The Last Heresy: an adventure (listen here)
Tuesday, 3 January 2012
Update: you can listen to this episode for a week or two here.
According to a survey published in the newspapers a few weeks ago, the presenters and contributors on Radio 4 are 82% male. That is, 82% of them are male. Not.. you know..
Anyway, if that’s the traditional order of things, then Heresy wouldn’t be Heresy if we didn’t make THIS episode.
The guests on the final show (broadcast on Wednesday night at 6.30) are Sue Perkins, Cerys Matthews and Maureen Lipman. With me hosting.
According to received opinion, of course, the show should therefore be far less funny than the others in the series. Observational, sure. Chatty, yep. Charming, witty: it’s all possible. But funny? Well, just look at the existing panel shows on radio and TV: all-male is fine. One woman on an episode makes a lovely change, adds to the tone nicely. But two? Or more? That must kill it. Surely. Otherwise, you’d see it sometimes.
The statements we’ll be arguing against, for our final show are:
THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE IF IT WERE RUN BY WOMEN
“I’D RATHER BE A POP STAR THAN A CLASSICAL VIOLINIST”
INTERNET DATING HAS LOST ITS STIGMA.
I’ll be very interested to know what people make of it. I’ll tell you what I found interesting myself: it is, without a doubt, the least serious episode of the series. You might imagine (whether your universe leaves room for funny women or not) that this would be the episode most likely to address the questions fully, talk whole-heartedly, come at ideas from personal experience for deeper truth. It’s absolutely not like that at all. It is the most playful episode, and the one with the silliest jokes. My theory is: with no added pressure on any of the panellists to “represent” female humour (as there is on a normal panel show - there can’t not be - there’s pretty much NEVER more than one woman on a show, and I know myself that you can’t help feeling some kind of pressure to prove something - or at least, some deep fear of proving something else), they just relaxed completely and had fun.
On last week’s show (as explained in the previous Heresy post) I lost my cool at one point and shouted at the audience. In this final episode, I lost my cool in a completely different way, under assault from some RELENTLESS Perkins teasing about a joke I was attempting to make. The joke had no chance after that. But I loved Sue’s sororial confidence in taking the piss, I loved the atmosphere in the room, I loved how different the show felt, I loved how surprised I was by the way in which it felt different, and I loved ending the series with this mini-adventure.
I really hope you like it.