Round the Horne
The Very Best Episodes - Volume 3

Authors: Barry Took and Marty Feldman
Starring: Kenneth Horne, Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden and Bill Pertwee
BBC Audio
RRP: 12.99
ISBN: 978 1 4056 7808 7
Available 05 November 2007

Four more bona shows from one of the most popular comedies in the history of radio.. Starring Kenneth Horne, Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden and Bill Pertwee, Round the Horne ran for four series between 1965 and 1968. It was a groundbreaking piece of broadcasting, famous for its catchphrases, clever innuendo, colourful characters and brilliantly inventive scripts. These four classic episodes feature such much-loved characters as Charles and Fiona, Rambling Syd Rumpo, Seamus Android and the inimitable Julian and Sandy...

Round the Horne was a 60s radio institution like no other. It introduced British audiences to characters such as Julian and Sandy, Seamus Android, folk legend Rambling Syd Rumpo and the ever-population Hornographic Productions film spoofs.

Time has been kind to the show - just the musical interlude sounds out of place - and much of the humour has passed down through the years pretty much unscathed, so if there was ever a show that deserved a ‘Best Of’ then this is surely it.

By series three - from where these four episodes have been taken - the format had become stable and the characters fully rounded. In essence, there were no bad shows, although some were better than others, and here are four of the best.

Perhaps the only part of Round the Horne that totally fails is Seamus Android, a spoof of This is Your Life host Eamon Andrews. He was famed for not knowing who his guests were, even as far as being ignorant of Charlton Heston’s career. However, as Andrews has now largely been forgotten Seamus Android now just sounds like a racist Irish stereotype. This, however, is not a fault of the show, just a product of time.

In all other respects this two-disc CD set is near perfect. If high camp and low humour are to your taste then you could do far worse than pick up Round the Horne: The Very Best Episodes - Volume 3. According to Jules and Sand it’s "fantabulosa" and who could argue with such bona homies.

Everybody sing, in a jaunty style, the following Rambling Syd lament: "Joe, he was a young cordwangler, Munging greebles he did go, And he loved a bogler's daughter, By the name of Chiswick Flo."

Anthony Clark

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