Time Cycle



Adrian Love


Rory McGrath (permanent panellist)


BBC Radio 2, 14 February 1989 to 5 June 1990 (20 episodes in 2 series)


Two teams of two comedians tackled this time-travelling general knowledge and comedy quiz helmed by Radio 2 jock Adrian Love. Panellists were of the Nu-Wave comedy ilk, such as Andy Hamilton, Nick Revell, Paul Merton, Gareth Hale, Norman Pace, Jimmy Mulville and Griff Rhys-Jones.

In round 1, Adrian gave a year and one team was asked if they wanted to go forwards or backwards from that date. A question was asked based on the new year chosen. On any occasion during this round, the other team can shout "PUNCTURE", a sound like a burst tyre would be heard and instead of answering the question the team had to do a one minute spontaneous improvisation on a subject loosely based on the question's subject matter (i.e. for a football question, they might have to make up a football chant about the other team).

In the next round, Adrian would give a choice of two categories, with five questions on the chosen topic for each team.

Then, one team was given a situation from history with a twist in the tale (i.e. Oliver Cromwell had to give an interview for The Sun). The team only had the time it took the other team to answer five questions correctly in which to prepare the piece. Once done, the other team had a go. Adrian awarded marks out of 10.

The final round, rather originally, was exactly the same as round 1. The awkward mix between history quiz and comedy improvisation probably put paid to any long-term success, although we remember it being an amiable half-hour at the time.


If we recall correctly, it was devised by Adrian Love himself.

Theme music

Tour de France by Kraftwerk.


"Forwards or Backwards?"



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