After 50 years writing comedy for most of the UK’s highest profile comics and performers, Colin takes a behind the scenes look at his career, inspirations and the road to Steampunkery in a weekly series of podcasts.
Our guest this time is Kathryn Randall (latterly Edmonds) who, for the past 40 years, was one of television’s busiest Vision Mixers, specialising in the U.K.’s most popular music and light entertainment shows. At the BBC she was trained to cover all manner of genres: sport, news programmes, drama, sitcoms and children’s output along with national occasions and world-wide events including the funeral of Princess Diana. For the past 10 years she has also been training the next generation of Vision Mixers at the internationally renowned NFTS The National Film and Television School. And that wasn’t enough, before moving to TV, she was also the youngest female producer in BBC Radio Entertainment, rubbing shoulders with Douglas Adams, Griff Rhys Jones, Jimmy Mulville and Alan Nixon.
Our Behind the Scenes guest this time is a composer, pianist and music director who has enjoyed a 40 year award winning career working with the most famous performers and conducting some of the biggest orchestras in the world.
Mike Dixon has helped launch many of the great modern productions in the West End and on Broadway. He is the go-to-guy for Dame Shirley Bassey, Lionel Richie, Sir Tom Jones, in fact it’s probably quicker to list those who don't have him on speed dial. He’s also worked with a raft of high-profile comic names including Bradley Walsh, Dirk Maggs, Joe Pasquale, Ben Elton and Paul O’Grady.
On TV he regularly appears in front of a global audience of billions and he’s just written his eagerly awaited autobiography, a fascinating look behind the scenes of the music industry, published on 28 June 2022, “Turn Around and Take a Bow!”.
This time we go Behind the Scenes with one of the great voices of BBC radio - an award-winning sports journalist, who The Spectator magazine described as ‘one of the best broadcasters in the country - The Poet Laureate of Sport’. Garry’s remarkable career has spanned half a century, making him the longest serving member on Radio 4’s flagship “Today Programme”. In that time he’s reported on 5 Olympics, interviewed all the famous of international sport, including George Best, Denis Law, Tommy Docherty and Muhammad Ali. A great aficionado of comedy, Garry never misses the chance to slip in a quick quip or pass a welcome witty comment – little wonder he’s also a much in demand after dinner speaker who also produced and presented an acclaimed documentary celebrating Sir Ken Dodd.
This time we go Behind the Scenes with Adeel Amini who, back in 2015, was named as one of Broadcast magazine’s Under-30 Hotshots. Now, 7 years on, he’s a Senior Studio Entertainment Producer who’s overseen all manner of highly popular ratings winners including the revamped series of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, “Catchphrase”, “Celebrity Squares”, “Blind Date” and more recently the hit quiz “Lingo”. He’s also worked on sharp, live comedy series including “The Last Leg” and “The Nightly Show”. Out of the studio he is the founder of the TV-industry working group ‘Coalition For Change’, he also sits on the board of BAFTA and 4 years ago set up what is now known as ‘The TV Mindset’, a mental health support group for freelancers in the television industry.
Grant Philpott is a British television comedy and light entertainment producer whose very first job was writing Q-cards for Bob Monkhouse on “The Big Breakfast”. 25 years later his career came full circle when he was one of the Edit Producers on “Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man”, the UKtv documentary series which celebrated Bob’s life and career. He’s interviewed Sir Bruce Forsyth and Terry Gilliam, worked on series such as “Tarrant on TV”, “TV Nightmares” and “Harry Hill’s TV Burp”, and produced shows starring Seann Walsh, David Walliams and Griff Rhys Jones.
More recently he was the Series Producer on the Saturday ITV ratings winner “Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown”. And he’s also an international, highly regarded independent movie maker, film animator, designer and artist whose canvases have been showcased in London.
Find more about Grant here; www.grantphilpott.co.uk
This time we chat with the magnificent Simon Lupton, one of the most experienced comedy producers currently working in television. In an award-winning 25-year career Simon’s headed up series starring Paul Whitehouse & Harry Enfield, Matt Horne and James Corden, along with British sitcoms ‘My Family’ and ‘Red Dwarf’. Plus he’s worked with Hollywood legends Rutger Hauer and Kelsey Grammer; commissioned the 3-part UKtv documentary series Bob Monkhouse: the Million Joke Man – and for any international television production concerning the rock group Queen, Simon Lupton is the band’s go-to guy.
This time on Behind the Scenes we power on through a few technical difficulties to chat with Ray Turner, a comic who has been entertaining audiences for thirty-five years. He cut his comedy teeth working clubs and theatres before establishing himself as one of the principal and most versatile studio warm up artists working in light entertainment television; ranked alongside legends Bill Martin, Jeff Stephenson, Ted Robbins and the great Bobby Bragg. For years he was an integral member of the teams that made landmark series such as “Noel’s House Party”, “Today with Des and Mel” and the entire run of “Who Wants To be A Millionaire’.
BBC Radio 2 listener favourite and former travel news reporter Lynn Bowles recalls her 18 laughter-filled years working on the radio ratings blockbuster Breakfast Show with the much-missed great man himself Sir Terry Wogan, then with that iconic whirlwind of the wireless Chris Evans. Not forgetting, how could we, her joyous banter with the reigning King of the Airwaves – the magnificent Mr Ken Bruce. Since leaving R2, Lynn continues to host her own Sunday 3pm-5pm music and chat show on BBC Radio Wales, regularly attracting star name guests and record audiences. Lynn tells how she broke into radio, shares her fond memories of Sir Tel’s kindness and serene eloquence both on and off air, and what it was like to be part of that legendary Wake Up To Wogan Breakfast Show team.
How does a lawyer turned top advertising executive become one of the most successful television writers on TV, creating award nominated comedy series and dramas? This week’s Behind the Scenes guest has done just that. In addition to creating the long-running BBC tv series “May to December” and “My Hero”, plus the American animated comedy “Neighbours From Hell”, he also penned the critically acclaimed “Losing It”. Now he’s a best-selling comic novelist with Hollywood producers knocking at his door. Meet the unstoppable Paul Mendelson.
It’s part 2 of our Behind the Scenes chat with the true National Treasure of British television light entertainment, Royston Mayoh! His pioneering non-stop career has spanned six decades heading up the most popular high-profile L.E shows on our screens. Not forgetting his new career in front of the cameras starring in the hit ITV ratings winner “Off Their Rockers”. Roy’s remarkable life story and his memories as a Producer/Director are nothing less than a first hand, eye witness account of the history of British television.
In the first of a 2-part chat we go Behind the Scenes with the most experienced and pioneering professionals still working in British television. This gentleman started in TV in 1957 sweeping the studio floor. In a 60- year career he went on to become a multi-camera director and producer of comedy and quiz shows, magic specials, lifestyle and awards programs, and TV commercials. And now he’s a professional actor! Meet the Godfather of British Light Entertainment television – Royston Mayoh.
This week we go Behind the Scenes with scriptwriter Brian Leveson, author-broadcaster Louis Barfe and comedy Consultant Alan Nixon, who reflect on the incredible career of Barry Cryer and share their fond, personal memories of the great man who recently died, leaving an unparalleled legacy of entertainment as a performer, writer and raconteur, and a vast unfillable void in British showbusiness. Let’s raise a collective glass and say “Thank you for the laughter, Barry!”
This time we go Behind the Scenes with Producer, Director, Former BBC Departmental Head, Format Creator, Consultant and international TV Executive Jonathan Glazier. From his first television job in the Sound Department at ATV Elstree to more recently overseeing multi-million dollar productions in the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand, Jonathan recalls his unstoppably versatile 40-year career. To mention Stars In Their Eyes and You’ve Been Framed at Granada, via Gladiators and An Audience with… at LWT, plus the BBC’s The Generation Game, The Weakest Link and The Chair with John McEnroe, is to merely scratch the surface of the list of ratings winners he’s brought to our screens.
This time we go Behind the Scenes with incredibly prolific and hugely versatile scriptwriter Alan Wightman, who chats about his long and non-stop career in movies and light entertainment. Alan shares memories of his friend John Sullivan (Only Fools & Horses), his time penning gags for top turns Jimmy Tarbuck, Jeff Stevenson and Des O'Connor, plus landing the job of producing the highest rating LE show on BBC Television Wales. Then there's the matter of ghost-writing Freddie Starr's autobiography! Alan also gives an eyewitness account of standing in the wings of Her Majesty's Theatre on the night Tommy Cooper died on live TV.
In the third of our trilogy of scandalous glimpses Behind the Scenes of the music industry and Fleet Street with author, TV critic, punk band front man and show business journalist Garry Bushell. On the music front, Garry shares wild stories of guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore, Judge Dread and Bad Manners. He also talks about landing in trouble by TV Exec Nigel Lythgoe and surviving a close call with Lenny McLean and Roy Shaw. Oh. And how do you get banned from every Butlins holiday camp for life? I'll let Garry explain...
This time Behind the Scenes goers international, chatting with top TV executive Sean Kneale in Sydney, Australia. Former LWT Producer Sean reflects on his years working in the UK with most of Britain's high-profile performers before travelling the world to oversee the production of the biggest television franchises on the planet. The Masked Singer. The X Factor. And Mongolia's Got Talent? You bet it has!
Production manager of most of the top Entertainment ratings-winners over the last 40 years, Adrian Pegg looks back on his role on the early series of BBC sitcom mega hit Only Fools & Horses and how he helped set up ITV's hugely successful arena spectacular, Gladiators. Adrian also talks about Noel's House Party, working with Michael McIntyre and his recent move to Producing the award-winning comedy The Goes Wrong Show. Not forgetting his selfless work encouraging and advising young people starting their careers in television.
Award-winning Showbiz Simon chats about his glamorous 30-year career starting as a TV Production Graduate in Manchester and his appearances on screen, to heading up an entire channel, earning Producer credits on the last 2 royal weddings and as the driving force casting and compiling some of the popular clip shows on British television. Simon also talks about producing comedy icon Griff Rhys Jones, meeting queen of the silver screen Nanette Newman and learning from the master of "It'll Be Alright On The Night", the legendary Dennis Norden. Oh, and his vast wardrobe of glitzy jackets might get a mention...
We're finishing 2021 on a high, reflecting on some of the fascinating guests who've graced the microphone on our Behind the Scenes podcast over the past year - and a look forward to what's coming up. A massive thank you to all the masterful talents who shared with their amazing, never before heard memories of working in TV, radio and on stage - and to you for your incredible support!
In this special Christmas cracker we're chatting about, and celebrating, that Great British theatrical tradition - Pantomime - in the company of a Master of the Craft and the King of the Dames, Pete Price. Comedian, actor, columnist, multi-award-winning radio and television personality and Liverpool's finest ambassador, Pete shares his often outrageous and frequently raucous Behind the Scenes recollections of 30 years of panto. Oh-yes-he-does. Dammit! There. I said it...
International Producer-Director Paul Giddings tells how his television training in the BBC's Children's Department led to a career making shows celebrating Family Guy, Star Wars, Les Dawson and Bob Monkhouse, what it was like treading in the footsteps of Larry Grayson and starting a second career as an actor on stage and screen.
From the depths of the Oxfordshire countryside, during a rare break in her relentless schedule, high profile Portaprompt operator, the magnificent Penny Swiergon, chats about her role Begind the Scenes on British Saturday night television's entertainment ratings giant Strictly Come Dancing, and shares the joy of what it's really like to be relied upon by TV legends, including Sir Bruce Forsyth and Donny Osmond. Penny also talks about Comic Relief, Children in Need, the BAFTAs and the perils of standing outdoors in a farmyard prompting Gordon Ramsay.
Taking us Behind the Scenes this week is former BBC Tees and BBC Radio 5 Live broadcaster John Foster. With his trademark easy eloquence and illustrated with historic clips, John shares stories of his fascinating and remarkable lifetime behind the microphone: from a tenacious teenage presenter landing an interview with Bob Monkhouse, to scooping one of the last major radio appearances made by Sir Roger Moore. With almost every major British and Hollywood performer having guested on his daily shows and appearing worldwide on Top Gear John also tells us what it was really like at the centre of major and often tragic breaking news stories in the North East. We also find out why, with his passion for show business and natural talent for hosting the highest rating regional shows in the country, he decided to take a step back from his dream job ...
Taking us Behind the Scenes this week is one of British television's busiest and most experienced entertainment directors. Mick Thomas charts his incredible TV career from Ravensbourne College and LWT to directing the RVP, Comic Relief and the most successful quiz shows currently on our screens. Oh, and Mick also 'reveals' what happened to him at the opening of EuroDisney.
In this week's Behind the Scenes, audio wizard Rob Ashard chats about master mixing the sound desk on The Graham Norton Show, The Last Leg, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and the hundreds of other programmes with which he has been associated over the last 30 plus years. We reminisce about LWT's Blind Date, Gladiators, Live from Her Majesty's, The Brian Conley Show and 'saving the day on Saturday Night Live'. Not his words, but director Ian Hamilton's. We also learn how Rob spends his spare time behind the mic at the Santa Pod Raceway and spinning the discs as a much-respected popular DJ on Radio Caroline.
In this week's episode, top British Producer-Director Ian Hamilton returns to continue sharing memories of his incredible career in television - from the start-ups of TVam and The Chase, fond recollections of David Frost, Clive James and Frankie Howerd, to his adventures in EuroDisney, Las Vegas and at The Playboy Mansion.
Listen by clicking here:
In this week's episode, multi-talented and innately modest John Naylor opens up about his incredible 20-year television career behind the scenes as a history documentary film-maker for Discovery, Yesterday and the History Channel. A cameraman, director, fight and stunt co-ordinator, armourer and weapons adviser, additionally, John's a consultant, specialising in Egyptian, Greek and Roman warfare. He's worked on Time Team, Scrapheap Challenge and Timewatch. Also a master prop maker, we hear how, with his son Sam, John once built an entire Tardis console from scratch in less than 3 days - and recently designed and opened a brand NEW television and film studio and costume facility in Sheffield.
https://nexusstudio.co.uk/ Listen by clicking here:
This week British Academy Award-winning television executive Ian Hamilton chats about his early fascination with show business, which took him from watching Sunday Night At The London Palladium as a youngster to producing and directing Live From The Palladium 30 years later. We also hear what it was like working with Michael Parkinson, Cilla Black, Paul Daniels - and directing News at Ten in his spare time. Also, what it was really like in the Australian jungle during that first pioneering series of I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here?!
EPSIODE #31 – FROM UNIVERSAL & HAMMER FILM HORRORS TO NEIL GAIMAN & STEPHEN KING - CROWD-PLEASING ENTERTAINER JOE PASQUALE RETURNS TO TALK ABOUT HIS WRITING, PAINTINGS & PASSION FOR ALL THINGS FANTASY & HORROR.
Making a welcome return to Behind the Scenes, Joe discusses how a shocking childhood accident gave him the determination to conquer his fears, led to a life-long love of horror films and literature, testing his expertise on BBC TV's Mastermind, and inspired his new careers as an artist and best-selling author of chilling and macabre short stories.
In this week's episode, one of British light entertainment television's most successful and prolific ratings winners, Producer/Director Kevin Bishop, chats about heading up Eurovisions, Royal Variety Performances, and his many other incredible achievements, during a 35-year career working with the great and the good (and occasionally me) at the BBC.
This week, one of Merseyside's finest ambassadors, hilarious raconteur and comedian Pete Price, chats about his love for Liverpool and show business, the Cavern Club, The Shakespeare Cabaret Theatre and New Faces, along with his friendship with some of the biggest stars in entertainment. Not forgetting those triumphant and sometimes traumatic years hosting his iconic, award-winning, late-night internationally acclaimed radio talk show.
In this week's episode, the writer of the longest running newspaper column in Fleet Street, TV writer and entertainment/music editor, the unstoppable Gary Bushell returns, this time taking us Behind the Scenes of his journalism and broadcasting careers, his relentless work schedule and tells us why, after 35 years of Bushell on the Box, it might be time to move on.
In this week's episode, Tony Nicholson takes us Behind the Scenes of his 40 year show business career, writing, researching and producing some of the most entertaining shows on TV, and penning the best-selling biographies of comedy icons Larry Grayson and Sir Ken Dodd.
This week on the podcast, Colin chats with one of entertainment’s hardest-working, most experienced stand-up comics, Jeff Stevenson, who takes us Behind The Scenes talking about his incredible career in comedy; his early TV success, changing with the times and how a return to acting (45 years after his screen debut in ‘Bugsy Malone’) has recently won him international film awards and serious critical acclaim.
Touching the Blue - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rBIi7-aD4M
In this milestone episode, Mark Edmonds returns to prompt Colin to share more recollections of Bob Monkhouse, reflect on the BTS stories so far and remember the fun times with the great Tom O'Connor.
In this week’s episode, Scala Radio’s brilliant breakfast show host and former BBC Radio 2 stalwart Charles Nove takes us Behind the Scenes on “Wake Up To Wogan”, “The National Lottery Live”, the famous tongue-twisting Radio 4 Shipping Forecast and a whole lot more.
This week, Colin chats with former ballet dancer and award-winning restauranteur turned television/director Charles Garland, discussing the magician Paul Daniels, TV game shows, “Oh, Dr Beeching!”, editing “Dad’s Army” and why he left the BBC to become a novelist.
In this week’s episode, former .L.E. Controller at I.T.V. Mark Wells picks up from where we left off: working with Princes Charles, Harry and William, getting a ‘put down’ from Prince Philip, and moving on to definitive documentaries featuring many of the best-loved stars in British comedy.
This week, Colin’s on the dais with the Maestro, top Musical Director Mike Dixon, taking about “We Will Rock You” and “Aspects of Love”, playing Glastonbury and rubbing shoulders with Patrick Stewart, Leslie Bricusse and Dame Julie Andrews.
In this week’s episode, former Controller of Entertainment at Carlton and ITV Mark Wells take us on a Behind the Scenes tour of his remarkable 30-year career. From his first role as a researcher on Gloria Hunniford’s LWT series “Sunday Sunday”, to heading up the biggest entertainment department in TV, and prompting memories of the brilliant Paul O’Grady, Michael Parkinson, Des O’Connor, Jeremy Beadle, Cilla Black, “The National Lottery” and “Top of the Pops”.
This week Colin chats with multi award-winning situation comedy creator Brian Leveson – for 30 years one of the leading laughter makers Behind the Scenes on British television.
In this week’s episode, Colin welcomes back Roger Edwards, with more hilarious anecdotes about his life and times, the showbiz characters he encountered – and how his work for charity took him to her Majesty the Queen’s Buckingham Palace garden party. https://www.sgtpeppersfriends.co.uk/
This week, Colin chats with entertainer, stand-up comedian, poet, musician, painter, artists designer handicraft expert, actress – actually it’s just easy to introduce her: “the sassy, smart, super-talented Jayne Tunnicliffe.”
In this week’s episode, novelist, music historian and journalist Garry Bushell talks about his death-defying tours with Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden and The Specials along with his love of Ska, Reggae and Punk; his friendship with Dale Winton and his encounters with Ronnie Kray. And that’s not the half of it!
Check out Garry’s detective Harry Tyler here: https://caffeinenightsbooks.com/collections/crime-fiction/products/all-or-nothing
This week Colin talks about Sir Terry Wogan, the wireless and reading the news with the famous voice of Strictly Come Dancing “The Judges Have Their Scores!” and the National Lottery “Let’s Release Those Big Money Balls!” – the vocal legend Alan Dedicoat.
In this week’s episode, Colin talks about the Mob’s Las Vegas, TV’s Royal variety Performance and the man involved with both, his friend and agent for 35 years, Peter Prichard O.B.E.
This week Colin chats with jet-setting TV producer and game show guru Howard Huntridge, talking about his remarkable career overseeing the best gameshows in the world, and making stars of Dale Winton and Paul Daniels.
This week Colin chats with one of the brightest, new young performers on the stand-up circuit, Matt Bragg, and remembers the incredible career of his late Dad: much-loved comedian, entertainer and, behind the scenes, the doyen of the TV warm up artists Bobby Bragg.
Check out Matt here: https://www.mattbraggcomedy.com/
John Orchard is a pianist, composer and show business historian. In this week's episode he shares his remarkable experiences behind the scenes and on the screen via the stage of the London Palladium. Last year John won four 'yesses' from the judges on Britain's Got Talent.
In this week’s episode, Colin talks about rising to TV’s Ultimate Challenge – but skates over a desperate flop.
In this week’s episode, Colin enjoys an in-depth, insightful and inspiring conversation with one of Britain’s most enduring and endearing entertainers – Les Dennis. We go behind the scenes of his long career path from New Faces, via sketch comedy and Family Fortunes, to the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In this week's episode, Colin chats with one of entertainment's most experienced and creative behind-the-scenes brains, Roger Edwards, who reveals what it was really like to work on Central TV's cult hit favourites, Family Fortunes and Bullseye.
In this week's episode, Colin shares his fond memories of working closely with British entertainer and television icon, the late Des O'Connor CBE.
In this week’s episode, Colin conducts a revealing, in-depth conversation with one of British entertainment’s most enduring and popular personalities: comedian, actor, artist, author – and a whole lot more. The fascinating Joe Pasquale.
The quickest way to get a signed edition of Joe’s latest book of horror short stories ‘Deadknobs & Doomsticks 2 – Tales from the Lockdown’:
In this week’s episode, Colin talks about his happy times working with radio and TV broadcasting royalty, Sir Terry Wogan.
You can watch Michael Ball’s tribute to Sir Terry Wogan, which I penned for Proms in the Park 2016, by clicking here
In this week’s episode, Colin talks about his time working with some of the UK’s highest profile female presenters and performers. From Cilla Black to Davina McCall, via Ulrika Jonsson and Gloria Hunniford: who he got on with – and who he didn’t.
In this week's episode Colin talks about his life and times in the company of the great British entertainer, game show host, master magician and winner of the Golden Rose of Montreux, Paul Daniels.
In this episode Colin talks about his long working association - and friendship - with British TV and comedy legend, Bob Monkhouse OBE.
How does a working class boy from Paddington with no show business connections manage to become one of the UK’s busiest and most successful television comedy writers?