The Atkinson People

The Atkinson People is a 1979 BBC radio comedy series. The series, which was first broadcast sporadically in 1979 by the BBC's arts radio station Radio 3, features a satirical profile of a fictional famous person each week.[1]

It is notable as being the first radio or television programme to star comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson. The programme was co-written by Atkinson and Richard Curtis and produced by future Not the Nine O'Clock News co-star Griff Rhys Jones, then a BBC Radio Comedy producer.[2] In most cases, Atkinson played the lead characters, with other voices provided by Hugh Thomas and Peter Wilson.[3] Following the precedent set by The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the series was also an early adopter of stereophonic sound; it was recorded in 1978, and broadcast in 1979. The series has been repeated on BBC Radio 7[4] and its successor BBC Radio 4 Extra, and was picked by Armando Iannucci during his stint as "comedy controller".[5]


Title Transmission date
1 Sir Corin Basin 24 April 1979[3]
Actor, raconteur and acknowledged dullard Sir Corin Basin takes us on an aural tour of his productions.
2 Sir Benjamin Fletcher 28 April 1979[3]
Master orator Sir Benjamin Fletcher discusses his life and opinions.
3 George Dupont 30 April 1979[3]
French thinker and philosopher George Dupont is an elusive figure, and remains so after this documentary.
4 Barry Good 2 November 1979[3]
Pop artiste Barry Good.


  1. ^ Radio Picks, The Guardian, 31 January 2007
  2. ^ CD notes[permanent dead link],
  3. ^ a b c d e The Atkinson People,
  4. ^ BBC 7 rebroadcasts
  5. ^ Armando Iannucci - Comedy Controller, BBC Radio 4 Extra