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British Comedy

Satsuma link / Graeme interview / Humph in Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
15/09/2009 00:00 GMT

Posted by lisa

A couple of news stories from the last few days.

* The Listen Again link for episode 4 of "The Long Hot Satsuma", which made its BBC Radio 7 debut today, is at  The show, which features Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, & Alison Steadman, can be heard through next Tuesday evening (London time).

* An interview with Graeme, to promote the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue Official Stage Tour, appeared in yesterday's edition of the Liverpool Daily Post.  Use the "click here for more" link below for a cut & paste of the article.

* A quote from Humphrey Lyttelton is to appear in the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.  The quote is: "As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from desiccation".  The full story, from The Telegraph, can be read using the "click here for more" link below.


I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue comes to Southport Theatre
Sep 14 2009 by Laura Davis, Liverpool Daily Post

It’S hard to believe, nearly 40 years on, but the radio institution, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, nearly didn’t pass the pilot test.

Its creator, Graeme Garden, was convinced the idea would be shelved and certainly didn’t expect it to become a stage show some four decades on, touring to Southport Theatre later this month.

“We did a pilot but none of us had much experience of doing improvisation and ad libs in front of an audience,” he reveals.

“We all hated it and the others gave me a hard time in the pub afterwards and said never again.

“But a lot of the audience had come with us from (sketch show) I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again and they laughed, and the BBC commissioned a series.”

The “others” were Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor, who will all be appearing at Southport.

Sadly, they won’t be joined by its long-time chairman Humphrey Lyttelton, who died last year.

Instead, acerbic comedian Jack Dee will step into the role.

All the best-loved elements of the long- running radio quiz programme are included in the live tour, not forgetting the legendary Mornington Crescent, which Garden describes as “chess but without a board”.

“I’d been a guest on a couple of panel games and thought it was a good idea,” he says of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’s inception in 1972.

“Bill was annoyed because he said I’d done us out of our writing fee.

“After every series, we’d say ‘never again’ – but it became a habit in the end.”

I’M SORRY I Haven’t A Clue is at Southport Theatre on September 29.


* From

Sarah Palin and Barack Obama enter Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

The words that helped to define Sarah Palin's vice presidential election campaign and a turn of phrase used by author Sir Terry Pratchett to describe his Alzheimer's have become the latest entries in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

By Daily Telegraph Reporter
Published: 10:14AM BST 09 Sep 2009

While they may not have been the most poignant of phrases in the history of American politics, Mrs Palin earned her entry for her quip: "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick."

Sir Terry has gained his place for describing as "an embuggerance" his illness when he announced it to his fans.

They are among over 20,000 new quotations to enter the latest, updated edition, the seventh in the book's 65-year history, to bring in more 21st century contributions.

New quotes come from the likes of British author Philip Pullman, the scientist Stephen Hawking, US President Barack Obama and late comedy host and jazzman Humphrey Lyttelton.

Some are not as new as they seem. Mr Obama's line: "The arc of history is long but it bends towards justice" was similar to one used by Martin Luther King in 1968.

But, said Oxford's university linguists, is was also similar to a line from the US preacher Theodore Parker as long ago as 1853.

He said: "The arc is a long one...and from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.'

The dictionary also publishes, for the first time, several quotes from the past, even a 'new' one from Confucius.

This may be because they have been used or referenced by others in recent years or that the researchers have, after years, managed to source and verify them as genuine.

Some have taken on a whole new relevance, such as former US President Thomas Jefferson who died almost 200 years ago but said: "Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."

The book's editor, Elizabeth Knowles, said: "Events may give an older utterance very topical significance - for example, Thomas Jefferson has for obvious reasons been quoted quite widely in the last year."

She added other quotes from the past sometimes become familiar to new audiences and much more widespread because of the internet.

She said: "Anything quoted today, verbally or 'written' in electronic form, can be and probably will be encountered by people all over the globe.

"And as more data is added to online sources, more voices from the past find a route to us today. The new edition of the dictionary reflects the impact of these changes."

*Ten Quotes new to the latest edition:

1.Dress cute wherever you go, life is too short to blend in - Paris Hilton

2.As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from desiccation," - Humprhey Lyttelton who died last year.

3.An embuggerance- author Terry Pratchett's description of his Alzheimer's diagnosis.

4.What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick - Sarah Palin

5.I think computer viruses should count as life. Maybe it says something about human nature, that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive - Stephen Hawking

6.Wherever you go, go with all your heart - Confucius

7.Real freedom is freedom from fear, and unless you can live free from fear you cannot live a dignified human life - Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese political leader

8.Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies - Thomas Jefferson

9.Guilt is to motherhood as grapes are to wine - Fay Wheldon

10.You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm - French novelist Colette giving advice to her daughter.

*The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, is published today (10 September), £30 hardback.

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