The Harpoon

The Harpoon

A BBC Radio spoof magazine for boys


All three series of the BBC Radio spoof boys' magazine - plus Winter and Christmas Specials

Nominated for a British Comedy Award for Best Radio Comedy, The Harpoon is a nostalgic, spiffing spoof of adventure story papers for boys from yesteryear - but on the wireless. In the style of publications such as the Boys' Own Paper - but with its tongue firmly in its cheek - it features a veritable feast of thrilling serials, 'How-Tos', readers' letters and patent cures - all introduced by 'your old chum, the Editor'.

Flick through its pages to find out about whaling for the under-fives, broadcasting secrets, the complete story of evolution from Little Blobby Thing to Homo Erectus Britishus Imperius and great beverages from history. There's also a star-spangled American issue (howdee y'all!), a 'Laughing through the Depression' budget edition, a lovingly hand-tooled issue incorporating Lathe Monthly and a special wartime edition which asks such pertinent questions as Do you know your submarines? Are you bored with your biscuits? and, most importantly, Are you German?

Also included is a bumper winter edition of the Empire's favourite magazine and a rip-roaring Yuletide special, with snow-capped lettering and a silver sixpence hidden in the middle. Hip hip!

Written by Julian Dutton and Peter Baynham and starring Alistair McGowan, Julian Dutton, Peter Baynham, Susie Brann, Mary Elliott-Nelson and Bryonie Pritchard, The Harpoon is wacky, fast-paced and packed with fun and frolics. Subscribe now!

Production credits
Written by Julian Dutton and Peter Baynham
Produced by Sarah Smith
Performed by Susie Brann, Alistair McGowan, Mary Elliot-Nelson, Julian Dutton, Peter Baynham and Bryonie Pritchard

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 7-28 September 1991 (Series 1), 14 December 1991 (Winter Special), 21 December 1991 (Christmas Special), 22 July-12 August 1992 (Series 2), 17 February-10 March 1994 (Series 3)

© 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

About the authors

Julian Dutton

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Peter Baynham

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