Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt aim dig at ‘very BBC way’ their hit show got cut

Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt started at the BBC over two decades ago but were recently informed their Radio 4 The Now Show was being axed. The comedy duo have had an incredible career with the broadcaster, but the network decided that their weekly topical comedy programme would end this spring.

The hosts 62, and 61, were recently awarded the ultimate badge of satirical honour: a poem dedicated to its memory by Private Eye’s bard-in-residence, EJ Thribb. The duo were honoured to receive the honour and said they were flattered.

However, after feeling part of the furniture at the station, the news came to them as somewhat of a shock when they were told their show was going to be decommissioned over lunch.

Steve told the Radio Times: “In a very BBC way. Over lunch, with some preamble, and then broken gently.

“When we first joined Radio 4 for this programme 25 years ago, we were about 35 and so precisely the right age group for the audience that they were trying to then attract.

“And, now, 25 years later, we’re in our early 60s and precisely the same age as their audience actually is, so…”

Since its first episode in 1998, The Now Show has helped launch the careers of countless household-name stand-ups and is beloved by loyal listeners.

Over the years it has covered some of the most memorable moments in British public life including the likes of the Olympics and Brexit.

The Now Show, which has had a successful 64 series, will conclude with a jam-packed finale.

It will feature a raft of exciting comedy talent performing sketches, songs and stand-up, in celebration of the programme’s trailblazing and influential style of comedy.

However, viewers do not need to worry as the duo will not be away from the network for long as they are set to launch a new comedy podcast, RouteMasters.

RouteMasters, will feature a guest episode and take them on a journey through new knowledge, as in turn, they attempt to find the most entertaining route between random topics.

The show has been commissioned for an initial run of 10 episodes to be released on BBC Sounds and will also air on Radio 4 in October.

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