The British Broadcasting Century with Paul Kerensa

Live at the Apo2LO: Our 1st Broadcast Comedian

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Episode notes

The first drama, the first comedian...

Journey with us to October 1922 for the rarely told tale radio's first play (Cyrano de Bergerac, courtesy of Peter Eckersley) and British broadcasting's first comedian.

Helena Millais played Cockney character Our Lizzie - and you'll even hear a bit of her act.

We'll look at the few before her too - entertainers and storytellers - and those who came after. Cultural historian and comedy writer Alan Stafford is your guide, and his fab books It's Friday, It's Crackerjack and Wilson, Keppel and Betty: Too Naked for the Nazis are available now.

Also available is Lorne Clark's book Shareholders of the British Broadcasting Company, plus explore his amazing Early Wireless museum - and he's sent us a marvellous clip of his wax cylinder: recorded in 1890, trumpeter Martin Lanfried plays the bugle he sounded at The Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854. Wow. That makes the 1920s sound modern.

You'll also hear our regular broadcasting historian Tim Wander, and his fab books include the brilliant From Marconi to Melba.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and please support the show if you can via for one-off £, or for regular perks - including advance writing and things from Paul.

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Paul's festive history book Hark! The Biography of Christmas is now in audiobook form. There's an Audible free trial here if you've not had one before - so you can get Hark! for free, then cancel, and pay nowt.

Paul's Facebook Live show is at PK's Uplift Live, every Tuesday from 8pm. 

Thanks to Will Farmer for composing the original music.

Archive clips are either public domain or we don't know whose domain. If you think a clip is yours, apologies/thanks - everything's takedownable.

We're unaffiliated with the BBC...

...but Paul is writing a TV drama script (and novel) based on all this, so if you're a drama producer or commissioner... Well don't you look lovely today? Email me. Let's make the BBC history.

So to speak.