A Brief History of Timewasting

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A Brief History of Timewasting: The Complete Series 1 and 2 Publisher's summary

All 12 episodes of the sitcom written by and starring Linda Smith, featuring her eccentric East London escapades.

Linda Smith lives in her East London home, where her daily routine involves dozing through Thought for the Day, filing and cross-referencing the pizza leaflets that come through her door, and updating her limited edition 'Songbirds of Great Britain' porcelain collection. That is, when she's not managing the chaos caused by her flamboyant, sugar-loving live-in builder Chris; dealing with the demands of her morbid, crumbly boned Welsh neighbour Betty; or taking regular jaunts chauffeured by Worra, the philosophical Nigerian cabby.

In these two series, Linda falls foul of the dodgy East End mafia when she tries to get Betty's 'Jack the Ripper' letters authenticated; attempts to broker a peace deal between her builder and her neighbour; and has her laid-back lifestyle disrupted by an upturned whelk-shaped heritage centre. Plus, Betty gets involved with Ground Force, Chris finds fame on 999 Emergency and Sir Cliff the tortoise faces a bionic refit....

Full of her trademark deadpan observations and freewheeling flights of fancy, this witty, surreal series showcases Linda Smith's comedy genius and features a star cast including Chris Neill as Chris, Margaret John as Betty and Femi Elufowoju Jr as Worra.

Production credits

Written by and starring Linda Smith

Produced by Lucy Armitage and Jon Rolph

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 12 July-16 August 2001 (Series One), 4 June-9 July 2002 (Series Two)


Chris - Chris Neill

Betty - Margaret John

Worra - Femi Elufowoju Jr

Other parts played by Jeremy Hardy, Hattie Hayridge, Martin Hyder, Mark Steel and Rob Newman

Special guests: Rabbi Lionel Blue, Jenni Murray, Don Estelle, Dillie Keane, Kim Wall and Mia Soteriou

With Peter Donaldson as the radio announcer and Colin Sell at the piano.

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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