Play it Cool: A Vintage BBC Radio 4 Comedy

Written by:
Eric Merriman

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
July 2023
2 hours 41 minutes
The complete series of the fast-moving 1960s sketch show

A leading light of British stage and screen from the 1950s onwards, Ian Carmichael made a career out of playing the amiable, bumbling nincompoop in films such as Private's Progress and I'm All Right Jack, and TV shows including Bachelor Father and The World of Wooster. This dithering persona was expanded and amplified in his first radio comedy, Play It Cool.

Written in 1964 by Beyond Our Ken's Eric Merriman, it sees him joined by Carry On's Joan Sims and radio veteran Hugh Paddick (Beyond Our Ken, Round the Horne) for a series that mixes music and comedy to provide a slice of 1960s cool.

These six episodes feature a plethora of comic characters, and situations ranging from the potty to the pompous. Join our frolicsome trio as they send up big business and women's magazines; expose the behind-the scenes worlds of ballroom dancing and boxing; and turn the pages of history back to the Edwardian era in 'Scrapheap of 1907'. There's also international affairs, revealing tales of Hollywood, and the life of William Shakespeare - plus an insight into what might happen if the Cannes Film Festival came to Britain...

Light-hearted, witty and slyly satirical, this sparkling series showcases all three of our comedy stars' skills, ably assisted by guest stars Gordon Faith and Anthony Sagar. Musical interludes are provided by Rosemary Squires, The Mike Sammes Singers and The Ken Thorne Orchestra.

Production credits
Written by Eric Merriman
Starring Ian Carmichael, Joan Sims and Hugh Paddick
With Gordon Faith and Anthony Sagar
Produced by John Simmonds
With music from Rosemary Squires, The Mike Sammes Singers and The Ken Thorne Orchestra

First broadcast on the BBC Light Programme, 26 July-30 August 1964

© 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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