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Review: Mark Steel's In Town ... King's Lynn, BBC Radio 4

For the hundreds who packed into the St George's Guildhall in November it was a memorable night, but the much-truncated version broadcast last night in the 6.30pm comedy slot was no less hilarious.

For those who don't know the premise of the programme, it is very simple. South London comedian Mark trails around the country and surgically unpicks the foibles and pretentions of each town he alights on.

It is a bit like the local jokes and references that are slipped in to curry local favour at the panto, except super-sized.

Mark Steel (6777344)
Mark Steel (6777344)

It could all be a bit self-regarding but the home thoughts from abroad format shines lights on the oddities that all towns harbour.

In Lynn, Mark was particularly taken by the foot ferry, both its diminutive size and the fact that it doesn't seem to go anywhere (well, West Lynn).

He loved the rabbits on the Hardwick roundabout, was very sorry to have missed the delights of Heights nightclub, sceptical that the Queen was responsible for local power cuts and intrigued to find himself in a place where any slope over about 4ft tall is considered a hill.

Considering the wonder of the Wiggenhall bore on the river indeed he was moved to note that it was curious that at a wave of 3ft it could well be that the highest thing above sea level was actually the sea.

The fact that the town seems to shut down by 6pm and Lynn's historic ties to Europe were also the source of much ribbing in a good-natured but at times pointed examination

And the voice telling him to general acclamation from the audience that he was in West Norfolk, not North Norfolk, was yours truly, although as he pointed out, "if you get much further north you're in the sea".

A very funny and pace-paced edit of a great evening and if you didn't hear it well worth seeking out on BBC Sounds.

Mark Leslie

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