Monday, 1 February 2010

Different Strokes

Different Strokes was possibly one of the worst vomit-inducing TV shows that came over from the US during the eighties.

It starred Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson.  Coleman famous for being small (due to kidney disease) suing his parents and trying to save his marriage on a TV show called Divorce Court and finally punching a woman who asked for his autograph.  Anyway what the hell does this have to do with making great radio?

The title of the show is your clue - 'Different Strokes' doing something that's different from others.  Standing out in a crowd without being as the Americans would call it - 'A complete jerk.' Here is one example.

I was one of the Producer's of The Sandi Toksvig Show and we had a menu at the front of the show which Sandi read out - but it was boring had too many items and we decided to drop the whole thing in favour of something else.

So the remit was a menu but it should have comedic value and still do the job of telling listeners what was on the radio. I came up with the idea of a clairvoyant who would 'predict' the show ahead.  'She' (it was Mr Lowrie and his 'voices') would give clues as to who might be appearing and there would be a lucky number and colour as a piece of random daftness at the end.  Go to and play Part 1 of The CAMPen Players on the left. (Pic credit Creative Commons Gary Coleman 2007)

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