Last night, the long-running BBC Radio 4 show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue came to Bradford, for the recording of the final two episodes of its 61st series. On the air since 1972, it has featured mostly the same participants throughout all 400+ episodes.
Unlike some TV and radio recordings, the tickets for ISIHAC were not free – but not expensive either; our restricted view tickets were £5 each, and others were £7.50. Although ISIHAC is broadcast in a 30 minute slot, the recording takes around three hours, with an interval. This is mainly because two shows are recorded at a time – if you’re a listener, the second, fourth and sixth episodes usually start with the host, Jack Dee, announcing that it is their second week at whichever location they are recording. In reality, the week is compressed into a twenty minute interval.
As you’d perhaps expect, a lot more is recorded than broadcast, and some bits have to be re-recorded at the end if the producer wasn’t happy with it. There was also a reference to the Tour de France having happened, as it’ll be broadcast in six weeks’ time, whereas in reality it’s still a couple of weeks away.
It was a really enjoyable experience, with the usual rounds of Uxbridge English Dictionary, One Song To The Tune Of Another, Sound Charades, Late Arrivals, Swanny Kazoo, and – of course – Mornington Crescent. As it was the last episode to be recorded in the series, ‘bog standard’ rules were played on this occasion. Christine wasn’t familiar with the game so I had to give her a quick overview of the rules, and there was controversy when Tim Brooke-Taylor tried to play Turnham Green after Parsons Green.
The guest was Andy Hamilton, along with the regulars of Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden. These three are all in the 70s now and I’m sure this will be the only time I will have been able to see all three of them together. Sadly I didn’t have a chance to see the show when former presenter Humphrey Lyttelton was alive, as he sadly passed away aged 86 in 2008. But we did get to see the lovely Samantha, who, as always, was keeping the teams in check, and the state of the art laser display board.
There are usually two series of ISIHAC recorded each year – this being the first – so there will be another series being recorded in the autumn. I would definitely recommend going to watch it.