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Beadle's Brainbusters

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  • Beadle's Brainbusters

    The late Jeremy James Anthony Gibson - Beadle(bum) - the true stalwart of the practical joke genre and very much an icon of the 1980s and 1990s. A TV star on Saturday evenings, and a radio star on Sunday nights which happened to be a slot that he deliberately wanted as he often thought that there was nothing on the TV on Sunday nights as Mr Public and his son had to get to bed early due to work and school in a few hours' time - yet, Beadle's programmes were indeed talked about by tired youngsters in the Monday morning playground. Perhaps Beadle had never heard of That's Life, Spitting Image or Hale and Pace, despite the latter being made by LWT which also made a good proportion of his Saturday evening shows back then?

    Beadle started his Sunday night stint with LBC, taking over from Monty Modlyn - he was sacked a few months later and was replaced by ex-Magpie host Tommy Boyd. Fast forward seven years or so, and he was back on the Independent Radio Network with Beadle's Brainbusters in the autumn of 1986 and spring of 1987 on Sunday evenings from 10.00 pm to 1.00 am, again, from the LBC studios, and again depriving people of their sleep. I believe that he was very much inspired by Kenny Everett and liked to wind up callers even though practical jokes don't work that way. I believe that there were also quizzes on his show as well.

    It was also transmitted by Radio Trent in Nottingham, and I used to think that all the radio programmes heard on Trent back then was local and I literally thought that Jeremy Beadle was "about", making his way to Nottingham and exclusively broadcasting from Trent's Castle Gate studios, just like David "Kid" Jensen who did the Nescafe sponsored Network Chart Show, (and the Kid had been one of Trent's original presenters back in 1995, ironically enough).

    Some stations didn't take the full three hours - Beadle mentioned at the end of the first hour that Norwich's Radio Broadland would be leaving the programme (not for Alan Partridge thankfully). GWR in Bristol would be leaving after the second hour, but thankfully, Radio Trent remained with Beadle until the end of the programme. And then one week, he vanished from the airwaves - or to put it bluntly he was sacked, as the speculation had concluded - he was replaced by someone called Dave West, and then local programming in the shape of the late John Shaw by spring of 1988. Beadle had always said that Game for a Laugh was the first job that he wasn't sacked from.

    When the national radio station Talk Radio UK launched in February 1995, Beadle retained his Sunday night slot which he kept until the schedule relaunch a few months later, but here, a genius was back making the public feel that Monday morning was still a long way off. It was more or less Brainbusters in all but name. And then, James Whale filled in one week and probably took over from him, almost giving the illusion that the obvious had happened yet again. After that, he mostly did Beadle's About and You've Been Framed, and appeared as guests on other shows! Indeed, he was not to be confused with the late Jeremy J Beadle who was hidden away most of the time on BBC Radio 3.

    So, who remembers being tired on Monday mornings from around Sunday 5th October 1986 to May 1987-ish because they listened to Beadlebum on their local independent radio station? He was unique, and he left us far too soon in January 2008.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  • #2
    Re: Beadle's Brainbusters

    Not to be confused with Beadle's Nightcap that he did on Radio 2 on Friday evenings circa 1985.

    If thread was about (excuse the pun) Beadle's About, I am sure that it would have got a dozen responses by now - perhaps I was the only person still awake on Sunday evenings circa 1986-1987?
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!