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GRAEME GARDEN & BILL ODDIE
I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again


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Javelin, Poole, 1985
(price: 1.95)


The blurb on the back:

From its birth in early 1964 to its last episode on Christmas Eve, 1973, I'M SORRY I'LL READ THAT AGAIN epitomised classic, chaotic radio comedy.
Anarchic and irreverent, but mostly just plain rude, ISIRTA was to its time what the Goon Shows were to the 1950s - an escape valve of idiocy on offer in an often mundane world.
Featuring members of the Goodies and Monty Python teams, the series rapidly bulldozed its way to cult status ... and lasting fame for Lady Constance de Coverlet.


For those who missed it, ISIRTA (as we called it) was a top radio comedy show in the 1960s and early-70s starring Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, John Cleese, Jo Kendall and David Hatch. Long since overshadowed by its spin-off, 'the antidote to panel games' I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, it was effectively the missing link between The Goons and The Goodies, though the presence of Cleese allowed it also to pose as an ancestor of Monty Python.

Most of the humour was derived from dreadful puns, accompanied by songs from Bill Oddie (including his famous version of 'On Ilkley Moor' in the style of Joe Cocker), and it was good-natured if dated fun. The highpoint was undoubtedly Tim Brooke-Taylor's character Lady Constance, who pre-dated Ann Widdecombe by quarter of a century.

This book collects the scripts to a few shows, and to be perfectly honest, doesn't really work. Much of the atmosphere of the original was bound up in the relationship between the performers and the studio audience and, in the absence of their groans and delayed laughs, the terrible puns just look a bit flat really. Oh well.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
3/5


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