The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man

A Full-Cast BBC Radio Comedy


A hapless elephant keeper must do everything he can to save his failing zoo

Terry Lyon, assistant head keeper of Southwood Zoo, trusts animals because most people think he’s a waste of space. But as the zoo lurches towards bankruptcy, his future looks bleak. As if managing hungry elephants and contrary polar bears wasn’t complicated enough, the humans in Terry’s life pose their own challenges. Having had to move back in with his parents after his divorce, life becomes complicated when Terry’s ex Margaret starts seeing his best friend Richard.

Peter Serafinowicz leads a full cast in this hilarious comedy about a man trying to salvage his career and his love life, all while keeping his bank balance from being redder than a baboon’s bottom. Terry works alongside his formidable, management speaking boss Miss Stonewick and the taciturn yet competitive head keeper, Leonard. As a big birthday looms over Terry, he’s hoping that romance can blossom amidst the chaos of feeding time, tax returns and redundancies…

Alistair McGowan and Debra Stephenson also feature in this larger-than-life sitcom.

The Elephant Man writer, Debbie Barham, began working in comedy aged 15 and died tragically young aged 26 after a long battle with anorexia. In her short but brilliant career she wrote for Spitting Image, The News Quiz, Weekending and Loose Ends, as well as for big names like Bob Monkhouse, Graham Norton, Rory Bremner and Clive Anderson.

‘The unsung queen of comedy.’ The Telegraph

‘She could be rude enough to make even Graham Norton blush.’ Ned Sherrin

‘A truly extraordinary person.’ Clive Anderson

Cast and credits

Written by Debbie Barham

Produced by Richard Wilson

Terry - Peter Serafinowicz

Leonard - Chris Emmett

Maureen - Geraldine Fitzgerald

Derek/Morse/Mr Bull - Wayne Forester

George - Geoff Fitzgerald

Stephanie - Joanna Munro

Adam - Richard Pearce

Sammy - Nicola Walker

Elsa - Jane Dolamore

Barry Norman/David Attenborough - Alistair McGowan

The Waitress/Secretary - Debra Stephenson

First broadcast on BBC Radio 2, August - October 1996

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

About the author

Debbie Barham

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