I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again

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I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again (often abbreviated ISIRTA) was a BBC radio comedy programme which originated from the Cambridge University Footlights revue Cambridge Circus. It had a devoted youth following, with live recordings being more akin to a rock concert than a comedy show – a tradition which continued right through to the days of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

The pilot programme and Series 1 was broadcast on the BBC Home Service (renamed BBC Radio 4 in September 1967).[3] Series 2 - 9 were broadcast on the BBC Light Programme (renamed BBC Radio 2 in September 1967).

It was first broadcast on 3 April 1964 - the pilot programme having been broadcast on 30 December 1963 under the title "Cambridge Circus" - and the ninth series was transmitted in November and December 1973. An hour-long 25th Anniversary show was broadcast in 1989. It is comically introduced as "full frontal radio". I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, a spinoff panel game show, was first produced in 1972.

The title of the show comes from a sentence commonly used by BBC newsreaders following an on-air flub: "I'm sorry, I'll read that again." Having the phrase used to recover from a mistake as the title of the show set the tone for the series as an irreverent and loosely-produced comedy show.[1]


The cast

  • John Cleese (later part of Monty Python and star of Fawlty Towers; formed his own production company Video Arts to make business training films, which contained much Python-esque/Basil Fawlty-style humour, as well as making films including A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures). On the 25th Anniversary show he did his famous silly walk — it made terrible radio — and sang "The Ferret Song". He appeared in At Last the 1948 Show with Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman, and was co-writer (with Graham Chapman) of several episodes of the Doctor in the House television comedy series. In later series Cleese was often absent, due to his appearances in Monty Python; in the sleeve notes to the BBC's re-issues of the shows on cassette, his absences were explained as "[having] ranting commitments elsewhere".

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