Credits
Credits
  • Radio - Marks & Gran
  • The Frankie Howerd Variety Show - Marks & Gran
  • Radio 2 - Marks & Gran
  • Radio 4 - Marks & Gran
The Frankie Howerd Variety Show - Marks & Gran

THE FRANKIE HOWERD VARIETY SHOW – BBC RADIO 2. ONE SERIES (SKETCHES AND MONOLOGUES). 1978.

This was our first ever professional work. We were booked to write 20 minutes of monologues and sketches for each of six one-hour shows. Rory McGrath also contributed to the scripts. Working for Frank was ‘an education’. During the first rehearsal, Richard Willcox, our producer, had a Howerd induced breakdown and had to be replaced by a novice producer by the name of Griff Rhys Jones. However, we survived, just, and learned a lot.

FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK – UNIQUE PRODUCTIONS FOR BBC RADIO 2. SERIES ON JEWISH HUMOUR, WRITTEN AND PRESENTED BY MARKS & GRAN. 1998.

Out of the blue a leading radio production company asked us if we fancied writing and presenting a history of Jewish humour. We did, so we did. It allowed us to listen to our favourite Woody Allen routines, and reintroduced us to the comic genius of Allan Sherman, one of the great song parodists.

MY BLUE HEAVEN – CELADOR PRODUCTIONS FOR BBC RADIO 4. AFTERNOON PLAY, 45 MINUTES. 2006

A surreal comedy about a grey man and his fluffy blue imaginary friend, who also is his boss. No television company felt able to realise our expensive sit-com vision, so we turned it into a radio play, to some acclaim. Matthew Kelly was brilliant as blue furry Laz, and Chris Langham was outstanding as repressed Graham. Radio 4 asked Celador Productions if we wanted to write a sequel. Eventually we wrote two. “We directed them too”.

MY BLUE WEDDING – CELADOR PRODUCTIONS FOR BBC RADIO 4. AFTERNOON PLAY, 45 MINUTES. 2007. (SECOND IN A TRILOGY)

Graham’s imaginary friend, Laz, is getting married, and wants Graham to be his best man. But Laz’s fiancêe is the imaginary friend of another human, a female. She and Graham (played by Michael Maloney in this segment) start to fall for each other.

GREY EXPECTATIONS – CELADOR PRODUCTIONS FOR BBC RADIO 4. AFTERNOON PLAY, 45 MINUTES. 2009. (THIRD IN A TRILOGY)

The world financial system is in meltdown. What became of all the billions? Graham (played by Stephen Mangan this time) discovers that somehow the money has leaked through into the world of his imaginary friend, Laz.

DR FREUD WILL SEE YOU NOW, MRS HITLER – BBC RADIO 4, SATURDAY PLAY, 60 MINUTES, 2007.

A biography of the young Hitler indicated that his village GP tried to persuade Hitler’s mother to take her disturbed son to see a child psychiatrist in Vienna. The only such psychiatrist at the time was Sigmund Freud. We wondered what would have happened if Adolf had been treated by the great Jew. This became our first serious play for Radio 4, with a wonderful cast led by Alan Corduner, as Freud, and Toby Jones as Adolf Hitler.

VON RIBBENTROP’S WATCH – BBC RADIO 4, SATURDAY PLAY, 90 MINUTES, 2008.

In 1985 Laurence bought a pre-war watch in Los Angeles. Fifteen years later, after the watch stopped, Laurence took it to a London watchmaker for repair. It was then that it was discovered that it probably belonged to Joachim Von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s Foreign Minister, and would fetch a great deal of money at auction, as long as Laurence wouldn’t mind selling to a Nazi sympathiser. This revelation inspired us to write a play about a Jewish businessman in this very predicament. Does he sell the watch to save his business? If he does, will he lose his wife and family? We could see the potential for a stage play. Happily, Radio 4 were prepared for us to try out our ideas in the form of a 90 minute play. We were blessed with Harriet Walter, Alan Corduner, and Miriam Margolyes as our lead players.

LOVE ME DO – BBC RADIO 4, SATURDAY PLAY, 90 MINUTES. 2012.

In October 1962 – exactly fifty years ago – the Cuban Missile Crisis erupted. The USA discovered that the Russians had placed nuclear missiles on the communist island of Cuba. America issued an ultimatum. Russia refused to remove them. The world started to count down the days to nuclear war…and in London, two Americans, stranded far from home, turn to each other for comfort. Dorothy is a housewife from Kansas who’s never left the States before; Colonel Hal “Shack” Shackleton is a cynical New Yorker who happens to be an intelligence officer at the US Embassy. They should never have met, let alone fall for each other. What now? Miranda Raison and Adam James were our stars. Both English, but you’d never know.

THE FRANKIE HOWERD VARIETY SHOW – BBC RADIO 2. ONE SERIES (SKETCHES AND MONOLOGUES). 1978.

This was our first ever professional work. We were booked to write 20 minutes of monologues and sketches for each of six one-hour shows. Rory McGrath also contributed to the scripts. Working for Frank was ‘an education’. During the first rehearsal, Richard Willcox, our producer, had a Howerd induced breakdown and had to be replaced by a novice producer by the name of Griff Rhys Jones. However, we survived, just, and learned a lot.

FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK – UNIQUE PRODUCTIONS FOR BBC RADIO 2. SERIES ON JEWISH HUMOUR, WRITTEN AND PRESENTED BY MARKS & GRAN. 1998.

Out of the blue a leading radio production company asked us if we fancied writing and presenting a history of Jewish humour. We did, so we did. It allowed us to listen to our favourite Woody Allen routines, and reintroduced us to the comic genius of Allan Sherman, one of the great song parodists.

MY BLUE HEAVEN – CELADOR PRODUCTIONS FOR BBC RADIO 4. AFTERNOON PLAY, 45 MINUTES. 2006

A surreal comedy about a grey man and his fluffy blue imaginary friend, who also is his boss. No television company felt able to realise our expensive sit-com vision, so we turned it into a radio play, to some acclaim. Matthew Kelly was brilliant as blue furry Laz, and Chris Langham was outstanding as repressed Graham. Radio 4 asked Celador Productions if we wanted to write a sequel. Eventually we wrote two. “We directed them too”.

MY BLUE WEDDING – CELADOR PRODUCTIONS FOR BBC RADIO 4. AFTERNOON PLAY, 45 MINUTES. 2007. (SECOND IN A TRILOGY)

Graham’s imaginary friend, Laz, is getting married, and wants Graham to be his best man. But Laz’s fiancêe is the imaginary friend of another human, a female. She and Graham (played by Michael Maloney in this segment) start to fall for each other.

GREY EXPECTATIONS – CELADOR PRODUCTIONS FOR BBC RADIO 4. AFTERNOON PLAY, 45 MINUTES. 2009. (THIRD IN A TRILOGY)

The world financial system is in meltdown. What became of all the billions? Graham (played by Stephen Mangan this time) discovers that somehow the money has leaked through into the world of his imaginary friend, Laz.

DR FREUD WILL SEE YOU NOW, MRS HITLER – BBC RADIO 4, SATURDAY PLAY, 60 MINUTES, 2007.

A biography of the young Hitler indicated that his village GP tried to persuade Hitler’s mother to take her disturbed son to see a child psychiatrist in Vienna. The only such psychiatrist at the time was Sigmund Freud. We wondered what would have happened if Adolf had been treated by the great Jew. This became our first serious play for Radio 4, with a wonderful cast led by Alan Corduner, as Freud, and Toby Jones as Adolf Hitler.

VON RIBBENTROP’S WATCH – BBC RADIO 4, SATURDAY PLAY, 90 MINUTES, 2008.

In 1985 Laurence bought a pre-war watch in Los Angeles. Fifteen years later, after the watch stopped, Laurence took it to a London watchmaker for repair. It was then that it was discovered that it probably belonged to Joachim Von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s Foreign Minister, and would fetch a great deal of money at auction, as long as Laurence wouldn’t mind selling to a Nazi sympathiser. This revelation inspired us to write a play about a Jewish businessman in this very predicament. Does he sell the watch to save his business? If he does, will he lose his wife and family? We could see the potential for a stage play. Happily, Radio 4 were prepared for us to try out our ideas in the form of a 90 minute play. We were blessed with Harriet Walter, Alan Corduner, and Miriam Margolyes as our lead players.

LOVE ME DO – BBC RADIO 4, SATURDAY PLAY, 90 MINUTES. 2012.

In October 1962 – exactly fifty years ago – the Cuban Missile Crisis erupted. The USA discovered that the Russians had placed nuclear missiles on the communist island of Cuba. America issued an ultimatum. Russia refused to remove them. The world started to count down the days to nuclear war…and in London, two Americans, stranded far from home, turn to each other for comfort. Dorothy is a housewife from Kansas who’s never left the States before; Colonel Hal “Shack” Shackleton is a cynical New Yorker who happens to be an intelligence officer at the US Embassy. They should never have met, let alone fall for each other. What now? Miranda Raison and Adam James were our stars. Both English, but you’d never know.