Tuesday, 24 March 2020


"Thanks, Dave."

John Dredge returns with a new series that really lets the flavour flood out.

False claims aside, car parks will be all the rage in this, the first episode since the last one, so spare a thought for things both hither and yon.

Non-special guests include avant-garde composer Arnold Schoenberg, who will be communicating in his own inimitable style.

Classical actor Greg Haiste returns to the fray for free, not that there was any money left in the piggy bank after we bought all those biscuits, and silage will definitely be to the fore in this, the Year of the Cagoule.

So sit back, relax, pull your chair up to the ceiling, and let John and his cast of 48,000 do the rest.  It’s a gas!

STARRING: John Dredge, Richard Cray, Greg Haiste, Max Dowler, Katy Slater, James Shakeshaft, Miles Eady and Paul Creasy

WRITTEN BY: John Dredge and Richard Cray


Monday, 23 March 2020


"Boy, did we choose precisely the wrong time to return to the fray..." was our first thought the day the terms "social distancing" and "self-isolation" became part of the everyday lexicon of the global population. We could never have remotely foreseen the climate in which we would be launching the fifth series of the Nothing to Do with Anything Show when we commenced recording in the first week of October 2019, let alone when we started writing the scripts the previous June.

With the live entertainment circuits of most countries now closed indefinitely and many jobbing stand-ups lucky enough to have the technology and the know-how turning to the web to entertain an increasingly housebound audience ("captive" seems too harsh a word under the circumstances), as well as to help keep their material sharp and, if possible, bring in enough money to make ends meet, it might seem even crazier for us to go ahead with publishing the show at all right now. But God knows, 404 Funny's strap line has never been more apt, and we need a laugh now more than ever.

Sadly, sketch comedy, which has been plummeting down the funny food chain for some time, if we're brutally honest, is something you won't be seeing quite so much of over the coming months, for the simple reason that it's actually quite difficult for troupes to meet up and do their usual thing while remaining socially responsible and keeping the recommended two metres away from each other in a confined recording space.

If lockdowns occur, any interaction between performers is clearly going to be near-impossible - although you can bet your sweet bippy there are many creative people out there right now working on the logistics of streaming sketch or other multi-person comedy via online platforms. The thing is, though, no matter how good the material on offer may be, the frisson of energy between the performers will most definitely be lost - and that's always been part of The Joy of Sketch.

At best, a handful of maverick solo performers may be in a position to multi-voice their own recordings and produce some truly memorable content, but who's to say whether an appreciative audience during a time of crisis will feel the same way about that content once restrictions are finally lifted. It's the comedic equivalent of what politicians call "The Churchill Effect" (e.g. the general public not wanting those who helped them through troubled times to be the ones getting them through the tough times that inevitably follow).

So it's nice to be able to say, with a reasonable amount of confidence for once, that what you'll get from the forthcoming six episodes of the Nothing to Do with Anything Show will be quite different from most of the other new content you'll be seeing and hearing over what hopefully will be the next few weeks rather than months. It goes without saying that we'd find it humbling if you were to spend a few hours of that period listening to what we've been up to over the autumn and early winter.

As a precursor to the first episode of the new series being "dropped" (if you can't beat the kids, join 'em), British Comedy Guide has published an interview with John Dredge and the show's co-writer / producer Richard Cray which, we wish to reassure you, was conducted well within the current social distancing protocols.

Remember, the new series is exclusive to British Comedy Guide, so the quickest way to be the first on your block to hear each episode is to visit the show's page on their website. And what's more, it's free. We won't ever be asking you to pay for our content, nor will we be begging for donations or imploring you to GoFundUs or become a Patronizeon, or whatever. To be honest, we're not sure anything would be left in the stores for us to buy if we did come into a bit of money, so we're just making the best of what we already have and what's left in Sainsbury's right now.

We are still waiting on possible transmission dates for the radio versions of the new series, by the way. As we're sure you can appreciate, many radio stations are changing their priorities to reflect the current situation and serve their audiences in an appropriate manner. If we are unable to get them on air within the next couple of months, we have considered making them available via Mixcloud in the first instance, so watch this space.  We still hope they'll get an airing on a variety of stations later in the year, but for the time being why not stop by our Mixcloud page where you can hear all 14 hour-long radio versions of the show made between 2011 and 2015, some of which feature content not included in the podcast versions.

Also, keep 'em peeled to this blog for information on some added-value content that we'll be making available on the 404 Funny feed once the whole new series has been published. We've cut together a Making Of video, which was initially intended as a purely personal document but has since taken on another life, and we're putting together a Writers' Commentary, in which John and Richard reveal some of the secrets behind the show, its sketches and characters, talk about their influences and, on a couple of occasions, slag off the odd celebrity.

We've also approached our DJ friend Slim Fast Boy to create some of his Inessential Mixes from some of the cues we've used in our shows since 2011 with a view to putting those up on Mixcloud, where each track can be tagged. We're always being asked about this or that piece of music and we want to draw listeners' attention to locations where those tracks can be bought or downloaded, and making the title and artist info of cues available in one place will hopefully encourage you to seek out and purchase more of them. In fact, why not collect the set?

The only thing that remains is for us to wish you as much health, wealth and happiness that is possible at a time like this. We, like so many of you, have elderly relatives and immuno-compromised family and friends that we would like to hug right now but can't, for reasons that should be totally bleedin' obvious - and if they're not, you should really heed the late Kenny Rogers and check what condition your condition is in.

Wherever you are in the world, please be considerate to others and, if you're in the UK, stop gobbing on the pavement, wiping your unwashed hands on grab poles on public transport and overbuying groceries for your "rainy day" when, as if you hadn't noticed, it's absolutely pissing down for everyone. Given that many of us potentially have a lot to lose in the immediate future, it's vital that we don't lose our sense of perspective and common decency, while at the same time retaining our unique and cherished sense of humour.

"Betty, lock the doors! Right - no-one leaves t'Rovers until one of you owns up to pinchin' all t'Carex from t'flamin' bogs."

Tuesday, 10 March 2020


Click me, then read on...

Hullo, there. Remember us?


We used to offer a variety of comedy podcasts on a regular basis up until 2013 and then stopped all of a sudden, only for almost everyone else in the world to wise up to the podcasting wheeze while our backs were turned. But were we ever actually away? Well, no, not really. Having said that, there may be one or two million of you out there who are still totally unaware of what has been going on since then, so grab a cup of Twitley Tea (...bags...make tea...bags...) and allow us to fill you in on the lurid details.

After publishing the second series of the John Dredge Nothing to Do with Anything Show in 2013, we were approached by the British Comedy Guide with an offer to syndicate the show and reach a wider audience than the 404 Funny feed could ever reasonably offer. (This has since proven itself several thousand times over.) While recording the third series (yes, there was a third series), we decided to offer it to them on an initial exclusive basis, with a view to making it available on the 404 Funny feed a few months down the line. We subsequently forgot about that last bit – but with good reason.

Published in 2014, Series 3 was a bit of a game-changer, in that it finally got us noticed. So much so, in fact, that John was called in to see the comedy controllers at Radio 4, who said they really liked what he did…before asking him whether he’d ever thought of writing for Newsjack. We were approached by a well-known TV production company that floated the concept of animating some sketches from the series…before telling us to go off and do a couple of series on radio first, which, in all fairness, we'd been trying to do since the Dark Ages (Newsjack was implied but not directly mentioned). We were then approached by another production company who gave us a working title and asked us to write a treatment that turned out to be a completely different idea to the one they actually wanted. (Newsjack didn’t come up in conversation but did appear written in red crayon on the back of John's bedroom door one morning, which was a little bit weird.)

We then wrote a few things for Newsjack on a sporadic basis but none of them made it to air. But it wasn’t all Newsjack. Oh, no.

We had already produced an insert for the pilot edition of Lewis Macleod’s Wired News on BBC Radio Scotland the previous October, and when we were approached to contribute to a further one-off edition timed to coincide with the 2014 Commonwealth Games we jumped at the chance. In fact, we jumped so high we set a new world record. This was followed by further writing duties on a full series of four episodes, aired in January 2016, to fill the gap vacated by Breaking the News, which was taking a short winter break. Despite only being available for a limited period on the iPlayer Radio (as was), we were told it was one of the top-rated programmes across the whole of the BBC Radio network on that platform during its run. Sadly, this was not a good enough reason for the show to be recommissioned by BBC Radio Scotland, who decided that there was simply not enough room for two topical comedy shows on the station, even if one was effectively standing in for the other. Lewis can now, of course, be heard on Radio 4’s Dead Ringers – and has also been heard on Breaking the News. (And a lot more Newsjack too, as it happens.) We here at 404 Funny particularly enjoyed his turn as Stanley Kubrick on Toast of London.

In between all this wiring of the news agenda, there was a Series 4 of the Nothing to Do with Anything Show (yes, there was a fourth series we didn’t tell you about as well), which the British Comedy Guide unleashed on a largely unsuspecting and somewhat unprepared public in the summer of 2015. We completely neglected to upload this series to the 404 Funny feed as well, although we were approached by several other online entities to syndicate all four series.

In addition, hour-long versions with music selections were made available as radio programmes, first to Resonance FM, who humbled us no end by including the show in a list of the ten best programmes aired during its first decade, and later to other broadcasters including Soundart in Totnes, Miskin Radio in Dartford and several other smaller online stations. They remain available on Mixcloud.

However, despite Series 4 being a massive step up from the previous three series and receiving much praise from the show’s loyal followers (many of whom thankfully continue to elude the authorities), offers of work similar to those received in the aftermath of the previous series failed to materialize and we went away to scratch our collective heads.


Loads, if we’re honest.

...or nearest offer

For a kick-off, there’s DredgeLand, his comedy double act with Andy Harland. Together they presented a live and largely incoherent radio show on Riverside Radio (formerly Wandsworth Radio) for over three years, all of which are collected at http://dredgeland.com. They’ve also appeared at the Brighton and Camden Fringes, and have just participated in their second Southampton Superpod, raising money for Sport Relief.
Close friends get to call him JD, providing it's with dignity

Andy also plays drums in John’s latest music project, John Dredge and the Plinths, alongside guitarist MJ Hibbett and mystery man Bob Burgons on bass. They’ve picked up much press and radio play for their two EPs (Emergency and Plinthsmania) and single (Pancake Day), as well as an obligatory festive compilation offering (Christmas Time Is Here), all of which can be downloaded from reputable sites including iTunes and Amazon, as well as directly from the band at http://johndredgetheplinths.bandcamp.com.

And to think it all started with a wrong number

John also contributed a distinctive cover version of The Day We Fall in Love to the Monkees tribute CD Listen to the Bands – one of several collaborations with award-winning broadcaster Iain Lee, which have also included a short film entitled Car Trouble and an appearance at Iain’s live Performance Ring event, where he pushed a wheelbarrow across a stage for ten minutes. (This experiment has not been repeated.) John continues to call up Iain’s Late-Night Alternative show on Talkradio on a regular basis and also contributed the preface to Here’s the Thing…, a book of transcripts from the show’s first few years. You can catch up with Iain here: https://play.acast.com/s/latenightswithiainlee

Shirley Bassey theme tune not included

And, as if all that’s not enough to keep one man busy, John has recently joined Rebecca Diez and Paul Creasy to form comedy sketch group The Three People, making regular appearances at Sketch Off, Tryouts for the Human Race and Do the Right Scene, as well as part of the Hoopla Theatre collective. Their next live appearance is on April 13th, 2020 at The Aeronaut in Acton.


Comparatively very little, thanks for asking.


Actually, you’ll be pleased to know that several of our contributors have enjoyed - and are enjoying - much success. (Subtitle: Curate a podcast channel and, who knows, within a decade you too could be a small rung on the ladder.) But in all seriousness, though, some of their achievements are mighty impressive.

Jake Yapp’s been all over the place.  His 2015 Camden Fringe show One-derland, a satirical and musical examination of a day in the life of BBC One, was followed the next year by a return to the Edinburgh Fringe with his stand-up debut One in a Million. His knack for summarizing virtually anything into four minutes or less led to appearances on shows as varied as Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe, Newsnight and Brexitcast. He hosted the Sunday breakfast show on Talkradio for just over a year and narrated the somewhat post-modern comedy clip show The Hurting for Dave. 2018 saw his acclaimed four-part satirical series Jake Yapp’s Media Circus interrupt regular programming on Radio 4, where he can still be heard occasionally contributing to The Now Show. In addition, he regularly hosts Radio 4 Extra’s nightly Comedy Club strand. He still has time to fit in podcasts too, having co-hosted the frankly filthy Old Sex Podcast (with Lizzie Roper and Robin Morgan) in 2018, and is currently boldly pushing out two podcasts a day: Not Today, Thank You (an antidote to Radio Four’s Today programme) and Date Fight! (with Natt Tapley).

Now firmly resident in the UK, Will Franken regularly performs his unique and visionary brand of absurdism at free-thinking clubs up and down the country, most notably at Comedy Unleashed at the Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green. He writes opinion pieces for a variety of publications and occasionally gets invited to appear on TV and radio to comment on current affairs - or just to spike the next day’s newspapers. His acclaimed documentary film, a labour of love on the mythology of William Blake entitled Red, White and Blake is available on Amazon Prime, and comes highly recommended by both us and the Blake Society.

Taylor Glenn has written for television and film, with a movie screenplay currently in pre-production. She has continued to issue podcasts, including the intriguingly-titled Drunk Women Solving Crime (with Hannah George and Catie Wilkins).

After a couple of years of regular gigging as a stand-up, Doctor AnswersJames Shakeshaft has returned to podcasting, co-hosting The Loremen Podcast with Alasdair Beckett-King, which is now on its third series.

Simulacrum host Chris Skinner is the producer of the Bugle and Richie Firth: Travel Hacker podcasts, plus the odd radio show. Injury seems to have curtailed a promising side career as a triathlete, though.

Maggie Gordon-Walker founded Mothers Uncovered, a creative support network for mothers, and co-edited a book, The Secret Life of Mothers. Her 404 Funny character Mary Christmas still regularly stalks the internet's darkest crannies, so consider yourselves forewarned.

Pegabovine’s Tom Wateracre continues to write for the stage and drops the occasional song. (That’s “drops” as in the youth vernacular.)

After a brief period acting and manhandling firearms in Strike Back, Blue Pepper’s Liam J Stratton became Head Writer on the SABC soap Isidingo. He then returned to Blighty to script edit Casualty and Doctors for the BBC, before taking up his current role as a Senior Script Editor at Lime Pictures, makers of Hollyoaks. (NOTE TO SELF: Dust off that fringe musical / Muppet hybrid Rock Fozzies for future pitch asap.)

The other 50% of Blue Pepper, Miles Eady, has a proper job but still lends his voice to the occasional audio project. Speaking of which…


After an abandoned Christmas Special in 2016, and two false starts in the summers of 2017 and 2018, we are pleased to announce that Series 5 of the John Dredge Nothing to Do with Anything Show will be made available via the British Comedy Guide from March 24th, 2020. If you don’t believe us, here’s Joseph Champniss’ lovely artwork.

It's a-happenin'!

Appearing alongside John and I are regular cohorts Greg Haiste (who, since the previous series, has appeared on stage in The 39 Steps, Nell Gwynn and Quiz, and has just joined the RSC for its forthcoming production of The Comedy of Errors), actor / comedian / impressionist Max Dowler (Line of Duty, Alan Rickman Karaoke, Parris & Dowler) and actress Katy Slater (The Milligan Papers, Dick Pickering's Cookery Show), plus the aforementioned James Shakeshaft and Miles Eady. They are joined by newbie Paul Creasy from John’s sketch trio The Three People. We thank them for their time and effort, and wish them all a speedy recovery.

In case you’ve forgotten what to expect since your ears were last assaulted, we’ve assembled a handy compilation of some of the best bits from the first four series to whet your appetite, available exclusively on the 404 Funny feed. Either download direct or use the podcatcher of your choice.

(NOTE: Recently, we’ve observed that our feed – and that of many other content providers, both featured and lesser-known – can become dormant on iTunes / Apple Podcasts, even if you’re still an active subscriber and are regularly refreshing the feed. Having failed to get any sort of a coherent answer from Apple ourselves as both providers and end users, our only suggestion if this should happen to you is to delete our shows, unsubscribe, then re-subscribe and download individual episodes / shows to your liking. Yes, we know we would suggest this because it adds extra downloads to our stats – which are, of course, always handy – but it seems to be the only efficient solution to this recurring problem, sadly.)

By way of a profuse apology for having kept you waiting for nearly five years, we’re also in the process of editing a couple of “added-value” shows, which we hope to make available on the 404 Funny feed after the final episode of the series has premiered. One is a writers’ commentary that may or may not answer your most burning questions about the series; the other is a Making Of video, which will probably ruin all your preconceptions about how professional our recording sessions are. They’re both shaping up to be a hoot.

In addition, all four previous series of the Nothing to Do with Anything Show remain available to stream and download in full via the British Comedy Guide, although the original 2011 Christmas pilot can only be found on the 404 Funny feed at present. And it’s a very fine place to start.

We also hope to have transmission dates for five 60-minute re-edited versions of this fifth series on Resonance FM very, very soon. Watch this space for further updates.

So, to recap, your tasks for the next couple of weeks, should you wish to accept them, are:

1) Download the Best of Series 1-4 and remind yourselves who we are, what we do, what we look and sound like, warn the kids, etc.

3) Go bat-shit-ding-dong with anticipation.

4) Listen to the new series from March 24th.

5) Keep ‘em peeled here for updates and more information about our end-of-series specials. (NOTE: Rewrite this bit later and make it sound less like a DFS commercial.)

And thanks for still being there for us after all these years.  We hope the new series proves worth the wait.


Dick 'n' John

They live.

Sunday, 5 May 2013


Some John Dredge updates for your mental diary nodes, dear friends...


Starting today at 7pm (BST) and continuing on the first Sunday of each month until...well, until we run out of shows to give 'em, I guess...you can hear special hour-long versions of The John Dredge Nothing to Do with Anything Show on Miskin Radio lobbed at your lugholes direct from Dartford.

The shows are specially-edited versions of the 13 half-hour programmes previously aired on Resonance, but even if you've heard those or just downloaded the podcast versions you're still in for a pleasant surprise or two. They're in mono for starters, so at least Phil Spector will be happy (if he's allowed a radio where he is).

You can listen online, or on your smartphone or tablet (whatever those are) by following the idiot-proof instructions here: http://miskinradio.co.uk/listen/


We'd also like to draw your attention to John's appearance on the long-awaited podcast from Joseph Champniss (he of the amazing Nothing to Do with Anything Show graphics and the much-loved Some of the Corpses Are Amusing website), PODCAA.

In Show 2, you can hear John 'n' Joe begin to dissect a 1976 issue of Krazy Comic, something that took them both so long that they needed to make a second show to stitch it back up again, mop the blood off the tiles and wheel it off to the recovery room. That's to come, but for now read more about PODCAA and download the first half of their conversation from here: http://sotcaa.org/podcaa/

(I was more of a Cheeky Weekly chap, myself...)


Finally, some advance warning for those of you able / permitted to venture up to north London on a school night.

John will be appearing in Heat 5 of Sketch Club’s Best New Sketch Act 2013. The show is produced in association with The Gilded Balloon, where the winner of this and five other heats will compete during the final week of this year's Edinburgh Fringe for the chance to win a gratis three-week run at the venue during next year's festival.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves there.

Do come along on Tuesday 25th June, 2013. The venue is Downstairs at the Kings Head, 2 Crouch End Hill, London, N8 8AA, doors open at 8pm, and tickets are available on the door, priced £8.


We're on it. We haven't just been drinking and watching telly. Honest.

Monday, 7 January 2013


Lo, we find ourselves at the end of another season of nutty audio raves from John Dredge and his heavily-coerced team of James Shakeshaft, Richard Cray, Greg Haiste, and Anna Emerson (pictured above) until such a time as they are prepared to go “boing” in the same room as each other again.

But never fear, odd listener, for they go out in fine style with an appearance from the latest in extra-terrestrial specimens – and all for the price of a single Green Shield stamp.

Now, there's value, value fans!

Plus David Lynch makes a surprise appearance. (Oh, damn – I've ruined it.)


Monday, 31 December 2012


John Dredge says goodbye to 2012, also known as the Chinese Year of the Accoutrement, with yet another one of those crazy end-of-year round-ups of the year’s most shocking household implements.

There will also be odd noises of all shapes and sizes, plus an argy-bargy of aquatic goodies including the sound of a very large splash, courtesy of our friends at Thames Water.

All this, plus Leighton Buzzard in Color - whoopee!

With Richard Cray, Anna Emerson, Greg Haiste, and James Shakeshaft.


Monday, 24 December 2012


The omnipresent John Dredge returns – or does he?  Some say he’s never been away - but tune in to find out anyway.

Listeners in New Malden should take note that our roadshow team of one is also in the area, so please stand well back and allow her to pass along Coombe Road unhindered.

Also this week: Who's behind the cartoon door? Is it Lord Hailsham? Or is it Richard Cray, Mark Davison, Anna Emerson, Greg Haiste, and James Shakeshaft? It's difficult to tell in this light.


Monday, 17 December 2012


In the thrid of six new podcasts, John Dredge invites our crack team of announcers to announce what's in this week's announcer-packed programme, with each and every single announcement lovingly frosted with audio glucose.

We welcome back agricultural song stylist Farmer Collins for some reason, and there's other things both here and there.

If you'd like to swap this podcast for a game of Ker-plunk with half the accessories missing, give Noel (pictured above) a call on 01-811-8055. Otherwise: biscuits!

With Richard Cray, Anna Emerson, Greg Haiste, and James Shakeshaft.


Monday, 10 December 2012


In this week's edition, sideboards rule the roost and there's cubes a-plenty when Reigate comes into the picture - yet all is not as it seems (observe the conundrum as our theme tune is marched straight out of the studio).

Pop personalities and phone-ins galore are also very much in short supply tonight, so grab your armchairs and await further instructions / know-how.

Plus Trip Advisor's Peter Pilbeam tells you where to go...but not why, sadly.

With John Dredge, Richard Cray, Anna Emerson, Greg Haiste, and James Shakeshaft.


"Outlandish, surreal comedy following in the hallowed footsteps of Monty Python and The Mighty Boosh" - Rahul Verma, Rewind Radio column, Metro, 5/12/12

Monday, 3 December 2012


Raise your holdalls once more, as the time has come for John Dredge to invoke the spirit of plinths, cagoules and vestibules and unveil a second series of Nothing to Do with Anything Shows.

In this first act of audio audacity, we highlight the achievements of man, woman and shrew with not only the sounds of tomorrow today but also the sounds of today tomorrow.

Come one, come all: our Frinton studios await you! And why not join Richard Cray, Anna Emerson, Greg Haiste and James Shakeshaft in signing our logbook afterwards?