Jim Sweeney

The Masterson Inheritance: Series 1-3 plus specials
  • The Masterson Inheritance: Series 1-3 plus specials

  • All three series of the improvised family saga starring Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence, Caroline Quentin and others – plus two special Christmas episodes

    Based entirely on audience suggestions, this hysterically funny historical drama tells the thrilling extended story of an aristocratic family at war with itself. From Ancient Rome to 1920s Hollywood, we follow the Mastersons’ turbulent history across the centuries, as their fortunes wax and wane, and their fates hang on objects as diverse and unlikely as a tumble dryer, a rabbit’s foot and a pair of Siamese twins.

    In these three series, their adventures include setting sail across the Atlantic (with a cargo of dangerous sheep), mucking out at the court of King Arthur, becoming embroiled in murder and intrigue aboard a luxury cruiser and running away to join a Victorian travelling circus. There’s family revenge in the Wild West over dodgy dental work; the medieval Mastersons face land struggles and an overcrowded castle; and in the Edwardian era, suffragettes split the family, sparking drama at the races. Plus, in two Christmas specials, the Mastersons face repercussions from a child’s innocent gift, and the family’s ancient culture reveals some curious customs…

    Starring in this comic chronicle of pride, passion, iniquity and inbreeding are celebrated comedians and improv veterans Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence, Caroline Quentin, Jim Sweeney, Lee Simpson and Phelim McDermott.

    Production credits
    Starring Josie Lawrence, Phelim McDermott, Paul Merton, Lee Simpson, Jim Sweeney and Caroline Quentin
    Produced by Phil Clarke

    First broadcast BBC Radio 4: 22 April-27 May 1993, (Series 1), 25 December 1993 (The Stuffing of the Mastersons), 11 June-16 July 1994 (Series 2), 8 July-12 August 1995 (Series 3), 25 December 1995 (The Mastersons’ Christmas Cracker)

Paul Merton (Author, Reader) Paul Merton was born in 1957, long before such things were fashionable. He spent his first eight years living within cheering distance of Fulham Football ground at Craven Cottage although he can’t remember any cheering. Upon leaving school with two ropey A Levels and a CSE Grade 5 Maths, Paul enlisted in the Civil Service where he survived for two and a half years. He made his stand-up debut at London’s Comedy Store in 1982 where his policeman on acid routine regularly stopped the show. In 1985 he joined the Comedy Store Players, an improvised comedy group which led, in 1988, to him appearing on Whose Line is it Anyway? for the first few series before he couldn’t stick it anymore. He has appeared on Have I Got News For You as a team captain since 1990 and is also proud of his other long running gig, Radio 4’s Just a Minute. Other TV highlights include his eponymous surreal sketch series from 1991-3; interviewing Spike Milligan in what was to be his last major television appearance as host of Room 101; and making several programmes about early cinema, including The Birth Of Hollywood which he co-wrote with his wife, Suki Webster. He still performs with the Comedy Stores Players every Sunday.

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