For One Horrible Moment

The story I am about to tell is one which I have kept locked in the inmost recess of my secret heart, until persuaded otherwise by friends, therapists, and one particularly lenient magistrate.

So opens For One Horrible Moment, Peter Bradshaw’s grim and gothic coming-of-age story set in 1970s Fenland. It was first broadcast on Radio 4 14 years ago; nothing as funny has been broadcast since (though I give honourable mentions to The Sunday Format and Cabin Pressure).

It continues:

My father, I remember, was an eccentric man, whose idiosyncrasies alienated many people. He suffered from what psychologists now refer to as a narcissistic schizophrenic guilt complex. He would spend many tortured hours pointing at his reflection in the mirror and shouting, ‘That’s the man, officer.’

I hope you are now on the way to being hooked. The glorious bathetic silliness of the thing, allied to Bradshaw’s stilted, deadpan delivery, create a singularly amusing comedy. There’s nothing like it.

BBC Radio 7 has just begun repeating it. Give it a try.


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6 Responses to “For One Horrible Moment”

  1. Vic Says:

    Thank you, I loved it – hadn’t come across it before – will check the schedules, must remember to listen to the rest. Fabulous. ‘Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!’ And the sampler of Seasons in the Sun. I think she lives hard by… And a good hour and a half at the New Century Sauna in King’s Cross for all over extras with talc.

    Love seeing the reference to BBC Radio 7 too…wish it were still called that.

  2. Gareth Says:

    Oh, yes. It’s changed its name, hasn’t it. Well, I never listen to it anyway, though I catch up on iPlayer when there’s something I want to listen to. (Not ethical, probably, but I can send you the whole thing if that’s more convenient than setting a reminder to listen each week… Tip me the wink if so.)

  3. Vic Says:

    I listen to it a lot…once Chris Evans has finished for the day, my radio is set to 4Extra – but then I’m at home during the day a lot. It’s great for when I’m doing stuff in the kitchen. Happy to follow the instalments, but thanks for the offer! I can even set it to record on my BT box.

  4. Eric Says:

    Radio 4 Extra is broadcasting it again. I heard it some years ago and it left an indelible impression – a weird and hallucinatory mix of the surreal, disturbing and hilarious. It’s a real gem. Another great element is the music – angular and foreboding in a gloomy Nordic way, or electrifying in a sort of off-the-rails Ravel style. I’m collecting the episodes this time and will put them up on Fourble if I get the chance.

  5. Eric Says:

    I’ve never heard the music anywhere before, and it fits the mood and timing of the script so perfectly, that I’m sure it was written for the series.

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