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Down the Line: Series 1 (BBC Audio) [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Paul Whitehouse , Charlie Higson
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2007 BBC Audio
This title is presented by Gary Bellamy, from BBC TV's "Bellamy's People". This is the original phone-in Radio 4 show that first introduced the host of BBC2's "Bellamy's People". This is the complete first series of the controversial BBC Radio 4 phone-in show. When it was launched in the Spring of 2006, "Down the Line" was such an accurate parody of an inane phone-in show that many Radio 4 listeners thought it was the real thing and launched a storm of protest. What on earth was Radio 4 coming to? Seasoned comedy listeners, however, soon detected the presence of several well-known voices including members of "The Fast Show" team, and realised that this was something new and exciting in Radio 4 comedy. Hosted by Rhys Thomas as the keen but none too bright Gary Bellamy, the show's line-up of experts, idiots, bigots, nutters and bores is a snapshot of 21st century Britain and its obsessions; from freedom of speech to whether chocolate has become too serious. The show was largely improvised by the cast and sprinkled among the calls from the regulars are contributions from special guests including Harry Enfield, Catherine Tate and Arabella Weir.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (1 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405677406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405677400
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 12.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Ace! 3 Oct 2007
Format:Audio CD
An awesomely great comedy show that managed to bamboozle Radio 4 listeners on its first broadcast by seeming so real that we all ignored it. Whitehouse & Higson have pulled out all the stops and it's so much funnier than anything else they have ever done. A great suporting cast make this a bit of a gem. I've recorded the whole second series & listen to it often on the iPod - it really repays repeated listens and I recommend any lovers of the Fast Show / Partridge / Jerky Boys / Fonejacker etc to get it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy from start to finish 4 Nov 2007
Format:Audio CD
This collection of episodes from the firsst series of Down The Line is improvised comedy at its very best. Like the previous reviewer I suggest that you listen to it several times as there are so many little gems that you can miss on the first listen. The Down The Line team (Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Simon Day, Harry Enfield, Amelia Bullmore, Felix Dexter etc etc) are already well established figures on the British comedy scene but, by using the medium of radio, have found a new way to shine through their hilarious use of language and their vocal talents. If anyone has, like me, a genuine fondness for BBC Radio 5 Live but sometimes gets exasperated by some of the idiots that ring in (or even broadcast as guest presenters!) then you will love Down The Line. The team have managed to parody the Great British phone-in to a tee and I just can't wait until the second series is released.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars too funny 5 Sep 2009
Format:Audio CD
Down the Line is just too funny. Every episode is hilarious, i recommened this to anyone who likes The Fast Show or Harry Enfield. Not the best idea to listen to it alone on the bus as you get funny looks when laughing aloud to yourself haha.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, Creative, High Quality Comedy! 21 Oct 2008
Format:Audio CD
I'm a regular listener to BBC Radio 4. One Thursday night in 2006 they announced a new phone-in chat show presented by Gary Bellamy (Rhys Thomas). Initially I thought it was a regular phone-in and the first night's callers were a little eccentric. After about 15 minutes I copped that it's all a total spoof. And what an hilarious spoof it is too! It seems like a parody of their own sister station Radio 5-live, which concentrates on live sport but broadcasts phone-ins during the hours when no sport is being played (eg. late night).

One caller speaks with a strong Indian accent and, regardless of the topic, always asks the same question; "What is point?" - pronouncing 'W' like 'V' and omitting the definite article (as Indians are wont to do). But my favourite is the guy (played by Harry Enfield) who keeps getting interrupted by his dog barking and roars at the animal "SHUT IT!!!" in a strong Cockney accent. You'll hear a wide variety of opinions expressed on a myriad of different topics. In this first series they discuss racism, religion, food-safety, crime, parking, gender-equality and even the discovery of a new primary colour!

In each new decade, alternative comedy (be it visual or audio) needs to break some new ground. The 70s belonged to Monty Python. The 80s gave us the likes of Blackadder/Fry & Laurie. In the 90s we had the Sci-Fi comedy Red Dwarf. In the naughties, "Down the Line" represents the cutting-edge of modern, inventive, 21st century comedy. Each season is recoded on a 3-CD set; good value at under 10. I've bought all three seasons and I hope they record many more. I can picture myself still enjoying this stuff 20 years hence!
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