Episodes

  • There’s one thing you definitely can’t miss in Whitby and that’s the ruined abbey up on a cliff looking down on the town. It’s also hard to miss the jawbone of a blue whale set atop the opposite hill and the fact that Dracula was researched and written here by Bram Stoker. You’ll not go wanting if you are in search of a chip, either. Mark Steel manages to dodge the seagulls and presents his findings to a local audience at The Brunswick Centre.

    The full box set of all episodes (with well over 50 towns visited) is available now wherever you get your podcasts.

    Written by and starring...Mark Steel
    With additional material from Pete Sinclair
    Production Coordinator...Beverly Tagg
    Producer...Julia McKenzie
    A BBC Studios Production.

  • Walthamstow has got plenty going for it - "it has the requisite villagey middle-class bit, but with a proper gor-blimey guv'nor East End heart", says one newspaper article and Mark finds a town mid-gentrification. The dog track has gone, the famously long market remains but there is also a Viking Shop and an extraordinary showroom and workshop with a vast range of neon light fittings called God's Own Junkyard. There is a museum dedicated to the designer William Morris who used to live there and there's evidence of a recent war too in the form of the cycling scheme known as "mini-Holland." Hopefully Mark will tread carefully. With guest local MP Stella Creasy.

    The full box set of all episodes (with well over 50 towns visited) is available now wherever you get your podcasts.

    Written by and starring...Mark Steel
    With additional material from Pete Sinclair
    Production Coordinator...Beverly Tagg
    Producer...Julia McKenzie
    A BBC Studios Production.

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  • The famous Blyth Staithes (created for off-loading coal into ships) were the backdrop for one of the grimmest scenes in the Michael Caine classic Get Carter - the smoggy industrial view at the time described by the director as an "absolute vision of hell". Undaunted, comedian Mark Steel travels to this part of Northumberland and finds a fascinating industrial legacy, a posh pub, a very nice beach and prominent indications of its role in the first and second World Wars. Does a town blighted by so many closures show any evidence of green shoots? Mark presents his findings to a local audience at The Phoenix Theatre and as ever gets away with just the right amount of affection rudeness and we learn more about a very distinctive coastal town in the UK.

    The full box set of all episodes (with well over 50 towns visited) is available now wherever you get your podcasts.

    Written by and starring...Mark Steel
    With additional material from Pete Sinclair
    Production Coordinator...Beverly Tagg
    Producer...Julia McKenzie
    A BBC Studios Production.

  • Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 with a short series of shows recorded during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Following two COVID-friendly live outdoor episodes Mark is back for a special, one-off show performed to a remote, virtual audience where he'll be talking about some of the places he has visited over the course of 10 series of Mark Steel’s in Town. He’ll explore what’s happened since his visits and tell us about some of the things that never made it in to the broadcast shows.

    Written and performed by Mark Steel
    Production co-ordinator Beverly Tagg
    Sound Manager, Marc Willcox
    Producer, Carl Cooper

    A BBC Studios Production first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in November 2020.

  • Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 with a short series of shows recorded outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The bubonic plague didn't stop Shakespeare from working so for this second outdoor show, Mark performs on a tree stump in The Dell Gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon in front of a small but lovely local crowd.

    In between being interrupted by geese, Mark asks the people gathered on the grass in the RSC's outdoor performance area on the banks of the River Avon, just by the church where Shakespeare is buried, across from the Shakespeare ice-cream boat, not far from the Hamlet statue, if they've noticed any sort of theme to the place.

    Mark also looks at what else Stratford has to offer and visits the Butterfly Farm, the Tudor World museum and he discovers that the town was also once the home of the Teletubbies.

    Written and performed by Mark Steel
    Additional material by Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator Beverly Tagg
    Sound Manager, Jerry Peal
    Producer, Carl Cooper

    A BBC Studios Production first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in November 2020.

  • Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 with a short series of shows recorded outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

    For the first ever outdoor Mark Steel's In Town episode, and Radio 4 Comedy's first ever COVID-friendly audience show, what better place to start than on Brighton beach?

    Famous for its pavilion, piers and progressive nature as well as for being the playground of George, Prince Regent, Brighton welcomes Mark where he performs on the pebbles, accompanied by the sound of the waves, with a busy zip-wire ride and squawking seagulls overhead. A first for the show but a completely normal day in life of the people of Brighton.

    Written and performed by Mark Steel
    Additional material by Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator Beverly Tagg
    Sound Manager, Jerry Peal
    Producer, Carl Cooper

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in November 2020.

  • Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 with the ninth series of his award-winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    In this episode Mark visits the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire... and he manages to get out alive.


    Written and performed by Mark Steel
    Additional material by Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator, Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager, Jerry Peal
    Producer, Carl Cooper

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in February 2019.

  • "Croeso i Mark Steel’s in Town, Sy’n dod wythnos yma o Aberystwyth"

    Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 with the ninth series of his award-winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    In this episode Mark visits Aberystwyth in Ceredigion, Wales. He visits the National Library of Wales in search of books, which is a harder task than you would imagine. They do have The Holy Grail in there though, so that makes up for it. He speaks to some students, avoids some dangerous seagulls and discovers why Aber is the 'Athens of Wales'.


    Written and performed by Mark Steel
    Additional material by Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator, Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager, Jerry Peal
    Producer, Carl Cooper

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in February 2019.

  • Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 with the ninth series of his award-winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    In this episode Mark visits Carlisle on the Scottish border and discovers why the whole place stinks of biscuits. He also comes across a cursing stone.

    Written and performed by Mark Steel
    Additional material by Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator, Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager, Jerry Peal
    Producer, Carl Cooper

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2019.

  • Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 with the ninth series of his award-winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    In this episode Mark visits King's Lynn.

    King's Lynn has an apostrophe. And a river. And a traffic island full of rabbits. Mark has a delightful trip on a ferry.

    And the Queen often visits the town on her way to Sandringham.

    Written and performed by Mark Steel
    Additional material by Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator, Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager, Jerry Peal
    Producer, Carl Cooper

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2019.

  • Mark Steel returns to Radio 4 with the ninth series of his award-winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    In the first episode Mark visits Hastings.

    Hastings is mainly known for its famous battle, but they don't like to go on about that. Apart from over seventy businesses with 1066 in the title, you hardly see it mentioned. A lot has happened there since 1066 though; they have an annual Pirates Day, for example, where everyone dresses as pirates and gets drunk. They have Jack in the Green day, where everyone paints themselves green and gets drunk. They also have a statue of a giant winkle, an alley under the prom with a spectacular light show and there are lots of lovely pubs too, where you can watch one of their thousands of bands... and get drunk. Oh, and there's a building supplier called William the Concreter.

    Written and performed by Mark Steel
    Additional material by Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator, Hayley Sterling / Beverly Tagg
    Sound Manager, Jerry Peal
    Producer, Carl Cooper

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2019.

  • Mark Steel visits Ventnor on The Isle of Wight and performs at the Winter Gardens, the venue of his first ever gig when he got up and told some jokes in a talent contest on a childhood holiday.

    Ventor has a microclimate, subsidence, and the residents claim that on some days they can see France reflected upside down in the sky.

    Mark concludes the 8th series of his award winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    Written and performed by ... Mark Steel
    Additional material by ... Pete Sinclair

    Production co-ordinator ... Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager ... Jerry Peal
    Producer ... Carl Cooper

    Picture Credit ... Tom Stanier

    A BBC Studio production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in January 2018.

  • Mark Steel visits Hull. He has a wonderful time exploring the 2017 City of Culture exhibits as well as all the other normal stuff like the world's smallest window and white phone boxes.

    He talks to a man who painted himself blue and walked naked through the town as part of the Sea of Hull installation, samples the delights of Chip Spice and patties and gets to the bottom of why they call their aquarium a submarium.

    Mark's 8th series of his award winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    Written and performed by ... Mark Steel
    Additional material by ... Pete Sinclair

    Production co-ordinator ... Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager ... Jerry Peal
    Producer ... Carl Cooper

    Picture Credit ... Tom Stanier

    A BBC Studio production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in February 2018.

  • Mark Steel's In Town - Portishead

    "When the siren sounds - Go in, close doors and windows and stay in"

    Mark Steel with his award winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    In this episode Mark visits Portishead in Somerset

    Portishead is near Bristol, but it definitely isn't Bristol. You can get to Bristol from there if you like, but it isn't that easy. It has a lovely Marina, a boating lake, a lido and peculiar stationers shop with too many rooms. It also has a plethora of groups and societies including a marvellous bunch of people who save toads and frogs from getting run over. Oh, and newts.

    Eddie Large and Mike Baldwin from Coronation Street live there as well.
    *(Not together)

    Written and performed by ... Mark Steel
    Additional material by ... Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator ... Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager ... David Thomas
    Producer ... Carl Cooper

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2017.

  • Mark visits Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland.

    Inverness is the 2nd happiest place in Britain, according to some polls, but Mark finds them to be a bit grumpy if the truth be known... some of them anyway... some of them are marvellous. He meets Sheena from the local taxi firm who tells a story about a fib she told to a tourist, and he meets Steve the Nessie Hunter, a man who has lived in a van on the shores of Loch Ness for 26 years.

    The 8th series of Mark Steele's award winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    Written and performed by ... Mark Steel
    Additional material by ... Pete Sinclair

    Production co-ordinator ... Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager ... Jerry Peal
    Producer ... Carl Cooper

    Picture Credit ... Tom Stanier

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in Decenber 2017.

  • Mark Steel visits the lovely Derbyshire towns of Matlock and Matlock Bath.

    Matlock Bath is a seaside town that is nowhere near the sea. Here, Mark visits the National Stone Centre, where there aren't any stones. And he has fish and chips in a chip shop, of which there are hundreds. He also takes a trip up the cable cars to The Heights of Abraham and he talks to a man who is the only human ever to enter the Bonsall World Championship Hen Races.

    The eighth series of Mark's award winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    Written and performed by ... Mark Steel

    Additional material by ... Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator ... Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager ... Jerry Peal
    Producer ... Carl Cooper

    Picture Credit ... Tom Stanier

    A BBC Studios production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in December 2017.

  • Mark Steel is back with the 8th series of his award winning show that travels around the country visiting towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness. After thoroughly researching each town, Mark writes and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    In this first episode Mark visits Bedford.

    Everyone's heard of Bedford but not many seem to know where it is or what goes on there. It is a town full of surprises; it has the highest concentration of Italians in the country, it is the home of the biggest airship in the world and it has a museum dedicated to a cult called The Panacea Society, who believe The Garden of Eden is actually in Bedford.

    Written and performed by ... Mark Steel

    Additional material by ... Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator ... Hayley Sterling
    Sound Manager ... Jerry Peal
    Producer ... Carl Cooper

    Picture Credit ... Tom Stanier.

    A BBC Studios production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in December 2017.

  • "I've done loads of these, but I've never done one where I couldn't get into my dressing room because of monkeys."

    In the last episode of the series, Mark visits the British overseas territory of Gibraltar where he performs in the spectacular setting of St Michael's Cave, inside The Rock. He explores Gibraltar's relationship with Spain, visits a British phone box, has some British fish and chips and encounters some not so British monkeys.

    Mark Steel's seventh series of the award winning show that travels around the country, researching the history, heritage and culture of six towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness, and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    A BBC Radio Comedy production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in 2016.

  • Don't mention the goats!

    Mark visits the lovely seaside towns of Lynton and Lynmouth in North Devon, lovely that is until he mentions the goats, then the rest of the show doesn't go entirely to plan.

    Mark Steel's seventh series of the award winning show that travels around the country, researching the history, heritage and culture of six towns that have nothing in common but their uniqueness, and performs a bespoke evening of comedy for the local residents.

    Written and performed by ... Mark Steel
    Additional material by ... Pete Sinclair
    Production co-ordinator ... Hayley Stirling
    Producer ... Carl Cooper

    A BBC Radio Comedy production first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2016. .