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"Round the Horne": Series 4 (Radio Collection) [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Round the Horne
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 April 2004 Radio Collection
Round the Horne is the classic BBC radio comedy series which took comedy to a new level of outrageousness in the late 1960s. Kenneth Horne is the suave host, whilst around him orbit those no-holds-barred satellites Kenneth Williams, Betty Marsden, Hugh Paddick and Bill Pertwee. Regular characters Julian and Sandy and Rambling Syd Rumpo make numerous appearances, in amongst an eclectic comedy collage of sketches, songs, spoof series and news reports. The successor to Beyond Our Ken, Round the Horne ran for four series from 1965 to 1968. Scripted by Barry Took and Marty Feldman (series 1-3) and Barry Took, Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke (series 4). Now, as with the Hancock Half Hour Collector's Editions, all four series have been released as CD boxed sets, complete with full track listings and a comprehensive booklet with notes about the programme. This complete run of episodes from the fourth and final series is complemented by The Bona World of Julian & Sandy, a bonus programme in which Maureen Lipman looks at the success of the camp duo, played by Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (5 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563528265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563528265
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 13 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 580,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last episodes of a classic 14 May 2004
By A Customer
This boxed set contains the last series of Round the Horne. Kenneth Horne died the year after this series was made and RTH died with him. Marty Feldman dropped out of the writing team for this series leaving Barry Took to edit the series and write Julian and Sandy and Rambling Syd with Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke writing everything else. Also lost were Bill Pertwee and the Fraser Hayes Four and Edwin Braden and the Hornblowers were replaced by the Max Harris Group - all on cost grounds.
The changes are noticeable. The early episodes in the series don't quite gel and it takes at least half the series before everything starts falling into place. Having one less cast member is a restricting factor, although Douglas Smith is called into service quite often. From a first listen it also seems to me that the series relies quite a lot on Kenneth Williams (whch the first three series didn't) and that Hugh Paddick and Betty Marsden have less to do. The scripts also seem to be a bit more reliant on sexual (particularly homosexual) innuendo - which is probably why as a thirteen year old my schoolmates and I were absolutely riveted by RTH. We knew it was filthy but I don't think we knew exactly why! The musical interlude in the middle of the show falls on various cast members - with varying degrees of success.
So a different product to the first three series but, by the end, just as successful and still one of the funniest radio series ever. Listening to the last show is terribly poignant now - I really felt a personal loss for the first time in my life when Kenneth Horne died - but there is an unbelievably shocking revelation in the final Julian and Sandy which literally stuns the audience into silence.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but not quite as great as Series Three 27 Oct 2006
By Friendlycard VINE VOICE
Verified Purchase
This box-set includes all of the episodes from the final series of the most hilarious radio comedy series of the 1960s.

Written by Barry Took and Marty Feldman, and broadcast between 1965 and 1968, Round the Horne starred Kenneth Horne, Hugh Paddick, Kenneth Williams, Betty Marsden and Bill Pertwee, with significant contributions from news-reader Douglas Smith.

The series is perhaps best known for the outrageously camp Julian and Sandy (Paddick and Williams), and other memorable characters included folk singer Rambling Syd Rumpo (Williams), J Peasmold Gruntfuttock (also Williams) and tv personality Seamus Android (Pertwee).

A typical programme would start with answers to a non-existent quiz, followed by a big set-piece, typically a film spoof. This was followed (in the first three series) by a vocal harmony spot, which was (thankfully) replaced in Series Four by a humorous musical piece performed by the cast. J & S and Rambling Syd completed the programme.

For me, the fourth (and, as it was to turn out, last) series is a little bit less satisfactory than some of its predecessors, most notably Series Three, which, for me, represents RTH at its very best.

At first sight, it's hard to work out why Series Four doesn't (quite) sustain the levels of humour achieved in the previous year. After all, the centrepiece film spoofs are superb (above all, for me, "Journey to Uranus", "Around the World in Ten Minutes" and "Continuum Medicam Romanum"). Both of the show's other standards - Julian and Sandy, and Rambling Syd Rumpo - deliver at or above earlier levels. The final episode is as funny as it is, in retrospect, poignant - a rare gem of an achievement.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fourth of four. 13 May 2004
The fourth and final series of RtH is the deal. When people say that the show was ground-breakingly funny and still relevant today, it’s this series that they mean. It's timeless stuff. Truly. All the box sets are worth the money but if it came to a choice… there’s no choice.
Marty Feldman had moved on to develop his own career, and the drafting of a bigger team of writers reaps huge dividends. The surreal edge that was always present grows and the line leading to Monty Python shows strongly – whatever the Monty’s influences were, RtH was a major one. The comic timing and professionalism of the cast develop this into something startlingly original. What can be funny about Hugh “putting his broccoli in”? Listen to episode 13 and you’ll hear for yourself.
My only complaint is that yet again Douglas Smith fails to get the recognition he deserves. By this, the final series, his contributions are as important to the show as anybody’s, Horne included; his share of the limelight increased all the way through the shows right from the very beginning, until in this series he is one of the main planks – try to imagine it without Smith, it wouldn’t work anyway near as well. His face should be on the front of this box, he’s that important. The loss on one side of the Fraser Hayes Four gives the shows more momentum and on the other of Bill Pertwee (still pictured on the box!) gives the others players more space. I always enjoyed Pertwee’s characters, especially the Uriah Pertwee stuff during Williams’s explosions, but it has to be said that they just aren’t missed here.
Anyway, what you get in the box (besides the booklet etc.
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