Beyond Our Ken

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Beyond Our Ken (1958–1964) was a radio programme, the predecessor to Round the Horne (1965–1968). Both programmes starred Kenneth Horne, Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden and Bill Pertwee, with announcer Douglas Smith. Musical accompaniment was provided by the BBC Revue Orchestra. The name is a pun on Kenneth Horne's name and the (now mainly Scots/Scottish English) word ken, meaning 'knowledge or perception'.



Eric Merriman had previously written material for Kenneth Horne on Henry Hall's Guest Night and Variety Playhouse and written some stand up comedy material for Barry Took. In June 1957 the BBC Radio Variety department asked Merriman to come up with an idea radio series starring Horne. Merriman devised a format for the show with the working title Don't Look Now. The original memo on the subject still exists in the BBC archives.

Don't Look Now
Program Suggestion
To Jacques Brown from Eric Merriman

As you know, since I have been working Variety Playhouse for and with Kenneth Horne, I have felt that his potentialities for a solo comedy series are very strong, with particular emphasis on the style of humour we have built up on Playhouse and I see the basic pattern of the new show to be largely an extension of this. Namely that the formula is based on a week in the life of Kenneth Horne broken into three actual spots, one to vary and the other two constant.

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