As radio comedies go, there are three which seem to remain popular and outsell all of the other BBC audio comedy releases.  One of these is Round the Horne.

Comprising of Kenneth Williams, Bill Pertwee, Hugh Paddick and Betty Marsden, Round the Horne was expertly held together by languid straight man Kenneth Horne.  It was written by the late Marty Feldman and Barry Took.

Running from 1965 to 1968, the series was an insane ride through spoof adverts, dramatic pastiche and contained some of the most wonderful double entendres ever to be broadcast.

BBC censors were unable to prevent broadcast of a show making comedy from archaisms; there are even stories that following complaints the powers that be would sit scratching their heads and wondering exactly what the audience (which always seemed to include a very excitable lady with a high-pitched laugh) were indeed laughing at.

If you have never come across Round the Horne, I can only suggest you make an effort to, especially if you are a fan of double entendres, absurdist comedy, Carry On… or any of the performers or writers.

Incidentally, I wrote a sizeable project on Round the Horne for my A Level English Language few years back; don’t be surprised to see some of it appearing here one day…