Clare In The Community is often billed as one of the best Radio Comedies of all time ranking up with the likes of the Dad’s Army Radio series. The title Clare In The Community is actually a play on words relating to the popular phrase “care in the community”
Clare In The Community actually started life as a comic strip in the social work magazine Care Weekly.
When publication of the magazine was stopped after just six weeks. The strip transferred over to The Guardian newspaper in 1996, where it’s been ever since. It’s published every Wednesday in the society section of the newspaper.
It was 1996 when a script for a pilot for a radio sitcom first started out on a journey that would take six years before finally reaching the airwaves. In the intervening period, 2002 to be precise, ITV commissioned a pilot and two episodes of a TV sitcom, based on the comic strip with Julia Sawatha in the title role. Unfortunately the pilot was never picked up for a full series and to date has never been broadcast.
However, in December 2003, the idea of a radio sitcom re-surfaced when BBC producer Paul Schlesinger suggested Clare in the Community as a radio program. The writers were both keen fans of radio comedy, so they took the offer and were commissioned to write a six-part radio series adaptation.
Since it’s first broadcast back in 2004 the show has notched up seventy four episodes over twelve series (billed as the last). Despite the journey the first series won the Bronze Comedy Award at the 2005 Sony Radio Awards.
Clare Barker is a social worker who knows exactly what to say and likes to sort out other people’s problems while ignoring her own.
She is white, middle class and heterosexual – but doesn’t like to be reminded of it.
A complete control freak, both Clare’s personal and professional lives are out of control.
Sally Phillips as Clare Barker
Channel: BBC Radio 4
Created By: Harry Venning
Written By: Harry Venning and David Ramsden
Original Transmission Dates: 26th November 2004 – 29th October 2019