The Russell Howard Show
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The Russell Howard and Jon Richardson Show was a UK radio show on digital station BBC 6 Music that aired from 10.00am - 1.00pm on Sundays. It was presented by comedians Russell Howard and Jon Richardson. It follows the two from when they shared a flat, to when Jon purchased a house and moved out.
The two began hosting the show on 12 November 2006, taking over the slot vacated by comedian Russell Brand when he moved to Radio 2 on Saturday nights. Originally the show also featured the presenters' friend and fellow comedian Sam Thomas, who left in early 2007, occasionally appearing thereafter in recorded skits.
The show was replaced by The Jon Richardson Show, which ended on 7 March 2010.
Both coming from a stand-up background, with a strong slant towards improvisational comedy, the style of the show was light, with only the occasional nod toward more serious issues. The pair both had little radio experience beforehand which brought a relaxed and unprofessional style to the show which the listeners enjoyed. The two presenters have been friends for years before coming to the show[no citations needed here], and this is evident as the - occasionally spiky - but generally good-natured back-and-forth exchanges on a range of subjects frequently result in a humorous outcome. ListenersTemplate:Who have also noted the excellent chemistry between the pair, which often involves mimicking each other's voices. For example, Russell would mock Jon's Lancashire accent and use his characteristics to create a more extreme version of Jon. In return, Jon would depict Russell as a very simple West Country man.[no citations needed here]
Regular features on the show have included 'Am I Normal?', in which listeners were invited to relate their own unusual habits and personal quirks, the idea of which was to determine if these quirks were socially acceptable ('normal') or not, and 'Jon's 100% Belter', whereby Jon got to play a track of his choice. Shorter running features included 'Time Travel', where listeners were invited to choose which period of history (or the future) they'd like to travel to and why, and the 'Mama Link', which featured Russell and Jon's mums performing a short sketch together – written by Russell and Jon - in which they both adopted an urban 'street' patois while discussing some fictional incident that one of them had been involved in that week.
Another popular feature on the show was 'Bored Games', in which listeners texted or e-mailed in their favorite ways of alleviating boredom. Games included 'Bum', in which participants pushed two beds together and proceeded to lie between them, slowly falling through the gap to the floor underneath.
'Botwatch' was a series of sketches that developed from a small aspect of the shows broadcast when Russell was in Australia. Pretending that he was joined by the 'Russbot 3000' each week to compensate for Russell's absence, Jon would play in voice clips that Russell had previously recorded, and when Russell returned he decided to pretend he had his own robot version of Jon, and in turn these developed into the 'Botwatch' sketches, whereby Russell and Jon would play exaggerated robot versions of each other.
A longer running item was 'The News Quiz', which originally featured members of the public competing by answering questions over the phone about topical news items. This was halted however, due to the BBC's review of competitions and listener-based features in 2007[no citations needed here], and was then instead played by the two presenters competing against each other, with the loser having a forfeit chosen by the listeners bestowed upon them - examples being the usually casually dressed Russell having to wear a suit every day for week, and Jon having to dress as a female flight attendant during one show. The forfeit then became a challenge to get a particular movie quote, suggested by the listeners, unwittingly read out on a local radio show, sending the messages in under the guise of Sue the retired lesbian from Clifton (Russell) or Nina, a post-op transsexual from Worcester (Jon). Examples include getting "I have many leather-bound books, and my apartment smells of rich mahogany", a quote from Anchorman, and "Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!", a quote from Pulp Fiction read out in some form. The feature was ended with a three-week 'Ultimate News Quiz Championship' where Russell and Jon would decide who was better at the quiz. The person who won the quiz most over the three weeks would become the champion and receive the Ultimate News Quiz Championship Cup as supplied by Jon. Jon subsequently won 2–1 and became Ultimate News Quiz Champion and received the cup that he had made.
There were a number of recurring motifs in the show, namely an apparent obsession with football pundit Mark Lawrenson, and curiously the Dyson Airblade hand dryer. Since then, Mark Lawrenson has actually become involved with the show himself, firstly recording the feature 'Lawro's Top 3', in which the ex-footballer stated his own top three choices in a particular category e.g. sandwich fillings, and then Russell and Jon guessed in which order he rated them, and later in a more surreal sketch revolving around a new fantasy book that he has supposedly written named Lawro and the Warlocks of Doom. The presenters also share a hatred of 5Live presenter Stephen Nolan.
Russell in Australia
Between 1 April 2007 and 13 May 2007 Russell Howard did not appear on the show as he was on tour in Australia, appearing at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and touring comedy clubs in the country. During this period Jon Richardson hosted the show with friends and comedians as standing in as co-hosts including Mark Olver, Matt Forde, John Robins, Michael McIntyre and Alan Carr, who Jon had toured with earlier in the year.
Russell deciding to leave the show
On the show broadcast on 6 January 2008 Russell seemed to express plans to quit presenting the show within a fortnight, intending to leave Jon to host by himself, likely appearing with one or more of the 'guest presenters' that had appeared during Russell's absence in Australia. After a discussion with bosses at the station, it was stated that he would continue on the show until April 2008. On 13 July 2008 he said at the end of the podcast that the next show would "be his last." However, he later stated in an e-mail that went out to those on his mailing list that "this Sunday is going to be my last BBC 6 Music show for a bit. I am taking a break whilst I do Mock The Week and then my new stand-up tour, but I’ll be back soon," suggesting that he will return, however this turned out to be false. The show then changed to The Jon Richardson Show which ended in early March 2010.
The phrase 'love to your mothers' has become popular on the show, particularly as a way to end correspondence. It seems to be starting to bleed out into the public conscience, in a small way, as emails and texts have used the phrase on other radio shows, such as Russell Brand's Radio 2 show. Jon pointed this out on the show. Star of the show Matt Forde has his own catchphrase "Hello Britain" which he uses as a greeting to his fellow Britons for whom he works tirelessly. There were suggestions that Fordie was phasing his catchphrase out after it had been stolen by several callers to radio shows in both Britain and Canada.