Franz Kafka Big Band


There’s no such thing as bad publicity, as the old adage more or less goes. So, when the papers got wind of the Franz Kafka Big Band’s proposed radio sketches, the most controversial of which was dreaming up a scenario where Rolf Harris draws a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, they went ballistic. Then again, with the backlash leaving the BBC with severely cold feet to the point of banning the show last August, you have to wonder whether anyone would really not want their work to be heard or seen.

Either way, the FKBB are returning with a five-part series which, unless the carpet is pulled out from under them again, may well include a contentious skit with cows flying into the World Trade Center (if you can imagine the sound of mooing and compare that to the roar of the planes closing in on the Twin Towers, they’re actually quite similar). Another moment which will make the over-sensitive get a tad touchy features a voiceover for a famine appeal delivered by someone munching greedily on their dinner.

The group’s leader stroke agent provocateur is Colin Edwards who has also been involved in The Atrocity Machine, which has recently broadcast its take on this ‘unflinching, hysterical world’ on Channel 4 Radio. Featuring everything from ‘toilets to terrorism’, Edwards is in tow with fellow Scottish comics Allan Miller and Steven Dick. It all goes to prove that Scottish comedy, in particular the wireless kind, is in extremely rude health.

(Brian Donaldson)

BBC Radio Scotland, Mon 9-Fri 13 Jul, 10.05pm.

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