Saturday 11 August 2018

In which Craig yaps on about Jake (and BBC comedy) again

Yake Japp's Media Circus (courtesy of Seurat)

Having listened to the first two episodes of Jake Yapp's Media Circus - a newish BBC Radio 4 6.30 comedy - I came to the conclusion that it needs a much sharper script. 

Its satire, for the most part, has all the bite of a toothless Yorkshire terrier. 

Maybe Rod Liddle (or Richard Littlejohn) could help out with the next series?


Does that sound mean? I didn't mean it to. So here's me being almost nice:

My favourite joke from the first two episodes fell in the 'it's funny cos it's true' category.

It concerned Radio 4's The Listening Project - the BBC's  years long project in partnership with the British Library that might prove to be a remarkable document in a hundred years time but "right now" is "a bit rubbish". "

"I feel they have to broadcast it a bit just to justify doing it," said Jake. And I know how he feels about that.

And then came the line that made me laugh:
Alfred Hitchcock said, "What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out?", and The Listening Project sounds like all the bits that got cut out. 
Doesn't it just!


This week's episode, however, saw Our Jake popping in a set of novelty false teeth and taking some proper nips at a few heels.

His subject was....wait for it!....newspaper columnists.

Aha! Are you thinking what I think you think I'm thinking?

That it's a Radio 4 comedy show, so it will inevitably be lazy and predictable and just bang on and on about how evil and racist Katie Hopkins is?

Well, I wouldn't blame you for thinking what I think you think I'm thinking because that's precisely what bog-standard Radio 4 comedy would do and do do. They know it's expecting of them, targets-wise, and they dutifully oblige. The studio audience goes along with it and a second series becomes a possibility. It requires no effort and entails little risk. It's straight onto the BBC comedy gravy train - and the BBC comedy gravy train is a darn sight more luxurious than any Northern Rail gravy train. 

Well, as regular readers will know, I expect better from Our Jake. So I hoped for plenty of digs at eminently mockable Guardian/Independent types like Owen, Polly, Gary, Yasmin and Afua, and maybe even - if he were being especially bold - Stewart Lee. (Imagine!)

Well, more fool me! Alas, Jake Yapp has turned into a fully-fledged Radio 4 comedy lickspittle!

(Can lickspittles fledge? I'll have to email Chris Packham about that). 

Yes, he really did make Katie Hopkins the show's main target and come back to attacking her again and again and he even made unequivocal jokes about her being a racist.

And he even slagged off poor old Richard Littlejohn - and how lazy and predictable is that? Even every other living Radio 4 comedian has finally moved on from Richard Littlejohn, so Jake was being somewhat 'retro' there, taking his audience back in time to The News Quiz circa 2006.  

Jake's other targets? Donald Trump, Sarah Champion, Kevin Myers, Michael Gove, Kirstie Allsop. Boris Johnson, Sarah Vine, Boris Johnson, Boris Johnson...and Jeremy Corbyn. 

Ah yes! Big Bad Boris was second only unto Katie in being the central object of Jake's satirical desire. He'd been mean about the EU in his columns and that was a bad thing. (The show was obviously recorded before Letterboxgate.)

The presence of Sarah Champion MP's name on the roll of dishonour there is very intriguing. Her newspaper piece about Pakistani grooming gangs must have struck R Jake as not being a good thing. 

And he even slid into saying that free speech isn't a good thing either, as the likes of Katie Hopkins (and Sarah Champion presumably) have got us where we are today. 

Hmm. I think it's now past the time when I can still reasonably hope that Jake might be different from the rest.

He's obviously not. He's become an identikit BBC Radio 4 comedian, loving Big Brother like the rest of them - and willing to stamp a boot forever on the face of easy targets with the 'best' of them.

Please excuse me while I wipe my eyes and blow my nose. Sniff. I'm so disappointed. Sniff. I hoped for so much more from Jake. He's become a bog-standard, predictable, go-for-the-easy-targets BBC Radio 4 comedian. Sniff. Sniff. Blow.

Paging Dr. Rod Liddle. Emergency surgery to BBC programme's script needed urgently. Please go to 6.30 on Tuesday on Radio 4 as soon as you can. 


  1. I don't believe anyone listens to "The Listening Project". Nor ever will. It's only purpose now is to keep Fi Glover in the money.

  2. Does anyone listen to this programme called Economics with Subtitles

    It came on today in place of Moneybox. I would have listened but it quickly became apparent that I could not: It's not that I mind being treated like a baby ignoramus who needs basic instruction in a subject of which I may be ignorant but it's the whole tone of it: one of the presenters had that air of trying for effect of a young R4 comedian and the other had an annoying voice that made me think of Minnie Mouse. This yappy pair (helpfully pictured in the link) I could not listen to. Well, I thought, it was probably designed to appeal to the youth.

    But on checking the programme information I see that this episode was called "Bracelets for Bullets" and "Previous [episode] How Buying Cocaine Helps the Government" and "Next [episode] How Condoms can Cost a Week's Wages".

    Bullets, drugs and condoms. Ye gods. I'd love to know whose idea that is of appeal to youth.

    1. Clearly no radio programme has subtitles - do they mean sub-agenda? for a start it is 'smart' woman, 'stupid' man, ethnics everywhere, women 'experts', finished off with a topping of socialist utopia.
      I have listened to two episodes now and I think they confuse rather than inform.

  3. He doesn't like Boris. Tells him to eff off...but I think that's more to do with bulls than burquas as he seems to be a militant veganista:

    As for the Listening Project that is just Phase 12 of the Massive Reality Reconstruction Programme being undertaken by the drama, science programmes, history series, sports programmes, news and current affairs (of course) all confirm that the BBC's reality is real...The Listening Project is simply its way of ensuring that future generations will have no way of discovering the BBC's version of reality is complete bollox.

  4. And that's why nobody listens to Radio 4 "comedy."


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.