Round the Horne

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Round the Horne was a BBC Radio comedy programme, transmitted in four series of weekly episodes from 1965 until 1968.

The series was created by writers Barry Took and Marty Feldman — with other writers contributing to later series after Feldman returned to performing — and starred Kenneth Horne, with Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden, Bill Pertwee and Douglas Smith. It had musical interludes by the Fraser Hayes Four, and accompaniment by Edwin Braden and the Hornblowers, except for the fourth series, when the musical duties were performed by The Max Harris Group. Took and the cast had worked on the predecessor series Beyond Our Ken.

Contents

Format

Round the Horne featured a parody a week, several catchphrases, and many memorable characters. The show often opened with a deadpan delivery by Horne of "the answers to last week's questions"; questions which listeners had neither heard nor knew about, and which were laced with (what were for BBC Radio at that time) incredible double entendres and sexual innuendo, such as:

Another type of opening featured announcements about a particular event, e.g. Coat A Sheep in Raspberry Jam Week, Immerse an Orangutan in Porridge Week, Smear A Traffic Warden in Bloater Paste For Asia Day, or something equally bizarre. This would be the excuse for all sorts of happenings, such as the two-man inter-rabbi bobsleigh championships (to be held on the down escalator at Leicester Square underground station — weather and platform tickets permitting), Formation Goat Nadgering, Paso Doble Jockey Wagging, Floodlit Horse Massage, and Nark Fettering on Ice, and reports of the latest activities of the Over-Eighties Nudist Leapfrog (or Basketball, or Judo) Team.

One of the most popular sketches was Julian and Sandy, featuring Paddick and Williams as two flamboyantly camp out-of-work actors, speaking in the gay slang Polari, with Horne as their unknowing comic foil. They usually ran fashionable enterprises in Chelsea which started with the word 'Bona', for example 'Bona Pets', or in one episode a firm of solicitors called 'Bona Law' ("We've got a criminal practice that takes up most of our time").

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