The Burkiss Way, 1976

The Burkiss Way was a BBC Radio comedy sketch show.  It ran for six series between 1976 and 1980, notching up forty seven episodes along the way.

The series took it’s roots from two half-hour sketch shows entitled Half-Open University, that had been broadcast the previous year on BBC Radio 3.  These two shows were effectively two parodies of the Open University program, and were written by the same writing team that would go on to create The Burkisss Way.

Series one of The Burkiss way took on a similar format to that of the “Half-Open University.”   These early episodes were styled around fictional correspondence courses by “Professor Emil Burkiss” entitled The Burkiss Way to Dynamic Living.

By series two, the idea of a radio correspondence course became a hook rather than a narrative device and was mentioned only in passing.

As the program progressed it took on a more conventional sketch format, becoming more surreal as it went along.  Many have compared the style to that of Monty Python.


The show was effectively a series of sketches.







Denise Coffey (series 1)
Jo Kendall (series 2 – 6)
Chris Emmett
Nigel Rees
Fred Harris


Channel: BBC Radio 4
Written By: Andrew Marshall and David Renwick
Original Transmission Dates: 27th August 1976 – 15th November 1980

The Burkiss Way is repeated regularly on BBC Radio 4 Extra 


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