IíM SORRY 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

THE EPISODES

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 October 1996.
Featuring: Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden and Willie Ruston.

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.

THE DISCS

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 broadcasts.

SUMMARY

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

 

 

 

 

 

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