Radio: Kevin Eldon Will See You Now
- Brian Donaldson
- 17 July 2012
Bleak but addictive listening in four part Radio 4 comedy series
Kevin Eldon has spent an entire career making his audience feel a little awkward, whether it’s through his unsettling work with Chris Morris in Jam, being a casual Hitler in under-rated sketch show Big Train or occupying various oddball characters in his 2010 Fringe debut, Kevin Eldon is Titting About. Anyone who hears the first 45 seconds of his Radio 4 series might think he’s spectacularly lost it with a pair of awful jokes. But fear not, those gags are deliberately bad and he’s soon being attacked by a swarm of hacked-off bees and delivering a court scene in which everyone present has an indecipherable voice.
This four-parter features assistance from other comics who veer around the darker side of fun, such as Julia Davis and Amelia Bullmore, while Justin Edwards made his name as a drunk children’s entertainer (Jeremy Lion) and Rosie Cavaliero was in series two of Cold Feet. It doesn’t get much bleaker than that. One thing you won’t get in this series is a set of catchphrases, which is why we have a song all about catchphrases, concluding that if he had one, Eldon’s would most likely be: ‘I haven’t got a catchphrase.’ But done, obviously, in a squawkily strangulated voice.
If you like your radio satire to have a colder, harder edge about it, then The Archers might be a better place to park your ears; though he does come close to a lampoon when portraying Martin Amis as a bumpkin who can’t spell his own name and Prince Charles as the boy who will never be king. After Matt Berry’s trippily addictive hypnotherapy affair I, Regress, clearly Radio 4’s 11pm slot is the place where the strange kids get to hang out.