Chain Reaction

The tried and tested trope of celebrity interviewing celebrity is almost perfected in BBC Radio Four’s Chain Reaction which offers a series of candid chats between well known figures and provides a unique entertainment in its distinct lack of pretense.

Notable episodes in the series so far have included excellent conversations between Kevin Bridges and Frankie Boyle and then Frankie Boyle and comic book megamind Grant Morisson.

Not only have these whirlwind thirty minute chinwags offered fresh insight into the minds of the creative, but specifically to dear Scotland, the minds of the Scottish creative, as Bridges, Boyle and Morrison weigh up the pros and cons of an independent Scotland.

Grant Morrison’s opinions are particularly interesting as the man who oversaw the regeneration of Batman articulates smartly about the regeneration of his country of birth.

Perhaps what is most enjoyable in this show is that without a ‘professional’ host in the mould of a Morgan or a Ross or even a Snow, the veering and wandering shape of the respective duos chat tends to get lost with new angles explored and the surreal and strange embraced.

If nothing else it is wonderful to have Frankie Boyle back in the arena he thrives best in: not scripted panel shows, poor sketch shows or controversial arguments on social networking sites.

His noted leftwing sensibility and  obvious propensity to ruffle and shake the feathers of people who probably have pictures of ancestors in ruffles and feathers is a welcome change from  the rest of the industry.

Boyle is an acerbic icon of post-Kay stand-up comedy and has a voice and a mindset that belongs truthfully in a different era: perhaps the medium of relatively anarchic talk radio is where he really belongs. Chain Reaction might be the regeneration of Boyle.

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