This post was originally an episode of The Old Time Review Daily Podcast. In each edition, Jamie Dyer spoke off the cuff about a famous person, film or song for up to three minutes. The following is a transcription, which has been cleaned up to remove any hesitation and some repetition. Where possible, the subject has been expanded on from the original broadcast.
This is the Old Time Review Daily Podcast for Friday, the 28th of May 2021, and this is Jamie Dyer speaking to you from the UK. In a slight deviation from the usual format that I employ on this podcast, I wanted to talk to you about a British radio sitcom that I’ve been a fan of for many years. Really, I love it! I think I only love it because of my interest in American sitcoms.
Let me start from the beginning here. Life with the Lyons. Was a British radio sitcom that went to television later. It starred Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon alongside their children Barbara Lyon and Richard Lyon. The show was on BBC Radio between 1950 and 1961.
When I listen to this show now, I can see that there was a lot of inspiration from American sitcoms like Father Knows Best, or Ozzy and Harriet, It’s possible that the cast and crew had access to American shows that were not widely available in the UK. Therefore, Life with the Lyons deserves credit for its creativity. The show had writers like Jill Allgood and Bob Block, who later went on to create Rentaghost. Molly Weir, who was also in Rentaghost, appeared in this show as well. I find the show really sweet. Bebe Daniels, to me, is the star. She’s like Gracie Allen, Mary Livingstone and other great female characters from American radio all rolled into one. It’s wonderful to hear!
If you’re in the UK, I highly recommend checking it out on BBC Radio 4 Extra. The show was once only available in a handful of episodes but now there are over a hundred thanks to a find in someone’s garage in Scotland. Thanks to that person for coming forward and unveiling a piece of radio history. That’s Life with the Lyons, a show from the 50s that I recommend to you. This was the Old Time Review Daily Podcast.