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Down the Line | [Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse]

Down the Line

The complete first series of the controversial BBC Radio 4 phone-in show. When it was launched in the spring of 2006, Down the Line was such an accurate parody of an inane phone-in show that many Radio 4 listeners (and radio critics) thought it was the real thing and launched a storm of protest. What on earth was Radio 4 coming to?
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Publisher's Summary

The complete first series of the controversial BBC Radio 4 phone-in show. When it was launched in the spring of 2006, Down the Line was such an accurate parody of an inane phone-in show that many Radio 4 listeners (and radio critics) thought it was the real thing and launched a storm of protest. What on earth was Radio 4 coming to? Seasoned comedy listeners, however, soon detected the presence of several well known voices including members of The Fast Show team, and realised that this was something new and exciting in Radio 4 comedy.

Hosted by Rhys Thomas as the keen, but not too bright Gary Bellamy, the show's line-up of experts, idiots, bigots, nutters, and bores is a snapshot of 21st century Britain and its obsessions; from freedom of speech to whether chocolate has become too serious. The show was largely improvised by the cast and sprinkled among the calls from the regulars are contributions from special guests including Harry Enfield, Catherine Tate, and Arabella Weir.

©2006 Down the Line Productions Ltd; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (55 )
5 star
 (39)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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4.9 (11 )
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Story
5.0 (11 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ben Chesham, Bucks, United Kingdom 18/03/2008
    Ben Chesham, Bucks, United Kingdom 18/03/2008 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    213
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    102
    54
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "makes listening to radio phone ins impossible"

    Down the Line features some of the best and cleverest character comedy I've heard. It often gets so near the knuckle that you have to remind yourself that it's not real. If you liked Harry Enfield and Chums, the Fast Show or Little Britian you will recognise most of the performers and their character voices. But there's plenty here for anyone to enjoy. Like Spinal Tap or Withnail and I, Down the Line rewards repeated listening and it's a shame that as a radio comedy it isn't likely to reach a wide audience who can memorise immortal lines and repeat them in pubs up and down the land in the way that those films have. Deserves an immediate download!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. L. R. D UK 07/07/2014
    Mr. L. R. D UK 07/07/2014 Member Since 2011

    Mr Lee

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very funny"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    the only problem with this is it goes to quickly


    What other book might you compare Down the Line to, and why?

    fast show


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    the characters are brilliant


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    makes you laugh


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark London, United Kingdom 09/08/2011
    Mark London, United Kingdom 09/08/2011 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "Genius"

    This is complete genius. I'm listening to it for the third time in a week and it just gets funnier with each listen. Possibly the best radio comedy ever made.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    darren warminster, United Kingdom 28/06/2011
    darren warminster, United Kingdom 28/06/2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    "down the line 1,2 and 3"

    an absolute masterpiece. pure class. please please please do another. love it. thanks for keeping me sane.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert of Northallerton Northallerton, North Yorkshire United Kingdom 23/11/2008
    Robert of Northallerton Northallerton, North Yorkshire United Kingdom 23/11/2008 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Down the Line"

    I downloaded the Free Copy and listened to the show with my wife. We have not laughed so much for years. My wife (bless her belief in me) was sure that it was a comedy programme but I convinced her that it was from a Real Radio 4 Programme.

    The (supposedly) realism thus made it all the more funny. Trouble is... both of us recognised some of the characters that the programme depicted. We named those whom we know and agreed through our intense laughter that the comments were just as ?John?, ?Tim? ?Victoria? etc. would have said. I even regognised the boring humour-less Medical Guest from my University days.

    To conclude, a jolly fine humorous mickey-take of us educated and not so well educated British people. Long may we all live together in this we call a Balanced Society.....got to laugh or we will all go mad!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark LondonUnited Kingdom 05/04/2008
    Mark LondonUnited Kingdom 05/04/2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Hilarious"

    Down the Line won't be to everyone's taste. The humour is surreal, often deeply ironic and unconventional - requiring that the listener shares the team's twisted cynical view of the world. Its a slice of modern Britain, distored and reflected back at itself in a way that will appeal most to irony-loving members of generation X. Traditionalists may fail to see the comedy at all - seeing it only as a call-in show populated by a mix of weirdos and cranks. But that is in fact just a clever disguise for what is actually a hilarious and twisted commentary on the pettiness, self-absorbtion and hilarious contradictions of modern british society.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhett NICEFrance 01/04/2008
    Rhett NICEFrance 01/04/2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Worthless"

    The free 'Down the Line' episode I downloaded was absolutely worthless and a waste of time. I don't know about you, but these days I just don't have time for reject entertainment. Might appeal to adolescent retards: Lots of scatalogical and really stupid humor. Not sure if Audible.co.uk can be trusted for recommendations now.

    1 of 12 people found this review helpful
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