The News Huddlines

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The News Huddlines
Genre sketch show
Running time 30 mins
Country United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 2
Starring Roy Hudd
Producer(s) Dirk Maggs
Air dates 1975 to 2001
No. of series 51

The News Huddlines was a long-running BBC Radio 2 topical comedy sketch show starring Roy Hudd that ran for fifty one series from 1975 until 2001[1] . Each episode lasted for half an hour and consisted of topical sketches, songs and one-liners.

Performers[edit]

The regular cast consisted of comedy performers Roy Hudd, June Whitfield, and Chris Emmett. The announcer was Richard Clegg, and the music was directed and performed by Peter Moss and The Huddliners.

Hudd and Emmett were with the show since its inception while Whitfield joined the show in 1984,[2] taking over from Alison Steadman, who in her turn had replaced original cast member Janet Brown.

For the recording on 29 October 1975 Roy Hudd was stuck abroad and could not make the recording so Ray Allen was asked at very short notice to present the show.[3]

The show became British radio’s longest-running audience comedy in 1994 and became the second longest-running overall behind Week Ending, which was terminated in 1998. Huddlines would have overtaken it in 2003 had it not been terminated with a Christmas special in 2001.

Writers[edit]

Many and varied writers added to the success of the show over the years. A feature of the show was its aim to let the public send in gags which they used and gave credit to those authors at the end of the show. It was hoped that this policy would help develop inexperienced writers. Major contributors included:

History[edit]

The News Huddlines was established in 1975 as Radio 2’s answer to the BBC Radio 4 current affairs sketch show Week Ending, albeit with a distinctive style, much of it based around the stage persona of lead performer Hudd.

Huddlines ended in 2001 with a Christmas special show.[4] In January 2002, Hudd accepted the role of Archie Shuttleworth in the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street and felt he could not continue in both capacities.[5]

Copyright[edit]

Unlike many contemporary BBC comedy shows, the Huddlines isn't being replayed on BBC Radio 4 Extra owing to 'rights issues'.

Content and style[edit]

The material of Huddlines was in a traditional British comedy style, usually aimed at an older audience, with every gag ending on a recognisable punchline.

Each show is loosely based around a series of ‘news items’ — usually convenient pegs on which to hang one-liners of greater or lesser topicality — and sketches about events in the week’s news.

The sketches are usually about public figures, many of whom reappear regularly and have distinctively exaggerated or fanciful characterisations. For instance, the ex-prime minister’s wife Norma Major, as voiced by Whitfield, seemed to bear an uncanny resemblance to Eth, her character in The Glums, a widely-remembered segment in the 1950s series Take It From Here. Certain members of the royal family (a Huddlines staple) are likewise not copied from life, such as The Queen Mother, who was portrayed with a Cockney accent.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]