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Mark's Guide to Whose Line is it Anyway?

Episode Guide

Series One (1988)

Radio show <-- --> Next

1.01 / 1.02 / 1.03 / 1.04 / 1.05 / 1.06 / 1.07 / 1.08
1.09 / 1.10 / 1.11C / 1.12C / 1.13P / 1.14S
(C = Compilation, P = Pilot, S = Comic Relief Special)


First Broadcast: September 23, 1988 - Intro
Archie Hahn, Josie Lawrence, Paul Merton, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "Through the Garden Gate". Archie - Stephen King, Josie - Louisa M. Alcott, Paul - Author of the Janet & John books, John - Charles Dickens.
  2. Sound Effects: Getting dressed. Paul acts, Archie SFX.
  3. Song Styles: Telephone. Josie (Sondheim), John (reggae).
  4. World's Worst: Audition for ITN's new newsreader.
  5. Props: Josie & Archie - Stethoscope, Paul & John - Bumpy Foam Circle.
  6. Party Quirks: Paul hosts. Josie - Agony Aunt, Archie - Werewolf, John - Theatre Director.
Winner: Archie Hahn.
Credits: As an American sports commentator.


First Broadcast: September 30, 1988 - Intro
Archie Hahn, Rory Bremner, Jimmy Mulville, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "A Day At The Seaside". Archie - Truman Capote, Rory - Clive James, Jimmy - Dylan Thomas, John - James Joyce.
  2. Film and Theatre Styles: Sacking an employee - Archie & Jimmy. Godfather, Aussie Soap, Horror.
  3. Film and Theatre Styles: Used Car Salesman - Rory & John. Amateur Dramaticals, Brazilian Soap Opera, Noel Coward.
  4. World's Worst: Person to comfort somebody on their death bed.
  5. Props: Rory & Jimmy - Traffic Cone, Archie & John - Hairdryer.
  6. Sound Effects: Doing the garden. Jimmy acts, Archie SFX.
  7. Couples: At the laundrette - Rory & John. David & Richard Attenborough, Charles & Di, Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones, Ron & Nancy (Reagan), Torvill & Dean.
Winner: Rory Bremner.
Credits: As Barry Norman.


First Broadcast: October 7, 1988 - Intro
Stephen Fry, Peter Cook, Josie Lawrence, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "A Day At The Races". Stephen - John Le Carre, Peter - Albert Goldman, Josie - People who write articles for women's magazines, John - Ernest Hemmingway.
  2. Film and Theatre Styles: Parliament Candidate canvassing for a vote - Stephen & Peter. Shakespearian, Farce, Travelogue, Gangster Movie.
  3. Film and Theatre Styles: Breaking up with a partner - Josie & John. Shakespeare, British War Film, Blue Movie.
  4. Props: Peter & John - Yellow ball with a hole in it, Stephen & Josie - Bubble Wrap.
  5. Panel: Smoking. Peter - Yasser Arthur (boa & captain's hat), Stephen - 'Dick' (pink glasses & tea cosy), John - Tommy Timkins (cap), Josie - Trixie (shawl & wigs).
  6. Rap: Having a Baby.
Winner: Peter Cook.
Credits: As a New York taxicab driver.


First Broadcast: October 14, 1988 - Intro
Tony Slattery, Betty Thomas, Paul Merton, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "Jack and the Beanstalk". Tony - William Burroughs, Betty - Mickey Spillane, Paul - Barbara Cartland, John - Anthony Burgess.
  2. Film and Theatre Styles: Home owner speaking to his builder - Paul & Tony. Greek Tragedy, Hollywood Epic, Musical, Soap Opera.
  3. Film and Theatre Styles: Husband and wife arguing over a map - Betty & John. Ealing Comedy, Mime, Method Acting, Bogart.
  4. Props: Betty & Paul - grill, Tony & John - slinky.
  5. Every Other Line: Paul briefing John (reads) on a dangerous mission. End line: "Oh dear, I've lost my shoe!". (Play: "The Poison Party").
  6. Film Dub: Husband and wife arguing over what to watch on television - Tony & Betty.
  7. Party Quirks: Paul hosts. Tony - Has no spine, Betty - Investigative Journalist, John - Intrepid Explorer.
Winner: John Sessions.
Credits: As Anthony Hopkins.


First Broadcast: October 21, 1988 - Intro
Josie Lawrence, Jonathan Pryce, Paul Merton, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "A Day in the Life of a Horny Llama". Josie - Agatha Christie, Jonathan - King James' Bible, Paul - The Do-It-Yourself Technical Handbook, John - Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  2. Film and Theatre Styles: Jack and Jill - Josie & Paul. Spaghetti Western, Pantomime, German Art Film, Bond Film.
  3. Film and Theatre Styles: Reporting a Crime - Jonathan and John. Samuel Beckett, Pirate movie, Comedia Del Arte, Le Carre.
  4. World's Worst: Person to be auditioning for a part in Romeo & Juliet.
  5. Song Styles: Television Set. Josie (heavy metal), John (folk).
  6. Film Dub: Paul coming in to book a holiday from a travel agent (Jonathan). Film: "Plan 9 from Outer Space".
  7. Party Quirks: Paul hosts. Josie - Superhero, Jonathan - An Exorcist, John - Thinks he is underwater (guesses himself!).
Winner: Josie Lawrence.
Credits: As an angry viewer at home.


First Broadcast: October 28, 1988 - Intro
Graeme Garden, Jan Ravens, George McGrath, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "The Sleeping Beauty". Graeme - J.B. Priestly, Jan - Pam Ayres, George - Dr. Roget the Thesaurus Guy, John - D.H. Lawrence.
  2. Story: "A Day in the Life of a Rubber Duck". George narrates. Jan - little girl, Graeme - moss-covered grandfather, John - Keith Richards. Moral: "A Rolling Stone gathers no moss".
  3. Props: John & Jan - stick with ribbons, Graeme & George - plastic bendy circle.
  4. Party Quirks: Graeme hosts. George - An alien, Jan - Thinks it's her house, John - A Leprechaun.
  5. Every Other Line: A pilot (Graeme) being talked down by mission control (John - reads). End line: "Don't accept gifts from strangers!". Play: "Hay Fever" by Noel Coward.
  6. Film Dub: Two people, the morning after a heavy night before - Jan & George.
  7. American Musical: Puberty, coming to see a TV show recorded, and making a cup of tea.
Winner: Jan Ravens
Credits: As Paula Yates.


First Broadcast: November 4, 1988 - Intro
Tony Slattery, Jonathan Pryce, Rory McGrath, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "Stanley the Stockbroker and the Day of the Big Bang". Tony - Dennis Wheatley, Jonathan - Egon Romay, Rory - Jorge Luis Borges, John - Robert Louis Stevenson.
  2. Film and Theatre Styles: Loan Shark and Debtor - Tony & Jonathan. Japanese No Theatre, Bedroom Farce, Amateur Dramaticals, Gilbert & Sullivan.
  3. Film and Theatre Styles: Someone has smashed into the car of the police constable - Rory & John. Punch & Judy, Brecht, Black and White Minstrel Show.
  4. World's Worst: Person to meet on a blind date.
  5. Props: Jonathan & John - PVC curved pipe, Tony & Rory - flower-shaped fabric.
  6. Advertisement: BMW - Tony (classical piano), Toupee - John (thriller).
  7. Film Dub: Somebody complaining to the manager in a hotel - Jonathan & Rory.
  8. Remote Control: Pornography. Tony - Star Trek, Jonathan - Call My Bluff, Rory - Breakfast Television, John - Bilko.
Winner: Rory McGrath
Credits: As his own mother.


First Broadcast: November 11, 1988 - Intro
Richard Kaplan, Griff Rhys Jones, Paul Merton, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "Kurt Veldheim's War Diaries". Richard - Raymond Chandler, Griff - John Milton, Paul - Sunday Sport, John - Friedrich Nietzsche.
  2. Film and Theatre Styles: Big businessman buying out a little sandwich shop - Paul & Richard. Spaghetti Western, Monty Python, Horror.
  3. Film and Theatre Styles: John explaining to his holiday replacement (Griff) how to operate the nuclear button. Laurel & Hardy, Arthur Miller, Whodunnit, Swedish Erotica.
  4. World's Worst: Person to be President of the U.S.A.
  5. Props: John & Griff - sink plunger, Paul & Richard - doughnut.
  6. Remote Control: Traffic. Richard - American Game Show host, Griff - One Man and his Dog, Paul - American Cop Show, John - Noggin the Nog.
  7. Party Quirks: Paul hosts. Richard - From "Mission: Impossible", Griff - Bad Ventriloquist, John - From the Future.
Winners: Griff Rhys Jones & John Sessions
Credits: John as Griff, Griff as himself.


First Broadcast: November 18, 1988 - Intro
Micheal McShane, Josie Lawrence, Tony Slattery, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "Night of the Crumpet". Michael - Louis L'Amour, Josie - The Brothers Grimm, Tony - Dr. Alex Comfort, John - William Faulkner.
  2. Film and Theatre Styles: A wife (Josie) trying to murder her husband (Mike). Russ Meyer, Film Noire, Star Wars, Gilbert & Sullivan.
  3. Film and Theatre Styles: Tony having a dinner party, popping next door to neighbour John to borrow some coffee. Stock Exchange Information Film, Escape Movie, Restoration Comedy.
  4. World's Worst: Person to be coming forward to receive an Oscar.
  5. Remote Control: Hedgehogs. Micheal - Miami Vice, Josie - Treasure Hunt, Tony - Game For A Laugh, John - Floyd on Fish.
  6. American Musical: Playing football, waking up, and being stopped by the police.
Winner: Micheal McShane
Credits: As James Stewart.


First Broadcast: November 25, 1988 - Intro
Stephen Fry, Josie Lawrence, Enn Reitel, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "The Day I Became a Merchant Banker". Stephen - 1001 Arabian Nights, Josie - Mary Shelley, Enn - Dashiell Hammett, John - Frank Richards.
  2. Story: "Tarzan and the Lager Louts". Stephen narrates. John - Tarzan, Josie - Jane, Enn - Lager Lout. Moral: "Don't put all your eggs in one basket". (or "Don't put all your legs in one bastard").
  3. World's Worst: Thing to say when being introduced to a member of the Royal Family.
  4. Props: Stephen & John - ringed ball, Enn & Josie - long pipe.
  5. Couples: Fortune Teller and Customer - John & Enn. Dustin Hoffman & Lawrence Olivier, Edward Fox & Donald Sinden, Vincent Price & Alec Guiness, Sean Connery & Dame Edna, Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble, Reagan & Gorbachev.
  6. Wrong Theme Tune: Documentary on contraception - Stephen & Josie. Theme: "Blue Peter" (children's programme).
  7. Rap: Sheep Shearing/Sheep.
Winner: Stephen Fry
Credits: As an American announcer, Quinn Martin production, that sort of thing.

1.11 (Compilation)

First Broadcast: December 2, 1988 - Intro
Stephen Fry, Archie Hahn, Josie Lawrence, Micheal McShane, Paul Merton, 'Johnathan' Pryce, John Sessions, Tony Slattery
  1. Film and Theatre Styles: Returning a faulty purchase - Josie & Paul. German Expressionism, Hammer Horror, Whitehall Farce, Disney.
  2. Film and Theatre Styles: A jealous husband coming home and discovering the other man/lover/whatever - Archie & John. Rambo Movie, Greek Tragedy, Kung Fu.
  3. Every Other Line: Having a TV fixed - Paul and Jonathan (reads). End line: "It's only cotton wool!". (Play: "Robin Hood: The Truth Behind the Green Tights").
  4. Song Styles: Toothbrush. Josie (gospel).
  5. Props: Micheal & John - plastic on a string, Tony & Josie - goblet shaped plastic.
  6. Film Dub: Couple discussing how to decorate a room - Stephen & Josie.
  7. Party Quirks: Tony hosts. Josie - hears voices, Micheal - kissogram, John - Cub Scout leader.
  8. Opera: Going to work as a Guard on the Northern Line, making instant mashed potato, and smoking (John, Josie, Paul, Archie).

1.12 (Compilation)

First Broadcast: December 9, 1988 - Intro
Stephen Fry, Josie Lawrence, Rory McGrath, Micheal McShane, Jonathan Pryce, John Sessions, Tony Slattery
  1. Film and Theatre Styles: Tour guide showing somebody around a museum - Josie & John. Bill Forsythe Movie, Dirty Harry, Doctor in the House, Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers.
  2. Story Teller: "I Was a Russian Fighter Pilot". Rory narrates. John - John Johnovitch Johnovitch Johnitchovon, Tony - friend/fighter pilot Tony, Jonathan - Russian Premier Michael Gorbachev. Moral: "Never do it on the first date".
  3. Rap: Handbags - John, Tony, Josie, Micheal.
  4. Song Styles: Television Set. Josie (Eurovision Song Contest).
  5. Party Quirks: Tony hosts. Rory - compulsive liar, Jonathan - undertaker drumming up business, John - character from Thunderbirds.
  6. Every Other Line: Stephen trying to book an airline ticket from Josie (reads) and in a bit of a hurry. End line: "It's not as small as it looks". (Play: "The Happiest Days of Your Life").
  7. American Musical: Going to a party, getting lost in a maze, and going gliding (Josie, Micheal, Tony, John).

1.13 (Pilot)

First Broadcast: December 16, 1988 - Intro
Jon Glover, Jimmy Mulville, Josie Lawrence, John Sessions
(NB: Only 'Authors', 'Genre Option' and 'Props' are named in the show)
  1. Authors: "A Visit to the Dentist". Jon - Daniel DeFoe, Jimmy - Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Josie - Jackie Collins, John - T.S. Eliot.
  2. Genre Option: Starting a relationship, chat-up - Jimmy & Josie. Western, Harold Pinter, Horror, Disney.
  3. Genre Option: Estate Agent showing a client around a property - Jon & John. Restoration Comedy, Fire Brigade Training Film, Star Trek, Carry On.
  4. Film Dub - Jon & Jimmy.
  5. Song Styles: Washing Machine. Josie (Country & Western), John (Music Hall).
  6. Props: Jimmy & Josie - yellow boa, Jon & John - wire basket.
  7. Opera: Brushing your teeth, missing a train and having a barbecue.
Winner: John Glover

1.14 (Comic Relief Special)

First Broadcast: March 10, 1989 on BBC1 (Running Time: 6 minutes)
Stephen Fry, Josie Lawrence, Paul Merton, John Sessions
  1. Authors: "Crocodile Killers From Hell". Stephen - Salman Rushdie, Josie - Barbara Cartland, Paul - A sex manual combined with The Highway Code, John - "My Life In The Theater" by Griff Rhys Jones.
  2. Props: John & Josie - big red sphere with a hole, Stephen & Paul - giant yellow crayon.