The Jack Benny Program, the American old-time comedy radio show, is about to start a run on the BBC’s Radio 4 Extra. According to upcoming radio listings, six episodes of the show will air at 12pm each Saturday from the 16th of January 2020.
Comedian Jack Benny first appeared on radio in 1932, hosting The Jack Benny Program for 23 years until 1955. Benny featured alongside a regular cast including Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, Mary Livingstone, Don Wilson, Phil Harris and Dennis Day. The show also featured additional voices by Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet, Sara Berner, and Sheldon Leonard. A TV version of the show aired from 1950 until 1965.
BBC Radio 4 Extra is a digital radio station from the BBC, which airs mainly airs archive speech and drama programming; Most of it from the BBC’s own archive. Episodes of Old Time sitcom My Favorite Husband, starring Lucille Ball, aired on the station in 2020.
This is the first time The Jack Benny Program has seen a regular run on the BBC since the 1990s, when several episodes aired on BBC Radio 2 and subsequently released on cassette. The complete list of planned episodes is currently unavailable, but the first two originate from the 1950 season.
BBC Radio 4 Extra will air The Jack Benny Program on the 16th of January at 12pm, continuing for six weeks at the same time.