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Audio Comedy Review

Book Cover

Will Smith Presents
The Tao of Bergerac


Starring: Will Smith
BBC Audio
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 4056 7742 4
Available 04 February 2008

Bergerac-obsessed Will Smith has one guiding force in his life - an audio book of John Nettles reading the ancient Chinese text of the Tao. He has always used this tape to illuminate problems in his life, to find a way through when the road seems blocked. Now Will brings the Tao of Bergerac to his audience, as each week he navigates the minefield of love, justice, individuality and machismo with the help of some special guests from his favourite TV show...

Will Smith Presents: The Tao of Bergerac is one of the funniest radio shows I've heard in a long time. The basic idea is that Smith, a die-hard fan of British detective series Bergerac, stumbled across a talking book version of the ancient Chinese text of the Tao which was read by John Nettles, star of Bergerac.

This audio release soon becomes Smith's rock in times of trouble, as he listens to it for guidance in his everyday life. The Tao tells Will to be himself. So why did he going to the sixth form ball dressed as Gandalf make him uncool? And is it wrong to dump a woman because she doesn't aplhabetise her CDs?

Each episode features guest-starring cameos from John Nettles (reading from the Tao) as well as a special guest who is, we are told, closely linked to Bergerac (whether they be an actor, stunt man or director). Each episode concludes with Smith's tour-de-rorce - the "Six Degrees of Bergerac" - where he links any movie or TV show, that the audience members can throw at him, back to Bergerac in six steps or less - this is truly amazing... and a little sad.

As an added bonus this CD includes A Guide to Other Audio Books by John Nettles. This is an hilarious spoof of other titles, including extracts, that are read by Nettles. These include: Letters from Hustler; Hip Hop Wars of the '90s; The Faber Book of Hard Rock Lyrics; Johnny Hates Jazz - a history; The Urban Dictionary; and Instructions for the Installation of a PC Motherboard. All of which take on a whole different meaning when read by Nettles. But my favourite was the readings of a Youtube page.

To be honest, you don't even have to have been a fan, or have even watched an episode of Bergerac to appreciate Smith's humour. This is one audio CD that every household should own.


Darren Rea

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