Cheese Cricket by Christopher Douglas and Andrew Nickolds

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BBC Radio 4, 19 August 2010
This episode in the long-running BBC comedy series Ed Reardon's Week had our eponymous hero (Christopher Douglas) being asked to participate in a new panel game "Cheese Cricket," together with a female panellist, and two up-and-coming stand-up comics whose sole function was to outdo one another in telling so-called "witty" jokes.
The programme directed its satirical barbs at many targets - the penchant for creating pointless panel games with cricket as a theme (remember Trivia Test Match with Brian Johnston in the chair?); the predictable format of many so-called comedy quiz shows where the rules don't matter; and the tendency of Radio 4 schedulers to look for 'fresh,' 'new' (read tired and stale) formats to fill its 6,30 p.m. slot, immediately after the Six O'Clock News. At the heart of "Cheese Cricket" stood Reardon himself, a curmudgeonly fifty-something writer who, although experiencing a distinct lack of success, remained stubbornly committed to his beliefs. Why should he bother to converse with some so-called 'witty' stand-up comedians straight out of the Cambridge Footlights? It was far more fun to insult them. Reardon managed to accomplish what many listeners (and television viewers, for that matter) might like to do, as they witness comedian after comedian trying to be funny on shows like Mock the Week or Channel Fouir's Eight Out of Ten Cats. Although the pilot for his quiz show had to be shelved (the BBC apparently wanted to fast-track the young comedians at Reardon's expense), Reardon remained bullishly optimistic about his future. The producer of this deadpan comedy-drama was Dawn Ellis.