Andrew Maxwell's Public Enemies (4 stars)

This article is from 2013.

Andrew Maxwell's Public Enemies

The BBC Radio 4 half-hour features the irrepressible stand-up waxing lyrical on assorted topics

While Radio 4 has received plenty stick down the years from certain quarters for its rather feckless, overly middle-class approach to the world of comedy in general and stand-up in particular, you have to give them some credit. Where else would you be able to hear the likes of Andrew Maxwell spouting off for the best part of half an hour on anything that takes their fancy and sticks some fairly arbitrary umbrella over the top to apply a ‘theme’ onto proceedings?

And so, Andrew Maxwell’s Public Enemies is his chance to look at the nebulous or credible things that threaten our very existence. But, frankly, let’s not question it and simply enjoy hearing the Irish wag waxing very amusingly on such matters as the food industry and the internet, producing more insight than you’ll find in several box sets of Have I Got News for You.

Mercifully, there are no cutaways to some flaccid sketch which attempts to further cement the points being made, instead Maxwell gets on with what he does best: jousting with his crowd and trying to make us glimpse his particular worldview. Of course, he’s not beyond tackling some hack source material (fat Americans and feral Scousers for two) but he almost always finds a tricky angle or a neat phrase to bail himself out with. And if you want to hear why there could never have been a fifth Beatle and the real reason Mark Zuckerberg is so annoying, then this, rather than some dreary panel show, should be your port of call when discovering the upsides to the comedy explosion.

Radio 4, Thursdays, 11pm.

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