Frank Muir



Selected Episodes from the Classic BBC Radio Comedy


Jimmy Edwards stars as the irascible Headmaster in this vintage BBC Radio comedy series set in a boys’ public school

Starting life on BBC TV, Whack-O! transferred to radio in 1961 and ran for three series on the Light Programme until 1963. Not all of the radio episodes survive, but many from Series 1 and the entirety of Series 2 were recovered by a BBC archivist from a listener’s tapes in 2012, and have since been broadcast on Radio 4 Extra.

Collected here are those rediscovered episodes, featuring scholastic scheming and academic anarchy at Chiselbury School. An old-established seat of learning for the ‘sons of gentlefolk’, Chiselbury is presided over by whack-happy Headmaster Professor James Edwards, who runs rings around his fellow masters and never misses a trick when it comes to exploiting the pupils and their parents.

In this catalogue of comic mishaps, the Professor attempts to close down a rival school; hatches a plan to win a cash prize in a popularity contest; goes up before the magistrate accused of excessive use of the cane and endeavours to impress a visiting dignitary from Moscow. And his guile is put to the test when he makes a reckless wager; comes up with a catchy publicity gimmick to attract more pupils and faces a staffing crisis when a teacher has the temerity to leave...

Co-starring June Whitfield as Matron and Roddy Maude-Roxby as Aubrey Potter, this farcical, fun-filled sitcom also features special guest appearances from Eamonn Andrews and Vera Lynn.

NB: Due to the age and nature of these recordings, the sound quality may vary.

Some episodes contain dated attitudes and language

Written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden
Adapted for radio by David Climie
Produced by Edward Taylor

The Headmaster – Jimmy Edwards
Mr Pettigrew – Arthur Howard
Matron/Mildred/Lady Westbury/Edwina – June Whitfield
Mr Fowler/Mr Harboard – Laidman Browne
School Inspector – David Bird
Lumley – Roger Shepherd
Aubrey Potter – Roddy Maude-Roxby
The French Mistress – Tonia Bern
Mr Dinwiddie/Soames/Alfred Tennyson – Frederick Treves
Eamonn O’Reilly – Michael Turner/Roy Dotrice/Wallas Eaton
Taplow – David Lott
The Marchioness/Lady Uppingham – Joan Sanderson
Dr Sopwith/Magistrate/Bulenkov/Major Prosser/Len Rumbold/Samuel Tozer – Roy Dotrice
Sir Charles – Norman Shelley
Antony Dorchester – Harold Berens
Ginger Perkins – Sam Kydd
Miss Fanshawe/Mrs Mortlake – Joan Young
Mr Lumley – Phillip Morant
Figgins – Graham Aza
Mr Arkwright/Vicar – John Cazabon
Marvin – Malcolm Ranson
Brigadier Lumley – Austin Trevor
Bailey – Harry Locke
Inspector Matthews – Fred Yule
Mr Barlow/Forth Robinson/Rev Barnwell Munro – John Graham
Arnold Halliforth – Edwin Apps
Yvette – Prunella Scales
Mr Wiltshire – David Graham
Terry – John Pike
Phipps – John Coxall
Music master – Edwin Braden
Mrs Baker – Patricia Hayes
Mr Morgan/Biggs – Julian Somers
Rawlinson – Philip Leavermore
With Brian Thomas, John Mitchell, Heather Bennett, Jennie Lathan, Angela Shade, Michael Hammond, Richard McCarthy, Eamonn Andrews, Stuart Anderson, Kenneth Gouge, Vera Lynn, Harry Lewis, Sheila Grant, Diana Olsson, Elizabeth Morgan, Amos the Owl

© 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Lt

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