Linda Smith's A Brief History of Timewasting

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Linda Smith's A Brief History of Timewasting
Genre Comedy
Running time 30 minutes
Country of origin United Kingdom United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Starring Linda Smith, Chris Neill, Margaret John, Femi Elufowoju Jnr
Written by Linda Smith
Produced by Lucy Armitage (Series 1)
Jon Rolph (Series 2)
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 12
Opening theme Flowers on the Wall by The Statler Brothers

Linda Smith’s A Brief History of Timewasting was a BBC Radio 4 situation comedy series written by and starring Linda Smith. It ran for two series of six episodes each from July 2001 until July 2002.

Set in East London, where Smith herself lived, A Brief History of Timewasting concerned the struggle of a single woman to fill the day, helped by her inept, sugar-loving, live-in builder Chris (Chris Neill), morbid elderly neighbour Betty (Margaret John), and Cab driver Worra (Femi Elufowoju Jr). Supporting roles were played by Jeremy Hardy and Martin Hyder. Many familiar voices from Radio 4, including then-chief announcer Peter Donaldson, Thought for the Day regular Rabbi Lionel Blue, and Woman's Hour stalwart Jenni Murray appeared as themselves.

Despite the claim of the programme’s page on the Radio 4 website, many of Chris’s antics revealed that Linda and Betty did not live in neighbouring flats in a tower block, but in neighbouring houses.

Following Smith's death in 2006, Jeremy Hardy revealed that Linda had been working on a third series.


Series 1[edit]

Episode Original Airdate Title
1 12 July 2001 "The Carpet Sweeper"
2 19 July 2001 "East End Mafia"
3 26 July 2001 "Opera, Gas and Gardening"
4 2 August 2001 "A Day Trip To Romney Marsh"
5 9 August 2001 "Coffins, Funerals and Nursing Homes"
6 16 August 2001 "999 Emergency"

Series 2[edit]

Episode Original Airdate Title
1 4 June 2002 "Fragile Peace"
2 11 June 2002 "Poltergeist"
3 18 June 2002 "Museum Of East End Life"
4 25 June 2002 "New Islington"
5 2 July 2002 "Neighbourhood Watch"
6 9 July 2002 "The End Of Timewasting"


External links[edit]