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Dead Ringers (comedy)
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Dead Ringers (comedy)

Dead Ringers is a UK radio and television comedy impressions show broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC2 since. The program was devised by Bill Dare, and stars Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens, Phill Cornwell, Kevin Connelly and Mark Perry.

The programme was first aired in 2000. On radio there have been ten series plus a number of special episodes including one devoted entirely to The Archers (a BBC radio soap) and Queen Elizabeth II's golden jubilee. On television there have been two series and a pilot episode.

The program is well known for its portrayal of fellow BBC employees, such as Radio 4 news reader Brian Perkins as a gangster ("Who's the daddy?") and then-Director General of the BBC Greg Dyke as a Michael Caine-like character. Newsreaders Kirsty Wark (of Newsnight) and Charlotte Green (of Radio 4) regularly open bulletins on the programme with a line from a popular song ("He was a skater boy, she said see you later boy, he wasn't good enough for her. More on that story later"). Broadcasts reportedly from Downing Street parody BBC political editor Andrew Marr, showing his supposed eccentric manner, interminable sentences, and jerky movements.

Culshaw regularly performs telephone prank calls impersonating Tom Baker's incarnation of The Doctor or Alec Guinness's version of Obi-Wan Kenobi. In the show's television incarnation he goes shopping as both characters, vexing shop assistants and used-car salesmen alike ("Yes, I know it's got six months' road-tax left, but will it take me to Alderaan?").

Prime Minister Tony Blair announces his hand gesture style while speaking, while Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott catches fire when two of his incomprehensible sentences rub together.

Dead Ringers tends to concentrate on British public figures, although one notable exception is President George W. Bush, who mangles the English language ("My fellow amaeboids...", "My fellow umbrellastands...") and tapes over intelligence videos with episodes of Sesame Street.

Consequently, when the series has been shown outside the UK, on BBC Prime in Europe and Africa, BBC America in the United States, and ABC in Australia, it has had to be re-edited considerably.

The actors behind some impressions include:

See also

External links