The Best of the Now Show

Starring: Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis, Jon Holmes, Laura Shavin, Mitch Benn and Marcus Brigstocke
BBC Audio
RRP: 8.99
ISBN: 978 1 405 68790 4
Available 03 December 2007

For almost a decade, The Now Show has been casting a wry, sideways look at news, politics and current events. Now, collected together for the first time, are some of the highlights from the last five years of the Radio 4 show presented by Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis. ...

This compilation features some of the very best bits taken from 2001-2006 of Radio 4's The Now Show. With its mix of stand-up, sketches and songs, and team of regulars including Jon Holmes, Laura Shavin, Mitch Benn and Marcus Brigstocke, the show has been a huge hit with both critics and an ever-growing band of fans.

Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis preside as the team tackle a wide range of subjects. Stories from the news which are examined include the war in Iraq; gambling; a rant (by Marcus Brigstocke) on David Blaine's fast in a perspex box over London's Tower Bridge; planned obsolescence in electrical appliances; the lack of physicists in the UK; the use of reasonable force on burglars - who all know their rights when breaking into someone's house; a minute's noise for the death of John Peel; the Village People not wanting their songs to be associated with homosexuality; a fantastic Charles and Camilla Goon Show sketch; immigration; and the shopping forecast.

Thankfully there is linking narration to set up the year and set the scene of the actual event that some of the slightly more obscure sketches are parodying. The only real problem is that this collection is way too short.

It's a shame that more highlights were not included - this could easily have been a two disc release - to make this an essential purchase. As it stands, it's an entertaining collection but just not long enough. Maybe a better way of releasing this would have been to have had a Best of collection for each year.

Darren Rea

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