Advantages Diabolically amusing
Disadvantages The series are only 6 episodes long ... more please!!
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|How do you rate the guests?||Not applicable|
|How good are the characters?||Excellent|
|How good are the presenters?||Not applicable|
|How good are the sound effects?||Good|
This comedy, now in its third series, has to rank among the greats of Radio 4 comedies. Both the first two series gained repeats in the 6.30 pm slot after the series were originally broadcast at 11 or 11.30pm. The programme is back with a vegeance, and regular listeners will be delighted with the development of the central characters in a range of new situations.Briefly, the comedy is set in Hell, where Satan (played by the programme's author/director, Andy Hamilton, who is a regular on the News Quiz) rules with a firm hand, except that he has taken rather a shine to a mortal, one of the damned, who interests him greatly. This mortal is the Professor (played by James Grout, famous as Supt. Strange in Inspector Morse). Each episode sees the progression of a single contention between these two main characters, e.g. "it is always better to know" and "it's great to be English" which is discussed in the context of scenes involving characters in Hell (notably Satan's chief assistant demon, Scumspawn, and Thomas, who is one of the damned who the Professor considers to be an interesting psychological case) and characters in the world above. Despite not being supposed to take the Professor to visit scenes in the world, Satan takes him to view scenes that support the Devil's point of view.
Much hilarity ensues from the fact, for example, that they cannot be seen by the mortals on whom they are spying; the relationship between the Devil and his second-in-command is the source of much humour; and there is always a good joke to be made about new arrivals in Hell, as well as relations with Heaven above.All-in-all this is one of the funniest programmes on the radio and much to be recommended. The traditional sitcom format is exploited to the full and every episode is a joy. The characters are magnificently played, the script finely polished and the programme is a delight to listen to. If any radio comedy could have you laughing out loud and unable to stop laughing, this will be the one.
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