Election 2015

The story of Election 2015 as told by Radio 4 comedy

BBC Comedy Election graphic, showing a rabbit and Guinea pig wearing rosettes

As campaigning draws to a close, we look back at how events unfolded through the filter of the BBC Radio 4 Comedy Election.

It might only have been a few weeks, but it seems a very long time since this election campaign started.

How fresh-faced and young we all were. Politicians were chasing public approval like Labrador puppies rushing after a loo roll. Halcyon days…

…days when, as the Vote Now Show put it, Nicola Sturgeon was the most dangerous woman in the world.

Perhaps William Hague, "the Yorkshire James Bond", as David Cameron put it, could be her nemesis?

Image copyright various

The party leaders were invited to debate live on-air, and Question Time became "the BBC's version of Take Me Out" as David Dimbleby put it. Or, if it wasn't Mr Dimbleby, it was a Dead Ringer.

Reaction to the debates was mixed. On the News Quiz, Susan Calman thought Ed Miliband could actually see her watching at home… in her pants, rather unsettlingly.

Meanwhile, after receiving many an intense grilling at the hands of ruthless interviewers, a dead ringer for David Cameron faced perhaps his most challenging showdown with none other than fearless hand puppet, Sooty.

His coalition colleague Nick Clegg gave an exclusive interview of his own, recounting the tale of his five year-long incarceration by the Conservatives (courtesy, of course, of the Dead Ringers again).

Image caption Dimbleby, the Vote Now show cat, turned its nose up at all the parties

UKIP leader Nigel Farage's debate performance somewhat charmed Romesh Ranganathan on the News Quiz.

This was before Mr Farage was admonished by Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru, the party whose manifesto, as digested by Guardian satirist John Crace, aimed to "decide everything about Wales apart from the bits that are a bit tricky or expensive".

Image copyright BBC/Phil Phisk
Image caption Reasonable: Penelope Wilton

Of course there'll always be the killjoys. Not everyone was excited by the rollercoaster ride of polls, photo opportunities and people interrupting the leaders' debates, inspiring Mitch Benn's Boring Election Blues sound.

Unfortunately these naysayers seemed to include Dimbleby, the Vote Now Show cat, who summed up the views of the British public with an overwhelming disdain for all parties simultaneously.

You'd think at least Dimbleby the Cat would have backed the Greens to support his furry friends and, again as John Crace's digested manifesto put it, to embrace "the widespread planting of lavender bushes".

But this, of course, has been a 21st Century election, backed by 21st Century technology. Politicians could make use of a brilliant new app that made any manifesto sound entirely reasonable… by relaying the bad news through the voice of beloved actor Penelope Wilton.

Or to help we, the people, Andy Saltzman devised the Sub Textricator 3000 for the Vote Now Show that tells us what on earth they, the politicians, are really thinking.

Image caption Master of subtext: Andy Saltzman

But if older technology is your thing, why not try satirist Alistair Beaton's Electionland phrasebook, with direct translations of such familiar sound bites as "taking tough decisions" (breaking promises) and "let me make this crystal clear" (let me repeatedly avoid answering the question).

It's a funny old game, politics.

More from the Radio 4 Comedy Election.