Category Archives: Comedy

Latest Updates March 2018


I’m presenting the 7th Dimension again on BBC Radio 4 Extra for three weekends commencing on March 17th. There’s plenty of fabulous stuff for me to chat in between, including a Daphne du Maurier play with Maureen O’Brien and Dinsdale Landen and a horror story involving something being found during the digging of a tube extension (sound familiar…?). Unfortunately my links will not be on iPlayer so you’ll need to listen live!

My forthcoming book on Quatermass benefitted this month from a lengthy interview with – and the seal of approval of – Nigel Kneale’s widow Judith Kerr (who wrote The Tiger Who Came To Tea and the Mog books). She provided some fascinating insights which will doubtless delight my very patient publisher Matt West at  Miwk. I’ll be a bit quiet over the next few months whilst I crack on with the book which I’d like to finish this year.

With the wonderful Judith Kerr.

Two Interviewees from my Who’s Round podcast have died recently. It’s very sad to hear of their passing but fortunately I managed to supply obituaries for them (click on their names for their podcast, and on the paper’s name for the obituary): make-up designer Dorka Nieradzik was remembered in The Guardian and that wonderful actor Peter Miles gets an appreciation in The Herald.

I interviewed the late Dorka Nieradzik (right) and her good friend June Hudson together when they featured on my Who’s Round podcast.

I might just have had a little something to do with the latest Take Back Theatre project Ten Takes On Shelter. It’s all under wraps at the moment (appropriately, because it’s very cold) but worth getting tickets for here.

I play a 9ft tall solar space bear called Oscar McLeod in The Skies of New Earth, part of Big Finish’s Tales from New Earth boxed set which is rather fabulous. It’s a great fun part and I get some marvellous lines and the cherishable character description “ostentatiously belligerent”. I play other bits and bobs too, including the overarching alien baddie and a fellow called Dobtcheff (I know! What’s not to love?). It’s well worth your time and available here. I’m sticking a couple of reviews down here too:

“Toby Hadoke steals the show – Oscar is likely to go down as a fan favourite and will be a perfectly fine reason to start listening”
– Blogtor Who

“A shout out to Toby Hadoke who plays a plethora of parts. I instantly recognised his voice as the debate moderator. But even though I have interviewed him and met him a few times, I would never have guessed him as the Scandinavian Silver haired bear Oscar. A man of many talents indeed and a stand-out character to a lead in any future sets.”  
– Doctor Squee,

The fabulous, thought provoking and brutally funny Sean McLoughlin

I’m MCing at the Frog and Bucket on 16/17th March, plus my usual stints at the 99 Club and the Comedy Store. This month at XS Malarkey the headliners whom I will be introducing will be the erudite Matt Stellingwerf, the brutally honest and sometimes dark Sean McLoughlin and the smart and likeable Glenn Moore : rare talents all. More details at the XS Malarkey Website. 


I’ve been so busy I’ve neglected this blog, so at least I can start doing monthly updates with general info. I hope some of what is below is useful:

LATEST UPDATES (November 2017)

I’m delighted to announce that I have been commissioned to dramatise Nigel Kneale’s famous lost television play, The Road, for Radio 4. Transmission is not until late next year but there will be plenty of exciting updates between now and then.

I have been part of the team behind a new initiative to help psoriasis patients. The See Psoriasis, Look Deeper campaign has launched the Small Steps programme: more details here.

I pop up in the first episode of Dave Gorman’s new series of Modern Life is Good(ish) which can be seen here if you missed it.

On November 11th I will be giving a comedy writing workshop for Script Yorkshire. It has sold out. There is still space in the evening, however, for an event at the Carriageworks Theatre called Page to Stage in which new scripts are performed to professional feedback from panelists including myself and Eastenders writer Christopher Reason. Tickets are here.

My obituaries for Trevor Martin (Herald) and Suzan Farmer (The Guardian) have recently gone online and in print. Sad losses both.

Headliners at my comedy club XS Malarkey this month are:

Javier Jarquin

Tuesday 7 November @ 7:00 pm10:30 pm

Lost Voice Guy

Tuesday 14 November @ 7:00 pm10:30 pm

Seymour Mace

Tuesday 21 November @ 7:00 pm10:30 pm


Tuesday 28 November @ 7:00 pm10:30 pm

Come and see them at The Bread Shed, Grosvenor St, Manchester.


Thought for the Day

First they came for the Socialists, and I Tweeted my disapproval.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I linked to a clever article by someone else that I had skim read.

Then they came for the Jews, and I posted a video on my Facebook page and attached a furious emoji.

Then they came for me—and no one gave a toss because, well, funny cat video!

Award Nomination For Radio Play

The Dad Who Fell Onto A Shortlist…

The Dad Who Fell To Earth has been nominated for a prestigious BBC Audio Drama Award. It made the initial shortlist of six, which was to be boiled down to three on January 5th 2016. Rather delightfully, it stayed on, alongside the acclaimed Cabin Pressure by John Finnemore and In And Out Of The Kitchen by Justin Edwards who is an old friend from university days. So it’s stiff competition but also splendid, flattering company to be in.

The ceremony is on January 31st at Broadcasting House and will be presented by Lenny Henry. I have everything crossed, which is going to make a call of nature somewhat more difficult to answer than usual.


135973I hadn’t planned for this to be a thing. I’d simply had The Tomorrow People languishing on disc upstairs and had read so much about it that I thought I should go beyond the first season and a half that I had watched and have a butcher’s at some of the later episodes. And where else to start than the one with Hitler in it?

I quite enjoyed Tweeting about it and people joined in, so here are the results in one easy to follow blog post.

As Twitter is not a solo pursuit when done properly, I have also included some Tweets from others who propelled me along with cyber banter as my jaw dropped ever further… Thanks to them for joining in. Here goes:


Well, I was going to watch an Armchair Theatre but I’m in a mood so sod it: I’m going to do the Tomorrow People story with an alien Hitler.


Tomorrow People: Mike’s going to a disco dressed as a Nazi! John voices his disapproval. Whatever Hsui Tai’s reaction is is indecipherable.

(Graeme Burk ‏@graemeburk
@TobyHadoke True fact: in Roger Price’s script, TIM’s next line is “Actually Hitler is a [name of alien race from “A Rift In Time”]”

Graeme Burk ‏@graemeburk
@TobyHadoke It’s batshit insane. Hugely offensive. But it has Michael Sheard, so most fans forgive it.)

Tomorrow People: Sitcom favourites Nicholas Lyndhurst and Ray Burdis are, respectively, a German & an English Nazi. Mike is getting tempted!

Leon_Eagles_HLS02Tomorrow Ppl: Brit officer tells John he ran over a boy. “I trust you called the police?” is John’s immediate response. He’s SO responsible!

Tomorrow People: 5 buttons on John’s shirt. He’s only done 2 up. He’s not THAT sensible, then, there’s a bit of a beast in Mr Straight!

Tomorrow People: “Do you know who Hitler is Mike?” could be one of the worst sci-fi lines ever were it not for what comes after it…

Tomorrow People: “Hitler isn’t dead. Hitler is Nebor from the planet Vashir. A galactic shape changing psychopath.”


(AIEEEEEEEvan Kirby@ellothisisivan 
@TobyHadoke I’m fascinated by Nebor’s eye. Does it regularly fall off? Is he forever picking it up & putting it back?

Gareth Roberts ‏@OldRoberts953
@hellothisisivan @TobyHadoke That went out on my tenth birthday. I was APPALLED.

Toby Hadoke @tobyhadoke
@OldRoberts953 @hellothisisivan I’ve never seen it before. It’s… I’m not sure what it is. Crikey.

AIEEEEEEEvan Kirby ‏@hellothisisivan Oct 8
@TobyHadoke @OldRoberts953 Jaw-droppingly misjudged.)

Tomorrow People: Hitler is actually Mr Bronson.

(I didn’t Tweet as much as I’d like as I was distracted with an exchange which I think demonstrates one of the dangers of being a comedian on Twitter. My Tweets are in blue and my correspondent’s (whose handle I have disguised out of courtesy) are in green:

Tomorrow People: Hitler is actually Mr Bronson.

@TobyHadoke A bit over the top, Mr. Hadoke?

@???* Just a statement of fact. M Sheard who played Mr Bronson is Hitler in this. But now you mention it, he is over the top!

@TobyHadoke Isn’t Sheard dead?

@???* Sigh. There is a thing called a DVD…

@TobyHadoke I know. I know. Sorry about that Toby. I did a bit of research on him and that is when I found out what I think you.

Tomorrow People: Hitler is pleased that television is popular. “You will obey me”, he declares, before adding an Oliver Hardy-esque

@TobyHadoke I don’t think anybody can say if Hitler is pleased or not because he has been dead for 70 years.

@???* You’re taking this out of context ???*. I’m watching an episode of the Tomorrow People.

@TobyHadoke Sorry mate. I just hear so much about people being compared to Hitler.

@???* I did handily preface every Tweet with the words “Tomorrow People”.

@TobyHadoke I caught it in the middle Toby. I am sorry about that.

*There’s no harm done with the above exchange – I regularly correspond with the person in question and will continue to do so. it just illustrates how stick can quickly be grabbed at the wrong end on social media.


Tomorrow People: John gets tough with Ray Burdis and calls him “Square ‘ead”. I think I love John. He’s sensible AND mean.

Tomorrow People: “I asked for 50 men,” frets Leon Eagles to his platoon of 6, clearly unaware that he’s in a show with a small budget.

tp11Tomorrow People: Hitler’s true form is revealed – a cascade of swarfega and a badly attached eye.

Tomorrow People: Eagles escapes from his troops by ambling away – fortunately they give up immediately after firing a burst at him.

Tomorrow People: Hitler is pleased that television is popular. “You will obey me”, he declares, before adding an Oliver Hardy-esque “Mmmm!”.

Tomorrow People: Mike has stunned John, Leon Eagles and Hsui Tai! In the case of the latter it hasn’t made much of a difference…

Tomorrow People: Yay: and it all ends on a joke about John being a bit of a Hitler. All good, clean, Nazi-alien fun!

Tomorrow People: Damn. I’m at my destination – no time to watch the next one which seems to feature a spaceship with a talking penis!

I have since watched this episode. I will publish the results at some point.



The Living Skins

135973I’ve had a bit of fun on twitter – Tweeting along as I watched The Tomorrow People, of which I’ve only seen a very few episodes of up till now. I am well aware of the show and could name most of the cast but I’ve never really given it my time. So when on a train journey I decided to watch some stories in a random order.

I just went for the ones I fancied at the time – a imposition in order to prevent me from being all OCD and get bogged down in episodes I didn’t fancy by watching chronologically (I watched the first series and start of the second last year and I think I yearned for a bit of variety).

I started with Hitler’s Last Secret as I had an inkling that it was something I had to see. I wasn’t wrong, and I shared my incredulity on Twitter. People seemed to enjoy it and so I watched other episodes. Now, not having planned ahead I didn’t hashtag everything so that it’d be easy to follow, so when I get the chance I’m going to pop them all here – each one getting one easy-to-follow blog post. They may amuse and  might be briefly diverting: I hope so.

Where some Tweets had – out of necessity dictated by the 140 character count – abbreviations or grammatical compromises I have tidied them up here.

Having enjoyed my train viewing I was alone at home one night and thought I’d do more…


Can’t watch The Apprentice till Chez gets back from swimming so … The Tomorrow People: The Living Skins it is …


Tomorrow People: A sightly creepy shop assistant works in a place where Mike picks out a horrid orange jumpsuit new outfit for Hsui Tai.

Tomorrow People: John’s got a cold. It looks real. The baddies are alien balloons. They don’t.

Tomorrow People: Mike and Hsui Tai are in their shiny new fetish suits. Mike’s horrid to Andrew about his kilt: Mike feels angry then sexy.

Tomorrow People: I mean, the aliens really are balloons. Not balloons with added special effects. Or a hat. They’re balloons. Just balloons.

Clever rubber clothes!
Clever rubber clothes!

Tomorrow People: Actually very beguiling plot-wise – the repairing skin, the atmospheric interference which leaves Our Heroes on their own.

Tomorrow People: I like the creepy shop owner too: he’s beahaving as if he’s being played by David Walliams after a season at the RSC.

Tomorrow People: John & Elizabeth tell Mike and Hsui Tai to take their clothes off. Tsui Tai is very upset but does her best not to show it.

Tomorrow People: John has shot Mike and Hsui Tai! He tries to take their clothes off but they’re stuck. Now Tim wants to “examine’ them!

Tomorrow People: The balloons are bouncing around very angrily in the cellar. Their dialogue is nearly as discernible as Hsui Tai’s.

Tomorrow People: Mike and Hsui Tai are literally fashion victims. The skin is intelligent: nice idea. Tsui Tai’s bed linen is terrifying.

Kudos to actor Ralph Lawson who does a good job as the creepy shop assistant.
Kudos to actor Ralph Lawson who does a good job as the creepy shop assistant.

Tomorrow People: Creepy shop assistant is doing lots of scary eye acting : he invites John and Elizabeth downstairs. Andrew falls asleep.

Tomorrow People: : “John, what are they?” “Aliens I should think.” God he’s good. Most people’s first guess would have been “Balloons”.

Tomorrow People: Good ep ending. John & Elizabeth attacked by balloons (out of shot). Tim cries “Andrew” forlornly has he’s smothered by a jumpsuit.


s3_The_Living_Skins_e2_Cold_War.mkv_snapshot_03.11_[2011.04.25_22.56.30]Tomorrow People: Mike looks around the room and studiously avoids seeing Andrew till the last moment. The empty jumpsuit attacks them!

Tomorrow People: Oh no! John and Elizabeth have been taken over! John is really creepy: being taken over brings out the cad in his diction.

Tomorrow People: John & Elizabeth get free denim jackets from the aliens to disguise their jumpsuits. Which they immediately remove & blow their cover.

Tomorrow People: The bubble skin doesn’t stick to John. He’s obviously far too sensible to be overcome by fashion. He’s got a cold again. Ah!

Tomorrow People: The bubbles are invading. Which seems to involve bouncing down country lanes and annoying old people who run away slowly.

Tomorrow People: A Canadian newsreader’s clearly been taken over by the bubble people & is issuing bubble propaganda with a shiny bubble face.

Tomorrow People: Ooh, Tim’s been on Space Wikipedia & it seems the bubbles envelop us and slowly digest us. Yuck. John’s cold acting v good.

Tomorrow People: Dave Carter is a bubble chinned security man. For the greater good John & Mike have to let him attack a lady.John looks grim


In space, people can still hear you being told off : especially if you're Mike.
In space, people can still hear you being told off : especially if you’re Mike.

Tomorrow People: Even after fending off a balloon with a fire extinguisher whilst in space John finds time to tick Mike off. Poor Mike: he tries.

Tomorrow People: Everyone’s got a cold. The bubble people leave: creepy shop man ends up alone & in his pants. It ends with a laboured joke.
Hopefully I can add some of my earlier Tweet views of The Tomorrow People in later blogs.