- Audio CD: 1 pages
- Publisher: BBC Physical Audio; A&M edition (3 Jun. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408427869
- ISBN-13: 978-1408427866
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 25.4 x 14 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Armstrong & Miller Children's Hour (BBC Audio) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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All four episodes of the complete BBC Radio 4 comedy spoof series, written by and starring Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller.
About the Author
Alexander Armstrong is one half of the comedy duo Armstrong & Miller who had a regular series on Channel 4 from 1997 to 2001 and then returned with three series of the BAFTA winning Armstrong & Miller Show on BBC1 in 2007. Alexander's many straight acting roles have included Love Life, Life Begins, Mutual Friends, and the sitcom Hunderby. He frequently hosts Have I Got News For You?, he is the voice of Danger Mouse (which re-launches in autumn 2015) and the narrator of CBeebies cult hit Hey Duggee. Alexander has also recently become a presenter on Classic FM, but he is probably best known for presenting the highly successful daytime quiz show Pointless, now in its 12th season.
Top Customer Reviews
Basically, it's both dated and not really funny. There are some cringy `smile' moments, but sadly nothing more substantial than that, which is a shame. I kept thinking that other comedy performers had done similar and to be honest, much funnier versions of the genre A&M were trying to gently mock. I'd really question why the BBC decided to release it as one of the episodes would slot nicely into a `Best of A&M' collection, but doesn't really cut the mustard on its own.
Definitely not their finest hour, still a chuckle but I am afraid not a laugh.
|Length: 6:51 Mins|
The show is a spoof Radio 4 programme in which the lead characters Martin Bain-Jones (played by Armstrong) and Craig Children (played by Miller) are two pompous music critics, who present a culture show on current popular music aimed at a youthful audience. The show is named `Children's Hour' (after the character Craig Children as well as a patronising summing up of the subject matters target audience).
The duo's overbearing superiority on the flaky subject of current pop music, allows for an Alan Partridge style of satirical comedy. The episodes each explore a particular avenue of modern popular music (Boy Bands, Middle Of The Road, Brit Pop & Solo Artists). The result is a very hit and miss comedy that predominantly plays with the same joke throughout the entire two hours, with small peaks of quite clever wittiness set amongst an otherwise barren landscape of mediocre comedy. Indeed, the additional writing from David Mitchell and Robert Webb may well have been one of the comedy's saving graces.
Although a lot of the humour is now somewhat outdated, the basis of the comedy - smugly chuckling at the banality of pop music brought to surface by two camp and out-of-touch culture journalists - is still something that can be related to. The jokes do often veer towards a more childish nature, however, every now and again a real gem of wittiness comes gleaming out of the show, often as a subtle backhanded laugh in the face of the particular music being examined.Read more ›
The structure of the show is quite clever - it usually starts 'as if' they are broadcasting an episode of 'Children's Hour', and then fades into various 'flash-backs' of what led up to the broadcast. So you may get a throwaway remark from one of them during the 'broadcast' section, that takes on a whole new meaning when you realise what was REALLY going on. This actually ensures good replay value, as you may well miss one or two of the references the first time through.
You also get some of their supposedly 'off-air' conversation, while they are theoretically playing a record, which gives yet another perspective on the events surrounding the show. Watch out for some of the record 'fade-outs', as there will often be a snippet of conversation, usually self-incriminating, hurriedly cut-short as they realise they are back on air.
Of course, given that this was written & performed in 1998, many of the music references are out of date now, but it truly doesn't detract from the comedy - there is a fantastic piece of comic timing when a hotel receptionist is using a head-set phone whilst still trying to check the presenters in - they are never quite sure whether she is talking to them or into the phone. It's cleverly written, and brilliantly performed.
They claim that the four episodes on these 2 discs are the complete series, which seems a strange number to make. But no matter - enjoy these for what they are - a promising early indication of even greater things to come.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is alright but Armstrong and Miller can be so much funnier than this. The concept is a good enough one but I feel that had they had the benefit of better material this could... Read morePublished on 28 Mar. 2013 by pacem et amorem
I thought this recording of the four Children's Hour radio shows looked really good. Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller can be a little hit and miss in their sketch shows but in... Read morePublished on 4 Aug. 2011 by Miss
I bought Children's Hour after discovering their brilliant online podcast 'Timeghost'. I was slightly disappointed as there are only four episodes, and they are not as hilarious as... Read morePublished on 26 Mar. 2011 by goldiamond
Without hesitation this work far outweighs anything they have produced on TV. The writing is sharp and witty, while the performances really manage to exude far more character than... Read morePublished on 16 Oct. 2010 by Bacon
This was a disappointment in so far as I was making a comparison with the polished TV show which recently adorned the BBC. Read morePublished on 30 Sept. 2010 by DavyA
I am a huge fan of Armstrong and Miller and love their sketches. Messrs Bains Jones and Children would have been great value as a one off sketch or a recurring sketch. Read morePublished on 7 Sept. 2010 by D. Pearce
This is a release of an earlier sketch show done as a radio series. I think Armstrong and Miller are brilliant and I love their recent television series' on BBC1, especially such... Read morePublished on 2 Sept. 2010 by L. H. Healy
Having enjoyed work by both these individuals, I felt inclined to give this a go. It's certainly worth listening to with a few laughs due along the way but not what I would call... Read morePublished on 31 Aug. 2010 by Mr. D. A. Cure
Whilst I'm not what you would call a huge fan of Armstrong and Miller, this was an interesting prospect. Read morePublished on 29 Aug. 2010 by IWFIcon