I HAVENíT A CLUE ĎLIVEí
2 x CD Set
Reviewed by Ceri Laing
Produced by Jon Naismith
Starring: Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, Tim
Brooke-Taylor, Willie Rushton, Jeremy Hardy
Iím Sorry I Havenít A Clue (or
ISIHAC), Radio 4ís panel game where contestants are given silly things
to do, was first broadcast 1972 coming from the remains of the long
running comedy show Iím Sorry Iíll Read That Again. The cast of
Iím Sorry Iíll Read That Again appeared as panel members on ISIHAC
for a couple of series, before the panel membership was settled as Tim
Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden and Willie Rushton with Humphrey
Lyttleton as the chair. This was the regular line-up until Rustonís death in 1997.
BBC Audiobooks have had episode releases of
ISHIAC as a mainstay of their schedule for many years, but this is
the first in a new series of releases featuring edited highlights of
actual ISIHAC recordings to give the feel of what itís like to
attend such a recording. During a recording two episodes are taped Ė each
episode taking around an hour Ė with an interval in between.
This two CD release features two
recordings, with one recording on each disc. The locations and panel
members for the recordings are as follows:
CD One: Royal Hall, Harrogate; Recorded
11th November 1995.
Featuring. Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Willie Ruston and Jeremy Hardy.
CD Two: Liverpool Playhouse; Recorded 21st
Featuring: Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden and Willie
The recording on CD One features the first
appearance of Jeremy Hardy on the show (sitting in for Tim Brooke-Taylor),
and is notable for bringing to the world the joy of his singing talents!
As I said these are designed to give the
feel of what itís like attending a recording, and as such arenít
completely unedited, but very much ďtidied-upĒ versions of the recordings.
They feature examples of pre-episode build-up, more material than was used
in the broadcast episode and retakes.
Each recording is preceded by an
introduction by current producer Jon Naismith, who amongst other things
discusses the rationale behind this new series of releases, why these
particular recordings have been chosen for release and he also pays
tribute to the late Willie Ruston. In addition, the second CD is book
ended by an advert for further BBC Audiobooks releases.
Some of the material appearing in these
episodes was used in one of the previous compilation releases, but that is
a small caveat to this release as it is only a small amount of material
that has previously been released. The majority of the material in this
ĎliveĒ releases is all new and never been heard before.
The first disc runs to a total of 79m 07s
with 75m 03s devoted to the recording. The second disc runs to a total of
75m 04s with 71m 56 devoted to the recording. As each broadcast episode
runs to around twenty-eight-and-a-half minutes that means there is on
average around nine minutes of extra material per episode for the first
recording and seven minutes per episode for the second.
Like all the previous ISIHAC
releases each episode features the not very good synthesized version of
the signature tune as opposed to the original which is used in the
In this age of easy digital recording the
existing compilation releases of ISIHAC are fairly redundant to the
hardened fan. This new series of releases is an innovative one for
enticing fans to part with their money. Whilst not entirely giving you the
full ďliveĒ experience of an ISHIAC recording it does go a long way
to do it and to be honest the release goes to great lengths to say that.
For the full ďliveĒ experience you would need the recording of each
episode on a single disc to do that and Iíd expect that would only appeal
to the hardened fan. A general purchaser would be put off by such a
release, especially as the release would only have two episode included in
it in their eyes.
However, this release will appeal to fans
and general listeners a like. If youíve never been to a recording or find
it difficult get hold of the ever increasingly popular tickets this is the
release for you!
The releaseís RRP is £12.99 and is a fair
one for such a release. Most online retailers have it around or sub-£10.
Amazon - £10.99
Play - £8.49