Indeed there is only one programme that takes non-commissioned material, Radio 4's Bearded Ladies, which is not scheduled to return for several months, and only runs for six shows a year. BBC Radio comedy department is always trying to develop new formats, but attempts to bring on new programmes over the last few years have all ended in failure.
Guild General Secretary, Bernie Corbett, has written to the Controllers of Radio 2 and 4 complaining about the situation:
"It is worth pointing out that many of the most successful writers of the last 30 years began their careers on shows like Week Ending and News Huddlines, for example David Renwick (One Foot In The Grave, Jonathan Creek), Andy Hamilton & Guy Jenkin (Drop the Dead Donkey, Bedtime), Ade Edmondson (Bottom, Bad News), Andrew Marshall (2.4 Children), Ian Brown & James Hendrie (My Family), Mark Burton, Pete Sinclair & John O’Farrell (Spitting Image, Have I Got News For You).Update: Good news! It appears that the rumours were false and that Parsons and Naylor has in fact been re-commissioned. Apologies for the misinformation.
The Writers’ Guild hopes you will give urgent attention to this and consider whether Radio 2 ought to introduce a new vehicle for topical comedy contributions by non-commissioned writers, before an already endangered species becomes an extinct one."