Beano Comic No 1 (1938) with Beano No 1 and No 2 Flyer 8 pg mini comic. Introducing Big Eggo, Lord Snooty, Little Peanut and Tin-Can Tommy

BBC Radio Scotland celebrates The Beano with new documentary

Elaine Constance Smith remembers The Dandy for A Comic Celebration: The Dandy. Image: BBC
Elaine Constance Smith remembers The Beano for A Comic Celebration: The Beano. Image: BBC

Following up on the documentary A Comic Celebration: The Dandy, BBC Radio Scotland has broadcast A Comic Celebration: The Beano in the run up to next week’s 80th anniversary of the comic’s launch on Tuesday 26th July 1938.

The documentary reveals author and comedian is the guest editor of next week’s anniversary issue, on sale next Wednesday, which will see the first appearance of a new character.

Two Doors Down star Elaine C Smith celebrates 80 years of The Beano, from its beginnings in 1938 as a younger sibling to The Dandy, its golden age in the 1950s and 60s and how it continues to go from strength to strength. Elaine charts the comic’s roots in Dundee where it was created by local company DC Thomson and hears from a plethora of big names who have been part of the comic’s rich history.

Beano and Dandy writers Morris Heggie and Craig Ferguson discuss the war years, and how Lord Snooty and his pals joined the fight, comedian Angela Barnes shares her memories of growing up reading the Beano, artist Barrie Appleby explains how classic characters like Roger the Dodger are brought to life and writer Nigel Auchterlounie lets listeners in on the secret of the Dennis The Menace Dynasty.

Beano fan Olly Driscoll still has the only known copy of Beano Number one with its free gift
Beano fan Olly Driscoll still has the only known copy of Beano Number one with its free gift

Elaine hears about the exciting auction of a Beano Issue 1, examines how the characters have changed to reflect the different times and talks to writer Iain McLaughlin who confesses to basing some of his Minnie the Minx storylines on his nieces.

The Beano‘s first ever female artist Laura Howell and 17-year-old Beano artist Zoom Rockman are on hand to give their reflections while Matthew Brolley explains how he used The Beano to teach English to children in Japan.

Elaine also looks at The Beano in popular culture, how it inspired musicians and artists through the years, including animator Nick Park of Wallace and Gromit fame.

Meanwhile, Graham Dury and Simon Thorp, co-editors of VIZ, talk about the huge influence on their magazine, and the rivalry with Beano and Dandy.

Minnie the Minx by Garen Ewing
Minnie the Minx by Garen Ewing

Managing editor of Beano Studios Scotland Craig Graham talks about the comic’s 80th birthday celebrations and to round off, Elaine looks to the Beano‘s future with the ongoing success of the new Dennis and Gnasher TV series and the recent announcement of a live action Minnie the Minx show,The Magnificent Misadventures of Minnie.

Elaine C Smith, who has also fronted a similar show on the Dandy, is a Scottish actress and comedian, who’s starred in the BBC sitcoms, City Lights, Rab C. Nesbitt and Two Doors Down, its third series now in production. Her stage credits include the original productions of The Steamie and I Dreamed a Dream.

A Comic Celebration: The Beano is a production for BBC Radio Scotland from the award-winning production company Made in Manchester, specialists in making radio and TV documentaries, features, drama, comedy and children’s for broadcasters worldwide, produced byIain Mackness.

A Comic Celebration: The Beano  on the BBC Radio Scotland web site

A Comic Celebration: The Dandy on the BBC Radio Scotland web site

Elaine Constance Smith – Official Site

The Beano © Beano Studios

Published by

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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