It's Your Round



Angus Deayton


BBC Radio 4, 17 February 2011 to 29 January 2012 (12 episodes in 2 series)


It's a mark of how much Angus Deayton's career has been dominated by Have I Got News for You that even though he stopped doing it in 2002 and has barely stopped working since, even hosting some very popular shows (like Hell's Kitchen and Would I Lie to You?), everything he does still gets hailed as a "comeback". It's the same old story for this show, though with more justification than usual, as this marks his first return to radio since originally making his name with Radio Active back in the 1980s.

What the sometime Mike Channel (and Deayton's "as himself" persona has never strayed very far from that of his Radio Active character) is presiding over, is a freeform comedy panel game in which four comedians - or, if the celebrity booker is having a particularly bad week, three comedians and Rick Wakeman - provide their own rounds for the others to play. Actually, it's not really that freeform, because the games have to fit into the general format of the show, giving all four panellists a chance to play, and awarding one or two points for a correct answer or successful contribution. Some rounds are Q&A based (e.g. Miles Jupp's "What Does My Dad Know?", in which panellists guessed whether Mr Jupp Sr knew the answer to a given question), others have a creative bent (e.g. Sara Pascoe's "Welcome To Romford" asked the panellists to compose a mock tourist advert for their home town, with a randomly-selected member of the audience choosing their favourite). If there's time at the end (which there usually isn't) the fifth and final round is a buzzer round (also called "It's Your Round") in which the panellists answer questions on each other.

Angus Deayton: still radioactive

The timing issue is actually a bit of a problem. Comedy panel games have a tendency to get chopped quite brutally, to the point where scores rarely make any sense (arguably the "pioneer" in this regard was actually a radio show, Just a Minute) but it seems to jar more than usual in this format, partly because it tends to be precisely the rounds that work well and you'd like to hear more of that get cut short. Which is a particular shame when they only get played once anyway.

It's not really as innovative as it would like to think it is - it's just four comedians (or three comedians and Rick Wakeman) playing games, which is not so much an original notion as simply the comedy panel game concept stripped to its essentials. The lack of recurring games is both its major strength and its major weakness, but it's good fun nevertheless. And if you need some games to play on long car journeys or in the dead hours of Boxing Day afternoon, we dare say it could give you a few ideas - so not only fun, but practical too. It's the radio equivalent of painting your own tiles. You can stick that on the press release for series 2.


Benjamin Partridge

Theme music

Series 1: "Mess Around" by Ray Charles

Web links

Official site

British Comedy Guide entry

See also

Weaver's Week review


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