Band Waggon

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Band Waggon was a comedy radio show broadcast by the BBC from 1938 to 1940. The first season featured Arthur Askey and Richard Murdoch. In the second season, Askey and Murdoch were joined by Syd Walker, and the third season added Diana Clare for two episodes.


Band Waggon was co-produced by Gordon Crier and Harry S. Pepper [1] [2] and was the first comedy show to be designed specifically for radio. Together with Monday Night at Seven , it established the practice of broadcasting a regular comedy and music programme at the same time each week. The show ended in 1940, allowing Askey to pursue a career in film and Murdoch to join the Royal Air Force. A show of the same name and starring Askey and Murdoch with Tommy Trinder was playing at the London Palladium when the Second World War broke out. [3] The following year, another version - with Norman Evans in place of Trinder - played at the Blackpool Opera House.

An Audiobook CD, featuring extracts from the Band Waggon radio show along with other comedy recordings by Askey and Murdoch, was issued in 2006.

Film version

A film version of the series was released in 1940 was produced, directed by Marcel Varnel, again featuring the double act of Arthur Askey and Richard "Stinker" Murdoch. The plot involves the latter pair using unorthodox methods to get their show onto the BBC and running into enemy agents at a castle in Sussex. Arthur Askey, playing himself, in his first major film role, employs his trademark catchphrase: "I Thank You" and songs: "Big-Hearted Arthur" and "The Bee". The film also features the music of Jack Hylton, the singing talents of Patricia Kirkwood, dancing girls and the clowning of Moore Marriott. In 1958, a television version was made, starring Askey and Murdoch, called Living It Up .

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  1. Peter Hay , Canned Laughter: The Best Stories from Radio and Television (1992), p. 42
  2. Bandwaggon at, accessed 30 July 2016
  3. "Production of Band Waggon | Theatricalia".