different things in life.

You can't really separate that through politics because politics cuts into every aspect of Life In the End you know let's forget the politics.

Did you laugh?

And did you laugh a lot a little bit there was an arranger comedy in there about you Trudie it was going to because I thought of the BBC trying to do at home things with you know just on the left.

It wasn't what I was expecting it to be so I thought that it was a bit awkward the program because I don't think centres has a place in comedy.

I didn't really get the point of the program.

It looks good afternoon stand up in front of an audience is there in front of you, but on the other hand if you get them going that must be a big help, but Alan Cochrane was like as a virtual audience and they were there out there, but they were not in the room under standard which make it very difficult doesn't it? I think he wouldn't have had the audience response initial.

It would be harder to see you in two playoff of that and maybe interact with you.

The times but I think he's really well and it wasn't really laugh out loud but I did short bedroom eyes and what you means.

I did feel at times a little bit left out because I felt that some of the laughter tract a little bit before the actual gag itself so I wondered if maybe he's a better visual performer in this case on the team, then he preps is a radio broadcaster.

It was amusing yeah.

Well, we come down to the last question was asked which is we were out of your comfort zone on this lsu, second one which is whether you think I should have more of an infection, but let's start anyway.

I was out of my comfort zone and I won't be listening again you listen again.

I suppose I was out of my comfort zone and listen to panel shows rather than a lot of stand-up comedy and he probably wasn't someone on you but actually really enjoyed it and if he was on again.

Please can have a new listening to you.

It was you was up to Scotland Scottish accents on the radio down.

Thank you very much indeed to Trudy to Classic and to Jack light up and do let us know if you would like to be put out of your comfort zone.

Now back to someone who by no stretch of the imagination could be called a centrist dad.

You serious Mark steels in town has been running on Radio 4 for over a decade in it says you know Mark visit a town or city and performs a stand-up routine to an audience who are regaled with local and it boots and all good humanely insulted.

This is what some of you think of the programme Bingley West Yorkshire I used to listen to radio for 6:30 comedy in the car with my dad on the way to various youth groups and all around 10 or 11.

I'm 19 now.

I particularly and Mark steels in town as I found it really funny and it got me in radio comedy as well as comedy and general thank you Deborah valence Mark Steel lectures and visits a well-researched and very funny.

He's an original thinker a rare commodity and his gentle irony is good-humoured but never crawl the fact that is still on the BBC

The BBC still has some editorial independence from the government is a little bit of one day Boris Johnson will be ringing up and saying that you were that you do the town of Winchester I mean in town.

It's not really just gone so if you go up somewhere you stand in front of people you insult them and you get managed and anyway.

Have you ever stood up and I can't do this when I think for the first few series almost every show we did about 20 minutes before going out in front of the audience.

I would look I can't do this is so I'm going to go out there and say something just all four of these people and maybe I should soften it or something.

That's that's the worst thing that's the rudest thing of all to do and there was just one time when it's threatened to go it was in the Isle of Man and is wonderful to be in a place where a positive attitude even during a global recession with the sense to invest in one of the few Industries still booming fiddling tax and that was the end of this week, so we can can I might be just said there's another hour that I'm afraid and then they clapped and it was alright and they were lovely they were really lovely, but it's a bit like in life.

Isn't it? If you say something that's so outraged clearly a joke and you clearly you're saying it affectionately then people don't mind when brilliant producer goalkeeper at the idea, but let's do one in Gibraltar

As he said it I said the opening line if we do Gibraltar has got to be a marvelous.

It is a last to be able to do this program in Spain please let me introduce myself properly and politely bienvenidos and went to my home city of Carlisle I mean you were straight into the smell nearby the point you know it is quite defensive sometimes and you know you manage to cook them and They All Laughed with you and still surprised by you do that now.

No I suppose what they're going to get and it's an honour to be made fun of giving all the other places.

This is a friend Carlisle

What are the first conversations I had when I came here was in the bookcase bookshop and someone honestly said to me as an opening what you notice about Carlisle is it smells a lot better than LinkedIn it's Mark do the research into the town city visits himself to have a team of researchers out there looking for people or events but he feels would be of interest for listening.

It's just in the produce a car.

That's it and then people in the areas.

You know you'll find people in the areas.

Who just love showing you around I remember this one when we did Bungay that's or 78 years ago lovely fascinate little place in Suffolk and we're at the bed and breakfast and the guy who was worked in the bed and breakfast come over and he said so when's the BBC coming then?

That's ass and he said yeah, but when's the BBC coming I said no, it's just us us to and it goes right but the BBC's coming in it and I thought oh you've you've heard the BBC this massive lorries going to rock with like catering crew and and costume people and make-up people and people shouting at each other and it's just me and it really is all it is.

I don't really I'm very flattered by that question of is there a team so how long do you spend in a place before you record the chef? Well, I go up there for a day and get all the boxing meet people and all that sort of thing and then if it's possible then I'll go back again and second time for maybe another day and then I'll sort of speak before the phone and I know when it's time to start actually putting it because by then I'm obsessed by the place and can't stop boring people about Basingstoke of ever and then we go back up there for another two.

Maybe three days before the recording and

All the things that are the museums and daft things and spend an hour and half with a in Melton Mowbray with a man who was well known as the bloke who always lectured people on how to make a pork pie things like we've got another question from Judith is there a script for the interviews or is it just Mark particular kind of Unscripted property for sale cheese because this person yeah, so there is a script.

Oh, yes, you're right it out but we write it write out until half an hour before we do it really I don't stick completely to it and then we're talking to people in their shows you don't know what they're going to say so, they are just brilliantly infectiously warm and funny and really all I'm doing is just holding a mic to him and a new tyre dances.

Can you see you're stopping or do you just want to go? I mean obviously the last 18 months.

I've not been able to do and I've got a brilliant message.

I think someone sent me on Twitter that.

Really serious mark why haven't you done as series over the last year? Have you stopped doing that? But I should really keep up with the news.

We were to do a couple during the pandemic and possibly my favourite moment which could also be the most frustrating was in Stratford-upon-Avon to do because everything was shot.

We weren't really allowed to me anyone very much and it was I've been wanting to Stratford-on-Avon for ages.

You know just so I could start by saying even a beautiful pretty town, but one that is unusual in that no one famous as ever come from here at all.

The only person of note with any connection to the town is William Shakespeare but the wonderful thing is that you don't make a big thing of it because the odd shop does make a subtle reference to Shakespeare if you can get.

Lose his eye sore head a sign that said to be or not to be a cat cafe called shakespaw.

They probably a plumbers called actually kit and I just wondered the other thing is I know you don't want to around like this, but you know more about this country and many ways and almost anybody else date was the result of all this the rest of us don't travel the way you do more importantly we done so talk to people and listen to them in the way you did have you changed as a result of doing this series to sort of doing is doing a program where at the end of it people think well of people.

I really prefer that too loads of people listening to it and thinking yeah.

It's made me really angry and upset fired or something so much prefer people go up.

I really really like Hebden the idea of Hebden Bridge I think I'm going to get that done very flattered when people say always.

I've never really been to Wigan before that after listening to your went out.

There are thanks to Mark Steel who graciously took time away is near obsessional interest in the Olympic coverage to talk to us and that's only Salford feedback last week's iBallisticSquid critical of BBC news for it's coverage of South Africa this week's news boss.

Will it be delighted to learn from the broadcasting regulator Ofcom that the BBC sweet of news offerings across radio TV and online which is a combined audience of 83% of the population anyone else the world service remains particularly trusted which may explain why in China BBC journalist to being given a particularly hard time the truth.

There is clearly uncomfortable Good News 24 Archers fans as well at the moment as you know they're down to four episodes where they're going back after 5 on Sunday the 15th of August they have to go to six of course but not sure.

When I cancel next time, I keep on keeping safe goodbye.


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